The Virtual Campus Vision of the Division is a step closer: thanks to the development by ICT Services of a trial Virtual Private Network (VPN) server facility, staff can now connect to the University network via the Internet and can work with network resources as if they were on campus. The VPN connection is a secure and encrypted 'tunnel' to the University network that provides access to network services like Home Directories and OPUS that are normally blocked to outside users for security reasons.
Funds for two production VPN servers (one for staff and one for student use) are being sought as a part of the NILL Infrastructure grant. The VPN servers are required to implement wireless access to the University network proposed by the Wireless Working Party of the University Information Management Systems Committee. Once in place, the VPN infrastructure can also be used to access the University network securely from anywhere on the Internet using a wired or wireless connection.
Staff with a broadband connection at home (dialup is also possible, but may be unacceptably slow) can 'VPN' into the University network using their usual staff id as your username and proxy password as the password. Once the production servers are in place, detailed instructions will be provide to staff so that they can establish their own connections.