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Notes from May 3, 2007 ITPAC Meeting:

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    notes by Steve Lasley

    Streaming Audio not available

    The meeting was run by ITPAC chairman, Pete Vergot, District Extension Director of the NW District. Russ Rouseff joined us late from the Citrus REC via Polycom. Mike Conlon (Director of Data Infrastructure), Fedro Zazueta (Director of Academic Technology), Marc Hoit (Interim CIO), Ron Thomas (of ICS) and Marion Douglas (also of ICS) were in attendance as guests.

    Pete began by requesting that the minutes of the last meeting be changed to reflect that no formal recommendation had been made by our group that the VP meet with the Deans for recommending academic credit courses go through WebCT. The minutes were approved with the amendment that this matter was discussed but not formally recommended.

    Administrative IT Issues

    Legislative proposal declined

    Dr. Joe Joyce related that the IFAS proposal to the legislature was not funded. We did, however, get $1.7M for work load increase based on the demand for extension services. Some of that may go to needed IT improvements in support of extension efforts.

    IT Director position advertised

    Dr. Joyce also stated that the position of IFAS IT Director will be advertised. Dr. Mark Rieger, Associate Dean of CALS, will chair the search committee for that. It is expected that the position will be advertised for approximately four weeks.

    ITPAC Membership Changes

    Dr. Joyce mentioned that ITPAC is due for membership changes. Dr. Turner reported that Wendy Williams will represent CALS. Dr. Joyce believed that Joe Bess may be representing the Dean for Research. Dave Palmer has already replaced Jim Selph, and we need to look for At Large Faculty replacements for Russ Rouseff, Allen Wysocki and Dottie Haskew. Recommendations for those will be sought from the department chairs and Dr. Turner will look for a student to fill the student representative spot.

    Solutions For Your Life Updates

    Marion Douglas reported that site visits (as opposed to hits) were at the 138K level for April. This is up considerably from previous months and is some indication of the project's success. The SFYL group is adding metadata to the sites. This may improve search rankings via some search methods. They are also adding a RSS feed and plan to aggregate other such feeds for IFAS. Marion also reported that they are in the process of hiring a web programmer position and are at the point of finalizing the job description currently.

    ICC Updates

    Steve Lasley reported that the ICC had no policy matters to raise for discussion. He noted that those interested in ICC matters can find considerable details on the ICC website.

    Exchange Mailbox Sizes

    Dwight Jesseman shared details of our current mailbox storage usage. He noted that 5% of our users account for 40% of the space usage. He also noted that we have 40-some users with mailboxes at or over 2GB in size. It is not simply an issue of storage costs. Such sizes lead to poor client performance and low user satisfaction. Dwight wanted IFAS eventually to consider practices or policies which could discourage such large mailboxes or ameliorate potential problems with continued mailbox size proliferation.

    Although Mike Conlon mentioned archiving to PST files stored on a network server outside of Exchange, Steve would like to add that such a practice is generally strongly discouraged and unsupported by Microsoft.

    Elluminate for Collaboration

    Fedro Zazueta reported that Elluminate has been chosen as the collaboration software of choice for UF. Careful evaluation of various packages was made and Elluminate won based on its robustness and feature set. The ability work with WebCT was considered a particularly attractive feature. For $5K more than the licenses alone would cost, UF is contracting with Elluminate to host this for us; we are getting 7000 seats at a cost of $35K. This should be available in just a few weeks and training is beginning right away.

    Soil Science will continue to use Adobe Connect (was Macromedia Breeze) due to their great investment in developing on that platform for the last few years.

    Gatorlink Account Expansion

    Mike Conlon briefly discussed a plan to add a "Level of Assurance" (LOA) attribute in the UF Directory. This attribute would support 2 levels of UF association. LOA 2 would consist of our current accounts and LOA 1 would be reserved for accounts where strong identity is not required; it holds potential for allowing us to control access from our general public--associations such as the Master Gardener Program. Dr. Conlon provided a handout that covered a Functional and Technical description of LOA 1 Gatorlink.

    IT Updates

    Personnel changes

    Dan Cromer announced that Matt Wilson has been hired as our new DBA. Dan also is involved with Marion in hiring a web programmer for SFYL.

    ListSERV Confirm Settings

    Dan Cromer mentioned that a number of lists have been switched to the confirm option and that he intends for them all to be.

    Public and Private IP Addresses for Polycom Use

    Dan Cromer stated that public numbers are needed if one is to receive a call from outside our UF system. Steve Lasley pointed out that the use of a bridge having a public number would mitigate the need for PVX users (PC-based Polycom software) to have public numbers, however. Steve believes that, in general, proliferation of public numbers to PCs for the use of PVX software should be discouraged.

    Media Streaming

    Fedro Zazueta related that 4H and AT are joining to get a redundant pair of RSS 2000 streaming servers.

    Next Meeting

    Our next ITPAC meeting is to be announced, but likely will be scheduled for sometime in August.

last edited 11 May 2007 by Steve Lasley