Welcome to OTDI Web Hosting Services

The OTDI Web Hosting Service provides a low-cost yet robust web hosting platform designed specifically for the OSU Community.  Basically, if your College, Department, Lab or Group is looking to get a website hosted at the University, we’re the people you should probably talk to first.

Web Hosting Services Details and Information

The OTDI Web hosting Service is a Highly-Available and secure Virtual Private Cloud installation supported 24/7 by OCIO staff.  It’s built using standard “LAMP” technologies in a ‘containerized‘ environment and includes additional services such as:

  • Daily Off-Site Snapshots of your environment with 14-day retention.
  • Auditable ISCR compliance.
  • Integration with the University Code Repository (UCR) and Webhooks.
  • Integration with the BuckeyePass Multi-Factor Authentication service.
  • Free SSL/TLS Website Certificates. (Including osu.edu sites)
  • A Dashboard to allow remote management of your site.
  • SSH & FTP back-end access for developers and Sponsored Guests you define.
  • The ability to deploy local Service accounts for automated processes.

High Availability (HA) is ensured through redundant access paths and container pods, ensuring your site is protected from any hardware failures. It’s also protected from application layer attacks by a web application firewall, and from sudden usage spikes by a perimeter Ingress Controller & Load Balancer.

Finally, each account comes with a ‘Production’, a ‘Development’ environment, and a ‘Testing’ environment, so your website designers can freely develop multiple versions of your site without ever risking the production version.

Who is eligible to use Web Hosting Services

OTDI provides web hosting services that meet the diversity that is The Ohio State University.
The aim is to provide services that are inclusive of the many different constituents of the University and
allow each unit to express their own web design, without imposing system-wide templates. Each unit is free to install PHP applications and express themselves in a way that suits their disciplines and interests.

All sites fall into the following categories:

  • OSU Colleges
  • OSU Departments
  • OSU Offices
  • OSU Affiliates (ex. the Wexner Center, WOSU TV and Radio Stations)
  • Other OSU Academic entities
    • Centers
    • Labs
    • Organizations
    • Academic Journals
    • Symposiums

How to Request Web Hosting Services

Read about the service, and understand roles associated with the service
It is important that you understand the different accounts or roles that will be associated with your website.
See the section below for details of roles.
All staff associated with your website must be identified by their name.# at OSU.
FTP and Administrative access is based on the University’s name.# authentication system, and in order to open
a ticket for assistance with 8help@osu.edu (688-help) you must present your OSU name.n to be correctly identified.
Still have Questions?
If after reading the available information you still have questions regarding the service, contact 8help@osu.edu or 688-help. A ticket will be open and assigned to staff specific to your question.
Click here for instructions on how to order a your website space.:
Click on the link above and fill out the Web Site Request form. When you submit this form you will receive a copy of the information via email. Your request will be sent to 8help@osu.edu, a OCIO Service-Now service request will be created and sent to staff who will review the content of your request. You may be contacted for more information or to verify the information you have provided. It is important you those filling out the request form understand the
roles of Web Site Owner, Administrator, Contacts, and FTP users. Those roles and responsibilities are outlined in the next section.

Web Hosting Services Accounts and Roles

Web Site Owner:
This should be the most primary staff for the unit being represented.
This person is someone who can authorize the size and the state that the site officially represents the unit it claims to represent.
The person in this role will either sign-off on site configuration and account changes or who will delegate staff to fill that role in their place.
If a site is hacked or has issues regarding security, this person will be contacted – along with site webmaster staff. For that reason this
person should be aware that a site that represents their Unit is hosted on OCIO web hosting services.
Site Delagate:
If the site owner chooses, alternate staff can stand in their role as delegated owner.
Site Administrator(s):
The Admin role will be expanding as we introduce a system of annually “renewing” web sites, which will include a review
of website accounts. Web site Admins can login to the Web Administrative web site and review their sites “configuration”
as well as all accounts associated with the site. If FTP management is enabled for the site, site admins can created, modify,
and remove FTP users associated with the site. Site statistics can also be viewed by logging into the Web Administrative Website.
Site Contacts:
All sites must have at least two email contacts associated with the site at the time it is created. Usually this will include
the site Owner or Delegate and atleast one webmaster. Contacts will receive communications about the service on topics such as
software upgrades, scheduled outages, and other important information. It is important that contacts read these messages and
understand the impact of the content of the message on their site, or otherwise forward the message who staff who will be able
to address important information in the messages and understand it’s impact on the Unit’s web site.
Site SFTP Users:
Redesigned OCIO Web Hosting Services will only allow secure FTP access or SFTP. FTP users are often called “webmasters” and are
the staff that provide content and function for your website. User’s can have access to your entire webroot or can be “chrooted”
or limited to access to a part of your web root.
If FTP management is enabled for your site, Administrative users can create, modify, or delete FTP accounts.
Site SSH Users:
SSH accounts can be requested for those who are installing or developing PHP scripts for your site. It continues to be the case
that SSH is often required to adjust file permissions during the installation process of many PHP CMS services, and other PHP applications.
SSH accounts should be given only to staff who are experienced at the Linux command line. Once an SSH connection is made, the
user is chrooted to the web root of the site they wish to update. In order to work on more than one site, the developer will have to
login once for each web site – or, SSH users will only have access to one website each time they login.

Requesting Site Updates and Reporting Site Problems,

All updates, questions, and issues with your web site can be reported to 8help@osu.edu or 688-HELP. When you contact the OCIO help desk
regarding your web site, you must always provide

  1. Your OSU Name.n, the ticket will be open in based on this information
  2. Your web site’s URL

These two simple pieces of information, in addition to a specific report of your problems or details of your service request will
assure you the best possible service.

Special Instructions for Student organizations

Requesting Student Organization Websites

To request a Student Organization web site, the primary officer of a student organization must log into the Student Organization Management page, located on the Ohio Union – Office of Student Organizations Web site. When the organization web site URL is updated or entered, a message is automatically generated to the OCIO Help Desk.

Requsting Updates to Student Organization Website Accounts

Whenever webmaster information is updated on the Student Organizations management page, a message is sent to 8help@osu.edu to update the site webmaster.

Additional webmaster’s can be requested by the primary officer of the organization sending a request to 8help@osu.edu. All access to OCIO Web Services requires an OSU name.n, so it is essential to identify all users by their OSU Name.n, the OSU internet id.

Installing a CMS in the Web Hosting Environment

A variety of PHP CMS applications have been deployed on OCIO WEB Hosting Services, including WordPress, Drupal, MODX, and Magento.

Currently the OCIO Web Hosting team does not provide assistance in the process installing or configuring CMS applications. The best place to find assistance is in the on-line forums of the CMS package you wish to install, the OSU Web Interest Group that meets monthly, and specfic Web CMS groups around campus.

PHP and .htaccess Tips

OCIO Web Hosting Services provides tools to help the user help themself. For those installing PHP applications, please note that some rules in .htaccess files will be over-written by rules in system configuration. Rules that fall into this category are generally set for reasons of security. SSH access is provided for knowledgable users to assist with installation and design of PHP applications. For assistance please contact 8help@osu.edu or 688-help.

MySQL Information

MySQL database support is available on request. Please contact 8help@osu.edu or 688-help, to request a MySQL database.