IT@Brown: News & Resources

By and for technology-minded folks at Brown

DCC Meeting Notes – Wednesday June 11th, 2014

Please feel free to download an audio recording of the meeting.
Chris Grossi’s Powerpoint Presentation can be viewed here

I. Chris Grossi – announcements
a. Geoff Greene is negotiating with Adobe with regards to getting an enterprise license for creative cloud.
b. Reminder: If you are running Matlab in the lab and connected to CFARM, be sure to change the license path.

II. Chris Grossi – Remedy Service Request updates
a. Remedy is under continuous service improvements.
b. Incident tickets get tied to the underlying problem ticket.
c. CIS is working on shibboleth for Remedy.
d. Requesting a new remedy account will become easier – Supervisor approval is being taken out of the business process, being replaced with supervisor notification
e. Student access requests to remedy will be denied unless requested by supervisor.

III. Chris Grossi – Files Services Update
a. Migrations to the back end EMC Isilon storage have begun – 100 TBs of storage available, and more will be available for growth as the need arises.
b. Migrations from Files A, B, C, D, E, G, and H will be starting in the next few weeks.
c. Downtime will be midnight – 7am cutover, but a new path will be used.
d. Department shares will be located under a new pat: \\\dfs\departmentshare
e. Volume shadow copies will be available for 6 months on Isilon
f. Folder and Profile redirection for Windows is now a possibility with the Isilon storage system. This will make user folders, including my documents, available from any computer on the network. Technical documents to come
g. 50GB soft quota per user, with a 100GB hard quota.
h. Ravi intends this storage to be for general Brown use.
i. CCV will still be a go to for high performance and research computing, but CIS will no longer have a problem with research data or even personal data being kept on CIS storage.
j. Students will eventually have their own profiles created

IV. Chris Grossi – Laptop Encryption – Bitlocker available
a. Can be tied in with AD group/SCCM management – can encrypt laptop on the fly
b. Data would live on CIS storage, making DRUVA no longer necessary for most.
c. Druva licenses will be repurposed for people who still need them.

V. Pat Zudeck – update
a. First Friday of every month, an instructional technology session for Staff from 12-1. Time to share ideas and projects with regards to academic technology.
b. Faculty can upload syllabus to the courses system for their students.
c. Will be integrated with the Academic Technology Gateway – which was used to request campus sites and other course tools (blogs, wikis). The gateway is going away when courses goes into production.
d. Students will be able to see class information, and Faculty will be using this site as a one stop shop for tools and services that are available for them to manage their courses.

Written by Michael Gallino

19 June 2014 at 12:48pm

Posted in Uncategorized

May 2014 DCC Meeting Notes

Audio and slides can be found here.

Chris Grossi –

  • Filemaker 13.1 and 13.2 vulnerable to Heartbleed, upgrades to 13.3 coming soon
  • Bulk storage is now in place – Departmental file services moving to new space – Windows users will be unaffected, Mac users will need an updated path
  • CIS is going to offer a “cloud based” My Documents – 25GB Soft Limit, 100GB Hard Limit – Supporting offline files
  • Hoping to offer a sync and share service for Macs as well, but not here yet
  • Virutalization project is moving along well – Citrix infrastructure with HP storeage – Starting with engineering labs allowing remote access to lab for ~300 people
  • 7440’s image going through QA with Dell
  • Software survey moving to Spring
  • Matlab update is available
  • Jeff Clarke is overseeing the Service Center
  • Media Services is moving
  • SAS JMP is almost complete
  • Adobe pricing is still too high, but trying to work out a better price – $20,000 to $133,000 price increase – Need to know number of licenses needed per department
  • Office for mobile – $20/year for 3 year subscription with .edu address, we offered $8
  • Rosetta Stone is University Site License – Eventually to alumni as well


Jamie Combariza – CCV HIPPA compliant servers –

  • Been working on gaining the compliance for ~1 year
  • HIPPA Omnibus Rule

          o   www.hhs.gove

  • privacy
  • security
  • enforcement
  • breach

          o   Heavy Penalties and random audits in 2014

  • Need to know

          o   A single clinical researcher in your system
          o   “Did not know” will not work. Government will not accept this.
          o   Must be proactive
          o   Environment must be secure (compliance) independently of use

  • What is needed

          o   End to end security

  • At the user level (most difficult to enforce/implement)
  • Network
  • Our end
  • Disposal (data management)

          o   Entire workflow needs to be considered

  • Risk/Documentation

          o   Risk assessment
          o   Risk management
          o   Security is part of the process

  • ePHI

          o   Security rule: Protect electronic PHI data in any form: at rest, in transit, under analysis, access, etc
          o   PHI: identifiable patient data with one or more of 18 identifiers

  • Does HIPPA apply to ALL

          o   No
          o   At universities, anyone providing IT support can be accountable
          o   No Certification

  • Coalition of Advanced Scientific Computing

          o (presentations, Spring 2014)
          o   Working group (50 schools)


Pat Zudeck – ITSF Initiative (Instructional Support for Faculty@Brown) – Reaching out to anyone interested in instructional technology

  • Open meeting
  • Front lines of faculty to find out what technology is supported
  • We can provide info about faculty needs
  • Site will include one stop shop for faculty for Instructional Technology Requests – June 6 soft-launch


Emerging Technologies Group – Kara Kelly, Stephanie Obodda, Paulo Baptista, Marc Doughty, Jennifer Lane, and Ravi Pendse

  • 7 person group based in CIS
  • Possible enterprise service for digital signage
  • Need for safety technology

          o   Identified need for safety website/portal – release in fall
          o   Mobile safety app – Currently getting information from vendors
          o   Personal safety videos

  • More of a solutions group than just emerging technologies


Written by

14 May 2014 at 3:17pm

Posted in Uncategorized

April 2014 DCC Meeting notes

DCC Meeting notes for 4/09/14

For Audio and Presentations please go to this link here.

This month’s meeting featured Julie Lirot, Instructional Designer with ATG.
John Spadaro, Deputy CIO of CIS.
Michael Romauld, Elliot Flemming and Elizabeth Sylvia of the Bookstore.

First up: Chris Grossi with announcements-

• LabView is complete now and ready to go
•Refund for Druva and SAS licenses for those departments that paid for their licenses
•XP support and updates expired April 8th – remaining machines will be removed from network access or placed in a restricted zone this summer
•Office for iPad- working on lower fee for staff & faculty $24 per year is in the works
•Wolfram Alpha went live
• The Service Center launched “Chat” with demo from Christine Brown
•Remedy Service Requests – new process – should be easier

Julie Lirot from Academic Technology Group-

She gave a lovely presentation on “Turnitin”- Anti –plagiarism software that is currently only used with Canvas. Brown is working on expanding the site licenses. For more into go to

John Spadaro, Deputy CIO of CIS

• Wireless- CIS is working on authentication issues, headless devices, and AP drops.
• Research Network- 10 GB going into Labs. Fixing bandwith issues.
•Windows file service is changing. Get ready!
• Virtual Desktop – Lab in Engineering using a pilot program
• Digital signage- central digital signage service for departments in the works.
•Courses.brown- Big upgrade coming in the summer and will include summer courses.
•VIVO- Live now
•CCV Secure File Service that is HIPAA compliant- rolling out possibly end of spring.
• Identity Management- on track for October 2014 (alumni/ae included in this)
• For more information please listen to the audio

Michael Romauld & Staff: Bookstore

• New Process of ordering Apple computers on-line
• Elizabeth Sylvia new PC point person for orders.
• Lenovo coming on board for on-line orders
• Bear Care Program- covers fixes for broken Macs/PC’s, tablets, phones and you get a loaner during the repair.
• Cartridge World- eco friendly ink 30% saving from brand names.
• XICO Products
•Online Technology Store

Notes by pm

Written by

15 April 2014 at 11:14am

Posted in Uncategorized

DCC Meeting Notes – Wednesday December 11th, 2013

Please feel free to download an audio recording of the meeting.

General Announcements: Dell is coming in January! Please bring any questions you may have for them.

I. Announcements from Chris Grossi:
Reminder – Get the newest SPSS. Version 19 is going away soon. SPSS is now unkeyed!
Next spring there will be changes to the CFARM license manager. Instead of having 6 different applications managed by CFARM, CIS will be bringing up 6 different license managers for the 6 different applications. This will help CIS provide better service/upgrades.
Office 365 Student advantage is coming to campus. Students at Universities with similar campus agreements are now entitled to download full versions of Microsoft office 2013. This will be available on Jan 1st. Documentation coming soon, and further updates will be communicated through morning mail.

II. Don Wright from Network Operations talks about Wireless:
Various wireless issues have come up throughout the past year. Classrooms and open spaces throughout campus have been identified as having lack of coverage/speed. Network operation is working to resolve these issues.

Students are by far the biggest wireless users.

Brown secure is the most widely used, and Brown EZ has been seeing diminished use lately.

Currently wireless provides a public IP address. Eventually wireless access will put users in a private IP address range.

iStumbler (mac) and SSIDer (windows) can be used to determine wireless signal strength/coverage on your personal device.

Questions were brought up about wireless printing capability through Brown Secure as well as authentication to the domain through wireless. Although Print Queues are available through wireless, authenticating personal printers with wireless capability is not possible. The NOC will be looking into ways to resolve this issue.

III. David Sherry – ISG Updates
Ivy Plus CSIO group hosted at Brown in November for the first time. All Ivy schools were represented except for Stanford. Each school does something better than the others, and all groups learned from each other during this meeting.
Pat Falcon drove the National Cyber Security Awareness Month in October.
Stanford had 4th major breach recently. CIS is paying close attention to security related improvements being made in other schools to make sure we are ahead of the curve with regards to security.
The University will be focusing on 9 risk areas, including mobile devices, IT security concerns and privacy.
We just passed 900 incommon certificates. ISG encourages Brown IT to communicate with CIS with regards to certificates when they expire.
A hard drive crusher is available for use. 300 drives containing sensitive information have been crushed so far.
PCIDSS architecture changes – 3 year goal of becoming “PCI Compliant”.

CIS is working with CCV to build a FISMA compliant data center. This will allow researchers at Brown to go after federal grant funding that we are currently unable to.

Encrypted Cloud software has been piloted – This software will encrypt data sent to dropbox. ISG is looking to get a good price for a site license for this software.

Written by Michael Gallino

19 December 2013 at 12:17pm

Posted in Uncategorized

November DCC Meeting Notes

November 13, 2013 DCC Meeting notes

Audio version of meeting can be heard here.

Speaker: Ravi Pendse

November’s meeting was a meet and greet for DCCs and Brown’s new Vice President of Information Services/CIO

Chris Grossi – Announcements
• Greenbytes storage issue- completing migration of drives D, E and G and should be done as you read this.
• NAG software is in discussion for licensing and if you are using this, please contact Chris Grossi.

Ravi Pendse – Spoke on many different topics and took questions from the DCC crowd. He wanted to let us all know he has an open door policy and invites any of us to chat with him via email or a visit! He talked about how the number of open tickets has decreased and how pleased he is with that. He stressed the importance of customer service and our need to focus on that going forward. It is critical to our success. He talked about making video instruction for the campus to use as this will be a great training tool. He also mentioned that he will be teaching here at Brown. That is his first love. Many topics were addressed in his Q & A and I strongly suggest you listen to the audio to get the full spectrum of questions presented and answered by Ravi.

David Sherry was on the docket but did not have a chance to speak as the Q & A went longer then expected. He will speak at our next meeting.

notes by pm

Written by

20 November 2013 at 11:25am

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October 2013 DCC Meeting Notes

An Audio version of the meeting is available here.

Humanity centered Robotics Initiative
Signature Initiative Proposal
Chad Jenkins (speaker), Michael Littman, Bertram Malle

Longterm vision to have robots interacting with people for the benefit of humankind.

Robots are coming. The same way computers arrived over the last 40 years. Currently in use with military, law enforcement, surgical systems, and Google Maps car.

Robot Telepresence – Similar to “Skype on Wheels”. “Beam” $16,000. Requires 5 GHz wireless to run 3 video streams. Specific term is “Robot Presence Device”. Large screen, noise cancellation.
Beam –

Verizon Wireless – Vgo system – sick student using to attend classes. $6,000 – 4G, small screen, low quality sound and video.
Vgo –

National Robotics Initiative – 40-50MIL from Govt.

Wendy McRae-Owoeye – Director of Staff Diversity and EEO officer
Sexual Harassment On-Line Training

For the first time, the President and Provost are mandating staff and faculty training.
High risk for unethical conduct without proper training.
Employers can be held liable for inappropriate behavior.
~15,000 people either have or will be taking the training.
October 21/22 is the next wave.
Many people required IT assistance during the first wave and expect similar results this time.
Goal is 100% compliance of faculty and staff.

Chris Grossi
Adobe status – still in negotiations for Master Collection site license
If you need Adobe, hold off as long as possible.
License is going to be for 25% of Brown-Owned computers.

Windows 8.1 – could be the next Brown Standard
Probably not coming before Fall
Coeus issue with Windows 8

What to do with support for Windows XP?
Doug Wilkinson – Willing to talk to people about the best options for future XP networking.

Switch from Mozy to Druva
Over the summer they ran evaluation and Druva became the best choice.
Mozy rejected shorter renewal, and contract has now expired.
Demo of Druva at Tech Forum next week.
$60 per computer/year.

MacBook Pro with Brown-Secure problems
Possible hardware piece issue with these machines.

Changes in progress to

Written by

18 October 2013 at 12:24pm

June 2013 DCC Notes

An Audio version of the meeting is available here. ( Thanks Suzie Nacar)


Announcements : Chris Grossi/Pat Kinghorn

Last day for ordering computers FY 13—-June 19th

Workday demo on June 19 in RI hall (hope you all attended!)

BBQ July 10th- at Urban Studies -12:00 pm – Please come and have fun!

CIS is building a service center in the CIT hopefully by Sept. Helpdesk to move to CIT with Service & Repair /Media

In Negotiations with Adobe for Master collection to have available going forward

Remedy project still going strong- go live date will now be July 15-22

SPSS 21 released- issue with updating lab copies-

Workday questions can go to Chris Grossi or Pat Kinghorn

Hummingbird/Exceed… may be taking away the maintenance end of it.

Key Access- upgrading of switching the host tomorrow ( 6/13/13).  July 1 will be Key access 7 going forward.

Disabling Sibelius(sic) and Sigma Plot. Users need to upgrade

Casper for mobile devices on plan

Office 2013- will be showing up on software page soon.

Changes to will be changing soon the page will have a new look and feel.



Networking Presentation

Tim Wells- Director of Telecom, Network and Faculty and Media Services

Doug Wilkinson—Associate Director of Network Technology


Points touched upon:

Edge refresh and HPC

Ongoing switch refresh… over 800 switches

Trying to identify faculty members who have significant data transfer requirements

Expanding need for dedicated bandwidth to move large data sets on and off campus

Testing new switches- esp. with research environments

Needs for users to take data off campus example:  Ocean Today

Investigating dedicated bandwidth options to Internet2

Call them if you have needs beyond 1 GB or need assitance


Wireless update

Expansion continues across campus.

Res halls upgrade in process 802.11n

Looking for solutions to support Airplay and browser-less devices- ie: AppleTV

Please report problems at

Airgroup- possible solution for Airplay usage


Moves to new Network Design

Wireless redesign to allow user access to security zones

Request private IP address space and avoid routing problems later

Research NSZ focus on performance


IDS Implementation – (improvements done with this).


Voicemail upgrade:  August cut over date

Replacing 21 years old system

There will be training on saving voicemails off old system.

Ability to have voicemails emailed to you

TXT alerts for new voicemails

New call forwarding options

Web interface to manage your VM


Video Conferencing update:

Desktop video conferencing client avail soon to allow clients to conference with others in conference rooms

Jabber client from Cisco can be used to call you via email address

Webex/video conference integration & expanded use.


See you all at the BBQ!


Notes by PM








Written by

25 June 2013 at 9:52am

Posted in Uncategorized