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ICC Meeting:



A meeting of the ICC was held on Friday, April 8th, 2005. The meeting was chaired and called to order by Steve Lasley, at 10:03 a.m. in the ICS conference room.

PRESENT: Fifteen members participated. Remote participants: David Ayers, Dan Cromer, Kevin Hill, Chris Leopold, A.D. Walker, and Josh Wilson. On-site participants: Dennis Brown, Marion Douglas, Dwight Jesseman, Nancy Johnson, Jack Kramer, Winnie Lante, Steve Lasley, Richard Phelan, and Joe Spooner.



Agendas were distributed and the meeting was called to order by Steve Lasley at 10:03 am.

There were no new ICC member members. Steve mentioned that Mark Butler at the department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences had requested to be removed from the ICC-L as he no longer serves an IT role there.

Steve reminded everyone of our recommendation to ITPAC for requiring confirmation on all IFAS lists. He intends to present this to ITPAC at their May meeting and would like any and all feedback on it prior to that time. We may or may not have another ICC meeting before then, as the exact date of ITPAC is not currently known. Steve pointed out that he had received no feedback since it was first posted.

Steve also reminded everyone that Marc Hoit, the Associate Provost for IT at UF, will be at the next ICC meeting in May.

A videoconferencing committee has been formed with Jane Luzar as chairman. Members include: Marijayne Frederick, Nik McCue, Mike Alles (who, along with Jack Kramer, will soon be replaced at Ft. Lauderdale by Mikhail Ryabin), Patrick Pettus, Tom Hintz, Ron Thomas, Pete Vergot, Steve Lasley and Mike Armstrong. The committee's charge from Joe Joyce is to provide recommendations on policies, procedures, training and upgrades for our IFAS video-conferencing system. The committee has met once on March 25th and will meet again April 15th. Tom Hintz has assembled draft documentation on the system which is available for review and comment at http://notebook.ifas.ufl.edu/video/IV-toc.htm.

No futher elaboration of the IT/SA budget request was available for comment or ICC recommendation. Dan Cromer did mention that the categorizations of the various line items, which was done at the last ICC meeting, were useful.

Dwight Jesseman then began to go over some of the components that need to be considered in implementing the proposed IFAS e-mail policy revision which evolved from ICC and ITPAC recommendations. Dan Cromer said that the VP, Jimmy Cheek, wishes to see a complete plan with timeframe and implementation details before approving the standardization to "gatorlink@ufl.edu" for all IFAS e-mail.

Dwight gave a rough timeline which was based on a July 4th week-end implementation, but it is becoming increasing clear that implementation will have to wait at least until Christmas break or the summer of 2006.

Prior exit procedure discussion. One of the first steps will be ironing out details of a hire/terminate procedure for users accounts. Dwight and Chris Hughes intend to contact David Hermelbracht, the Assistant Director of IFAS Personnel Affairs, for assistance in developing these. Dan Cromer mentioned that this is a UF-wide issue and that he wants to wait on a UF solution. The key component in this, from an IT perspective, is the changing of the "Network Managed By" (NMB) user attribute when someone enters and exits from IFAS. The exit details are by far the more cumbersome, as they involve enumerating, evaluating and managing the access to all computer resources as appropriate. We also need to develop a procedure for OU admins to approve users in ad.ufl.edu/UF/People/XXXX--so we know that users truly belong in the particular OUs where they reside within AD.

Dwight asked various of those present if the liaisons are now better aware of the need for setting the Network Managed By attributes. Most seemed to indicate that this was indeed the case. Jack Kramer pointed out that remote sites often have a very fuzzy understanding of when personnel are hired and fired, and that this is a UF-level problem. Most everyone agreed that noting when people leave is currently handled extremely poorly.

The next step, would be to contact the UF ListSRV about fixing lists for this project. This involves giving them a spreadsheet that matches old e-mail addresses to their newly formatted versions. This wouldn't actually occur until the change-over, but it is one of many items which needs to be coordinated with folks outside IFAS. This will be a challenge to make sure that various components are coordinated to our time schedule (what ever that proves to be).

Nancy Johnson raised the issue of coordinating this change with the extension of Gatorlink names to 16 characters, which we last heard was due for early July. This point had been raised earlier by Kevin Hill via e-mail. This is another of those coordinations that will have to be managed. The process to change a Gatorlink username is not well documented as they don't want this to be a common occurrence. First of all, the ramifications of changing a name across all the various systems that might use or shadow that data is not well understood. Also, these names are never recycled; once a name has been used it is unavailable for anyone else. Right now, Gatorlink usernames can be changed only by coming to the Hub in person with your Gator 1 card--this would be more than a little inconvenient for our users outside Gainesville.

Rather than UFAD mail enabling all user accounts, IFAS will establish email addresses for its own users. A time for that change has not been set. For those who do not have Exchange attributes, there is an e-mail field (viewable on the General tab of the user properties within ADUC) that will be used. This field is imported from Gatorlink and is either the Gatorlink e-mail address or forwarding address that has been set on that account. Many do not have that field set, but those that do will then show up in the GAL--making it more useful for locating e-mail addresses across all UF. In conjunction with that, we also need to fix the remaining contacts (somewhere under 800) that do not have established e-mail addresses--so they show up in the GAL. After discussion later in the meeting, it was agreed that this could be done over a weekend after providing notice, along with a list of those affected, to the ICC. The issue there involves the UFAD off-line address book and the fact that it can take 24 hours or more for that to reflect the changes. In the meantime, those addresses will be incorrect and will bounce when folks try to use them. The establishing of e-mail addresses for all IFAS users may possibly be done at the same time as the contact fixes.

We also need to establish a method for UF Gatorlink to auto forward e-mail to IFAS mail server. The contacts on that are expected to be Steve Ulmer and John Bevis. At the time of change-over, an e-mail will be placed in their Gatorlink mailboxes that explains the changes.

We need to disable the web interfaces which currently allow end users to set forwarding themselves for their GatorLink account. The contact on that will be Roger Hendrex. Steve noted that other modifications will be done to such interfaces on October 5th when a new Gatorlink Student E-mail Forwarding Policy is implemented.

All these previous items are prerequisites for the actual change-over. The steps involved in that would include:

  • Set all primary SMTP addresses to GatorLink@ufl.edu via Recipient Update Policy (RUP)
  • Fix IFAS ListSRV Lists to use the "gatorlink@ufl.edu" format so folks will be able to continue to post
  • Fix the directory.ifas.ufl.edu SQL database so dynamic lists will be built correctly
  • Fix UF ListSRV
  • Find the exceptions: Users with an established email or forwarder that is currently set to something other than GatorLink@ufl.edu.
  • Provide documentation our clients on this change
  • Note: username@ifas.ufl.edu and username@mail.ifas.ufl.edu and others will NOT be removed.

Steve pointed out that there will be considerable client issues with this change-over and that we need to do a good job of preparing the end users. This will mean more configuration changes for IMAP clients, of which Steve has many such users. He also has a number of users who check their mail at Gatorlink and have IFAS addresses forwarded there. Steve is going to try to handle these issues by moving folks over to using Outlook and Exchange prior--at least as much as is possible.

Finally, Dwight discussed the procedures for handling a user mailbox at termination:

  • There is a 2 week mailbox retention for users upon terminatation currently--this is up for discussion
  • Backup as a PST file and delete the mailbox
  • Create an established email address to forward wherever they need it to go.

Dan Cromer did not feel that hire/fire issues were necessarily prerequisite to this e-mail change. Mike Conlon realizes this is a problem and they are planning methods for its resolution at the UF level. We cannot propose any schedule without having approval from those outside IFAS for that. Also, changes are going to be made to the Gatorlink account creation process within 2005 so that those will be created within the My.UFL portal. Dan supported the idea of gradually and manually making preparations for our end users towards the goal of getting them all using Outlook with Exchange prior to the move. It is obviously going to take considerable time to coordinate this all so that the change-over can happen in the best possible fashion.

Steve noted that John Sawyer is still looking for feedback on the Office Administrative Install Point vs. Local Installation tests that have been put in place. Steve reported that he has used the LIS successfully and is happy with that.

Dwight showed the current state of the Remedy trouble ticket system for IFAS. (See here for previous discussion.) During the meeting it was decided that the URL http://support.ifas.ufl.edu would be pointed to that site and Dwight immediately implemented that (good job!). We need to work out the procedure for getting all ICC members enrolled into this system prior to announcing its availability to end users. It is very close to be ready for general use, however. Nancy Johnson suggested that training on this system might be added to the UFAD training that is planned for later in April.

Steve re-raised the issues involved in making the ICC security group a distribution list. One main issue here is how to handle archiving e-mails--as is now done for us by the listserv for ICC-L. Dwight mentioned that we could have a public folder be one of the members of the ICC group within the Exchange organization; that way all e-mail to our group would be placed in that folder and could be read there as an archive. This folder could be linked to a website as well (via "https://email.ifas.ufl.edu/public/ifas/rest of path to folder/?cmd=contents&view=date" syntax) to allow access to those archives via the web. A shared calendar or calendars could also aid the ICC in a similar fashion--being accessible via the web. (Note from future: Dwight has implemented a number of folders and e-mail to the list is now archiving there. The URL is https://email.ifas.ufl.edu/public/ifas/ifas%20computer%20coordinators/email%20archive/?cmd=contents&view=date)

Steve pointed out his concern that, although there has been a proposal to upgrade all of IFAS to Windows XP SP2 and Windows 2003 Server by Dec. 31, 2005, implementation details of the Win98 and Win2K phase out seem to have slipped between the cracks. Steve doesn't think this should be handled simply by waiting for a Win98 user to call in with a problem and to then let them know, "well, Win98 is no longer supported or allowed on the network and you have to shut it down".

Dwight reported that IFAS has declined the UF wallplate model and that we will proceed in continuing to handle our own level 2 networking. Anyone who wishes something added there should contact Steve.

Steve mentioned that he keeps adding things to the IT/SA Service Documentation section of the ICC site--available from the "documentation" section.

Joe Spooner reported that has been no real movement on the Infrastructure Task Force. He is investigating the opportunity, however, of getting training on MOF from Microsoft. They offer both a two day class and a three day class on this subject. MOF provides a framework of standards for IT operations--which is exactly what the ICC IT Charter subcommittee hopes to get incorporated via our input into the Infostructure Taskforce.

Kevin didn't seem to be on the Polycom to give an AD status report, so Steve pointed out a couple of matters that were discussed at yesterday's ICC-AD subcommittee meeting. IT is now testing the use of the UF Jabber Server. This supports instant messaging and has a couple of advantages for us. First of all, the messages aren't being routed through a third-party server outside UF (a potential security concern) and secondly, it uses Gatorlink usernames and thus you can easily locate anyone you wish to contact. A number of clients are available. Dwight likes Pandion for its simplicity. He also mentioned Gaim, which, like Trillian, supports jabber along with an enormous variety of other IM systems as well.

WebEx was demoed at the ICC-AD meeting by Dwight. This remote desktop application has the advantage of using port 80 and thus can get through just about any firewall. UF has a license to use this. We may want to see about getting ICCers access to using it. Chris Hughes may be able to let us know how/whether this can be done once he returns. Dwight believed that the UF license allows 25 concurrent uses.

Steve related that he hopes everyone has been looking over the new UF Information Technology (IT) Security Regulations. The UF security team will be hosting an overview of this at 9:30-11:30am in room 282 of the Reitz Union. Dan Cromer is again trying to remind them that we have off-campus folks interested in UF IT events--and hopefully, it will be streamed. Steve is concerned that, while the details of this sound good, actual implementation can be a very tricky and even costly thing.

Mark Ross was not at the meeting, but he had eariler removed his proposal for IFAS to move away from Omniform for its forms usage and to standardize on Acrobat only.

Jack Kramer stated that he believes Sharepoint is very important to our organization, given that we have standardized on Microsoft products. He is concerned that it keeps being pushed back. It is, of course, an expensive item to propose and we would have to justify that carefully. Jack thought the proper kind of promotion might achieve some success in getting this going. Handling of e-mail attachments and collaboration among units interested in ICS graphics services were presented as two examples (among many) of how Sharepoint could help IFAS.

Dwight reported that Dell Open Manage needs to be upgraded to version 4.4 (not yet ready) before Windows 2003 can have SP1 applied on machines using it. Open Manage is used on all our multi-purpose servers.

Steve then mentioned that we wished to take Jack Kramer out to lunch, as this will be his last meeting with the ICC. Jack is retiring and moving to Tallahassee to continue his past research interests. Dwight Jesseman, Dennis Brown and Steve Lasley accompanied Jack to Rafferty's for a nice lunch.

The meeting was adjourned late at approximately 12:12.

last edited 12 April 2005 by Steve Lasley