IT@Brown: News & Resources

By and for technology-minded folks at Brown

DCC Meeting Notes – May 2016

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Chris Grossi Announcements

  • Dell had pricing issue on Standard Image machines, but has since been corrected.
  • OSD Lab Redeployment in June
  • Any interest in Standard Image Working Group meeting this Friday to discuss

Doug Wilkinson

  • Numbers
    • 6200 undergrads
    • 2000 grads
    • 700+ faculty
    • 15,000 wireless clients
  • Telephony Projects
    • Went with Cisco
    • 200 devices/phones deployed
    • Upgraded all users’ voicemail to Cisco Unity
    • TR upgrades are still ongoing
    • eFax implementation on hold
    • SIP trunking Level3 solution installed
    • E911 CER deployed and working
    • Jabber support is coming
  • Ongoing / Completed Projects
    • Continued move to private IP addressing
    • Resnet wireless upgrade to support 802.11ac and dense deployment (every other room)
    • Expanding dedicated research network
    • DNS/DHCP infrastructure refresh
    • F5 LTM, GTM, VPN infrastructure refresh
    • Infoblox DNS firewall feature
    • Consolidation of servers into Datacenter
    • Science DMZ security standards document
    • Two-factor support for F5 VPN with Shib
    • PCI compliance for devices in CDE
  • Network Projects
    • 802.1x for wired Ethernet ports in Resnet
    • Campus firewall hardware refresh
    • Expand datacenter rack/row capacity
    • Refresh satellite office building routers
    • Navisite DR buildout (complete June 2016)
    • Proof of concept for an all-wireless residence hall (fall)
    • Distribution and edge hardware refresh
    • Virtual F5 appliance implementation
      • Create Dev/QA versions of LTM/GTM/APM
    • Investigation for DDOS protection
    • SSL updates to fix vulnerable versions of SSL and TLS
    • Wireless upgrade continues through campus
  • Network Overview
    • 2 Border routers (active/passive) 10G
    • Campus Core currently 10G (6500s)
    • Primary datacenter Nexus 5k/2k
    • Research core 10G (Nexus 7k/ASR9k)
    • Distribution is a combination of 6k, 4k, 4500x
      • Moving to VSS where possible
    • Cisco ASA firewalls for DMZ, internal, Campus and Resnet
    • Management tools
      • Orion NPM/NCM, Airwave, Switchport manager, StruxureWare
  • Facilities Projects
    • School of Engineering building
    • Computer Science server room move to datacenter
    • South Street building renovation
      • Multi-tenant – URI, RIC, and Brown
  • Questions…
    • What is the limit to number of voicemails?
      • Info will be coming
    • New phones will be appearing on all desks (directory search, custom ringtones, jabber client [allows phone conversation on computer]) – Changeover will take a number of years
    • Phone passthrough jack will be 1GB
    • If your networking needs aren’t being met, contact the networking group to try to reach a resolution.
    • Phones have their own VOIP network, but the passthrough is on the department data network.
    • > search Cisco > information about phone models and system


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May 11th, 2016 at 12:45 pm

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DCC Meeting Notes – April 2016

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Chris Grossi – Announcements and OSD Info

  • 150 Dragon Naturally Speaking Licenses have been purchased – Google Doc for signup will be spread – Probably will be grabbed quickly
  • Dell 7020 being removed from Premiere page – Standard image being worked out for new models – New models are ready for OSD


  • OSD is the recommended configuration for new machines
  • OSD training is going well, there will be another session in 2-3 weeks
  • Windows 10 is the recommended OS for new, incoming machines

Chris is going to look into transfer tool available to move from Windows 7 to 10.

Colin Johnson – Updates Surplus Procedure

Best practices for IT Equipment Surplus

  • Any “Brown Owned” device can be surplussed through this procedure
  • Desktops, laptops, camcorders, anything with a battery or that can be plugged in
  • Hard drives will be destroyed and DO NOT need to be removed first
  • Anything with a Brown Asset Tag (with purchase price over $5000) can be directly processed
    • If the item has a Brown Asset Tag, a form must first be submitted through OSP
  • For directly surplussing items, a ticket should be submitted through facilities
  • Furniture can also be surplussed through Josiah’s Attic

Side Note from Chris Grossi – There will be a Dell Recycling Day coming soon – Possibly June or August

Geoff Greene – Software Survey Results

  • 1442 Responses this year(2015), up from 1283 in 2013.
  • Majority of software installs are installed by themselves.
  • Overall Laptop / Desktop Usage: 59% Windows – 56% Mac – 12% Linux
    • Staff has the largest percentage of Windows users
    • Undergrad Students: Mac 70% – Windows 38% – 12% Linux
    • Grad Students: Mac 63% – Windows 57% –
    • Faculty: Mac 65% – Windows 58%
  • Mobile: 33% IOS – 11% Android
  • Chrome is the primary used browser
  • Top Titles
    • Gmail
    • Word
    • Google Calendar
    • Google Docs
    • Excel
    • Powerpoint
    • Adobe Acrobat Pro
    • Google Sheets
    • Google Forms
    • Adobe Photoshop
  • Bottom titles are very specialized
  • and Rosetta Stone are available across campus and has taken off
  • 30% of Faculty and Post Docs, and 21% of Grads say they’re frequently using software with no internet connectivity
  • Top requested additions
    • Graphpad Prism
    • Solidworks for Research
    • ArcGIS (non-Brown owned computers)
    • SPSS (non-Brown owned computers)
    • Endnote (non-Brown owned computers and undergrad use)


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April 13th, 2016 at 1:06 pm

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DCC Meeting Notes – FEBRUARY 2016

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Next Month Dell is coming and will be here for an hour and a half. Extended Meeting.



  • OSD (Operating System Deployment) – There was a successful pilot group last month. More classes will be offered soon.
  • There is an upcoming System Center fundamentals class that will run for approximately 2 hours.
    • Please enroll via learning point if interested.
  • 150 Dragon Naturally Speaking licenses are coming soon.
  • Last month Microsoft announced that all versions prior to Version 11 of Internet Explorer are going away. Please let us know if anyone has any use case for IE Versions prior to Version 11.




  • Any video that goes public must be closed captioned for accessibility.
  • has more information on all of the A/V services provided on campus
  • For any A/V support please fill out a “Media Request Form”
  • Media Productions include recording public events, lectures, custom projects, promo pieces, and training videos.
  • If you need something recorded there is a “Do it yourself option” faculty kit for screen capture. Includes self service studio.
  • Adobe Anywhere – works with adobe creative cloud. Multiple editors can be working on a single project at once. Works mostly with Adobe Premiere.
  • Videoblocks – A collection of stock Images, Videos, Sounds, and graphics that will be available. All content is royalty free so that the content can be shared and distributed publicly.



Media is currently cataloged and distributed through the following channels.

  • Brown YouTube (Public Content)
  • Google Drive (Internal Delivery)
  • BrownBox (Quick External Delivery)



  • ECHO 360 – Automatic Lecture Capturing
  • Can be requested through the Media Request Form
  • Livestream can also be set up for distance learning and overflow.
  • New lecture capture solution should be in place for may 2016 with a summer pilot.
    • Training will be offered on the new system and old lecture content and media will be migrated.
    • There will be a new capture appliance that will be required for the new system that will run in line with the replacement cycle of the current capture appliances.







Written by Colin D Johnson

February 11th, 2016 at 9:07 am

DCC Meeting Notes – Dec 9, 2015

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Stephanie Obodda – 2-Step Authentication

Provost is making 2-step authentication mandatory for Shibboleth at Brown.

(Handout of basic 2-step setup)

App is available for Windows Phone / Android / iPhone. They are also adding a “Print” button in MyAccount to print access codes rather than having to physically write codes if not using app. There will be setup training sessions for using 2-step authentication.

Presentations at faculty meetings (or other meetings) can be scheduled with Stephanie.

2-step works with app for smartphone, phone call, text message, or printed passcodes from MyAccount. CIS will provide UBkey (usb key) for an additional option, if necessary. Currently, CIS has loaners available in the Help Desk.

You can set the browser on the computer to remember the authentication for 30 days.

The most common way that the accounts have been hacked is via Phishing.

If 2-step isn’t working, call the Help Desk / IT Service Center. M-F 8:30AM-8PM. Assessing training student management for night/weekend help.

If laptop or phone is stolen / lost, you should change your password. has 2-step information at the top of the main page.

This will be coming for AD (beyond just Shibboleth) and VPN in the future.

Faculty and Staff need to log in prior to starting, to set up initial pre-employee work. They will be prompted upon first login. Still planning when the 2-step will go into effect for incoming students…expecting to be their commit date.

Sponsored ID’s don’t have a timeline yet, but will become 2-step required at some point.

Duo is one of the largest providers for 2-step and should work worldwide.

If you don’t have any cell or wifi signal, you can generate a passcode with the app and input for the Shibboleth page.

If someone gets a Duo request that they did not generate, they should decline the request and change their password.

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December 9th, 2015 at 1:02 pm

DCC Meeting Notes – Wednesday October 14th, 2015

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Please feel free to download an audio recording of the meeting

1. Pat Falcon – Cyber Security Month
a. Promoting 2 step authentication
b. Safety Clinics around campus – training sessions include IOS device safety, android device safety, Encryption and SSL/TLS.
c. Quiz each week at events – chance to win raffle – ipad mini and other prizes

2. Chris Grossi – Announcements
a. Keyserver upgrade went bad this morning
b. Adobe software download and licensing changes. Change to using non-serialized version of adobe creative cloud software. This will require people to sign in on brown owned computers. If you still have serialized versions of adobe applications, you will need to use the serial removing tool to properly install and license adobe apps through the creative cloud downloader.
c. Mac OS 10.11 is looking good – CIS is comfortable saying go ahead and install.
d. Lowering Sophos license count – Please Upgrade from Sophos to SCEP (System Center Endpoint Protection)

3. Chris Grossi – Endpoint Engineering
a. Client Engineering is now Endpoint Engineering – Endpoint referring to the technology in your hands.
b. Personnel and what they do will mostly remain the same.
c. Chris would love to hear feedback – Is what we are doing working for you?

4. Chris Grossi – Upcoming changes
a. The future of computing makes the desktop/laptop an “appliance”
b. Remote App demonstration – allows users to run applications over the network on a terminal server, but the end user only sees the application interface. This can allow Windows only apps to run on Mac. Apps include Statistical Analysis software, core applications such as web browsers, and adobe applications. They would like to scale this up to make it available to everyone on campus, but that will require additional hardware and licensing.
c. Chris demonstrates launching Arcmap through Remote App.
d. CIS is still working on making profile redirection and how to implement it.
e. Chris goes over operating system and software deployment using SCCM. Task sequences can be configured to layer on software without the need for IT intervention. Windows gets installed, updated, and core software installed as configured through SCCM. They are working on providing IT personnel a choice during deployment for what software they want to have installed. Task sequences can be set up for different departments so that software gets deployed based on what the department needs are.
f. The 2015 software survey is coming out soon.
g. Print server changes – Plans in place to Migrate or bring up new PPrint server to Server 2012.
h. We may not need a dell standard image with the upcoming deployment options. It only takes about 45 minutes to do a build and install all the core software you need.

Written by Michael Gallino

November 5th, 2015 at 2:15 pm

DCC Meeting Notes – September 2015

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Pat Kinghorn introduced the newest members of the DCC Steering Committee.

Colin Johnson—Facilities
Bonnie Buzzell—Library
Jason Jacques—ITSC Campus Life

Announcements – Chris Grossi (Client Engineering)

Another round of System Center Training will starting on Oct 19th. Contact Chris for more details.

Successfully launched Remote App for ArcGIS as a pilot for class this fall.

Windows 10: We still don’t have a stable VPN solution and are waiting for the F5 folks.

There is a planned replacement of Sophos with Microsoft’s System Center Endpoint Protection by the end of October. This new solution will not run on OS 10.7 or 10.8 so Client Engineering is working a solution for those operating systems. More news to come at our next meeting.

Ravi Pendse

It has been a couple of years since Ravi was last at our DCC meeting. He covered a lot of the changes that have happened since he has been on board. He also discussed a little bit about the Deficit Reduction report but did not want to say too much until the report was released. Below is a list of some of the changes/additions:

Adobe Create Cloud
Rosetta Stone
Wireless improvements (on going)
CIS focus on customer service

For more details on Ravi’s presentation, please listen to the Audio Capture of the meeting and also the slides (when they are posted.)

Next meeting will be October 14th

This month’s notes by Gary Bryson.

Written by Pat Kinghorn

September 22nd, 2015 at 9:49 am

August 2015 DCC meeting notes

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Chris Grossi (Client Engineering) gave the following announcements:

Brown’s contract with Sophos ends in October and will probably not be renewed. We are thinking of moving to Microsoft Security Essentials. The ITSC group is working on a Casper uninstaller for the Macs that have Sophos already installed.

Brown is upping its concurrent Sibellius licenses to 50. However, the server can only run one version of Sibellius so we will need to upgrade to v. 8.

CIS cluster computers will be updated to Windows 8 and we will probably mount home folders for students so that they can save their work.

Windows 10 update: VPN is still problematic as the F5 folks have not released a Win 10 compatible client. Some users who did an upgrade in place are experiencing network issues. Those who have wiped their HD’s and done a clean install seem to be okay.

Folder redirection is on hold and under review.

Client Engineering hopes to present at the October DCC meeting.

Wendy McRae-Owoeye (Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Office of Institutional Diversity) and Amanda Walsh (Title IX Program Officer) spoke to the group about the upcoming on-line training: Preventing Discrimination and Sexual Violence: Title IX, VAWA and Clery Act for Faculty and Staff. They will share the link to the training so that we can try it out to anticipate any technical difficulties our users might encounter.

David Sherry, CISO, talked about privacy and security issues at Brown and what his group is involved in (often behind the scenes). His slides can be viewed on the DCC Presentations Page

Written by Pat Kinghorn

August 13th, 2015 at 12:35 pm