The Division of Information Technology
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Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Faculty Senate Academic Support Committee Report
University Media Center:
The Media Center has refreshed classrooms in Sampson, Dial, Education, Old Main, and the BA buildings. The classroom refresh includes but is not limited to the replacement of new projectors, Pixie control units to replace remote controls, sound upgrades and brighter displays. All new equipment has been installed in the D.F. Lowry building classrooms including 3000 lumens projectors and Pixie control units. In the History Department, Media Center staff placed six 85-watt powered speakers to evenly distribute the sound throughout the rooms while movies are being played. Funding is being requested to refresh approximately 25 of 110 classrooms during 2008-09 funding cycle.
Storage Area Network Project:
Major progress has occurred in the Storage Area Network project. The SAN hardware has been installed in both the primary and secondary data centers. The basic clustering, replication, and mirroring functions which will provide very robust redundancy have been configured. We are in the process of working with the vendor to setup the first data stores on the SAN for Banner. DoIT has purchased extra storage in support of the Exchange project.
The new, automated tape library, capable of backing up 170 Terabytes of data, has been installed and partially configured. The remaining configuration will occur once the SAN installation has progressed. The backup system should be functional by the end of March.
Active Directory Project:
Synchronization between the existing Novell system and the new Microsoft Active Directory system has been setup and testing is occurring this week. Preliminary tests indicate that a full mirrored synchronization between the two systems will be achieved within two weeks. This foundational step will signify the milestone of the most technically complex portion of the project. This step will establish the ability to seamlessly migrate the campus community to the new system in an orderly fashion while maintaining campus services on the old system.
Major progress is occurring on this project this week. New hardware has been installed in both primary and secondary data centers to support a highly available, redundant, and load-balancing email and calendaring system. The vendor is on-site this week to begin installing and configuring the Exchange solution. The target goal for early adopters remains April 15.
The Oxendine Science building wireless survey has been completed. The data cabling to provide connectivity to the wireless access points throughout the building was completed this past weekend. The wireless hardware has been ordered and is currently arriving. The access points will be deployed by Network Services staff as quickly as it can be configured. The target is to activate complete wireless coverage within the building by the end of the first week of April. Surveys for Old Main and Moore Hall will be performed during the last week of March to be followed closely by data cable installation and wireless equipment installation. Completion of these two buildings is targeted for the first week in May. Housing has decided to provide wireless coverage throughout Pine and Oak Halls for the initial wireless project within the dorms. Installation is scheduled to begin May 7 during low occupancy in the dorms.
Virtualization Readiness Assessment:
We are in the enablement phase of a virtualization assessment. This assessment will provide statistical data to help target servers and services which can be provided within a virtual server environment. Server virtualization has the potential to reduce overall cost while increasing efficiency and system redundancy simultaneously. The assessment will collect data for 6 weeks and will be followed by a detailed report and a 1 week on-site virtualization training session. This is a PACE initiative.
Cellular Phone Study:
Three cellular vendors have submitted proposals for future service with UNCP. These proposals were in response to a request by UNCP to revise the overall strategy for providing cellular voice and data service for the organization. This is a PACE initiative.
Primary Data Center HVAC:
The primary data center in the Oxendine Science building will undergo a comprehensive study to assess the status of the environmental control systems in that facility. The current system is insufficient to consistently maintain the required temperature and humidity for the room. High temperatures and improper humidity will shorten the life of expensive data equipment and increase the probability of hardware failure. This situation can potentially accelerate the equipment refresh cycle negatively affecting monetary efficiency.
Faculty, Staff and Student Computer Sales:
DoIT, in partnership with the Bookstore, is working with Dell and Apple Computer to implement computer sales for faculty, staff and students. As part of these efforts, technology leadership is working to bring computer repair services to the campus. These services will be housed in the University Media Center as the campus is also in need of media equipment repair services. It is hoped that implementation of computer sales will be by summer.
UNCP experienced a massive SPAM attack during the month of February. Our SPAM filter service provider measured as many as 2,000,000 connections per day. In response, DoIT installed an additional eDirectory/LDAP server to assist our provider in dealing with the volume of traffic. The attack appears to have passed.
DoIT has contacted two faculty members who are potential early adopters to set up course sites related to their classes.
UNC CAUSE is an annual state conference for technology at system campuses. It is a non-profit event staged by the campus and enjoys tremendous attendance. The conference provides an excellent opportunity for information exchange along with low attendance costs. UNCP will be handling the UNC Cause registration this fall and is in the early planning stages of that process.
Twelve members of the DoIT staff as well as three others from campus attended Mac 10.5 (Leopard) OS Support Essentials training during spring break. The training was held on campus and consisted of three full days of training activities. DoIT staff members are now preparing to take the certification exam to become certified Macintosh Operating System support personnel.
Media Center Equipment Checkout:
The demand for LCD projectors and laptop computers for various workshops on campus as well as the demand for digital camcorders and cameras remains quite high. The Media Center has responded to this increase in demand by purchasing additional items to assist in alleviating some availability problems. This type of AV equipment is currently available for check out on a 48 to 72 hour need basis for faculty, staff, and students.
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