The Division of Information Technology
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Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Academic Support Services Subcommittee Report
In August, most of the DoIT offices and staff were relocated to Carter Hall. The Help Desk remains in D.F. Lowry and continues providing centralized “one-stop” services to students, faculty and staff. The data center and some staff remain in Oxendine Science. This move helps DoIT provide the services more efficiently by centralizing and streamlining operations.
As of September 4, over 240 faculty and staff accounts have been migrated to the Outlook Exchange e-mail system along with Active Directory. This conversion is being done on a department-by-department basis. Shared department calendars are beginning to be implemented. Policy must be developed and reviewed for the shared calendars. Exchange backup issues were experienced but have been resolved.
Password reset synchronization between Active Directory and Novell eDirectory is fully functioning. Policy and an organizational structure within Active Directory must be developed and reviewed. Active Directory currently hosts Blackboard 7 and Shibboleth, the open source software supporting UNC Online efforts.
Collaborating with UNC system, DoIT has implemented Shibboleth to support the UNC Online effort. It is a federated identity management system that allows students, faculty and staff to login to UNC Online using UNCP credentials.
The transition to a new e-mail client for students, BraveMail, is in the testing stage with 171 student volunteers. BraveMail is a hosted Microsoft Exchange Labs site, and is scheduled to be in full operation by the end of September. Some issues, such as a logout redirect link, will not be fixed until the next version is released around the first of the year.
For Fall Semester, 859 classes are now in Blackboard. Slow response times were reported. On September 3, a cluster of multiple servers were installed to improve performance, and most of the issues appear to be resolved.
Six modules of Banner 7 – Accounts Receivable, Advancement, Finance, Financial Aid, Human Resources and Student – have all gone live. In September, Banner 8 installation began in test. The migration of Banner 8 into the production instance is expected to be complete in late November. Through EMAS/Banner Bridge, over 24,000 transactions, including 5,599 students and prospectus students, were processed since January 2008. EMS software supports the Admissions processes.
Banner Training for employees in functional offices will begin in October.
On September 4, Operational Data Store (ODS) training was provided for Banner super-users to generate reports using Cognos ReportNet.
The UNCP annual Banner security review is being conducted. DoIT is working to merge Banner into a new MetroCluster SAN environment to provide additional data protection.
Small SAN deployment:
Small Storage Area Network (SAN) systems have been created for four offices: Enrollment Management, University and Community Relations (UCR), Facilities and Yearbook. UCR is currently using and Yearbook is implementing this additional storage.
For Fall Semester, 1,298 students are currently registered. Windows updates and antivirus are now mandatory. All residential students need to update their Windows and antivirus software to connect ResNet. Client Services staff notified students and provided instructions on compliance. Students who have not updated the system now limited to 20-minute intervals of UNCP network access until the update is done.
Computer labs and refresh:
Three student computer labs were closed during the summer. On September 3, a new 24-hour lab was opened on the first floor of the University Center. Twenty-four computers, scanners, printers and a copier are available. During the summer, 221 new computers and memory upgrades for over 300 computers were installed.
A review of software license installation on faculty and staff computers is being conducted to verify need and use.
One of four blade servers supporting virtual servers is operational. Currently, nine Windows and two Red Hat Linux virtual servers are in operation. A Dell Virtualization Readiness Assessment and workshop are scheduled for the week of October 6. This is through a grant from Dell.
As part of the UNC Alliance remote backup project, Sun and Symantec will be installing equipment and PureDisk in the data centers. PureDisk will provide remote backup for critical data. Offsite data storage for backup data is being implemented.
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