ICC Home  /  Members  /  Meetings  /  Peer Support  /  Documentation  /  Projects

ICC Meeting:


NOTES FROM March 11th 2005       REGULAR MEETING

A meeting of the ICC was held on Friday, February 11th, 2005. The meeting was chaired and called to order by Steve Lasley, at 10:05 a.m. in the ICS conference room.

PRESENT: Sixteen members participated. Remote participants: David Ayers, and Joel Parlin. On-site participants: David Bauldree, Dennis Brown, Dan Cromer, Marion Douglas, Joe Hayden, Kevin Hill, Chris Hughes, Dwight Jesseman, Nancy Johnson, Jack Kramer, Chris Leopold, Steve Lasley, Richard Phelan, and Mark Ross.



Agendas were distributed and the meeting was called to order by Steve Lasley at 10:05 am.

Two new ICC member members were introduced in their absence: Justin Stone is new to the IFAS HelpDesk. He worked recently for Siemens in Orlando and is very used to a large end-user environment. Dan Cromer mentioned that he is very capable and that we are fortunate to have him on board. Also, Greg Means of the Soil and Water Science was introduced. Greg recently requested being added to the ICC-L at the suggestion of Bill Lancaster and is interested in keeping up with IFAS IT happenings. His department doesn't have an official computer coordinator, but Greg has been in the department for over 20 years and has some historical knowledge of the network there.

Steve skipped any recap from the last meeting last meeting as very little has transpired, and went directly into the matters which were seeking written ICC recommendation to ITPAC.

We discussed implementing self-confirmation for all IFAS lists using the "(Send = Private,Confirm)" setting which is currently in effect for the ICC-L. Chris Leopold reported that he and Dean Delker have a solution for implementing exceptions and believe that is doable. As an example, the UFGuest account notification (which is going away soon--see below) has not made it to the ICC-L since the confirmation was implemented. Steve Lasley agreed to create a written recommendation on this for presentation to ITPAC.

Kevin Hill asked if licenses were available for the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES). Dwight Jesseman stated that the BlackBerry Enterprise Server Client Access Licenses each cost $99 as a one-time fee--those are purchased directly from BlackBerry. You will receive a "key" and once Dwight has that, he can enter you into the system so you may begin using it. Additional yearly costs may be involved when we have to renew our TSupport maintenance contract--as that cost depends on the number of users we have. Enhancement features (such spell check, network printing and file access) are also available at a yearly cost of $85 from METAmessage. Kevin mentioned that there is soon to be a BlackBerry Connect™ for Palm OS which has his interest for use with his imminent purchase of a Treo 650.

The ICC next spent considerable time discussing a copy of the IT/SA budget request. (Note from future: Chris L. also has now supplied McCarty port estimates and IFAS active port extimates.) IT/SA had wanted input from the ICC to help prioritize those items. Chris Leopold began with a discussion of the wallplate. ICCers differed on how necessary it is to replace all our layer two infrastructure on a regular schedule, but the end result of that portion of the discussion was that we all feel the wall plate costs too much and that IFAS needs to come up with a plan to improve and maintain our own layer two infrastructure. It was mentioned that IFAS needs to consider the off-campus facilities--something which the UF wallplate does not seem to be willing to consider. Also, layer one (wire and fiber drops) is perhaps a greater cost than layer two and this is currently not part of any wallplate plan or budget request--this matter concerns Steve more than does the layer two infrastructure.

From there we began considering the budget as a whole. Dan Cromer wanted those budget items to be catorgorized as Continuation (what we have to spend to continue current services), Replacement (high priority replacment or repair) and Enhancement (new or improved infrastructure or services). Dan would apply these categories to the budget line items as follows:
1. Current Leases Continuation
2. 50KVA UPS for Computer Room Replacement
3. Veritas maintance Continuation
4. 14 Additional Remote Sites Enhancement
5. Blackberry T-Support Continuation
6. Deep Matrix Continuation
7. Web servers with backup lease Replacement
8. HDDs for MPS servers Replacement
9. 7.8TB File Server with backup lease Replacement
10. ITSA Professional Development Enhancement
11. Network Upgrade Replacement
12. Print Server Lease Replacement
12. Microsoft Technical Account Manager Replacement
13. DNS Servers Lease Replacement
14. DHCP Server Lease Replacement
15. MSDN Unvrsl All Languages Lic/SA Continuation
16. IT Pro Magazine Continuation
17. Metamessage Continuation
18. Patchlink Maintainence Continuation
19. Sharepoint Portal Server - hardware Enhancement
19. Sharepoint Portal Server - FTE Enhancement
19. Sharepoint Portal Server - Training Enhancement
20. Live Communications Server - hardware Enhancement
20. Live Communications Server - software Enhancement
20. Live Communications Server - FTE Enhancement
20. Live Communications Server - Training Enhancement

Kevin Hill, suggested that we present the budget items to ITPAC w/o the costs and let them make policy decisions on what services they want funded within IFAS. Dan Cromer thought that additional items should be added as well, to show examples of what services are possible and might be up for consideration. The ICC is encouraged to continue the process of prioritizing these matters and make their input known. If would be best to do this right away via the ICC-L, as Dan hopes to have his budget for initial presentation before our next meeting. For his part, Chris Leopold said he would update the spreadsheet with Dan's categorization and send that out to us all.

Next , Steve began going through the "Progress on standing issues list"

Dan Cromer reported on the "status of ICC and ITPAC recommendations on standardizing IFAS e-mail addresses": The Deans and VP have approved in concept the revision of IFAS e-mail address policy, basically as recommended by ICC and ITPAC. IT will now develop a detailed plan for VP’s approval and promulgation, to include proposed dates for implementation. Dan had provided the VP with a Visio diagram and a brief summary. There was no further discussion about eliminating our IFAS Exchange servers altogether. ICS will develop a template for standard signature block. Dan noted that there were some reservations expressed by the VP/Dean group. First of all, they felt that old addresses should work indefinitely. After some long period of delay, such as July 1, 2006, we can document whatever administrative burden maintaining the old addresses places on the system, and bring back for review the sunsetting of @ifas.ufl.edu addresses. Also, they felt that faculty should have the possibility of manual intervention to allow them to break the automatically configured forwarding of @ufl.edu to IFAS Exchange, to allow them to use UF mail server if desired.

With regard to the UFAD support issue, Dan Cromer reported that he had relayed the ICC-AD's letter to Joe Joyce and indicated that the ICC would like to hear response back on that. He has not received any response at this time, however.

In John Sawyer's absence, Chris Leopold responded to Steve's inquiry as to when the "Office Install Point" would be made available for use. Chris indicated that he would have John give this his highest priority upon return. The HelpDesk, and possibly some others, have already begun using it, but the details of where it is and the basics of how to use it have not been disseminated. Chris indicated that this could be done by Monday.

Chris Leopold spoke briefly on the proposal for migrating all IFAS subnets to private IPs. He mentioned that net services would like to eliminate APOPs and have direct core to BPOP connections in all cases. The problem is that this would require extra layer one infrastruture in many cases (i.e., more fiber pulls). Chris is going to continue to negotiate how to handle that issue.

Dan Cromer is requiring all of IFAS IT to begin using the Remedy system to document all their activities. (See here for previous discussion.) Everyone who is registered as a technical contact for an IFAS OU will be entered into this system as a support provider--once that is done anyone in the ICC may follow suit.

Dwight Jesseman gave a demonstration of the Remedy trouble ticket system for IFAS. The administrative interface to the system is currently available at http://at.ufl.edu/~hdweb/ifas (though end-users and most ICCers do not yet have access). A more user-friendly URL will be coming; Dan Cromer proposed that this be "http://help.ifas.ufl.edu" and that the HelpDesk be "http://helpdesk.ifas.ufl.edu". Currently, both those are aliases for the HelpDesk site. Chris Hughes, Dwight Jesseman and Dan Christophy are meeting every two weeks with the programmers to see that this systems develops to meet our needs.

The manner and consequences of removing the Spamhuas block list and the white listing of all UF mail servers. Although Steve and Chris H. both reported getting considerable less spam as a result, apparently some received more. As the ICC had discussed the desirability of removing the whitelist previously (including the use of software to map the Gatorlink spam scoring to our own), Steve had assumed that this move had been made by and at the request of IFAS IT. It turns out that this change was implemented w/o announcement on 25 February (although with some prior discussion between Mike Kanofsky of UFAD and Dwight Jesseman) on 25 February). Dwight had opposed the implementation. Dwight thought it appropriate (and Dan agreed) that some concerns be relayed to UFAD administration that such changes, which affect endusers, should not be done without sufficient (2 weeks) prior notice so that the consequences can be more fully assessed and that endusers can be notified as appropriate. The ICC hopes that Dan will take any opportunity which exists to do so with their blessings. Regardless of whether folks are having more or less messages diverted to the Junk E-Mail folder, it is important that we all make the effort to educate our users on how to check that folder and block or white list emails and domains.

The issue of moving all IFAS machines and printers to DHCP from static addressing will have to await John's return for further discussion.

Steve reported that he is in the beginning stages of documenting various IT/SA services. Inasmuch as IT/SA has deferred much of their documentation to such a time as an FTE is available for that purpose, Steve is offering his services to organize and post whatever IT/SA may wish. He would also appreciate input from ICCers as to what is missing or what they would like to see here. The site is conveniently available from the ICC website's "Documentation" section at http://icc.ifas.ufl.edu/docs.htm. It is password protected and you need to use your IF-ADM (or, in the future, IF-ADML) account credentials for access.

One of the links off the "Services: Active Directory" section of the IT/SA Documentation pages, is the Client Lookup Tools which Chris Hughes recently announced to the ICC-L. This site allows you to put in a GL username and get information on all the security groups to which they belong, and to Exchange information, such as the "storage group", "mailbox store" and "mailbox size" for that user.

Joe Spooner, chairman of the ICC IT Charter Sub-Committee was unable to attend the meeting, but Steve relayed for him that a new Infostructure Taskforce has been officially sanctioned and that Dr. Joyce is putting together the committee. There is no date set, but he imagines things will start soon

In deference to how late the ICC meeting was running (for which Steve apologizes profusely) Kevin Hill, chairman of the ICC AD Sub-Committee skipped his report from yesterday's meeting.

Chris Hughes reported that the OU changes may not happen this weekend due to one unit saying that they didn't wish a sub-unit structure and then changing their minds. Chris believes he will have to use up his testing time in redoing their permissions.

John Sawyer was unable to attend the meeting; consequently his report from the ICC Network Security Sub-committee was skipped.

Chris Hughes asked for input on managing the IE-SPYAD blocklist implementation. Realplayer and Quicktime downloads are currently blocked by this scheme because the companies which they use for the download service also deliver adware and are therefore on the blocked list. No body had a particular problem with current handling or thought that we wanted to get involved with a weekly or bi-weekly editing of the block list. The RealPlayer and Quicktime installs are now available on \\ad.ufl.edu\IFAS\Public, but those are intended to be moved to a more permanent home soon.

Chris Hughes reported that UF is going to replace the current guest password scheme with something else (as yet undefined) in the upcoming weeks. This impinges on providing network access for non-UF people at conferences, workshops and the like. It also affects IFAS groups such as the Master Gardening Program, which has many non-UF participants. It is not yet clear if those people will all be required to get a Gatorlink account to be provided access to computer resources in support of that program.

Dan Cromer reported that Marijayne Frederick at TREC wants to have a release form created which she can have signed by folks wanting to use their computers on the IFAS network. This form would basically relieve her of responsibility for those computers in the sense that if something happened to them while connected, that she would not be held responsible for fixing those personally owned computers. Due to the late hour, discussion on this was deferred until later.

Steve said that in the future he would enforce time limits on topics in an attempt to better ensure that our meetings did not go over time.

The meeting was adjourned late at approximately 12:40.

last edited 16 March 2005 by Steve Lasley