IT@Brown: News & Resources

By and for technology-minded folks at Brown

DCC Meeting Notes – January 11th, 2017

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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 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 –

  • 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 –


Visit this Link to access the DCC presentation page which has the audio from the meeting as well as the presented slideshow – ​


Written by Jason T Jacques

January 13th, 2017 at 2:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized


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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

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November 9th, 2016 at 12:53 pm

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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

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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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