IT@Brown: News & Resources

By and for technology-minded folks at Brown

DCC Meeting Notes – 5-10-17

without comments

Chris Grossi – Announcements

  • Dell is taking longer than anticipated updating the Premier Page with the Standard Configurations
  • Looking at PXE boot for OSD
  • Matlab TAH renewal is in process
    • May need to authenticate with Matlab account when using Matlab in public labs
  • SAS renewal is in process
  • Filemaker 16 has just be released, working on packaging and updating
  • Working on obtaining licenses for Scrivener

Stephanie Obboda – Virtru FAQ

  • Encrypted Email Solution – Nearly ready to roll out (hopefully in June)
    • End to end encryption
    • Does not protect against Gmail password hacks
    • Virtru detects SSN’s and recommends encryption
    • See FAQ at following link
    • Training Service Center to determine if Virtru emails are real or phishing to assist University questions

Josh Lamont (Telecommunications) – CISCO Phone Conversion Schedule

  • All infrastructure deployed
  • 35% of phones are deployed
  • 2200/6600
  • Call Centers
    • IT Service Center
    • Financial Aid
  • October 2018 Completion Date
  • https://ithelp.brown.edu/kb/articles/645-phone-system-upgrade
  • Challenges
    • Are buildings PoE/UPS ready
    • Building verification confirming switch ports and tap IT’s
    • Populating 911 info
  • What we’ve learned
    • General Users
      • Single line
      • How to change wallpaper/ringtone
    • Power Users
      • Multiple lines
      • Significant difference in multi-line/multi-appearance
      • Forwarding of individual lines vs entire phone
      • Color phones, high contrast, huge text
    • Users shouldn’t move phones without the assistance of Telecom
    • Simple reboot of phone generally resolves basic issues
  • Additional info can be found at brown.edu/go/phones

Pat O’Leary – Network Group

  • Network Outage Review
    • Network Architecture (Core, Distribution, Access)
    • Control Plane versus Data Plane
    • High CPU
    • Control Plane Policing
    • Loop Detection
    • DPDU Guard
    • Broadcast Packets
  • BC Pod was having issues
    • Control Plane vs Data Plane
    • High CPU
      • When CPU gets too high, drops in services occur
    • Control Plane Policing (CoPP)
      • Issue with Dell NIC cards when machines were going to sleep
      • Categorizes and limits traffic destined for the CPU of a router/switch
      • “Helps” prevent against DoS attacks
      • Is customizable by protocol or access list policy
      • Allows the router/switch to continue doing it’s job over heavy loads
    • Cisco EEM Scripts
      • Embedded Event Manager
      • Allows NOC to capture traffic being received by the CPU during taxing periods
      • Tells which processes are using the most CPU
      • Allows us to have more visibility as to what is happening in the network and take corrective action
    • Loop Detection
      • Layer 2 networks must be loop free
        • Problem for redundant networks
        • Spanning Tree is the protocol used to prevent loops putting some points in blocking mode
        • BPDU’s are sent every 2 seconds
    • BPDU Guard
      • Bridge Protocol Data Units are only sent from switches participating in spanning tree
      • User ports should never see BPDU’s. If they do, then they are either connected to a  spanning tree switch
      • When this happens, tap is dialed for 15 minutes
    • Storm Control
      • Samples frames over the course of one second
      • If broadcast rate exceeds 20% of bandwidth, the port is error-disabled for 15 minutes
      • NOC receives a trap indicating this and can take corrective action
    • Residential halls are now under firewall blocking inbound

Doug Wilkinson – Network Group

  • Extending the network?
    • Switches and hubs – What will break?
      • Dot1x
      • Performance
      • BPDU guard and MAC address limits
    • Wireless routers?
      • Potential for interference
        • Home router defaults can cause issues
        • Has Brown-Guest ever prompted for a password?
      • Open Wifi (no password)
      • Tried Brown-Guest?
        • What doesn’t work?
  • Automated vlan/subnet selection (aka dot1x)
    • Why do this?
      • Security for networks with elevated access
      • Seamless access regardless of wired, wireless, or VPN
      • Alignment with Network Security Zones
    • Testing
      • Using Cloudpath to configure clients
      • MAC authentication for devices unable to use “credentials” to login
      • Fingerprinting device types as alternative

BBQ during June DCC Meeting

Written by jc129@brown.edu

May 10th, 2017 at 1:03 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

DCC Meeting Notes – March 2017

without comments

DCC Meeting Notes – March 2017

MEETING AUDIO

 

 

MEETING NOTES

YEARLY DELL PRODUCT PRESENTATION AND OVERVIEW

 

This meeting is all about Dell and the new Products that they are offering this year.

All new Dell products released this year are releasing with the new Kaby Lake Intel Processors. These new processors ONLY work with Windows 10. Brown as a whole is pushing the windows environment to Windows 10. M and U are the new processor labels. M is a low power, low heat processor and leads to fanless notebook models. The U based processors are higher performing processors better suited for high level computing and research

 
LAPTOPS

  • All new notebooks released by dell this year will need to be coupled with the new dell docking system. It is USB Type C Docking.
  • Touchscreen Devices are now available in Full-HD (1920×1080) previously touch on these models required an upgrade to a QUAD-HD screen. The new touch screens have new Wacom digitizers (which increase accuracy when using touch and pen)
  • 5000 Series – Offers more internal components, processing power. Usually heavier and bulkier. The 5000 series also offers discrete GPU’s for higher graphics computing and rendering.
  • 7000 Series – Thinnest and lightest computing machines. Ethernet port “flaps” open to preserve the “thinness” of the ultrabook.
  • Wireless docking and wireless charging are coming to the new dell 7285 coming june this year. This coupled with the wireless dock and wireless charging mat make for a completely wireless computing solution. 5000/7000 notebooks will all work with wireless docking. You have to order your system with wireless docking.
  • New dell tablet (5485) solutions are openable and repairable. Unlike the Microsoft surface pro/surface book. Some models also offer Micro SD cards for expandable storage. The stylus/pen is sold separately.
  • Precision workstations are meant for high end users. They include high end graphics cards and fast storage.

 

DOCKING

  • WD15 – This is what most people will be using. Comes with HDMI and VGA. USB 2.0/Networking
    • There is a mounting bracket available for this dock as well.
  • Thunderbolt Dock – Drives 4k Displays and Has USB C as well as all of the other supported ports. This is the best option for future proofing.

 

DESKTOPS

  • 3000/5000/7000 are all smaller form factors
  • All in Ones are now offering 4k Displays
  • nVME storage is incredibly fast and are starting to be offered through dell.
  • Precision Towers are recommended for the power users on campus. They have certified graphics cards for business (nVidia Quadro) these are best for business/adobe/CAD applications.
  • Dell Canvas 27 is Dell’s answer to the new Surface Desktop. 27” Touchscreen with Wacom digitizer.

 

For more information about products and services please reach out to Brown’s Dell Representative. 

 

Written by Colin D Johnson

March 13th, 2017 at 10:39 am

DCC Meeting – 2/6/2017

without comments

 

<span style=”font-weight: 400″>Endpoint Engineering</span>

Chris Grossi, Andy Kang
<ul>
<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>now able to deploy new labs via system center</span></li>

  • dell has new hardware, will use a next gen image, equivalent to new boot key

<ul>
<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>installs most  up-to-date OS as possible</span></li>
</ul>
</li>
<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>Mac progress</span>
<ul>

  • new iOS devices set up with device enrollment (DEP) program via caspar client
  • DEP should be ready in April?

<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>ability to set up out of the box Mac however  you like</span></li>

  • self service ap

<ul>
<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>includes community software now available only for download from software.brown.edu</span></li>
<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>scripts to install or reinstall</span></li>

  • IT Support Tools: brown core, software updates, team viewer, run montly maintenance, computer inventory

<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>“install brown core software”</span></li>
</ul>
</li>
<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>with DEP: order from bookstore, assign to dept, install core software</span></li>
<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>each site administrator can have own rules</span></li>

  • corporation: all mobile devices must be encrypted

<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>in 2 months will demo DEP</span></li>

  • DEP serial# locked to jamf system

<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>if already encrypted relatively easy to put into caspar</span></li>
</ul>
</li>
</ul>
&nbsp;

<span style=”font-weight: 400″>John Spadero</span>
<ul>
<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>rolling out managed desktop on campus</span></li>
<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>projects</span>
<ul>
<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>advancement database project 2012+: production this month, includes 2-week cutover</span></li>
<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>wireless infrastructure upgrade: about one more year to complete campus</span></li>
<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>grants management system: faculty conflict of interest live yesterday; part of much larger project</span></li>
<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>unified communication system: phones are network endpoint devices, pretty complicated; users may need help; online instruction available at </span><a href=”https://ithelp.brown.edu/”><span style=”font-weight: 400″>itbrown.edu</span></a>
<ul>
<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>emergency use when network down? some analog lines will remain for incoming calls in some departments</span></li>
<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>UH had an isolated problem in one unit: some phones that failed took down computers as well</span></li>
<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>if there are not enough taps, the computer plugs into phone; that’s plan for all of South Street Landing</span></li>
</ul>
</li>
<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>event management: increase number in room management system</span></li>
<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>undergrad admissions: customer relation system</span></li>
</ul>
</li>

  • multifunction print/copy/scan/fax devices in individual offices are being phased out

<ul>

  • the new model will be shared machines with release stations
  • might be good to discuss this with DCCs early in the process

<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>vendor not selected</span></li>
<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>part of the project for South Street Landing</span></li>
</ul>
</li>
<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>digital experience project</span>
<ul>

  • company in new york was hired to look at how to increase engagement of students with Brown, hoping to keep them engaged as alumni

<li style=”font-weight: 400″><a href=”https://giving.brown.edu/”><span style=”font-weight: 400″>https://giving.brown.edu/</span></a></li>
<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>concept is similar to what we used to call a portal</span></li>
<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>initially probably a mobile app for undergrads with direct connections into siloed systems</span></li>
<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>likely to include check balances, service availability, various academic elements</span></li>

  • really studying current data to see what students currently use, will do usability

<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>likely that the app will change slightly as they become alumni</span></li>
<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>minimum viable product expected in the fall</span><span style=”font-weight: 400″>

</span></li>
</ul>
</li>
<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>Q&amp;A</span>
<ul>
<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>wireless upgrades timeline, e.g. for basements – on the radar</span></li>
<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>charge for use of research storage? some discussion is going on about this, likely significant free storage, charge if beyond; possible new rate structure for grants to include data storage</span></li>

  • unix vs windows permissions? identities uses AD
  • remote app, e.g. for solidworks? – still working on increasing apps and ability to use them; ability to run student computing labs increasing difficult, especially with campus expansion, making this especially important
  • anything else? want to do something about video conferencing – currently confusing and doesn’t work very well – make sure all computers have right drivers and conference rooms have right equipment – e.g. zoom, bluejeans – skype? google hangouts? – standardize meeting rooms

<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>Ravi wants to walk into classroom, recognize him, bring up his slides, and send them to his students; pilot using 25 live does much of this</span></li>
</ul>
</li>
</ul>

Written by Bonnie Good Buzzell

February 14th, 2017 at 11:10 am

DCC Meeting Notes – January 11th, 2017

without comments

Chris Grossi – Announcements

 

  • Next generation of Dell hardware available shortly.
    • Next model up with new intel chips in the coming months.

 

  • Close to starting migration from “old” system center to “new” system center.

 

  • Andy Kang ready to give the go ahead with OS X Sierra. Users will start to see the option to update to Sierra. (He has officially made this announcement)

 

  • Ready for a soft launch of Remote App, ArcGIS to the entire University.

 

  • Looking to make a push to encrypt all mobile devices by enrolling in JAMF.

 

  • Dragon Naturally Speaking Licensing – Good amount of available licenses are still available and it will be added to software.brown.edu shortly.

Brown Digital repository -BDR

 

Presented by : Joseph Rhoads – repository manager and Andrew Creamer – scientific data             management specialist

 

What is the BDR – The Brown Digital Repository – http://repository.library.brown.edu

  • Used to gather, index, store, preserve and make available digital assets produced via the scholarly, instructional and research activities and Brown.

 

What does it do

  • Searchable index of digital objects
  • Permanent storage
  • Off site backups
  • Tools for sharing and publishing
  • Data curation format migration

 

Data management and sharing services – https://library.brown.edu/info/data_management

 

Visit this Link to access the DCC presentation page which has the audio from the meeting as well as the presented slideshow – ​http://www.brown.edu/cis/support/dcc/dccpresentations/

 

Written by Jason T Jacques

January 13th, 2017 at 2:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

DCC MEETING NOTES – 11/9/2016

without comments

Chris Grossi – Announcements

  • Remote App / Folder Redirection
    • Turning off Access Based Enumeration may have solved the connection issues
  • Adobe fonts cannot be packaged and distributed
    • Must be sync’d through Creative Cloud
    • Installing the Creative Cloud desktop app will help with syncing and sharing libraries may be a workaround for Brown fonts
  • Sierra
    • Comfortable with the upgrade, after the point release, for personally owned machines
    • For Brown Owned Machines, Casper is now capable of supporting Sierra
    • Announcement most likely coming next week to allow moving forward with Sierra
  • P-print server upgrade sys-change most likely coming next Thursday.
    • Should not impact anything in general use, but will need confirmation
  • Sophos Server has been turned off
    • Remove Sophos if not already done

Jeff Clark – ITSC Re-organization

  • Scott Martin (leader of ITSC group) has left the University
  • ITSC group is now broken into 3 smaller groups, each group featuring a lead.
    • This provides more consistent user experience for the departments that use ITSC’s.
    • Groups are based in 3 locations – Davol, New Pembroke, Angell Street

Monty Combs – Facilities Technology

  • FM IT Org
    • 400 Staff
    • Systems and Services support the groups in Facilities Management while leveraging tools from CIS
      • Information Services Technician opening posting soon
  • FM IT and CIS coordination
    • CIS leveraged services 
      • DMD – JAMF Pro
        • 150 iPads/78 iPhones
      • SCCM
      • Change Management
      • File Re-Direction
      • Op Sys Deployment (OSD)
      • Intermapper
      • DeskPro (In-Process)
      • Apple Configurator
      • File Browser App (allows use of multiple file locations on mobile devices)
      • Data Center
        • Converted from racks of servers and drives to CIS Data Center
    • Projects
      • FAMIS Replacement
      • Web Site overhaul – Mobile
      • Maps conversion to GIS – Mobile
        • Will allow data overlay on GIS maps
      • DeskPro
      • Meridian – Doc Management
      • Tableau – Metric Reports
      • FAMIS/WD Interfaces
  • Systems & Applications
    • FAMIS is the central Hub of Applications and Systems
    • Mobile Apps
      • FAMIS App
        • iPads are used by the technicians to receive/update/close work orders
        • Live for 1 year
        • Integration – Meridian
      • Filemaker Apps
        • PIMS & Telecom DB
    • Internet of Things (Smart Buildings)
      • Energy Efficiency Technologies
      • Operational Efficiency Gains
      • Enabling Technologies
        • ZigBee – wireless
          • Collects data from devices and populates databases
        • FCC Part 15.231 – Same wireless as garage door openers and keyfobs
        • FCC Licensed Freq
          • Secure wireless irrigation controllers
        • WiFi
      • Intermapper
        • Electrical metering of 189 devices/buildings
        • 168 devices controlling building automation
          • HVAC
            • Temperature
            • Humidity
            • Etc.
        • Devices are hardwired on the utilities zone
  • Projects/Initiatives
    • Technology Requests from Projects
      • Wireless fire alarm panels (not approved)
      • Wireless Clocks
      • Wireless Trash/Recycle compactors
      • Wireless irrigation controllers
      • Wireless door card access controllers
      • Wireless Emergency lighting batteries
      • Wireless lighting controls
    • Hoping to create a utilities wireless zone
    • South Street Landing (Room Wizard Pilot at FM Building)
      • All people from BOB are moving to South Street Landing
      • There will be many conference rooms available for booking
      • Steelcase Room Wizard scheduling devices
        • iPad like devices mounted outside each room
        • Power over Ethernet
        • Interfaces with Google Calendar
        • Scheduling can be done via Google Calendar or at the device itself
        • The unit itself lights green or red if the room is available or in use
        • If booked room is not initiated on device at start time, room automatically can free itself after a set amount of time
        • Pursuing cost to make the system work at South Street Landing
    • Tableau – Campus Base Maps
      • Data mapping available
    • Webcams available for building projects
      • Time lapse videos created when project is completed
    • School of Engineering
      • Autodesk BIM 360
      • Intelligent model-based process that provides design and construction modeling
      • Augmented Reality Tools
    • Meridian – Document Management

Written by jc129@brown.edu

November 9th, 2016 at 12:53 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

DCC MEETING NOTES – 10/12/2016

without comments

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

  • files.brown.edu
    • 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)

Written by jc129@brown.edu

October 12th, 2016 at 1:01 pm

Posted in Meetings

DCC MEETING NOTES – 8/10/2016

without comments

DCC MEETING NOTES

8-10-2016

 

AGENDA

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

ENDPOINT ENGINEERING – Chris Grossi

 

PURCHASING

  • 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.

 

ENDPOINT ENGINEERING

  • 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 ithelp.brown.edu
  • 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