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ICC Meeting:


NOTES FROM August 13th 2004       REGULAR MEETING

A regular meeting of the ICC was held on Friday, August 13th, 2004. The meeting was chaired and called to order by Steve Lasley, at approx. 10:00 a.m. in the ICS Conference Room.

PRESENT: Thirteen members participated. Remote participants: Nik McCue and Josh Wilson. On-site participants: David Bauldree, Dennis Brown, Jenny Brewer, Marcus Cathey, Dan Cromer, Marion Douglas, Nancy Johnson, Jack Kramer, Steve Lasley, Mark Ross and John Sawyer.

STREAMING AUDIO: available here.


Agendas were distributed and the meeting was called to order by Steve Lasley at 10am. There were no known new ICC members to introduce, although it was mentioned that Rick Noble of Ag Ed had joined the ICC-L. Steve had written him a welcome message, and hopes to receive an eventual reply. There was a very brief recap of the last meeting and all were queried for changes to the notes from that meeting, but none were forthcoming.

Steve provided a summary of what had transpired at the August 5th ITPAC meeting. ITPAC passed one recommendation from the ICC-AD subcommittee and another from the ICC. Additionally, there was an update on the videoconferencing project and a presentation by Jenny Brewer with Joe Spooner detailing what SharePoint, in conjunction with a document management system, could do for IFAS. You are encouraged to view the Notes from ITPAC for the details of this meeting. It was noted that ICC members should investigate with their chairs/directors whether or not an IFAS implementation Sharepoint integrated with Microsoft's Content Management System might be deemed useful for their department. Support at the unit level would mean a lot in terms of getting support from the deans. Please contact Jenny Brewer or Joe Spooner with your questions and/or interest. Jenny and Joe expect to present this to the deans September 13th and could use any support you might be able to provide in backing their proposal. The departments that have shown interest currently include SFRC, 4H, CALS, FSHN and FYCS. Mark Ross mentioned that such a system could solve a more than one of our current problems within IFAS, including serving as a substitute for the emailing of large attachments. Jack Kramer made the point that the web is very much our public face and that such a system could do a great deal to build that if faculty were given credit for developing and providing good and current information to our public constituency. That form of incentive for faculty is crucial. Perhaps IT could coordinate with the Faculty Advisory Committee on stressing this point to the deans. UCF is an example of a university that is already using Sharepoint with MS-

Steve Lasley gave a brief report on the previous day's ICC-AD subcommittee meeting. It was emphasized that ICC members need to get involved in learning exactly what it means to join UFAD within IFAS in either the "co-managed" or "unit-managed" branch. Chris needs to know your decision by August 16th and those who do not respond will be placed in the "co-managed" section. Chris will not have the time to consider making moves in this regard again until after year's end. The units who have opted for "unit-managed" include ABE, Animal, SWFREC and CREC. Documents describing these details, including a project timeline, were available on the ICC AD site and you were encouraged to peruse those and get with Chris Hughes with any questions or problems.

It was also noted that the AD training lab is set up and starting Monday, you may connect via remote desktop to five of those machines for testing: IF-LSP-LAB01.ad.ufl.edu, IF-LSP-LAB02.ad.ufl.edu, IF-LSP-LAB03.ad.ufl.edu, IF-LSP-LAB04.ad.ufl.edu and IF-LSP-LAB05.ad.ufl.edu. If you need assistance with doing that, please contact Chris Hughes. Chris has prepared Windows 98 and Windows XP images for those machines and can basically restore those at will should you have need for one or the other.

Additionally, it was decided at the AD meeting that Windows 95 boxes would not be migrated. The HelpDesk, via Tom Hintz and Marshall Pierce, has offered to assist in replacing such boxes with surplus machines as necessary. You are all encouraged to identify any Windows 95 boxes that may still be networked within your units and make plans concerning those.

IFASDOM accounts will be locked-down August 30th after which no new IFASDOM accounts may be created. After that time all new accounts will be done via Gatorlink, although there will be an approximately one-week period before we can start using those.

Chris Hughes reported that he intends to keep to the AD project timeline even if it means working weekends and evenings.

Steve Lasley mentioned that the Guidelines for IFAS OU Management document needs to be updated to coincide with the changes implemented by the IFAS OU Administrative Design Agreement.

John Sawyer gave a brief report from yesterday's ICC Network Security Subcommittee's meeting which discussed how best to handle WinXP SP2. It was decided that, initially, the firewall would be turned off for ifasdom machines via kixtart logon scripts. This requires the creation of some registry settings. Installation of SP2 will not be blocked, however. The files for that, including the single-file install, the .iso and the slipped streamed version of WinXP SP2, can be found at \\nt-file\servicepacks\winxp\sp2. Details of when and how to enable the firewall (within IFASDOM and/or UFAD) will be worked out via the ICC. Everyone is encouraged to carefully study the Microsoft documents Changes to Functionality in Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Deploying Windows Firewall Settings for Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 2.

There was a discussion of patch notification procedures when PatchLink is implemented widely throughout IFAS. Steve Lasley suggested that having an advertised "maintenance window" would aid in getting buy-in from our users on the patching issue. The need for a reboot means that automatic procedures might interrupt running processes on some machines and cause problems if end users are not notified. Uniform Office installations off an IFAS installation point (as should be possible with the upcoming UF MS license agreement) may help with issues of patching Office, but considerable preparation for Office updates will continue to be an issue for some time.

Chris Leopold wasn't available to provide an update on the videoconferencing project, but John Sawyer spoke briefly to that. Most sites are complete and McCarty Hall will be finished shortly. Tom Hintz is maintaining some information on the various IFAS videoconferencing sites on his Notebook website that includes the IP addresses of the Polycoms and the contacts at the various units. Distance Education sites on campus, include Microbiology, Animal Science, Entomology & Nematology and Fifield. Those sites are getting new routers that will provide QoS for videoconferencing--paid for by instruction (via Dr. Jimmy Cheek). Other sites wishing that, such as ICS, would have to provide their own funds for the necessary switches. Mike Armstrong notes that there may be other, perhaps less expensive switches, than might be deployed by such units for this purpose--rather than the specific model (Cisco 3550) which are being recommended. Mike enabled that service successfully on his own switches prior to receiving the one purchased specifically for Lake Alfred.

Jenny Brewer reported that GroupShield 6 is causing problems with ePO and this is expected to be fixed once the new version of ePO comes out on August 23rd. All consoles need to be closed for this upgrade and Jenny will notify us of that. A new ePO console will then need to be installed by all folks using that. A new version of VirusScan (version 8.0) is due on August 29th as well.

Win98 AD upgrades are scheduled to be pushed via logon scripts on August 16th. Authentication of Win98 to UFAD is still having some problems that are being worked out by Chris Hughes and Mike Kanofsky.

Folks were reminded, on behalf of Dwight Jesseman, of the pending scheduled e-mail outage over the Labor Day weekend: 5:00 PM Friday, September 3 through 12:00 AM Tuesday, September 7. This is for yearly maintance on the mail store. There will be an additional outage, October 1-3 as we migrate to Exchange 2003. We are planning to use the UFAD front end servers after that time, although we do have the capability to provides those ourselves should that prove necessary.

There was a discussion on the IT Charter issue and how best to proceed on that. Chris Hughes wanted to know if we wished for a charter that recommends best practices for IT management--something he is very willing to pursue. Dan Cromer felt that it made sense to separate technical solutions from the overall management plans. He gave the example of a managment plan that might state "IFAS IT will manage all IFAS computers". This might lead to a decision on what level of staffing was necessary and the like--but would not need to address any details of implementation with regards to "best practices". There is more value given to individuality rather than overall money savings in our environment currently, and that is not expected to change. Dan also felt that the ICC could assist in driving such IT management plans via recommendation, but it is the purview of administration to develop them. Chris Hughes asked if we would be wasting our time if best practices could not be implemented. Most seemed to think the idea of addressing the IT Charter issue could lead to improvements, but the method of proceeding towards that is the main question. Jack Kramer wondered if a shopping-list survey could be offered to get input from our clientele as to what they want. Chris Hughes suggested having Dan email unit heads asking for 2-3 people who could be involved in investigating the needs out there for IT services from the end-user standpoint. No real decisions were made on any of this, but we do think continued discussion on this matter is worthwhile.

Dan Cromer asked for help in determining when to send out the next AD advisory to IFAS-ALL and what that should entail. Chris Hughes said he would offer something for that. Steve Lasley suggested that the information in these advisories be posted on the web as well so that later advisory could point folks to the earlier information and we wouldn't have to cover all the same issues in each notice each time. Dan would appreciate any input that the ICC may give on this.

Dan Cromer also asked for the ICC to consider IM solutions for IFAS, particularly for IT usage--but possibly for later deployment as an IFAS wide solution. Jabber is supported by UF and was offered as one possible solution. Dan wasn't looking for an immediate solution, but rather wanted to initiate an ongoing discussion on this matter.

Dennis Brown asked about the status of the HelpDesk supervisor position. Dan reported that he was very proud to say that it had been filled by Dan Christophy (who had been serving as interim-supervisor) and that he intends to send out a notice of that to the ICC.

The meeting adjourned at about 11:40am, as ICS was closing to prepare for Hurricane Charley.

last edited 22 August 2004 by Steve Lasley