DUKE ITAC - August 23, 2007 Minutes

ITAC minutes

August 23, 2007

Start: 4:05

Attendees: John Board, Bill Cannon, Shailesh Chandrasekharan, Nevin Fouts, Tracy Futhey, Gene Galin, Michael Goodman, Billy Herndon, Bob Newlin for David Jamieson-Drake, Roger Loyd, Jackie Gottlieb, Tim Bounds for Caroline Nisbet, Lynne O’Brien, Mark Phillips, Molly Tamarkin, Trey Turnet III, Robert Wolpert.

Guests: Ginny Cake of OIT TAG, Kevin Miller of OIT, William Shambli, Kevin Davis of OIT, Sean Dilda of OIT, Rob carter of OIT/TAG, Tim Pyatt of University Archives, David Becker of Computer Science

Introduction –

Welcoming visitors to the ATC.

Next meeting on September 6 will introduce new ITAC members and bid farewell to retiring members.

Announcements:

ITAC web materials will be posted to the OIT web site at http://oit.duke.edu/itac/

Agenda Item 1: 802.11n Pilot

Presented by Kevin Miller 

Duke OIT is testing new wireless equipment in the Epworth residence hall. This is the first installation anywhere outside of a lab environment.

Eight total access points have been deployed. Each unit has multiple radios and multiple antennas (6 antennas) and utilizes MIMO technology to achieve higher data rates, greater speeds at greater distances, and more reliable connections.

Have already seen up to 30 clients using the 8001.11n access.

We have seen a variety of clients accessing the network. Many of the 802.11n connections appear to be Apple products. They have had 802.11n capabilities since January. Several other 802.11n client adapters have been released in the last few months.

Standards for the 802.11n are supposed to be finalized by October of 2008.

Unlike traditional wireless applications, you can double the rate of transmission by taking two channels and bonding together. Not planning to do this in the 2.4 ghz range, but in the 5 ghz range.

Tracy asked if bonding could go beyond two channels. Kevin responded that bonding is limited to two channels.

Other improvements include the ability for a user to take their laptop further away from an access point and maintain faster speeds.

MIMO – multiple input/multiple output uses complex signal processing

With 802.11n, all other wireless types will also experience higher speeds at greater distances.

A note of caution that it is possible that current hardware may not be upgradeable to the final 802.11n version

Question: When can this be used in classrooms?

Kevin’s answer: Depends on several factors. Probably looking at classroom installations for fall of next year (2008).

Concern was raised because of faculty buying new laptops in the near future.

Dell, for example, is already offering an 802.11n card for $9 to $49 extra.

A, B, G, N wireless cards are recommended.

Duke will be using enterprise system units.

Duke OIT is likely to consider placing 802.11n access in the Teaching and Learning Lab.

Surplus PC Operations Update

Presented by Jane Pleasants

Mary Crawford oversees PC operations and surplus operations and led the presentation.

New PC wiping operation is now located at 3540 Kangaroo Drive in a secure building. Caged work area with two full-time employees. There is card-swipe access and a front office reception area.

Collection Security Features

PC pickup requests are made online. Duke staff pick up PC to maintain chain of custody.

PCs scanned into database and either wiped or destroyed. Hard drive destruction by GEEP. New database is updated with ultimate destination.

New Asset Disposal Tool at http://www.procurement.duke.edu

96 departments have used this service. Currently can only use with IE 6+ browser. Plan to be accessible by all browsers after 12/07.

Continued Enhancements - More secure site with shibboleth authentication. “Sensitive data” box to be removed. System improvements provide a better ability to track all PCs

Mary’s email is mary.b.crawford@duke.edu

Mary Pleasants added that this new site is more secure.

Robert Wolpert brought up concerns about what was happening to the hard drives.

Kevin Davis reported that EBAN is now used to wipe data from hard drives. It is a software wipe. techwayservices.com/eban-data-destruction

Duke has been imaging PCs when donating to individual schools..

Degaussing takes a very powerful magnet to wipe out all data and probably would “destroy” the hard drive.

Question for consideration: Is reusing hard drives worth it considering the low costs of hard drives.

Tracy asked if Chris’ group was happy with algorithms used.

Kevin Davis responded “yes”. It meets HIPPA compliance standard. It is possible that the NSA could possibly retrieve data if they really wanted to.

Mary went through a quick review of the surplus property management system. An online help guide explains how to use the site. This is useful since most people do not use the site often.

DeHavens understands which equipment not to pick up. DeHavens reinforces the process and tells Duke people how to handle PCs.

Online Dissertation

Presentation by Tim Pyatte

Plans for online submissions. 50 students volunteered for initial pilot. Self-selected group was pretty technically savvy.

Graduate Schools wanted to use ProQuest. An archives copy is saved on the server and a circulating copy is available for public use.

ProQuest will hold for six months, one year, or two years. Students will be able to determine whether they want to embargo their dissertation.

Doing a pilot with the Nicholas School. Also doing pilot with undergrads with honor thesis, etc.

Explanation about open access and embargoes. Creative commons license is in effect for no commercial usage. Benefits of open source allows public access to permanent URL.

John Board asked about what formats they use. Duke is using ProQuest i.e. PDFs for text files. PRoQuest does a microfilm copy of all electronic copies.

News about online dissertations will be distributed through Gradate School Orientation and the Graduate School Student consul.

Virtualization Part 1

Presentation by Mark Cahill

VCL is being done at NCSU on-demand and by remote access.

VCL in a nutshell – User contacts web reservation system. User decides which image/environment to run. Image is loaded. User does not have to go to a specific room to access a program i.e. GIS program. User has 24/7 access and can do their work at any time. The process is equivalent to an on-site “machine” set up to access software and other applications to perform specific functions.

There is a dynamic provisioning of environments.

Mark decided to tempt the demo gods and do a live demo. He accessed the facilities at NCSU and showed how one would go about reserving a time and an application.

VCL licensing is more flexible. Access to specific software and environments is given to students based on their needs.

You can build an image of different applications. You can start from baseline, add and install applications and save the configuration.

Libraries are built for specific uses of applications.

Users need about a megabit of bandwidth for this to work well and to provide a worthwhile experience.

Modeling applications can encounter imaging problems or “tears” when manipulating images.

It is a good idea to copy your files to a remote host computer and then when you are done, copy your files back to your own PC.

It is also a good idea to use commonly used clusters of applications.

You do get a ten-minute warning before a session expires so you can save your files from the remote PC to your own PC.

NCSU claims yearly usage levels of approximately 6,000 hours per server (68%). This is better that what you would get at a public lab.

An inexpensive lab machine can access heavy-duty applications on the cluster.

Question: How big is the blade installation at NCSU?

Answer from Mark: Large. 600 to 1,000. NCSU has open sourced the software. IBM has partnered with NCSU on this project.

Jeff Chase has been dealing with non-heterogeneous environments.

NCSU has decided to go with all Blades. Blades take up less space.

NCSU usually does a one to one matchup. They use VMware when multiple people use one application.

VMware allows multiple virtual machines to share a common hardware pool. There is transparent hardware migration during migration and high availability fail over.

Duke can set up a virtual machine in a short period. It is great for relatively lightweight server environments.

An application can be up and running and can be migrated to another machine. If a physical machine is getting very busy or a machine blows up, the virtual machine can restart on another machine.

Arts & Science, Blackwell Interactive and Duke Athletics are currently using VMware on a pilot system.

Duke OIT has spare capacity.

It is unlikely that an email server could be used on a virtual machine.

Affiliate Systems Non-Traditional Students

Presentation by Sue Jarrell

Sue Jarrell is with the ASSIST group.

Duke is having more non-traditional students coming into the school environment and that are not entitled to any other resources.

About 5,000 non-traditional students were manually added last year. These are broken into learner and non-learner types. Non-learners are like employees, but not.

There are problems with non-Duke instructors. All have to have an identity to be put into the system.

Three keys –

1)      Governance - Form some governance to look at identity issues especially affiliates and multiple affiliates

2)      Standards – Duke tries to keep SSIs out of student identities. Many non-affiliates get into the system without the best identifier. Need to standardize on some kind of number – i.e. driver’s license

3)      Identify - Give role-based identities. Put into one bucket of non-students and non-employees.

Self-service NET ID creation was considered.

Everyone is requesting things, but there is no game plan to set expectations or policies.

It will take at least thirty days to come back with recommendations.

Shibboleth mentioned as a way to possibly help with non-affiliate situation. Rob mentioned that a non-affiliate could be matched with shibboleth.

Meeting ended at 5:37 p.m.