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ICC Meeting:



A regular meeting of the ICC was held on Friday, May 14th, 2004. The meeting was chaired and called to order by Dennis Brown, at 10:00 a.m. in the ICS Conference Room.

PRESENT: Eighteen members participated. Remote participants: David Ayers, Chris Fooshee, Joe Hayden, Kevin Hill, Joel Parlin, John Sawyer and Joshua Wilson. On-site participants: David Bauldree, Dennis Brown, Jenny Brewer, Dan Cromer, Marion A. Douglas, Dwight Jesseman, Jack Kramer, Winnie Lante, Chris Leopold, Richard Phelan, and Mark Ross.

STREAMING AUDIO: available here.


As there were no new ICC members, Dennis Brown began by reviewing events since our last meeting. The most significant event is the progress on the AD migration. Horticulture will be moving to AD in early July. Dennis pointed out the various sharepoint sites for security and for the ICC and for the the ICC AD subcommittee. Sharepoint allows for change notices via email and should eventually become a great collaborative tool.

Kevin Hill briefly discussed the status of the AD project and particularly what had transpired at the ICC-AD meeting the day before. The meeting went well and we have a couple of new participants in Helena Niblack of Agricultural and Biological Engineering and David McKinney from Animal Science. Chris Hughes first needs to match Ifasdom account to UFIDs. The IFAS Directory will be the point of authority for our directory data and all unit liaisons will be asked to get those corrected and up-to-date within the next two weeks. Unit IT staff should become involved in this process as folks not in the directory will not be migrated! Contact Chris Hughes with any questions in this regard.

Dennis related that the first move for folks in Ifasdom or other domains is to move the user security identifiers (SIDs-the actual values to which usernames are related internally within Windows) into UF-AD so logging into either domain should provide access to the same resources.

Dan Cromer is concerned about hearing any technical problems that units may have in joining AD. Joe Joyce is planning to issue a mandate for joining and Dan wants us prepared for any technical issues that might lead to embarrassment. However, the committee has done its best to bring such issues to the table and has been hampered by the lack of participation in the planning process. It was encouraging, however, to finally get some new folks involved. No technical issues have been yet discovered that should prevent a unit from joining. There are political issues that are our outside our committee's ability to resolve.

Kevin brought up the question of Vet Medicine and their relationship with IFAS, but noted that the committee is doing everything possible to foster an environment of cooperation where the needs of each unit can be met and where all may feel comfortable in joining. If some units eventually refuse, then that will be up to Joe Joyce to decide whether or not that will be allowed. In the meantime we will continue our efforts.

Jack Kramer wanted a definition of "participation" so that end users would better understand what this will all mean to them and what the advantages might be. Jack wants a "preview document" that can be presented to the users from their point of view. In response, Kevin said that Chris is working on that. Jack says that he has a lot of "selling" to do with his faculty and that more attention should be paid to such things to make the transition go more smoothly.

Jenny Brewer discussed the AD documentation issues. Jenny and Steve Lasley are working on the AD documentation (especially Jenny), which is currently in an outline form on the AD sharepoint site. It should be fleshed out by the next ICC AD meeting in two weeks. All ICCers should thoroughly peruse this outline and the upcoming document looking for missing or problem items. Jenny pointed out that there are many documentation issues that are outside AD that require addressing and that IFAS IT needs personnel responsible for documentation at the IFAS IT level--above the level of ITNS. (Personal note: Lack of personnel to support such an effort is unfortunate, because this is our best hope for preventing/controlling a general user uprising when things such as the upcoming move to Exchange 2003 force a large number of client-side changes.)

John Sawyer is working on the documentation for using EFS (the encrypting file system) to provide privacy and security as deemed necessary and has offered to make that available to the ICC AD committee.

Chris Leopold discussed the status of the IFAS distance education videoconferencing project due sometime in August. If you are a technical support person at one of the remote sites that will be affected (Apopka, Belle Glade, Bradenton, Ft Lauderdale, Ft Pierce, Plant City, Homestead, Immokalee, Lake Alfred, Milton, Quincy and Duval CEO), you should send an email to "listserv@lists.ifas.ufl.edu" and within the body include "subscribe video-l" to be sure that you are included in the discussion regarding this project. Also, you should visit http://video.ifas.ufl.edu. This site is restricted, you will need to use your IFASDOM Username and password to request access to the site. You should expect racks, UPS, fiber jumpers, routers and switches will be arriving (as necessary) and IP renumbering will be required. Each site will have a Cisco 2620XM router, which will connect directly into a Cisco 3550 switch. If you have an auxilliary closet that feeds the service you might have a Cisco 2950 as well with GB between the two closets. Apopka, Plant City and McCarty D will be done first with Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Pierce and Milton coming as the second set. These are the sites that generate video source and are highest priority. These will be done with $36,760 coming from this year's budget. Belleglade, Bradenton, Homestead, Immokalee, Lake Alfred, Quincy and Duval will be done from the next (fiscal) year's budget. Polycom 9800 videoconferencing units will eventually be deployed at all sites.

John Sawyer was not at the meeting but was able to give a status update on Patchlink. The basics are that PatchLink is up and running, just over half of Plant Pathology is online, 5 computers from FYCS are online, John is ready to add some more depts, and is looking forward to 6.0 update as it includes some major functional updates. There is no console to install as it is all web based. Due to problems in getting this up and going, Patchlink graciously has extended our license through May 2005.

Mark Ross reported that the Windows patches went great. All versions of Windows are supported. He also discussed the details of Office updates via PatchLink. There are some issues with administrative installs that Mark has been researching. Such installs have to be patched at the installation point and synched from there rather than being patched directly via PatchLink.

Jenny Brewer gave a brief status report on the ePO implementation. She remains concerned with machines that are missing from ePO. Jenny is still waiting on an IMM to be published from the ITPAC recommendation on "Centrally-based software installations" before she feels free to add ePO agent push to ifasdom logon scripts.

Jenny reported that the anti-spam configuration still appears to be working well, with less than 1% retrieval of the 80% (!) of all emails that are blocked. She could tighten it more if she could get assistance in getting example SPAM for feeding the filter.

Jenny also related that the Kixtart script migration went well except for those w/o write access to the root (approx. 56 machines). Jenny summarized our Ifasdom machine inventory from Kixtart data as having a total of 1957 machines: 39 Win95, 224 Win98, 0 WinMe, 0 WinXPHome, 31 WinNT, 778 Win2KPro, 27 Win2KServer, 841 WinXPPro, and 16 Win2K3Server. The details are available on the NT-File public log.

Jenny let us know that 3 files are needed to be updated on our Win98 boxes to prepare them for active directory. Jenny has prepared the logon scripts to do this. It will involved our users getting a 2nd popup box during logon that will tell them of the need to upgrade and giving them the opportunity to comply or to opt out for the time being. At the end of June it will be mandatory. Note that there are about 250 in Ifasdom alone that need this. The updates are sloooooow, unfortunately. Unit support folks can do with individually, should they like to forego the logon script for their users. She will make the files available.

Kevin reported that District directors may have released funds to upgrade of some of the Win98 boxes, which may help with this. Using the great prices that Jenny arranged with Dell, coupled with the fact that an upcoming campus MS license should shave $50 more off the price, make this encouraging.

Dan gave a brief overview of FAS2. Announcement of this will be in August, as it is not quite ready for prime time yet. Access to FAS2 is available from the Program Development and Evaluation Center website, which is where entry to this system is desired to pass through. The actual FAS2 site is at http://fas2.ifas.ufl.edu/fas2/.

Dan mentioned that our own programmers (Cheryl Beardon and Richard Lee with OPS help) are doing local development from templates obtained via the EXDS consultants that had been involved in earlier development. They are using Visual SourceSafe to facilitate code checkout to help manage code development. Consultants may still be used as needed to meet our goals.

This is a web-based application and training will be provided. The main support contacts are Cheri Brodeur and Bryan Terry, and folks calling the HelpDesk should be referred to them for most questions. PDEC is housed in second floor McCarty. It merged with the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, of which Ed Osborne is chairman. Howard Latiwig is a primary manager for this project.

At Dennis Brown's request, Dwight Jesseman spoke to the email status. In the last few week there had been slow response and authentication issues that were eventually tracked down to a problem with Groupshield. Things should now be improved. Please let Dwight or Chris L. know if you find out differently. A new machine is on order for exchange.

Chris Leopold warned that SSL will be needed as part of the Exchange 2003 upgrade. This means lots of end client issues, so please stay tuned for that. Chris fears that this will need careful attention and planning to go smoothly.

Chris Leopold spoke to the fact the he envisions Sharepoint as being an eventual method for collaboration with regards to filesharing and the like. However, there is too much on our plate to go far with this right now and the hardware is not available for full blown implementation currently. Our current low-level usage should help us evaluate the eventual usefulness of that, however.

The meeting adjourned about 12:15pm.

last edited 15 May 2004 by Steve Lasley