SFX – migrating to a new server, January 2008

The SFX service at Nottingham Trent University has, since its launch in September 2004, been delivered through the original Tolstoy server and its successor.

To support the development of the service over the next three years, SFX has been installed on the new replacement Rimbaud server. The SFX A-Z list for this new installation can be accessed here:


As well as the upgrade to a superior server specification, the migration of SFX will also make possible three important service enhancements:

  • A persistent baseURL: the sfx.ntu.ac.uk domain has been registered independently of the Rimbaud server. This means that the domain can be reassigned to new hardware as required without needing to change any of the access URL details. So SFX links should not need to be updated during future migrations.
  • The resolution of an Apache web server port problem: previously the SFX service was delivered through port 9003. Firewall constraints experienced by some customers in workplace or other institutional settings prevented them for accessing the service without local IT intervention. On the new Rimbaud server, SFX is delivered through the standard web port 80 (meaning that it is not necessary to include the port in the baseURL). This should resolve the remote access difficulties previously experienced by a minority of customers.
  • Enabling a test SFX and eSearch environment: once the migration to Rimbaud has been completed, the Tolstoy server will be reconfigured to provide a complete independent test environment for both eSearch and SFX – enabling LLR to test new features, try out upgrades and pilot enhancements completely separately from the live service.

To ensure that there is no interruption in customer service, both the existing and the new SFX servers will run as parallel live ‘instances’. Only when all links pointing to the SFX service have been migrated to the new SFX service will the previous service be withdrawn from customer use.

The Tolstoy BaseURL of SFX is registered with several dozen online service providers. A list of the current source services of SFX can be reviewed here. Links from each of these services will be updated as part of the migration process.

All other web based links to SFX services (including ‘Find it @ NTU’, Find a Journal, Citation Linker) on library and university web pages will need to be updated to reflect the change of server. The eServices team will be happy to provide technical support and advice in updating any links.

A further update will be provided once the migration of SFX to the new Rimbaud server has been completed. In the meantime, please report any access difficulties to SFX services to the eServices team.

Posted in SFX