IT@Brown: News & Resources

By and for technology-minded folks at Brown

DCC MEETING NOTES – 10/12/2016

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Chris Grossi – Endpoint Engineering

  • Working with release of Sierra
    • Mostly compatible
    • Java Errors in Banner
    • Cisco Jabber is coming soon
    • Canon print drivers may have issues
    • “What Works” document located in knowledge base – check to confirm needs before upgrading
  • Desktop Management Working Group
    • Spending time at the next meeting looking at the new Casper
    • Upgrading to the new system around the end of the month
    • iOS devices will require a hands on update for all devices
    • Mandatory encryption for iOS
    • Meeting every other week on Friday from 1-3PM
      • 1 Hour on PC/SCCM
      • 1 Hour on Mac/Casper
  • RemoteApp
    • 4 courses are using RemoteApp for course based instruction
      • Computational
        • SPSS
        • SAS
        • Matlab
        • Stata
      • ArcGIS
      • Solidworks
      • Along with other apps (Core apps, sysadmin tools, SCCM, etc.)
    • Active Directory Groups for Testing
    • Below CCV level of processing
    • Desktop Management Working Group will discuss RemoteApp for further information
    • Eventually, some of the RemoteApps will not be installed locally in the labs
    • Also runs on Mac
  • Sophos
    • Will stop receiving security updates at the end of the month
    • You should remove Sophos from machines and switch to SCEP

Nancy Freeman – Storage Services

    • Cisco Isilon System with 14 Notes
    • Implemented 2 years ago
    • Started with 500TB
    • Grown to 1.5PB of capacity
    • Snapshots of Data
      • Hourly
      • Daily
      • Weekly
      • Monthly
    • Replicated to Andover 8 Node system with Daily, Weekly, and Monthly snapshots
    • Handout (PDF will be available) with NAS request info
    • Handout (PDF will be available) with Performance and Protection info
    • Growth projections through 2023 (significant increase through the years)
    • Large percentage of files haven’t been accessed within the past year
  • Block Storage for VM’s and DB
  • Data Protection for VM’s and ClientOS with EMC2 Networker
  • EMC2 Data Domain protection for DB’s
  • Navisite Colo & P1
    • Oshean
    • Navisite Andover
    • VMWare VCloud Director with P1 hosts
  • Backups
    • TSM_Migrate all clients (non-GPFS to Isilon)

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October 12th, 2016 at 1:01 pm

Posted in Meetings


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PURCHASING – Ray Stewart (Associate Director of Purchasing) and Patricia Mulcahy (Associate Director for Strategic Sourcing)




  • Next week at the Department Managers meeting they will be talking about the preferred supplies program. This is a more streamlined updated version of the old guidelines.
  • This should be referenced anytime anything is ordered.
  • GovConnection is a website that Brown is able to browse and purchase IT products.
  • Using GovConnect is a streamlined process that helps foster the many relationships that we have with vendors. If possible purchase items off of here instead of going to another vendor. (Amazon)
  • When considering purchasing a new server always reach out to CIS first.
  • When purchasing anything that is not listed on GovConnect or the Preferred Supplies Link you should reach out to purchasing if possible.



  • New hire in Endpoint Engineering – Andy Kang
    • Andy will take lead on a lot of the Casper issues, as well as other Mac and PC projects.
  • Dropbox is soft launching today, and Ravi will we sending out an email later this week to staff and faculty regarding this.
    • Group folders are coming which will allow files to belong to a group of people.
    • There are already knowledge articles on
  • Casper
    • Every iOS device in casper will need to be re-enrolled.
    • This will happen sometime this fall.
    • There will be a casper working group this fall.
  • SCCM
    • Windows team has built a new SCCM server.
    • You will need to reinstall the SCCM client and point it to a new site.
    • Both the Windows Team and Desktop users will use the same system center server.
    • Lab Deployments. Windows 10 is staged and ready to go. In the next 2 weeks all of the library machines will get the new image and policies.
  • Printer Drivers
    • Endpoint Engineering is gearing up to update the HP Universal Print driver.
  • Slow Connections with folder redirection
    • If you are having issues with folder redirection or redirected machines please reach out to endpoint engineering. There are tests being run on multiple levels to try and resolve the slow connections and hangups.
  • Remote App – We have RDS cals for every user on campus.

Written by Colin D Johnson

August 11th, 2016 at 3:29 pm

DCC Meeting Notes – 7/13/16

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Geoff Greene – Announcements

  • Brown has signed agreement for Enterprise Dropbox
    • We should have access to join via MyAccount
    • Feedback is requested
    • They’re advising to move your personal dropbox to a different (non-Brown) email account
    • Easy sharing and sync
  • Dell Recycling Day
    • Thursday August 11
    • Filling 2, 18-wheelers
    • Facilities will help transport equipment
    • Looking for volunteers to help
    • Donna Butler is the Facilities Contact for this.
  • P-Print is being updated Tuesday, July 26
    • Windows 10 compatibility update
    • The queues should automatically update
    • Syschange info will be sent out

Kyle Sloane – Video Content Management and Lecture Capture Update

  • New system for both is Panopto
    • System demo by Kyle
    • Videos display in a YouTube-like style
    • Search uses multiple bits of metadata, including speech recognition during video clips
    • Using same title “Media Library” in Canvas
    • All except five Echo360 systems have been replaced
    • ~4600 full movies owned by the library available to stream for courses
    • Everything that was uploaded to MediaCore has been transferred to Panopto
    • Assignment folders in Canvas can be created for students to upload videos which only provides access to the professor , not other students
    • Lecture capture provides video and slides
    • Captioning service available and recommended for public videos
    • Lecture Capture can be provisioned via web or Mobile App.
    • Access can be granted to users to control in their spaces
    • No password protection, but can restrict access to Grouper groups or specific users
    • Application available for computers of creators to use the built in camera to capture
    • Can capture a total of 3 sources
    • Webcast is available
    • Camera includes motion capture for certain rooms

May Jeanne Spinosa – Telecommunications

  • Updating Phone System
    • Cisco Unified Communication System
    • Davol was the test case
    • User Guides and Knowledge Base articles are being put together
    • University Hall will be the first space converted
    • Phones will be down with a network outage
    • Voicemail quota can be upgraded if necessary
    • 200 faxes on campus – looking into solutions – possibly eFax
    • 911 provides Name, Building, TapID (floor and room info)
    • 284 buildings – 4 have been completed – years long project
    • 50 residence halls, hoping to only have common area phones in residence halls
      • Jabber client with Brown phone number for students

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July 13th, 2016 at 1:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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

Posted in Uncategorized

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