General news about what IT Services are up to.

Colleagues are reminded that DTS will carry out essential maintenance on server equipment on Saturday 18 December. Work is expected to start at 09:00 and will be complete by 18:00.

The following will experience a brief one-off period of downtime during the day:

  • Cortech
  • Wren
  • Kinetic
  • AppsAnywhere

Services below may experience more short outages as different systems are worked on:

  • Trent
  • EDMS
  • Campus Cards
  • Sateon

For up to date details, you can check this page: DTS Systems Status

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Pulse and the University VPN will be unavailable on Tuesday 14th December between 21:00 and 21:30.

What are we doing?

The Pulse application and VPN access will be unavailable for approximately 30 minutes whilst we carry out maintenance. You use VPN (a Virtual Private Network) when you are working off campus and wish to connect to University systems.

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

When will this happen?

The change is planned to take place on: 14/12/2021 between 21:00 and 21:30.

Who does this affect?

This will affect anyone accessing University systems through VPN.

What does this mean?

During the downtime, VPN will not be available for any user. As some services require you to connect to the University network in order to access them, they will be unavailable through VPN for a short time. These include:

  • Collaborative shares (collabs)
  • Business systems administration (e.g. timetabling)
  • Access to UoR Research Systems
  • Remote desktop access

Services can continue to be accessed through a virtual desktop environment using Frame if necessary.

Further information

How to access Frame KI 1127 University VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) Solution – Frame
Change reference: C-2112-451 Migrate Pulse Appliance to VMware Standalone Host in EG


If you have any questions or require advice, please contact the IT Service Desk.


Logging in to Blackboard and the IT Self Service Portal is now available again. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

To access Blackboard in the meantime:

  1. Go to and login.
  2. In the Quick Links section click on the link to Blackboard.
  3. You should now be logged into Blackboard – Your sign on to me@reading should carry over to Blackboard when done via this method.

We are aware of a separate issue preventing logging in to Blackboard and the IT Self Service Portal. We are currently assessing the issue and will work to fix this as soon as possible.

We will update here and on Twitter as soon as we know more.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused

In the last few days Intel, AMD and ARM have publicly announced major security flaws within their CPU chips.  We are working with suppliers to patch our systems as quickly as possible to ensure they remain secure.

Security patches will be applied to your computer over the coming days. Never switch off your computer at the wall or the security patches will not be applied.

The University of Reading IT department will continue to monitor risk and will make updates when needed, however, please do remember to update your home machine. This flaw affects millions of institutions and businesses but will also affect households too. Full details of what the security flaw is and how to deal with it can be found on the BBC website, including how the flaw is exploited and how to keep your personal machine protected.

There has been no evidence that the flaw has been exploited yet but still poses a security threat.

Non managed Mac and Linux users should ensure that they have the latest versions of their OS and software in order to have the security patches applied.

A reminder of some good online security tips:

  1. Use strong passwords and do not share them
  2. Use central file shares or One Drive for Business in preference to local drives
  3. Never switch off your computer at the wall or the security patches will not be applied
  4. Lock/secure your hardware
  5. Encrypt sensitive and personal information
  6. Think carefully before clicking on links in emails, even from friends and colleagues
  7. Ensure that your anti-virus is up to date
  8. Ensure that Windows updates are applied promptly
  9. Keep software applications up to date
  10. Dispose of IT equipment and data securely
  11. Protect your mobile device

If you have any further questions or concerns then please contact IT.


There was a major power outage on campus this morning, affecting two key server rooms. This resulted in the loss of most of the IT services on campus.

The majority of services were restored by 14:00. Notable exceptions being;

  • Wi-Fi authentication
  • Campus card payment services
  • Trent
  • Sports Park web site
  • Network link to Cedar Farm
  • Some networking in Harry Pitt
  • Lyle building power – affects all servers hosted in this server room


Some services are running slowly due to re-synchronisation of the server storage. This should complete over the weekend.

There is a backlog of e-mail (incoming and outgoing) which is being processed.

Please accept our apologies for the disruption this has caused.




We are currently trying to fix an issue with the Whiteknights campus firewalls, which can lead to occasional and very brief losses of connectivity to the Internet for users at Whiteknights and London Road campuses, and when accessing University business systems such as Agresso, RISIS and Trent.  There are some challenging circumstances, so it’s taking us longer than usual to get to the bottom of things.  We are working with our equipment vendor’s advanced technical support and engineering teams with a view to identifying feasible workarounds and a fix for the root cause as quickly as possible.

In order to assist with our diagnostics, and to help us accurately judge the business impact of this issue, it would be helpful if people could contact the IT Service Desk if they are unexpectedly disconnected from any of the University’s business systems during their day to day work. We routinely monitor the University’s Internet connectivity so at the present time do not need to be contacted regarding brief losses of Internet access.

As ever, please feel free to discuss any aspect of this issue with your IT Business Partner if you wish.

We have recently been experiencing problems with slow logins to some PCs on campus. We are working very hard to resolve this issue. Should you find your login is unacceptably slow (over 4 minutes), you should:

Contact the Service Desk immediately on 0118 378 6262, 6262 from an internal phone.
They will be able to provide you with details of a guest login account.
If required, restart the PC (hold the power button if necessary).
Login using the username and password supplied to you.

NOTE: The guest login will not map your N:\ drive automatically. The Service Desk will be able to assist you with this. You will still be able to access Blackboard and the Internet.

AV technicians are also able to assist with this particular problem.

We have seen another increase in phishing emails over the last few weeks and this is having an impact on both staff and support services.

Read the rest of this entry »

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As part of the Enabling Technology work, the provision of IT support across the University is being merged to create a new central IT function providing support across a range of systems and services to all parts of the University. Read the rest of this entry »

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A centrally-funded project has been approved which will improve and update the data network infrastructure at the Greenlands site, and within a number of buildings on the main Whiteknights campus.  Read the rest of this entry »

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