IT Policies: Special domain names for Web servers at du.edu
From time to time Information Technology receives requests to provide domain name services. These services fall primarily in the following areas:
- Requests for special domain names for Web sites residing on the DU central Web server (Example: survey.du.edu)
- Requests for redirection of du.edu domain names to servers off-campus
- Domain names at other locations that are redirected to servers at DU
- Hosting of commercial sites on DU's servers
Requests for special domain names on DU's central Web server
A specialized domain name, (daniels.du.edu and law.du.edu are examples) implies that you are the owner of a Web server (hardware and software) and that you have a person on staff who is responsible for maintenance of the server and the site. If you meet the criteria of having a server and staff, you may apply to Information Technology for a specialized domain name. Send your request by email to email@example.com
You will be expected to have a feedback mechanism on all Web pages on the site, directed to the maintainer of the site (not to IT), to provide a mechanism for site visitors to make inquiries and comments.
Specialized domain names will not be available for sites residing on DU's central servers. If you want to have a site on the central servers, you must apply for one using the form located at www.du.edu/it/policies/websupport.html. These sites will be subdirectories on our server and will have URL's similar to the following examples:
Generally, high-level directories like those listed above are reserved for divisions or departments. Sections of departments and special programs operated within departments should be subdirectories of department directories. For example, Web pages for the Information Technology Computer Help desk are located at www.du.edu/it/helpdesk/.
Requests for special domain names redirected to external (non-DU) servers
Information Technology will not provide redirection for domain names residing on servers not owned and controlled by DU. An example is the domain name abcxyz.du.edu which Department X has set up independently of IT and which is currently hosted on servers owned and operated by Company Y through a contractual arrangement with Department X.
If you or your department choose to have Web pages hosted on a non-DU server, you should:
- Be very cautious. Inquire about the track record and background of the vendor. Ask for and check references.
- Have a plan for the time when you may see fit to terminate your agreement with the vendor. Some of the questions you might ask include: Who owns the data? How will you take possession of it? How will your customers be directed to the replacement site?
- Is you data backed up regularly? Does the vendor have a recovery process in place should their web, application, or storage server(s) fail?
Should you or your department choose to enter into a contractual agreement of this type with a vendor you are required to have the vendor provide Information Technology with:
- A domain name for the server on which your site will reside
- E-mail aliasing for the domain
- The domain name for the mail server
- A reasonable plan for site backup
Domain names at other locations that are redirected to servers at DU
DU does not allow non-university domain names to be redirected to servers on the university network. In the event that Information Technology finds out this is occurring, the Web pages or server to which the domain names point will be taken off the network. An exception to this may be approved by the Vice Chancellor of Technology with concurrence of the University Counsel, when the non-university domain is required to fulfill an academic research project that has national prominence.
Hosting of commercial sites on DU's servers
Commercial sites (sites selling services or goods other than university owned and operated businesses like the Bookstore) are not allowed. Hyperlinks to URLs for commercial sites hosted at other locations, e.g. "We thank our generous supporter, Joe's Coffee," are allowed as long as the commercial site is not located on DU owned or operated servers. Such links to sponsors of a unit can only be placed on the page as a courtesy to the sponsor; they can not be sold and/or exchanged for goods or services in lieu of cash as this would represent a prohibited commercial activity on our servers.
Why we have these policies
Domain name maintenance also requires maintenance of e-mail addresses that users might think are associated with the domain name. Both the maintenance of the domain names and the associated e-mail maintenance are time consuming and labor intensive. Information Technology does not have the staff to provide such support and maintenance.
Hosting commercial sites not associated with University business is a direct violation of our software licensing agreements and may threaten the University's tax-exempt status.
If you have additional questions or concerns, please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.