The Division of Information Technology
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Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Academic Support Services Subcommittee Report
DoIT is actively participating in the budget reductions for the campus. The Information Technology budget has been cut by approximately $38,000, and a second cut of the same amount is being assembled. The cuts will affect positions and services. One position focused on communications and research has been eliminated while a second vacant position in the operations area remains unfilled. In addition, there remains no funding for this year's faculty refresh for the approximately 109 faculty members that previously indentified.
To date, 350 faculty and staff accounts have been migrated to the Outlook Exchange email system and Active Directory. Client Services staff continues working on the migration process department by department.
Active Directory and file storage migration are in progress. A new data storage system, SAN, is currently being tested by migrating and backing up faculty and staff data from Novell eDirectory to Active Directory. The migration process is aimed to be complete by the end of June 2009. During the winter break, the storage system for students is scheduled to be migrated to SAN.
The transition to BraveMail continues to be in the testing stage with student volunteers. The hosted Microsoft Exchange Labs site will be operated fully when a few access issues with Microsoft are reconciled.
Reissner Lab 3D project:
The 3D project, led by Dr. Jose D’Arruda, is nearly complete. A workstation and two projectors with CAVElib and vGeo software were installed and tested in the Oxendine Science building. As visioned by late Dr. John Reissner, this lab will greatly enhance student learning by using 3D visualization for mathematics and science concepts. The computer lab was named in the honor of Dr. Reissner, who passed away in 2006.
Computer labs and refresh:
As of October 13, 236 of 253 new computers have been installed in classrooms and labs. All 59 computers in small labs have been upgraded with newer (repurposed) machines; 330 of 350 computers in labs and classrooms have received memory upgrades. Dial 153 has been completely refreshed. The Disability Support Services lab in D.F. Lowry has six new machines, replacing four very old machines. The 24-hour lab is back online. COMTech computers have been replaced with new machines. Ft. Bragg is the last group of computers to be upgraded.
In September, the Media Center supported 36 university events and programs. Also, a number of classroom upgrades have been completed ranging from LCD projector lamp replacement to equipment installation.
Banner 8.0 has been installed in a test instance. Application and Development and Support (ADS) staff is supporting the functional offices testing this new version. It is scheduled to be moved to production just before the Thanksgiving holiday in preparation for new Financial Aid updates during the winter. An interactive report Web-based application, Reporting Web Application, has been rolled out to the different deans’ offices. The report application is designed to assist the deans with budget and financial reporting. New links to mid-term grades have been added to Faculty Banner Self Service.
Virtual server environment:
DoIT is working to create a virtual server environment using VMware. VMware is server software to virtualize the hardware and to enable the current infrastructure to gain multiple server layers. The virtual server environment will not only leverage the server capability, but also provide high availability and redundancy to secure data. DoIT will be able to manage the server efficiently and effectively.
During the week of October 13, Dell Corporation is conducting an onsite workshop to assess and plan UNCP’s virtual infrastructure environments.
Data center upgrade:
In the data center in Lumbee Hall, electrical upgrade and installation of the uninterruptible power systems (UPS) were complete. This upgrade is preconditioning forthcoming data center improvement.
During a power outage, the data center temperature goes up, causing the servers to shut down. As a result, network systems are disabled. Therefore, the air conditioning system needs to be improved. Facilities Planning and Construction Department is working on proposals.
Network staff is conducting a series of tests for wireless printing solutions, which will enable computers and other devices to print from anywhere on campus. Another ongoing wireless project is to simplify faculty and staff secure access to administrative utilities, such as Banner and email.
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