EITS Status and Activity Report for April 2013 Prepared by Timothy M.

Chester, Vice President for Information Technology (VPIT) 1. Announcements for Faculty and Staff Meetings • UGA Email Transitions to Office 365 Beginning August 2, 2013. The Microsoft Corporation will begin transitioning UGA’s email system from its current Live@EDU platform to the new Office 365 platform, working hand in hand with EITS over the weekend of August 2, 2013. While the impact on email availability is expected to be minimal, the technical work required to accomplish this transition is extensive and could result in intermittent email outages during the 48 hour maintenance period. EITS will be engaging campus Units in an extensive communications and outreach program regarding this change and more information is available by pointing a browser to http://office365.uga.edu on the Web. Computer Health and Security Fair Scheduled for April 3rd. The annual computer health and security fair for UGA students and employees is scheduled for 10am until 3pm on the MLC second floor lobby. This event is designed to assist students, faculty, and staff with security-related concerns on their personal computers. Staff will be on hand to provide free assistance with virus and malware removal and check-ups to ensure that computers are using the latest and most secure software. For more information on this event point a browser to http://bit.ly/14wlQiw on the Web.

2. Support for Student Technology Services • Phase 1 of Miller Learning Center Computing Upgrades Complete. During Spring Break, staff from EITS upgraded over 100 computers in the Miller Learning Center, converting them to virtual computing units that use Cloud technology, which moves processing to a central, more secure environment. Phase 1 of this expansion is now completed and subsequent phases will see this technology being deployed more fully within the MLC as well as in other computer labs in the College of Agriculture, Terry College, and Franklin College. By the start of the fall 2013 semester, this technology will be supported on individually owned student devices, with the launch of a completely virtual computer lab service that supports access to student software anytime and anyplace. Significant Student Technology Fee Investments in Learning and Classroom Technology. In March 2013, an additional $500,000 was awarded to UGA schools and colleges to support improvements in classroom and learning related technologies. Together with matching funds provided by units and other monies previously awarded, this marks over $1 million in additional funding provided to Units to support these important technologies at the University of Georgia this past year.

3. Support for Academic and Administrative Computing • New USG Policies Governing User Account Management. Recently policy updates by the University System of Georgia will require additional management supervision and action regarding the management of user accounts for information systems deployed across the University of Georgia. The new policy states that employees departing the University should see their information system access removed no later than five (5) business days after the effective date. Employees changing departments are to have their user permissions changed to reflect their new roles within thirty (30) days of the effective date.
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EITS Status and Activity Report for April 2013

 

Employees changing jobs within the same department should have their permissions reviewed within the same thirty (30) day period. The UGA procedures to comply with this policy are being developed in close coordination with the Administrative Systems Advisory Council (ASAC). Once these procedures are finalized, they shall be communicated to University leaders through the Admin Memos listserv, sometime later this summer. • Reporting Team and Reporting Tools for Academic Information Selected. One of the more important objectives of the Banner implementation is to deliver more accurate and timely reports based upon the authoritative information stored within the Banner student information system. To proceed with the development of standard reports and services, a reporting team has been chartered through the ConnectUGA project to this end. Led by Dr. Ronald Cervero, Associate Vice President for Instruction, and supported by staff from within EITS, this group will work to develop reporting capabilities by building upon the capabilities of the Argos platform, a reporting tool recently chosen as the standard for Banner. This team was chartered in March and will begin meeting shortly, in April. For more information regarding the work of this team or the ConnectUGA project, point a browser to http://connectuga.uga.edu on the Web. Upcoming Changes to the UGAID and the UGACard. Units should be aware of two upcoming changes regarding the use of the UGAID. First, subsequent to a Bulldog Bucks system upgrade in May 2013, all new UGACards will include a card ID and a random number component. This will mitigate current risks associated with Bulldog Bucks and the use of the UGAID. Additionally, by September 2013, newly admitted students will be assigned UGAID numbers beginning with the prefix 811 instead of 810. Departments with local software systems that are customized should be advised that, after this date, they can expect ID numbers using 811 as the first three digits, in addition to those that start with 810. These changes to the use of the UGAID and UGACard reflect collaborations with campus-wide entities through the Identity Management Functional Advisory Committee (IDMFAC). For more information on these changes, contact Danna Gianforte at danna@uga.edu by email.

4. Support for Research • Enhanced Support for Faculty Research via the GACRC. Under the capable leadership of new director Guy Cormier, the GACRC staff have been working to expand their capabilities and to provide research related computing support services across the University. This includes adding two research centers and other researchers to the list of active GACRC users and the installation of additional software to support genomic analysis and visualization. For more information on the GACRC, please contact Dr. Guy Cormier by email at gcormier@uga.edu.

5. Core Campus Infrastructure • University Domain Name System (DNS) Systems See Major Upgrade. In March, 2013 EITS upgraded the campus DNS server, switching from legacy systems previously developed by internal staff to a fully supported commercial product from BlueCat Networks. The DNS system provides a mapping of domain names and URLs to their numerical IP equivalents, necessary for accessing services on the Internet. By switching to the BlueCat Networks product, UGA now benefits from the latest DNS technology, which provides more capabilities for managing the vast array of domain names in use across UGA.
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EITS Status and Activity Report for April 2013

 

Tifton Campus Bandwidth Upgraded. The UGA campus in Tifton now benefits from a doubling of Internet capacity for the campus, made available through a partnership with ITS services from the University System of Georgia. This upgrade, which was made at no cost to the campus, is the first step towards increasing capabilities for Tifton, consistent with strategic needs for enhanced distance and online teaching. A subsequent phase, tentatively planned for next year, would provide for an additional 5x increase in capacity at approximately the same costs as today. SSL Encryption Certificates Available at No Cost to University Departments. UGA has joined the InCommon Federation (http://www.incommonfederation.org), which provides the UGA IT community with a range of infrastructure services, including unlimited SSL certificates for sub-domains at UGA. In the past, these certificates typically cost $100– $300 each, and they are now available at no cost to UGA affiliated Units. The annual membership fee supporting these and other InCommon services is being absorbed by the VPIT. For more information on obtaining SSL certificates through this program, please browse to http://bit.ly/X5YQkE on the Web.

6. Did You Know? • March Madness Brings With It Another Internet Usage Record. The week of March 18, 2013 brought with it another Internet usage record at UGA as the community availed itself of NCAA Web services to watch games from the NCAA basketball tournaments. These services provide live streaming of games on mobile phones, tablets, and personal computers, and the UGA network provided a sustained throughput in excess of 3gb/second. Use of network intensive services such as live streaming takes advantage of recent upgrades to the UGA network that makes available 20gb in total bandwidth capacity. Teamwork and Leadership Skills Training Available. EITS is engaged in a professional development effort called PeopleSkills, which is a foundational development program that helps build productive organizations by increasing awareness of our preferred style of behavior, or “behavior style,” which is perceived by others and impacts them in a positive or negative way. The seminar is directed at IT professionals and those who work closely with IT organizations, and is designed to increase the effectiveness of collaboration and teamwork across those groups. EITS can provide this seminar for teams and groups across UGA at no cost other than a small materials fee. For more information on this seminar and how it might help your teams, please contact Patrick Wagman at pwagman@uga.edu by email.

University of Georgia students, faculty, and staff, as well as interested others, may subscribe to this monthly report by sending an email to listserv@listserv.uga.edu with the phrase subscribe vpit-news as the body of the message.

EITS Status and Activity Report for April 2013

 

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