IFAS COMPUTER COORDINATORS
NOTES FROM October 9th 2003 REGULAR MEETING
A regular meeting of the ICC was held on Thursday, October 9th, 2003. The meeting was chaired and called to order by Steve Lasley, at 10:00 a.m. in the ICS Conference Room.
PRESENT: Seventeen members participated. Remote participants: Dennis Brown, Jack Kramer, and Kevin Hill. On-site participants: David Ayers, David Bauldree, Jenny Brewer, Marcus Cathey, Dan Cromer, Tom Hintz, Dwight Jesseman, Steve Lasley, Helena Niblack, Roberto Ramirez, Mark Ross, John Sawyer, Joe Spooner, and Joshua Wilson.
STREAMING AUDIO: available here
Joe Spooner of CALS was welcomed to his first meeting, as was Marcus Cathey of Agronomy. We were very pleased they could make it. Another "new" member, Ed Howard was introduced in absentia. Ed has been with FRED for about 4 years but was just added to the ICC-L.
Steve Lasley recapped IT events since our last meeting by reviewing the ICC homepage news list.
Kevin Hill provided an update on the status of the Active Directory project. The ICC subcommittee had taken a bit of a hiatus over the summer, waiting for the UF AD initiative to become established. That caused some problems due to concerns that were raised at the UF level over Domain Controller (DC) security--especially at remote sites. Such remote DCs are necessary to the IFAS AD plan. Kevin is working with George Bryan and Mike Kanofsky to develop a charter for securing all DCs along with plans and procedures to follow should that security be compromised. That will be brought before the next large AD group meeting for comment and modification. If the result is something we can live with, that will be rolled into the overall charter for UF AD and we can move ahead with our portion of the initiative.
The next step at the IFAS level is to develop a detailed timeline for implementation with the goal of having the implementation complete by the end of 2004 so we can turn off our NT4 domain controllers by that time. Much hinges on the replacement for Mike Kanofsky as the lead of IFAS AD. That person will need strong project management skills to communicate with the various units on this and to see that the project milestones are met so that the project can be completed successfully and on time.
Kevin will be at the next Department Chairmen meeting to present a summary of the AD plan--just as he had done previously with the Center Directors.
Dan Cromer announced that John Sawyer will be the new IT Security Administrator. John will work directly under Chris Leopold, but will also work closely with Tom Hintz who is the administrative contact for security. John will begin in about two weeks. This is great news for ITNS.
Chris Leopold was absent and had asked Dwight Jesseman to bring a few issues before the ICC for discussion. The first was the problem of dealing with SPAM. There are five criteria on which SPAM can be indentified: virus infection, messages from black-listed sources, messages tagged as SPAM with high probability from bayesian filtering, subject line contents, and keywords within messages. After considerable discussion, a recommendation was developed and passed. Further amendments to this can occur before presentation to ITPAC in December as necessary.
The second issue brought by Dwight was that of obtaining patching software. It was decided that further investigation is needed to determine what course is best for IFAS on this. John Sawyer will play a critical role in that. The basic concern with agent-based tools (which are deemed better overall) is that current packages may not address the needs and bandwidth limitations of remote sites. Shavlik software does not seem to have features that are competitive with regards to multiple platforms (including Win9x) and perhaps costs. Thus we will not join in with a UF Shavlik purchase at this time. The ICC Security Subcommittee will address this issue under John Sawyer's direction.
With Dwight Jesseman we revisited a motion that a recommendation be brought to ITPAC to remove all "gnv.ifas.ufl.edu" email addresses. A recommendation was developed and approved. Further amendments to this can occur before presentation to ITPAC in December as necessary.
Dan Cromer lead a brief discussion on who should be able send to the IFAS-ALL distribution list and what topics are appropriate for distribution via that method. His recommendation is to develop a more explicit policy on proper use of that list and present that to ITPAC for approval. The ICC agreed.
Mark Ross raised the topic of providing testing facilities within IFAS ITNS. Tom Hintz noted that his training group has a large number of laptops that could be reserved for testing purposes--provided that did not interfere with their primary use in training. The ICC decided to continue to address this on an ad hoc basis and to cooperate among ourselves for the sharing of such resources as we currently have that can be applied to testing needs.
The meeting adjourned shortly before noon.