IT@Brown: News & Resources

By and for technology-minded folks at Brown

Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

DCC Meeting – 2/6/2017

without comments


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

Chris Grossi, Andy Kang
<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

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

  • 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

<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>includes community software now available only for download from</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>
<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>

<span style=”font-weight: 400″>John Spadero</span>
<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>
<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=””><span style=”font-weight: 400″></span></a>
<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>
<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>

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


  • 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>
<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>digital experience project</span>

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

<li style=”font-weight: 400″><span style=”font-weight: 400″>Q&amp;A</span>
<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>

Written by Bonnie Good Buzzell

February 14th, 2017 at 11:10 am


without comments





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 – September 2015

without comments

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

without comments

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

October 2013 DCC Meeting Notes

without comments

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

October 18th, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Notes from the June 2012 DCC meeting

without comments

Notes submitted by Stephanie Han


Pat Kinghorn announced that there was a FileMaker one day conference meeting at MIT next Wednesday, June 20th, 2012. If anyone is interested, please e-mail her, and she will send along further information.

Chris Gross announced that Maple 16 will be released shortly. Chris mentioned that Dell did fix some of the issues which were problematic on the premiere page, such as the default login going to their software page, and not to computer equipment. Dell is in the process of rebuilding the information on their software page. Chris was going to send around a Google spreadsheet to all of the system admins and DCCs to ask for suggestions on what types of software should be included on this site.

Chris also told the group that he and Scott Martin had met with some folks from FileMaker regarding an on-line training series initiative. This series appears to be an excellent and inexpensive way to gain needed training.

David Sherry: Password Strengthening Policy (10+)

David Sherry then introduced the new password policy to the DCC community. With the onset of Workday, and Oracle Identity Management (OIM), David remarked that it was an ideal time to implement a campus wide initiative for the strengthening of passwords. The reasons for strengthening the Brown network passwords are due in part to the increased amount of confidential information available to both faculty and staff, through for example WorkDay and Banner. Also Brown’s ability to qualify for funding and grants also mandate that the password policy be upgraded. Compliance with the Level of Assurance with InCommon (Shibboleth), which would raise our level from Bronze to Silver. Due to these requirements, the password convention must be bumped up from eight characters to 10 or more characters. David Sherry stated that there would be a grace period whereby members of the community could begin this process. Eventually it will be necessary for each person in the Brown Community to verify their identity by logging into the Oracle Identity Manager, where the password change will take place. David is encouraging that this process commence on June 20th. Passwords will have to be changed annually. At the 351st day, notifications will be disseminated to Brown users as a reminder to change their password. The password must be changed before the expiration date, or a user may lose the ability to authenticate into Brown resources. Near the conclusion of his presentation, David Sherry distributed a pamphlet to the DCCs with specific information regarding the password policy. For more information please visit:

Scott Thacher: Community Technology Consortium (CTC)

Scott Thatcher gave a brief presentation on a new initiative entitled, “Community Technology Consortium.” He remarked that the CTC is an advisory group which directly communicates to Mike Pickett on issues voiced through the IT community here at Brown. The purpose of this group is to promote coordination and communication across IT’s strategies, architectures, methods and priority. It is hoped that this consortium will assist:
Identifying and planning top priority collaborative initiates within Brown.
Allowing Brown-wide IT best practices and standards to be jointly developed
Fostering innovation and allowing ideas and solutions to be broadly shared.
Coordinate support transitions of IT leadership, during times of emergency.
Serving as a technology advisory group.
Providing advocacy for issues of the IT community’s concern.

It is hoped that the Consortium will have a web presence sometime in the future. The membership includes: Tony Allison, Andrew Ashton, Jeff Coady, Jaime Combariza, Monty Combs, Cliff Hirschman, Chris Keith, Paul Koussa, Jennifer lane, David Mycue, Kristen Soule, John Spadaro, and Scott Thacher.

Tom DuValley: Red Hat Server License

Tom DuValley presented the campus-wide site license for several Redhat products, including server, workstation and clustering software. This service will be managed through a Red Hat Network Satellite service providing:
• Licensing
• Hosts and serves out all software
• Hosts and serves out all software updates
• Provides Kickstart management
• Config file management
• Update management
• System profiling
Workstations and servers for all Brown faculty, staff and students will be licensed at no cost. Vendor support will be available to all those who are licensed. The way to install this system is via Kickstart, which is accomplished through the Campus PXEBoot service.
Brown’s particular satellite is called Hubble,, and is great for system administrators, because it provides a central management hub for all of these systems. If a department wants to manage their own machines, they get their own log in and their own account.
Please visit for further documentation, and for specific satellite documentation please visit

Audio capture and presentation PDFs can be found at:

Written by Pat Kinghorn

June 22nd, 2012 at 11:37 am

DCC Meeting Notes – 14 March 2010

without comments

An audio recording of this meeting is available here.

Announcements – Chris Grossi

We’re down to two weeks left for the Symantec Antivirus license. CIS is tracking and running reports of machines that are still contacting the SAV server. ISG has sent reminders to departments that have many remaining SAV clients. We need to get full migration completed by the end of March to both ensure active and current client security, and to be in compliance with our licensing agreements and protect Brown from a license audit and penalties.

CIS has been working with SAS to extend licensing across campus, they are close to being ready to un-key SAS licensing. Standalone SAS will be available to departments before the end of the semester. Anyone using a keyed installation of SAS will need to uninstall their preior version and reinstall the new unkeyed version. Students are included in the licensing and can install SAS on their own computers.

By the end of this patch cycle, Windows machines managed in the CIS SCCM system will have their Microsoft updates managed by SCCM.

As part of Brown’s Dell contract, Dell will be running a Recycling Day on Friday 20 April (Earth Day weekend) to allow Brown-owned and personal equipment to be dropped off for recycling. Details are still being worked out, look for more information from CIS soon.

Qualtrics Online Survey Platform

Representatives of Qualtrics, a commercial service offering very high-quality hosted online survey building, deployment, and reporting, presented their platform. Their core features are:

  • Sophisticated surveys made simple (built by a PhD survey researcher)
  • 86 question types
  • Advanced logic available
  • Provides University control. delegated administration
  • FERPA. IRB, PHI, HIPAA compliance – SSAE 16 Certified
  • University owns the data
  • Collaboration available with other researchers in the world even if they don’t have Qualtrics at their institution
  • Extensive training and documentation both in using the service and in general research survey design

If you have any questions about the features and benefits of Qualtrics, feel free to contact Ryan Jackson, their representative, at

CIS is looking for feedback to see who else in the University would be interested. Send your feedback to If you have direct feedback regarding the usefulness of Qualtrics to your department, you can also complete the CIS survey that is collecting departmental interest in the platfom.

Doug Wilkinson – CIS Network Technology Group (NTG)

NTG is comprised of:

  • Network Security
  • Network Engineering
  • Network Operations

Any network tickets should be assigned to the Network Operations group, they triage and reassign as needed.
CommOps remains unchanged, still handle dead ports, tap requests, etc.
Projects update:

  • Internet Border to OSHEAN – upgrading infrastructure to prepare for a future migration from redundant 1G to redundant 10g
  • 5400 firewall decommission, reaching out to departments who are behind these obsolete devices
  • NSZ moves
  • PBX and SIP upgrade, now complete. SIP features and phones are in testing and will be deployed in new projects in the near future.

Doug’s slide deck is available here.

Written by Don Rogers

March 22nd, 2012 at 1:39 pm