IFAS COMPUTER COORDINATORS
NOTES FROM October 14th 2005 REGULAR MEETING
A meeting of the ICC was held on Friday, October 14th, 2005. The meeting was chaired and called to order by Steve Lasley, at 10:03 a.m. in the ICS conference room.
PRESENT: Twenty members participated. Remote participants: Mike Armstrong, Allan Burrage, Chris Fooshee, Kevin Hill, Dwight Jesseman, Nancy Johnson, Richard Lee, Mike Ryabin and D. A. Walker. On-site participants:
David Bauldree, Benjamin Beach, Dennis Brown, Dan Christophy, Dan Cromer, Chris Hughes, Winnie Lante, Steve Lasley, Chris Leopold, David McKinney, and Marshall Pierce.
STREAMING AUDIO: available here
Agendas were distributed and the meeting was called to order just a tad later than scheduled.
Report from the chairman:
Steve Lasley indicated that the ICC had a couple of new members. Ligia Ortega (pronounced Lee' hee-ah), the new IFAS Web Manager, had a conflicting
meeting (one which Joe Spooner and, likely, Marion Douglas, also attended) and could not make our meeting today. Ligia has indicated, however, that she intends to work closely with the ICC and with IT/SA in coordinating our web services with end users.
Ligia attended the September 23rd IT/SA staff meeting and you can listen to the comments she made there from the archive of the streaming audio. Steve would like to
again thank Chris Leopold and his staff for making those staff meetings (if-admn credentials required) so readily available to all. Their continued efforts at openness and availability is greatly appreciated.
Daryl Grimm, computer support for Agronomy and Microbiology, is filling the position vacated a while back by Marcus Cathey. Steve had sent him a welcome message but is yet to hear back. We look forward to
the participation of both Ligia and Daryl in our future meetings.
Recap since last meeting
Steve pointed folks to the notes of the last meeting for context but did not go into particular details.
Agenda items for the November 3rd ITPAC meeting
Steve mentioned that the next ITPAC meeting will be on November 3rd and he solicited items from the ICC which they felt should be brought to that forum. Steve mentioned that he plans to continue to encourage final official resolution to ICC/ITPAC policy recommendations via the publication of IMMs.
Currently, the only published IMM relating to IT is a 2001 memo officially creating the ITPAC. Since our last meeting Dan Cromer has shared the drafts of two IMMs. Dan plans to make more drafts available for your consideration and comment shortly. In particular, Dan has requested that Chris Leopold and Chris Hughes work on a draft IMM relating to AD policy. Dan had also previously mentioned wanting an IMM officially recognizing the role of the ICC itself in the IT process.
Dr. Joyce has indicated to Dan that he would like to present all completed IMM drafts as single group to Dr. Cheek for consideration, so we should all work towards getting those in as best shape as possible. As more information is released on this, please pay close attention and submit your comments and input on these important policy matters.
On a related, but separate issue, Chris Hughes wanted to again address desired AD-related issues via ITPAC. Dan indicated that he felt this unnecessary. Dan feels that any ICC procedural recommendations regarding UFAD can be taken directly to the IT technical meeting (and possibly to the ITAC-NI Active Directory Subcommittee when that finally convenes) without involving ITPAC. Chris indicated that he would prepare those items for he and Dan to raise in that forum.
Chris Hughes mentioned that the IT Taskforce plans to have its last meeting next week and wanted the report from there distributed to the ICC for comment ASAP. Joe Joyce has requested that the Taskforce Report be made available to ITPAC for review prior to submission to the VP, so we should have ample opportunity for comment. Steve will keep everyone informed on this matter as it evolves. Since no further ITPAC related issues were raised, we moved on in our agenda.
Progress on standing issues:
Printer Migration Project Update
Dwight Jesseman could not attend today's meeting because he was meeting with the UF HelpDesk regarding their proposed knowledgebase addition to the Remedy system. They are currently in the process of viewing demos of various vendor solutions for that. Dwight had asked Dan Christophy to present information on his behalf and Dan kindly assented. Handouts were made available for a Printer Log On Script and Install Plan (if-admn credentials required).
Dan related that migration of printer shares from \\if-srv-file01 and \\nt-file to the new \\if-srv-print server is nearly completed. The only remaining issue is getting the Pcounter application working; this is used by Joe Spooner in CALS.
Any department who wishes to migrate their printer shares to the new server are encouraged to contact Dwight Jesseman to arrange that. We are hoping to get everyone using logon scripts and group memberships for the management of networked printer assignments. This method works extremely well. Anyone still doing such assignments in an individual/manual way should definitely take the time to learn how this can be managed more easily and/or take advantage of the offer to centralize such services.
Chris Hughes mentioned that remote sites may utilize the multi-purpose servers (MPS) similarly to supply such services as well. To use for remote sites, we would need to setup printers at those sites the same way, and then include them in the search range, instead of just the printserver.
The migration and assignment script is available for examination (if-admn credentials required), but it is not currently referenced in the main logon script at \\ad.ufl.edu\netlogon\ifas\Login Script.vbs.
You can view the (currently 57) printer shares at \\if-srv-print. Groups are being created currently in UFAD beneath "ad.ufl.edu/UF/Departments/IFAS/-Central-IT/Groups/Printer Groups" for each shared printer. The groups are named according to a ". IFAS-ou-printershare" convention and are generally populated with the associated OU's autogroup. Those groups will be moved to their respective OUs "Groups" sub-folder once all printer creation for the migration is complete. When using the ADUC tool, if you select the "View Users, Groups and Computers as Containers" option, then go to the IF-SRV-PRINT computer object (within ad.ufl.edu/UF/Departments/IFAS/-Central IT/Servers/Building 120/General) and select it, you will see the print queues. If you have read access to them based on your group membership for the printer groups you may or may not see the print queues are actual printers. This list is what determines what network printers get installed.
Remedy Project Update
Yesterday, Dan Christophy and Dwight had a meeting with Fran McDonell, head of the UF Computing Help Desk and Adam Bellaire, the programmer responsible for Remedy. That system is just about ready to be fully released. The assignment of tickets based on the NMB of the submitter and their associated OU admin, is now implemented and being tested. This will be officially ready for release by the beginning of November. Dan Cromer would like each OU admin to test this for themselves (have you all requested access to http://remedy.ifas.ufl.edu via Dan Christophy yet?!) shortly thereafter and then will proceed, upon agreement by the ICC, with notification to IFAS-ALL of the availability of this trouble ticket system and end user problem reporting site.
Status of e-mail domain name change project
In Dwight's absence, Steve pointed out the website that has been created to document for end users the upcoming changes in our standard e-mail addressing methods. That site was originally created by Dwight at the request of Dan Cromer. Dwight submitted a draft of that to a number of people for comment (Steve's comments can be found here). Dan then modified the site to reflect its current state. The site has links to PDFs that attempt to graphically explain the way e-mail will flow through our system under the new configuration.
Steve is concerned that the site, as it currently exists, would be confusing for end users as it utilizes terminology with which most will be unfamiliar. Other comments on that issue from ICCers might be appreciated, as we certainly want this change to create as favorable an impression as is possible.
Dan did mention that he has been waiting on this ICC meeting, plus simply having the time, before doing final revisions (based in part on comments he had made to the ICC-L) and sending out an official notice pointing to this site. Dan would prefer that Dr. Joyce send out the official notice, but will do so himself if necessary.
Dennis Brown raised the question as to what folks would be missing if they used Outlook via IMAP to check e-mail at Gatorlink--vs. using MAPI to check e-mail at IFAS. The answer was all the Exchange features, although they could still use Outlook to keep a local calendar on their own computer.
Kevin Hill mentioned that we need to make arrangements for folks who want to change their Gatorlink usernames. Some folks have usernames which they will likely be somewhat uncomfortable with using for their official return address. This can currently be done on campus by physically going to Circa and requesting that--this is obviously problematic for our remote users, however. Dan Cromer had suggested to Fran that Polycom could be used as a means of matching a face to an ID for that purpose, as they feel uncomfortable with such changes via phone only. Chris Hughes said that he could develop a secure site where folks would login with their Gatorlink which would then forward their request on to Fran. Dan Christophy will get with Fran on this issue to see what arrangements might be possible.
Microsoft contract support for IFAS
Chris Hughes has obtained a quote for about $8000 to add hours for IFAS onto the UFAS TAM. Dan Cromer is trying to juggle his budget to make that available, but monies spent there will obviously not be available for other uses, so some decision will have to be made on that among the various competing needs.
Review of our anti-SPAM methodologies
Steve reminded folks that the MX records for the IFAS e-mail domains have now been changed and all incoming e-mail is being routed through Gatorlink so that it is scored for spam via SpamAssassin.
One problem with the current configuration of our spam solution, is that messages sent internally via listserv are still seen by the system as coming from outside and are scored for spam rather than being delivered directly to other IFAS users. We really need a solution that guarantees against false positives for internal e-mail. Dan Cromer mentioned that IT intends to alleviate that issue by creating distribution lists within UFAD associated to each listserv list. The process would involve creating a hidden ldap query list entry in the GAL for each list and subscribing that entry to the associated list. The methodology has been worked out--it is just awaiting implementation based on having the free staff time to do it.
Chris Hughes mentioned that we also have the capability of sending anything that is reported falsely as spam to "firstname.lastname@example.org". This would white-list it with SpamAssassin.
Something we may want to consider doing is putting the listserv in that white-list. Dan Cromer was not sure he wanted that, as he was concerned with people forging e-mails as coming from a list. Chris Leopold said that he has been configuring the lists so they will not accept e-mails from themselves. Also, requiring confirmation on all our lists (as has been recommended by the ICC and ITPAC) will prevent that as well, once that is implemented.
Office install point documentation status and the ITPAC recommendation on Changing IFAS IT e-mail client support
Steve asked who is updating this currently, as he had noticed that it had been configured to include Office 2003 SP2. Chris Hughes believed that Dwight had done that with John Sawyer's assistance. Steve noted, and Winnie Lante confirmed, that an installation currently ends with an odd message--something about and "unexpected version". It does, however, result in an install to current patch levels.
Marshall Pierce noted that the current transform also fails to correctly install the Outlook Address book. This becomes apparent when one tries to set contacts as the initial display in the Outlook address book application--rather than having it default to displaying the GAL initially. The manual fix for this requires going to the Tools, E-mail Accounts menu within Outlook and adding a new address book. Then one has to exit and restart Outlook, and configure the address book's Tools, Options menu to display the contacts first. This latter setting must actually be done twice, because at first use only the Outlook Address Book entry is listed; once that is selected and the address book is closed and re-opened, then the proper "Contacts" entry appears in the list and can be selected to display initially.
Chris Leopold suspects that maintenance of this install point will likely fall on the shoulders of the new security person. Chris noted that he is constantly re-evaluating their job matrix to try and cover all their various needs.
Using Outlook/Exchange capabilities for handling ICC business...e.g.: Organize Meetings with Outlook
Steve asked for input regarding his use of the ". IFAS-ICC" distribution list to schedule the ICC meetings. Chris Hughes and a number of others reported that they find it a very convenient method of getting the meeting entered into their calendar. Steve noted that many (the majority in fact) never respond to those requests one way or the other however.
Proposal to upgrade all of IFAS to Windows XP SP2 and Windows 2003 Server by Dec. 31, 2005
Steve asked how folks are coming on getting rid of Windows 2000 machines. Winnie volunteered that she is down to her last six machines. Steve has similarly been working hard and has only a dozen or so left--most of those laptops that are rarely connected to the network.
Chris Hughes asked if we would like to have reports of existing Windows 2000 machines available. It was decided that these should be made available via subscription only rather than automatic send. Chris thought he could get to that in 3-4 weeks time.
Wireless at remote sites
With funds now available to upgrade switches at our remote sites, Chris Leopold had a conversation with Claude King about providing VLANs at our remote sites with a NATed area that is heavily ACLed. The idea would be that Chris could then apply this VLAN to any port on the remote switches for either wireless or for other public ports and then restrict that traffic from being able to attack any other of our network locations. This is how Chris intends to address wireless at remote sites for the moment until we have a means to address the authentication issue via either Bluesocket or some other solution.
This solution could be tied into our ePO database via a dll callout for DHCP, so that if a connecting machine did not have the agent, it could be automatically moved to this VLAN and thus isolated from the rest of our network. This is a solution that is being worked toward and which could be use both on campus and at remote sites. It would also include a web application whereby OU admins could enter MAC addresses (with an expiration date) for other machines (Macintoshes come to mind) to permit them to receive normal network IP#s via DHCP and not be shunted to the VLAN. If you had visitors come in, you could do this for them as well. These manual entries will go into a separate database which would be joined with the ePO database for use by the dll callout on the DHCP server. We may be able to use the 172 IP address range for this. Upon being queried by Steve, Chris related that UF has a VLAN "sandbox" with IP addresses in the 172.x.x.x range that is somewhat routable but does not cross the core.
Status of OU admin training materials
Steve mentioned that this had been tasked to Dean Delker, but that the last he had heard was that Dean did not yet have the software to prepare those. No one had a status on this and Dan Christophy (Dean's supervisor) said he was unaware that Dean was involved with this.
Patchlink is gone; moving to WSUS
We have been having problems with the SQL server and Chris Hughes had to temporarily set our clients to point to Microsoft rather than our WSUS server while trying to resolve that. The problems have not seemed to interfere with getting October's updates, however.
Status of removing Appletalk from all IFAS subnets
Chris Leopold related that this is a fairly low priority item. He eventually wants to work with OU admins individually to get that removed, however.
Joe Spooner was unable to attend due to a meeting with the IFAS Web group but he did prepare an update for the ICC. In reading this to the group, Steve mentioned that Dan Cromer has made the IT organizational chart available to the taskforce via a share at \\ad.ufl.edu\IFAS\Public\ITTaskForce2005 and also that Marion Douglas is unfortunately not available to comment on the problems experienced with the IT survey. From a quick look, Chris Hughes estimated that only about half of the survey posts were actually recorded to the database. Steve speculated that next week's deadline for finishing the taskforce reports was due to Joe Joyce's need for that in addressing budget requests to the legislature. Ben Beach confirmed that the final taskforce meeting had been set for 9:30 am on October 19th. It will be in the ICS conference room.
Progress on replacing John Sawyer
Chris Leopold said that the initial posting for the position only yielded two qualified applicants and so the position was reposted. We now have four likely candidates and will likely proceed with interviews next week.
Steve then joked that the new hire could use their first week of work to address:
- Plans for re-enabling Windows firewall for IFAS (GPO:IF-Firewall-Windows Clients)
- ePO reorg and exclusion lists
- Status of new VPN server (if-srv-isa.ad.ufl.edu)
Access to results from the machine startup-script changes
Steve admitted to not really being in on the details of this, but he had the impression that there are continuing issues with having the SQL Server database administrator, Richard Lee, so far separated from the IT/SA group. Chris Leopold said that Dan was aware of their issues in this regard and that everyone was trying to find ways of improving the cooperation and interaction on SQL Server issues.
Report(s) from IT/SA
New IFAS IP Plan Proposal (if-admn credentials required)
In discussing this matter, Chris Leopold referred to an e-mail exchange with Marcus Morgan and a network diagram of the IFAS farm area. Chris plans to renumber all on-campus IFAS locations and consolidate our many current ranges into a few consecutive ranges. Besides simply tidying up our ranges, this will greatly assist us in creating security rule sets for our networking infrastructure. It will also allow us to reduce the size of a number of our current broadcast groups. Chris hopes to have this all accomplished by January first.
Chris used the farm area as a model to explain what he hopes to accomplish; this is the area which Chris plans to address first. Currently this area is one large broadcast domain. Chris intends to change that by breaking this area in a number of smaller subnets. Chris will need each OU admin to communicate what public numbers you require for your building(s). This will generally include Polycoms and webservers. File and printer servers can be on private IP. Up to 14 public numbers (/24) will be available for each new broadcast domain. If anyone believes they might require more than 14 numbers you should let Chris know ASAP.
Mike Ryabin asked about remote sites and Chris responded that this plan will only affect on-campus sites in Gainesville. Dennis Brown stated that he had already done quite a bit of work in moving his people to private IP; he was wondering if he could retain those changes he had made. Chris Leopold responded that, unfortunately, all the number ranges would be changing and that those would have to be redone to support the planned consolidation.
Chris said that this change also has ties into our networked printer situation and he will need OU admins to work with him on those as well. He wants to make sure our printers are assigned private IPs via DHCP reservations and then to change the IP ports used in our current printer shares to DNS entries.
One-time monies available for layer two upgrades of county offices and several additional sites
Chris briefly reiterated his plan to upgrade switches, primarily at remote sites. He intends to give CEOs GB fiber uplinks with 10/100 copper ports on managed switches. Some RECs will be upgraded as well, and money should be left for some problems areas on campus. Dan Cromer stated that he feels that the money for this project should to be distributed based on need--wherever that need might be.
Patching - Demo on how to edit GPOs to customize patching in your OU.
Chris Hughes reported that some OU admins had desired to make changes on how WSUS applies patches. Chris reported that each OU admin has the rights to edit their own GPOs and make changes to the patching settings. FSHN, for example, had wanted to change the default time after login before installs occur. Those were altered to wait 15 minutes after login rather than 1 minute. Changes you make to your own GPOs will overrule any changes made higher. Chris would like to know if anyone removes forced reboots, however.
Kevin Hill asked if OU admins had the capability of checking WSUS reports for client compliance. Chris said that this wasn't currently available due to it not being a separate security setting. Chris does have the code to add that to SQL reporting services. Until that is available, you may request a report from Chris and he will see to it that you get one.
Steve remote desktopped into his management station to demonstrate where the GPO settings exist. They are under Administrative Templates/Windows Components/Windows Updates. You should not change the setting which includes your OU name nor the server to which the clients report. Once remote repositories are deployed, the server settings will be changed for remote sites to point to the local MPS. You can look in the Co-managed Computer GPO to see the current settings and then override those within your own Computer GPO as desired. If you want to change those for only a subset of your machines, you can either create a new GPO for a sub-OU or control the application of your GPO to a sub-set of machines via the GPO security settings (by removing Authenticated Users and adding in the computer name or names to which you wish the policy applied). If you have any questions on this, feel free to e-mail Chris. If you make any changes and would like Chris to look those over for any problems he might foresee, he would be glad to do that.
(Personal note: if any of you feel the need to brush up on GPO skills, I highly recommend the book "Group Policy, Profiles, and IntelliMirror" by Jeremy Moskovwitz--of which the 3rd edition was recently released.)
Steve asked about how the WSUS server was configured in regards to getting updates from Microsoft. Chris responded that it is set to pull down every update that Microsoft offers in English, each day at 9 o'clock.
UFAD - Changes in NMB assignment
Chris Hughes related that there had been another UFAD meeting about this issue. At that meeting it became clear that the plan which had been proposed by Mike Conlon, Mike Corwin and Warren Curry was unacceptable to the UFAD group.
A second meeting was then held with Robin Roundtree (technical support for the UF Foundation), Chris Hughes, Dwight Jesseman, Fran McDonnell, Mike Kanofsky, Jae Won Lee (programmer responsible for the UF Registry who works under Warren Curry) and George Bryan. This group drew up a new proposal (if-admn credentials required) which closely matches what IFAS had originally requested. The main differences were the addition of extra personnel classes (which were not in use in IFAS) to the equation at the request of Robin and Fran. NMB is especially important to Robin due to the foundation being outside of UFAD. She can't assign PeopleSoft rules if the NMB is not set correctly. The same methodology being proposed for setting NMB could be used for setting Home Department in the future.
This proposal will now go back to Mike Conlon, Mike Corwin and Warren Curry as being what the UFAD community desires. There are a number of ways this plan could be implemented, including direct modification to the directory interface, or setting up a process which looks at the listener queues and executes the logic using APIs.
UFAD - E-mail Enabling all UFAD Users
Chris Hughes related that there is a project being planned to e-mail enable all UFAD users using their official business e-mail address. There were concerns that this address has no error validation at entry, either with the RFC or with the particular mailserver specified. Dan Cromer expressed his opinion that enabling should be done to the official UF business e-mail address and that validation should be provided at the UF Directory level for that as part of the changes which are in progress to that Directory system.
Dennis Brown asked for clarification on what e-mail enabling would mean. Chris Hughes explained that this would not give all UF users an Exchange mailbox, but rather would include them all in the GAL.
The ICC was unanimous in supporting that e-mail enabling for all UFAD users be set to the UF official business address and that real validation (perhaps via a telnet send test) be incorporated into the Directory processes for setting that official business e-mail address field. Chris and Dan will take this ICC recommendation to the UFAD group for their consideration at the next meeting on October 20th. George Bryan has confirmed that this issue and NMB issue are on the agenda there. George also unhappily reports that it appears the third FTE for UFAD is postponed again until December.
UFAD - Displayname - is it an issue worth pursuing?
Chris Hughes raised the somewhat-related issue of the UFAD display name and how that field is constructed. It was decided that we should re-express our interest in this matter, as detailed in our previous ICC recommendation which also was supported at ITPAC. Dan Cromer stated that he had raised this again to Mike Conlon who had indicated that he understands the issue. Chris and Dan will also present this ICC recommendation for consideration at the next UFAD meeting on October 20th.
Drive Letters Discussion
Steve mentioned that he had dropped the idea of making a database for our various departmental drive letter assignments once Ben Beach kindly noted that such mapping information was readily available from the User Info site which Chris Hughes has so wisely and efficiently made available.
Steve did, however, want to discuss the idea of identifying a single drive letter which we could use universally within IFAS to map to a future single WebDav/DFS share. We can move to using the My Network Places via UNC for much of our work (where connections can be set via GPO), but we will continue to have certain applications which require access via drive letter for quite some time.
After much discussion, it was decided that we would investigate to determine which letter was least used and make a push to reserve that. A cursory investigation by Chris Hughes at the meeting indicated that Y: might be it.
Kevin Hill pointed out, and Chris Hughes agreed, that changing any drive mappings will cause numerous problems (including such things as folks using OLE linking via mapped drives and county offices using Blue Ribbon and Envelope Manager). Steve pointed out, however, that we are only talking about a single letter and one which is currently little used. All other mappings can remain in place as OU admins slowly migrate to using the new single letter. Since we have a great deal of work to do in cleaning up permissions on shares throughout IFAS, these changes will not be implemented for some time. That should give us all plenty of time to prepare and to get started on planning things to cause the minimum of impact for us and our users.
Regarding the need to fix the security on our shares, every OU admin is highly encouraged to look at those for which they are responsible and to compare those with the recommendations which Chris has made. Failure to get those in line is holding up a great deal of progress by which we can make many of the promises of increased functionality under AD truly and visibly available to our end users.
Centralized File Server Information
Chris Leopold related that he and his staff had meetings with Joe Joyce personally, and in those meetings Joe made it very clear that he will fund a centralized file server. Chris Hughes asked for clarification from Dan on whether the centralized file services which Dr. Joyce was supporting would be paid off the top (as Chris understood from their meeting). Dan responded with a rather vague hybrid model which leaves a number of important issues unspecified.
While Winnie offered that she didn't want to give Dr. Joyce the impression that we were squabbling over resources which he had provided, and she wanted it clear that her department did not contribute with the intention that a certain amount of space be reserved for their use, if those services are going to be offered to all units, then those few who have offered monetary assistance from their own departments (Mark Ross, Winnie Lante, and Steve Lasley) would, in essence be paying for their space twice. If they do not contribute, however, and corresponding space is not reserved for their use, then there is the concern of running out of total space prior to meeting the needs of those units who have expressed interest. As Kevin Hill pointed out, it is unwise to allocate limited resources as if they are not.
Although there are IT aspects to this primarily administrative decision, Steve suspects that the matter will need to be worked out between Dr. Joyce and the chairs of the contributing departments prior to those funds being transferred--as any plan for centralized file services must account for growth once the proposed server is fully utilized and our needs grow beyond its capacity.
Proposed website changes; FrontPage Server Extensions (FPSE), moving to new server, and w: drive mapping
Marshall Pierce provided a handout detailing his plan for migrating web sites (if-admn credentials required) from \\if-srv-web01 to the new \\if-srv\web. The basic idea is to make the move in 8 or so 2 hour chunks of time early in the AM (5-7) so users of the servers will be minimally affected. Sites will be migrated to the new server with new site names being prefaced with a "dev-". Site developers will then be notified so they can test for problems before the DNS for the original site is moved to point to the new version. Marshall plans to begin this process on Monday. Chris Leopold will send an IFAS-ALL notice just so people will realize that maintenance is being done on the web server early mornings.
A number of issues will arise for various sites as IIS 6 has dropped support for a number of calls which are currently used on a number of sites. Marshall's plan is to leave these changes to those folks responsible for those sites. Steve is concerned that support for making those changes will be needed in some fashion and urges coordination via Ligia Ortega to see that the transition goes as smoothly as possible.
Since \\if-srv-web is only a interim solution and we know we are going to get another web server with content management as part of that, Dan Cromer asked why we were pushing to do this migration now. Chris Leopold stated that \\if-srv-web01 currently has problems--specifically, that the last time it was restarted it required 6 hours to come on line. The idea is thus to move to an interim server which will be compatible with the final solution proposed by Ligia. Ligia's current document management plan appears primarily to include the use of templates to assure uniformity of site appearance. Unlike a more robust solution, this would be compatible with the migration as currently planned and the work involved in moving to the interim server would not be wasted, but rather would translate directly to making the additional transition much easier.
Marshall said that the interim server would support FPSE (although this precludes a number of redundancy solutions) and that permissions will be applied via UFAD security groups so the HelpDesk can easily view and modify who has access to a particular site. Marshall sees us eventually replacing FPSE with Windows Sharepoint Services (WSS) because we will need to move to a clustered server environment (for fail-over and load-balancing) at some point and one cannot do that with FPSE.
Note: During the meeting, Steve failed to relay a question/concern from Nancy Johnson which she submitted via chat. The question was: "Nancy Johnson had a question via chat at Friday's ICC meeting which I neglected to relay at the time, and which I thought you might be able to follow-up on with an answer: "The 4-H Website is constantly being updated by many different people. Will the edits start happening on the Web02 immediately or both during the overlap period?"
New SQL 2005 Server information
Chris Hughes reported that they have spec'ed out a file server to meet all of IFAS needs for database applications. Chris believes we have exceeded the capacity of our current server.
Systems Management Server (SMS) - Anyone interested?
Chris Hughes wanted to know if anyone was interested it SMS. We have licenses for that through the Microsoft campus agreement. SMS is an integral part of Microsoft's application management solution and, in conjunction with RIS, would provide a means of
Mark Ross and Earl Sloan have tried SMS and basically given up due to the amount of work it takes. Chris Hughes stated that the new SMS is much improved. Steve was concerned about whether or not there was sufficient FTE to take on such a task, and Chris noted that the end result could be a DECREASED need for FTE in maintaining client systems. The end result was that we all thought we should at least investigate the possibility of deploying SMS.
Chris Hughes reported that MOM works. Unfortunately, notifications of problems have not been working due to our current SQL Server issues.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 12:20pm.