OIT News – June 2009

OIT News
Monthly news briefs, information and announcements
Office of Information Technology, NC State University
Issue 20, June 2009

For the up-to-the minute reports on OIT systems, see SysNews:
For help with computing problems, contact the NC State University Help Desk:
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01: Oracle migration to WolfWise re-scheduled for June 19-22
02: Hillsborough Building access changes
03: New Microsoft Home Use Program saves money for faculty and staff
04: HPC saves money and increases computing power for research
05: OMR to end statistical reports for OpScan survey service
06: Passwords are your keys to security! Safeguard them
07: SIS Team offers “Graduation Clearance Training” in June
08: SAR training scheduled for July 15
09: Reminder! Symantec antivirus license ends June 22


01: Oracle migration to WolfWise re-scheduled for June 19-22
The OIT WolfWise Team expects to migrate Oracle calendar/Cyrus email users to the campus WolfWise system beginning on Friday, June 19. This will entail taking a “snapshot” of Oracle calendar data at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 17. Information posted to the Oracle calendar after this time will not be migrated to the WolfWise system.

WolfWise email and calendar will be available over the migration weekend in a limited capacity. Users may be able to log in and review email during the migration; however, full system functionality should not be expected until 8 a.m. Monday, June 22.

The previous June 5-7 Oracle migration was rolled back due to a corruption in the account database structure. The WolfWise Team explains that this database contains linkages among account information, e-mail addresses, and mailboxes so the issue in no way impacted the integrity of the calendar or mail items. The roll back created a residual issue with the new accounts that the team is working with Novell to resolve. Successful resolution of this issue, along with verification that accounts are being properly created, is essential to moving forward with the migration. Given the information the team has, the team believes it will be able to go ahead with a migration on Friday, June 19.

Oracle calendar services will end on June 26, pending a successful migration. At that time, Oracle users will no longer be able to access the server and should uninstall the client from their desktop if it is installed.

For up-to-date information about the Oracle calendar migration, visit the WolfWise Web site (no longer available), sign up for the WolfWise RSS feeds (no longer available) or check SysNews. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the migration, please contact the NC State Help Desk at help@ncsu.edu or 515-HELP (4357).

02: Hillsborough Building access change
Beginning July 1, 2009, there will no longer be a security guard in the front lobby of the Hillsborough Building. In the lobby, visitors will be able to use a phone to gain entrance further into the building by the party they are visiting. The phone will also have options to reach building-based services including the Optical Mark Reading Service.

03: New Microsoft Home Use Program saves money for faculty and staff
OIT Software Licensing Management is pleased to announce a new program that makes it possible for NC State faculty and staff to purchase Microsoft software for personal use at reduced costs. This is the Software Assurance benefit of the campus-wide Microsoft Office agreement – the Microsoft Home Use Program.

This program allows faculty and staff to purchase Office 2007 for Windows and Office 2008 for Mac for $9.95 for home use, with no use restrictions. In the past, the Work at Home program required that the software be used for work purposes only. This is a download. An optional DVD for backup is also available for an additional $12 charge. The Home Use Program also allows faculty and staff to purchase Visio Pro 2007 and Project Standard 2007 for $9.95 each.

To obtain the software, you will need your NC State email address See the Microsoft Office Home Use Web site.

04: HPC saves money and increases computing power for research
This summer, OIT High Performance Computing (HPC) services will be replacing the old IBM p575 shared memory parallel servers with new IBM LS42 blade servers. This is good news for NC State researchers and graduate students whose work require shared memory parallel computations. It is also good news for the budget, since the new computers with significantly increased shared memory capacities will cost less than paying for the maintenance on the old system.

Each of the four new LS42 servers has four AMD Opteron quad-core processors for a total of 16 cores per blade. Three blades each have 64 gigabytes (Gbytes) of shared memory, and the fourth has 128 Gbytes. These new servers have twice as many processors and up to four times as much memory as the p575 servers that are being replaced. They will support advanced research such as work using the Gaussian computational chemistry package.

OIT HPC offers several short courses a year on how to use the HPC resources. A short course is also planned on using Open Multi-Processing (OpenMP) programming to enable shared memory computing. For more information, visit NC State OIT HPC resources online.

05: OMR to end statistical reports for OpScan survey service
Beginning this summer session II (July 2, 2009), OIT-Optical Mark Reading (OMR) Services will no longer provide data analysis reports as part of its OpScan Surveys or Evaluations services. OIT will continue to scan Scantron (“bubble sheet”) forms for surveys and evaluations, but will only be able to provide the raw data for these jobs. The OpScan Exam/Quiz Scoring service will not be impacted by these changes. OIT will continue to provide data analysis for exams and quizzes that use the Scantron forms. OIT is discontinuing the data analysis for surveys and evaluations at this time because the software and hardware that produce these reports are now obsolete. Due to the availability of online surveys and other factors, surveys now make up less than 1 percent of the work OMR Services performs. Given current budget constraints, OIT cannot justify the purchases necessary to continue to provide statistical reports for surveys and evaluations. OIT regrets any inconvenience this change in service may cause. If you have questions or concerns, please contact OMR Services at 515-5472.

06: Passwords are your keys to security! Safeguard them
OIT Security reminds you that reusing computer access passwords, or using the same password in various locations is like carrying one key that unlocks your house, your car, your office, your briefcase, and your safety deposit box. If someone else gets access to that key, you could be in big trouble.

If you reuse passwords for more than one computer, account, Web site, or other secure system, you should keep in mind that they will be only as secure as the least secure system on which you have used those passwords.

Also, don’t enter your Unity password on untrusted systems such as most non-NC Staet Web sites. One lost password key could let a thief unlock all the university computer doors to which you have access.

07: SIS Team offers “Graduation Clearance Training” in June
The Student Information System (SIS) Team is providing four training sessions in June for SIS users who clear candidates for graduation. The training will be held on June 23 and 24. More information can be found on the SIS Web site in the Training section.

08: SAR training scheduled for July 15
Security Access Request (SAR) training for campus requestors and approvers is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, July 15 in the EAS Training Lab (302 Harrelson Hall). Please visit the Training Web site to view available classes and to sign up for training.

09: Reminder! Symantec antivirus license ends June 22
On Monday, June 22, Symantec virus definitions will cease updating. When virus definitions stop being updated, your computer becomes susceptible to infection even though your antivirus software keeps running. 

Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. Replace your old Symantec Antivirus software with NC State’s new antivirus products today: Trend Micro OfficeScan 8 for Windows and Intego VirusBarrier X5 for Mac OS X. 

Antivirus protection is required of all NC State students, faculty, and staff connecting to the campus network. For more information about the new antivirus software or to download the software, please visit the NC State Antivirus Resources Web site. If you have any questions, please contact the NC State Help Desk at help@ncsu.edu or 515-HELP (4357).


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