Hosting and development of websites

Premise

Ca' Foscari University of Venice (hereinafter referred to as University) offers its teachers, researchers and structures the opportunity to host on its servers (hosting) personal websites of a professional nature or related to specific projects, conferences, events etc.

For this purpose, the Computer Services and Telecommunications Area (hereinafter referred to as ASIT), provides some services for the implementation and proper functioning of the websites. All services are distributed in the two data centres of the University and are subject to backup and mirroring policies on remote sites.

The activation of the service takes place further to a request by the interested party or structure and following a positive evaluation by the Director of ASIT.

For each website there must be a designated person responsible for the site, the owner of the site itself.

Website hosting service: technical description and responsibility of the owner

The hosting service is based on providing the site owner with disk space, computational power, integration with the University's authentication systems, support databases, email servers and web application firewalls. The site owner may choose the development platform he considers most suitable (Content Management System (CMS) or even simple html pages), provided that they are compatible with the basic software platform made available, which includes the following systems:

  • Linux operating system;
  • apache web server;
  • php, perl, python development languages;
  • mysql, postgreSql database.

It is the University's policy to keep the systems up to date with the latest version of the software and the latest release available. For this reason, this document does not include the specific versions of software available. ASIT undertakes to keep the basic software described above up to date by promptly applying the security updates released by the developers and compatible with the version of the Linux distribution in use.

The installation by the site owner of any additional product is subject to compatibility with the versions of the operating system and software installed on the server and is subject to approval by the ASIT technicians.

There is limited available disk space for each site (disk quota).

The quota for each site is set at 1 GB, which can be increased upon request, after ASIT has assessed the need.

It is the site owner's responsibility to promptly update any specific software used for the website.

Under no circumstances can the update of the basic platform be delayed or omitted. If, after the update of the basic platform by ASIT, the site owner's software shows problems of incompatibility, it will, in any case, be the responsibility of the owner to update the software with compatible versions.

Obligatory systems updates

The software installed on the servers, including the operating system, has its own life cycle and support. Software developers guarantee security and development updates for a certain number of years. At the end of this period, updates are no longer released and the system is considered "End of Life".

A system that can no longer be updated is to be considered at risk and therefore must be switched off as soon as possible. In this situation, ASIT, where there are no compatibility problems and with the support of the site owner, undertakes to migrate the remaining active sites to upgradeable systems.

If this operation is not possible, due to compatibility problems with the new platform, it remains the responsibility of the owner to create a new site on the new systems and to import content into the new system.

Access to the service

The service can be requested by:

  • lecturers;
  • researchers;
  • University centres;
  • companies owned by the University;
  • private law bodies controlled by the University.

To access the hosting service it is necessary for the site owner: to complete the account request through the appropriate procedure on the University website;

The activation of the site, with the associated granting of login details, will take place within 10 working days of the request, if approved.

The credentials issued are composed of an account and a password. The password must be renewed every semester.

Failure to change the password every six months will result in the password being blocked and the server being blocked. The site remains accessible even if the password is not updated.

Obligations of the site owner

The site owner is responsible for the maintenance of the site and its contents. The site owner must:

  • create the site autonomously;
  • install the software and configure it, if the site uses a Content Management System (CMS);
  • keep the CMS up to date, applying all security updates issued by developers;
  • notify ASIT of any anomalies, improper use or faults;
  • resolve any incompatibilities that may arise as a result of routine updates performed by ASIT on the system;
  • comply with the guidelines prepared by the Communication and Promotion Office regarding websites and the use of the University's logo and with current legislation on intellectual/industrial property;
  • update the password every six months.

The contents published by the site owner must be treated in accordance with current legislation on property and, in particular, the legislation on intellectual and / or industrial property owned by third parties. The site owner assumes all responsibility in this regard and undertakes to indemnify and to release the University from any prejudicial consequence that may arise from use that does not comply with the above provisions.

The site owner guarantees that the services offered will not be used directly or by third parties against public order and ethics, to cause offence or to cause direct or indirect damage to anyone. The web space made available by the University can only be used for the publication of the website and not as a repository, i.e. as a tool for the simple archiving of files and / or material to download.

The site owner is also responsible for the publication or dissemination through the site of systems designed to violate or attempt to violate the confidentiality of private messages or aimed at damaging the integrity of other people's resources or to cause direct or indirect damage to anyone (for example through the provision of pirated software, cracks, key generators, serials, viruses or other harmful components).

The site owner agrees:

  • not to use the hosting service to violate, contravene or cause others to contravene in a direct or indirect way the current legislation of the Italian State (by way of example and not limited to, please note the respect of the privacy regulations and the prohibition of the publication of sites relating to gambling, pursuant to the provisions of Law 401/1989 and subsequent amendments and integrations).
  • not to infringe industrial or intellectual property rights against any person;
  • not to harm the image of the University;
  • not to carry out spamming or equivalent actions;
  • not to store sensitive data and/or judicial data on the site;
  • not to publish websites that contain newspaper content without the written consent of the Rector of the Ca' Foscari University of Venice;
  • not to consider and/or indicate in any case the University as the publisher and/or printer without its written consent;
  • observe the rules of good use of network resources, contained in the document "Netiquette", published on the website of the Italian Naming Authority.

In the event of a breach of one or more of the above obligations, the University will have the right to cancel any unauthorized material submitted and to suspend the service immediately and without notice.

The University does not assume, under any circumstances, any responsibility for information, data, content entered or transmitted and, in any case, processed on the site, nor is it liable for damage suffered by the owner and / or third parties, directly or indirectly, as a result of the use of services provided. For all these cases, the only person responsible is the site owner.

Accessibility of the website

The site created will be accessible at: "http://nome_server.unive.it/NameOfSite" (e.g. "http://virgo.unive.it/NameOfSite"). The standard address will be the one used for all internal pages of the site. For specific needs and only after an assessment of suitability by ASIT it is possible to provide a virtual host associated with the site, which means that the site will be accessible at the url "http://NameOfSite.unive.it".

Routine checks

ASIT carries out regular security checks on the hosted sites (vulnerability tests). If the analysis tools detect potential vulnerabilities on the site, the site owner will be immediately notified and will have to take action to resolve them as soon as possible. In the event that, following the notification, the vulnerability is not resolved within 3 working days, ASIT may suspend the service immediately and without notice.

Reporting faults

Only for issues that concern:

  • server downtime / fault;
  • database downtime / fault;
  • disk space used up;
  • specific prerequisites of the software used to create the site;
  • improper use of the site (hacking, spam, etc.)

the site owner can send a request for assistance to ASIT technicians using the University ticketing system (https://apps.unive.it/otrs).

Requests for specific services, other than those indicated above, must be made through the ticketing system and evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Among these, there is also the possibility of using Virtual Machines dedicated to specific projects (dedicated hosting). The obligations described in this document also apply to the use of dedicated Virtual Machines.

Coordination with the University's communication strategy

Before enabling the visualization of the site, the site owner must request and obtain via email from the University's Communication and Promotion Office the approval of the site in order to align it with the communication strategy of the Ca' Foscari University of Venice. In the absence of authorization for publication, ASIT will not proceed to activate the visualization of the site outside the University network.

On an annual basis, ASIT will verify:

  • with the site owner the need to keep it active;
  • with the Communication and Promotion Office that the site continues to respond to the general indications in terms of adherence to the University's image. If this is not the case, the site owner will agree with the Office on a deadline for alignment. In the event of failure to comply with this deadline, the site will be removed.

These guidelines also apply to sites currently in use at the University, which must be updated and aligned with the guidelines within 6 months of their publication.

Use of the University CMS

The site owner may choose to adopt the CMS and the additional components used by the University for institutional sites for the development of its site, in this case the management of the CMS server and their update will be the responsibility of the University, while the site owner will only be responsible for the obligations regarding the content.

The site created will be accessible at the address: "http://nome_server.unive.it/NameOfSite" (e.g. "http://virgo.unive.it/NameOfSite"). These addresses will be redirected to the standard address of the University CMS, i.e.: www.unive.it/pag/xxxxx. The standard addresses will be used for all internal pages of the site.

Last update: 15/07/2020