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ICC Meeting:


NOTES FROM November 13th 2003       REGULAR MEETING

A regular meeting of the ICC was held on Thursday, November 13th, 2003. The meeting was chaired and called to order by Steve Lasley, at 10:00 a.m. in the ICS Conference Room.

PRESENT: Twenty-one members participated. Remote participants: Kevin Hill, Jack Kramer, Joe Spooner, Harry Trafford, and Josh Wilson. On-site participants: David Ayers, David Bauldree, Benjamin Beach, Robert Boden, Jenny Brewer, Dennis Brown, Dan Cromer, Joe Hayden, Dwight Jesseman, Steve Lasley, Chris Leopold, Richard Phelan, Marshall Pierce, Roberto Ramirez, Mark Ross, and John Sawyer.

STREAMING AUDIO: available here


Two new members were welcomed to their first meeting: Robert Boden, who is replacing Tami Owen at Horticulture and Richard Phalen who is replacing John Sawyer at Environmental Horticulture. We were very pleased to welcome them to our group.

Steve Lasley recapped IT events since our last meeting by reviewing the ICC homepage news list. It was noted that the last Peer2Peer session was streamed and that a link to that stream is available on the ICC homepage under the October 29th news item.

No update on the status of the Active Directory project was deemed needed. It was noted that we are still trying to find a replacement for Mike Kanofsky as the IFAS AD Lead. Also, there will be a meeting of the ICC AD subcommittee on Wednesday, November 19th at 2PM in the Entomology and Nematology small conference room (Bldg 970, room 1012).

Chris Leopold discussed the two IFAS PPTP VPNs, explaining that "vpn.ifas.ufl.edu" gives out private numbers and "vpn2.ifas.ufl.edu" gives out a limited number (~124) of public numbers. Those needing a VPN for communication with on-campus sites are encouraged to use "vpn.ifas.ufl.edu". For communications among various remote locations you may need to use "vpn2.ifas.ufl.edu", but it was noted that this should only be done as needed due to the limited supply of IP#s. This often may not be necessary With the current NetBIOS filter scheme anyway. Dan Cromer also pointed out that the router-established VPN tunnels at a number of remote sites also give out private numbers. Steve Lasley recommended that this be documented on the IFAS HelpDesk site. Kevin Hill is seeking documentation on UF Net-services regarding using them for compulsory tunneling to campus. Jack Kramer wants to use some inexpensive routers for this purpose, but XOFF support is needed, and that apparently is only available on high-end Cisco grade routers. John Sawyer is going to look into the possibilities in this regard in cooperation with the WAN group and UF Net-Services.

Chris briefed the ICC on the status of the Exchange migration. A second Exchange server is getting ready for production. In order to do load balancing, email accounts will be split between the two systems. It has been decided to split alphabetically by last name. A-K will stay on the current server and the rest will be moved to the new server. This means that IMAP/POP3 clients (for users with lastnames beginning with L-Z) will need to be reconfigured. 1700 mailboxes are being moved, and possibly half that number are using IMAP/POP3. Under the new configuration, all IMAP/POP clients should use "smtp.ifas.ufl.edu" as the outgoing server; this is needed for the upcoming anti-spam configuration. The incoming mailserver name will need to be "mail.ifas.ufl.edu" for IMAP/POP users with last names beginning with A-K. The rest will need to use "mail2.ifas.ufl.edu". Chris also mentioned that once we get to Exchange 2003, we likely will consolidate remote email servers; for now, this change only affects those currently using NT-Exchange. Mark Ross and Joe Hayden mentioned that MAPI should be encouraged, if not mandated.

Jenny Brewer made a motion to remove support for POP email access. Much discussion ensued. Ben Beach pointed out that this will add considerable work to the mailbox move. Kevin Hill suggested that we need a good end-user explanation of why that is necessary before proceeding; Kevin seemed to have the most POP users of any of the iCCers. A major reason offered was that Exchange 2003 will not support POP. Security is another issue as there is no way for POP to do secure authentication. Dennis Brown was concerned with usability issues of IMAP vs. POP, but most of those seemed to be answered. A recommendation for dropping support for POP email access was finally passed by acclamation.

Joe Hayden brought up the issue that local units often have faculty and staff at remote locations. Joe wanted to know what computer support person should be responsible for those remote users. Dan suggested that proper handling requires coordination between the ICC and central IFAS HelpDesk staff or District Support staff and needs to be handled on a specific case basis. Citra appears to be one sore spot in this regard.

Jenny Brewer made a presentation on the proposed XWall anti-SPAM software and how it might be configured to assist with the SPAM problem. Jenny has made an excellent website that discusses this software and it's proposed use within IFAS. Her ICC Notes on this are currently also on the web. Two copies will be needed at $350 each, which is by far the least expensive solution found. The ICC supported this purchase and it was indicated that this will be immediately undertaken.

John Sawyer briefly covered details of the first ICC Network Security Committee meeting. A plan was made to re-implement ACLs in a way that would internalize NetBIOS to IFAS. This method of filtering has the advantage of not breaking current connectivity methods among remote IFAS sites. This will be monitored over the next two months and revised as necessary.

The second issue that John covered was that SP2 will turn on WinXP's personal firewall by default. Plans will be made to address this issue before that time, but John wanted everyone to be aware of this issue.

Finally, John covered details on our patching software options. After considerable review by John, a decision was been made to pursue licenses for Patchlink Update 5.0 via the UF Software License Service and in conjunction with Shands. Kevin Hill mentioned the critical need for remote stores and John said he will make Jim Hardemon aware of this need. The target price is $3-4 per user. We will likely need units to supply a portion of this cost and ICC staff were urged to propose that to their unit heads.

The meeting adjourned a bit late--about 12:15PM.

last edited 14 November 2003 by Steve Lasley