University Information Technology Committee Meeting Faculty Senate Chambers, dh hill Library September 8, 2010

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University Information Technology Committee Meeting
Faculty Senate Chambers, DH Hill Library
September 8, 2010


Committee Members/Representatives Present

Voting Members

Chairperson (VCIT and CIO)

Marc Hoit

College of Agriculture & Life Sciences (CALS)

Alan Schueler

College of Design (CoD)

Bill Bayley

College of Education (CED)

Andy Raynor

College of Engineering (CoE)

Keith Boswell

College of Humanities & Social Sciences (CHASS)

Bob Kadle

College of Management (CoM)

Dan Steen

College of Natural Resources (CNR)

Greg Robinson

College of Physical & Mathematical Sciences (PAMS)

Pete Evans

College of Textiles (CoT)

Shawn Dunning

College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM)

Not Represented

Graduate School

Rick Liston

DUAP / First Year College

Arnold Bell

Student Affairs

Leslie Dare

Distance Education & Learning Technology Applications (DELTA)

Jeff Webster

NCSU Libraries

Kristin Antelman

Student Government

Not represented

Faculty Senate

Not represented

Staff Senate

Harry Nicholos

Technical Advisors and Guests

John Baines, Donna Barrett, Billy Beaudoin, Mardecia Bell, John Black, Justin Chin, Bill Coker, Ronda Conlon, Jack Foster, Dan Green, Tim Gurganus, Gwen Hazlehurst, Leo Howell, Charles Hunt, Ray Kimsey, Susan Klein, Greg Kraus, Robbie Little, Stan North Martin, Joe McCoy, Richard Merwin, James Nesbitt, Sarah Noell, Connie Reitfort, Jason Robinson, Eric Sills, Greg Sparks

Call to order
Marc Hoit, chairperson, called the meeting to order at 10:00 and welcomed everyone.

Review of minutes
A motion was made, seconded, and carried unanimously to accept the May minutes as submitted.

802.11N Roadmap

Rick Brown, OIT Communication Technologies (ComTech), presented on Communication Technologies’ 801.11N Project Implementation Roadmap. Phase I of the project involves the deployment of 801.11N technology with 72Mbps maximum bandwidth. Mr. Brown explained the reasoning behind 72Mbps, introduced OIT ComTech’s new wireless network Engineer, James Nesbitt, and noted that Layer 2 infrastructure upgrades were not required in Phase I.

In terms of timelines in Phase I, Mr. Brown said that in 3rd-4th Quarter 2010, field tests will be conducted in three buildings—Riddick, Peele, and Jordan (both old and new sides)— to determine the 802.11N equivalent to the current 802.11G coverage. In the 1st Quarter 2011, design recommendation will be presented to the Infrastructure Subcommittee for debate and final approval of design parameters, and the use of 802.11N design parameters for the new Nomad wireless projects will begin, as well as the development and issuance of an RFP.

In the 2nd Quarter 2011, The RFP responses will be evaluated and a contract awarded. If a vendor other than Cisco is chosen, a migration plan will need to be developed and an adjustment to the timeline made. After that, the upgrade and configuration of the controller firmware will take place.

Mr. Brown noted that in the final quarter of Phase I, 3rd Quarter 2011, the plan to begin upgrading existing 802.11A/B/G access points in designated buildings to 802.11N will be devised and presented to the Infrastructure Subcommittee for approval.

Mr. Brown concluded saying that Phase 2 of the project, to enable full 300Mbps bandwidth capability, will require the Layer 2 infrastructure to be upgraded and will be based on network upgrades and budget requirements. With an anticipated 3rd Quarter 2011 start date to the core infrastructure upgrade, other Phase 2 tasks include: upgrading building entry uplinks, deploying Gig PoE switches, and upgrading wireless controller infrastructure leading into the rollout.


Shawn Dunning (CoT) asked, “What is the primary driver for doing the upgrade? Is it because keeping the current technology up-to-date is becoming more difficult, is it because we’re running out of bandwidth, is it just because it’s the newest thing?” Mr. Brown responded, “Initially, it was one seen as one of those latest and greatest things that we had to have, but it’s also because people are becoming more and more mobile, which leads to a need for increased bandwidth.”

Greg Sparks (OIT) added, “It’s become the commodity offering at a similar price-point to the current technology in the wireless space.” Marc Hoit added that we are running into bandwidth issues in certain buildings.

MyPack Portal 9.1 Upgrade

Connie Reitfort, OIT Enterprise Application Services (EAS) noted Jack Foster is managing the upgrade project, Justin Chin, a new member of the team, is working with him. Mr. Foster then reviewed the highlights of the upcoming upgrade and gave a quick demo of the new interface. He noted that on the MyPack Portal home page, a status bar has been added to indicate current or scheduled downtime. If nothing is going on, it won’t be displayed.

Other features and advantages include improvements to the navigation using breadcrumbs across the top instead of frames along the side, which increases screen real estate and makes it easier and quicker to get around, A recently used pages feature has been added for people who visit the same three or four pages each time, allowing them to jump right to them. Branding was also done to conform to NC State Web standards, and the team has gained PeopleTools experience in preparation for future upgrades to the Student Information System (SIS), HR, and Finance systems. The PeopleTools upgrade will be from version 8.48 to 8.50, the Application Upgrade will be from version 8.9 to 9.1, and the Database Upgrade will be from version 10g to 11g.

Mr. Foster then covered a timeline for the project with EAS testing, along with a review of the upgrade plan with the data stewards, the University Business Office, and central offices that both took place mid-July through early September. During the month of September, user testing continues and communication about the upgrade is starting. The go-live date is anticipated to be in late October, early November.

In closing, Mr. Foster said that if anyone has created any training or screen shots that are specific to what they’re organization goes using the portal, to let him know and he can make new screen shots available or give access to a test environment to get their own new shots.


Dan Green (ECE) asked, “Will the new portal support IE8?” Mr. Foster replied, “Yes,” and Mr. Green followed up with, “With compatibility mode turned off?” Mr. Foster said that he thought that was the case and noted that they were using the Solution Center to test various browsers that they don’t normally use. “The goal is yes [to test it with compatibility mode off],” he said. He also shared that they were considering incorporating notification on the home page that when detecting browsers such as Chrome, to display a disclaimer saying something to the effect of, “You’re free to use the portal in this browser, but there may be some functionality that doesn’t work in it exactly as expected.”

Google Apps @ NC State Migration Re-cap

Stan North Martin, OIT Outreach, Communications, and Consulting, reminded the group that at the last meeting they reported that they’d moved 8,000+ student Unity/Cyrus users to Google Apps @ NC State as beta testers. In July, they moved about 27,000 accounts. At that time they were using Shibboleth to provide single sign-on authentication for students, but ended up over-running the Shib servers with so many students authenticating, so they switched to Google’s native authentication.

Mr. Martin acknowledged that, “We did cause some headaches for students until we got through everyone re-syncing their password, which they had to do when first switching from Shib authentication to Google authentication.” There was also a period of a few weeks when they couldn’t create new Google accounts due to Postini work in progress, which delayed some students from getting their Google accounts. They made a concerted effort to notify those users to let them know what was going on and when they could expect their new account.

Mr. Martin continued, “However, as of now, the students are in a stable environment, and the old business process of creating Cyrus accounts for new students has been changed to create Google accounts for them now.” He noted that there is still a steady trickle of accounts that have to be moved from Cyrus to Google manually, such as when a student whose account had been Kerberos-disabled comes back, when employees who are WolfWise users go back to school and need a Google account, and grad students who are working in housing, for example, and need to be using WolfWise accounts for scheduling, but need a Google account to do their student-related work. They’re working to put procedures in place to handle various anomalies they come across.

Mr. Martin concluded by summarizing that they now have almost 45,000 accounts in Google Apps and by and large the response has been very, very positive. He said, “We continue to look at adding features as we have time and resources, one of them being a Google version of the NC State Academic Calendar that students can use their Google calendar to subscribe to.” He noted that anyone with a personal Gmail calendar can subscribe to it as well. The instructions are provided at the bottom of the Subscribe to the Fall 2010 / Spring 2011 NC State Academic Calendar on Google Web page.

Postini Update
Harry Nicholos, OIT Infrastructure, Systems and Operations, began his update thanking the UITC committee members, their customers, and everyone involved for their patience during the transition to Postini. He also acknowledged and thanked the team that did a tremendous amount of good work on the project. He stated that the two goals of the project were: “To consolidate two separate enterprise anti-spam/antivirus filtering solutions to reduce costs, and to capture all OIT-managed e-mail traffic subject to records retention in Google’s Postini Discovery Service to meet compliance objectives for retention and discovery.”

Mr. Nicholos summarized the progress in terms of: the technical challenge in identifying every e-mail address used in the university system, steeped in 15 years of decentralized growth; the scale of the migration, including 1800-3200 messages process per minute, 11 million messages consisting of about 1.4 Tb of storage archived in August alone; and the changes for both Unity and GroupWise customers with regards to how their spam is detected, how they’re notified about its disposition, and what part of that they can and cannot control.

Then next part of Mr. Nicholos’ presentation covered the bumps in the road, the upsides, and the work to be done to close out Phase I of the project, including the development of a global allow list policy, business process decisions about disabled accounts and student accounts being forwarded off-campus, the decommissioning of the old ISO mail relays, and continuing to set customer expectations with regards to the use of outsourced documentation.

Mr. Nicholos concluded his presentation by articulating the goals of both Phase II and Phase III of the project. Phase II, starting in 4Q 2010, goals include migrating both the Unity and the GroupWise online mail stores to Postini, migrating the GroupWise Native archives to Postini, and migrating the domain routing for those who should or want to take advantage of Postini. The Phase III (probably a year out) goals were to migrate available departmentally-hosted mail stores and archives to Postini, and migrating user-hosted mail stores and archives to Postini. The project Web site is and two resource Web sites are and


Mark Hoit (OIT) asked Mr. Nicholos to clarify the various actions you can take on items in the quarantine reports. Mr. Nicholos explained that on an item in quarantine, you can elect to deliver it to your inbox, while optionally adding the address from which that item was sent to your allow list. Also, for any item in the quarantine, you can click on an option to view why it was put in quarantine, where you can also opt to submit it for analysis to help the system “learn” to better recognize what is not spam.

Pete Evans (PAMS) asked if we could provide a link to the documentation. It’s

Other Business

Marc Hoit (OIT) gave a short update on the Governance Initiative, noting that we have four task forces that are in operation: Security & Compliance, chaired by Leo Howell; Academic Technologies, chaired by Donna Petherbridge; Infrastructure, chaired by John Black and Billy Beaudoin; and Technology & Applications, chaired by Susan West Klein and Keith Boswell. Dr. Hoit explained, “The goal of those task forces is to develop a committee structure for the future governance,” he said.

Pete Evans (PAMS) asked about an update of the overall governance, specifically with regards to the future of the UITC. Dr. Hoit replied, “As part of the restructuring, I do want the UITC to be more of a functional group, since many of the other groups have a technical charge. The input that I’ve received agrees with that structure, but I’ve not yet formed a group to look at how to get that done.”

Alan Schueler (CALS) asked about the coordination of communication about what’s going on in all four of the governance groups if one isn’t involved in one. Dr. Hoit said he saw that being ironed out as part of what Mr. Evans was asking about, as part of the restructuring of the UITC.

UIT Subcommittee and topical reports:

  • Active Directory - Dan Green

  • Communication Technologies - Greg Sparks
    Highlights: 1) The port deactivation process will resume in the spring, with one guideline change—any port not utilized in the previous 180 days (had been 90) will be turned off.
    2) The Unified Communications Workgroup is moving forward to replace our Octel voicemail system for campus. In the process of soliciting bids and an RFP for that, CISCO came up with a higher-ed promotion for a suite of products that includes voicemail, which they’re pursuing. This will allow them to move forward on two projects—their voicemail project and their IP Telephony project.

  • Enterprise Applications - Gwen Hazlehurst
    Highlights: They went live this morning with Advising in SIS. Also, they will start planning the implementation of the Destiny OneCE Continuing Education application this month, which also includes functionality for any kind of non-credit continuing education course.

  • IT Accessibility Working Group – Stan North Martin
    Highlights: Although there is no written report this month, Stan reported that the IT Accessibility Coordinator position has been posted.

  • Security & Compliance - Mardecia Bell
    Highlights: Take note of their activities with the Higher Education Opportunities Act (HEOA). The annual disclosure letter has been sent out to all students, who have responded in the Technician. They are working on an awareness and education campaign with regards to that. Also, they’re participating in the Business Continuity and IT Organizational Resilience Road Show on October 20, 2010; the details are in their report.

  • Security Subcommittee - Tim Gurganus

  • Software Subcommittee - Bill Coker

  • Technology Support Services - Susan West Klein

The meeting was adjourned at 11:00.

Next Meeting

The next UITC meeting is scheduled for November 3, 2010.

Respectfully submitted,
John Martin

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