OIT News – March 2010

OIT News

Monthly news briefs, information and announcements
Office of Information Technology, NC State University
Issue 29, March 2010

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01: OIT to roll out new e-mail archiving and anti-spam services
02: OIT to launch Google Apps @ NC State student e-mail beta April 1
03: OIT forms IT Student Advisory Group
04: WolfWise Implementation Team works toward GW 8 deployment
ComTech upgrades campus network backbone to 4 Gb/s
06: Free TotalView software for NC State students
07: SAS and JMP licenses are available
08: OIT Lunch & Learns: “InDesign,” “Facebook,” “Usability” & “Green IT” in April
09: SAR training scheduled for April 6
10: If you print it, go get it right away! 


01: OIT to roll out new e-mail archiving and anti-spam services
The OIT will soon offer NC State faculty and staff new e-mail archiving and anti-spam services. Both Google-hosted Postini products, these services will allow the university to help employees comply with legal requirements such as public records and e-discovery requests, and help guard against cyber threats.

Once implemented late this spring, the new archiving service will automatically save a copy of all newly sent and received messages in OIT’s enterprise e-mail systems, WolfWise and Unity. Customers will be able to access their own Web-based, unlimited e-mail archive to search and recover these messages for a 10-year period, even if they are deleted from their mailboxes. In addition, OIT is consulting with campus IT staff to explore whether this new, unlimited archive service might augment its existing mail storage options and help customers easily recover deleted messages. The new anti-spam service will also help protect customers of both the WolfWise and Unity e-mail systems from cyber threats including phishing attempts and viruses.

Look for more information in next month’s OIT News. For additional details and to follow the implementation team’s progress, visit OIT’s Postini project Web site.

02: OIT to launch Google Apps @ NC State student e-mail beta April 1
To ensure students have a smooth transition to Google Apps @ NC State, the OIT is delaying the student e-mail beta launch to Thursday, April 1. OIT staff will use this time to address server installation, load and testing issues. OIT is still on schedule to deliver the production version by the end of this fiscal year. The beta launch was originally scheduled for this week.

NC State announced in January that it would deploy Google Apps Education Edition as its official university e-mail service for students. The switch was recommended by the Student E-mail Task Force in its March 2009 report, which stated the move would help the university improve technology services for students while reducing costs. Students were asked to participate in the beta service by requesting an invitation on the Google Apps @ NC State Web site.

Early adopters will receive Gmail accounts with more than 7 gigabytes of storage space and access to the suite of popular Google Apps collaboration tools, all from their official @ncsu.edu e-mail address.

In addition to Gmail, students will receive Google Sites, Google Docs, Google Calendar and Google Talk and will be able to access these online services from their computers or many mobile devices.

Students are encouraged to opt in to the beta service by visiting the Google Apps @ NC State Web site and requesting an invitation. They can continue to opt in to the beta service until production services go live.

Afterwards, the OIT will provision Google Apps @ NC State accounts for those students who did not opt in during the beta period. More information about NC State’s implementation of Google Apps Education Edition is available on the Google Apps @ NC State Web site.

03: OIT forms IT Student Advisory Group
OIT is pleased to announce the formation of the Information Technology Student Advisory Group, a forum for students of all affiliations to share their thoughts and ideas about the way technology is implemented at NC State.

As part of his efforts to review and improve governance at NC State, Dr. Marc Hoit, vice chancellor for information technology and CIO, created this group and will be participating in its meetings. The group can be called on for a student perspective on any of the projects undertaken by the OIT and will help ensure that the technology and services at NC State meet students’ needs and exceed expectations.

The group will generally meet once a month during the fall and spring semesters and will discuss both current and upcoming technologies. Each meeting will also include time for open communication about topics chosen by the students. The next meeting will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 13. If you know of a student who might be interested in joining this advisory group, please contact Jennifer Riehle via e-mail at jen_riehle@ncsu.edu.

04: WolfWise Implementation Team works toward GW 8 deployment
To relieve current e-mail congestion issues, the WolfWise Implementation Team is planning to move some WolfWise users off Post Offices 12-15 to new servers within the next two weeks. The servers for Post Offices 12-15 are now at or close to 90 percent of their storage capacity. All impacted customers will be notified prior to their accounts being moved.

Meanwhile, the WolfWise team is making progress towards its future plans to deploy GroupWise 8 (GW 8). The GW 8 deployment will apply back-end fixes for known bugs, improve IMAP stability, allow for ActiveSync (for mobile devices) and improve the performance of Windows, Mac, Web and Linux clients.

The team has completed construction and pre-upgrade testing of a test environment, a replica of the production WolfWise environment. The test environment will be used to test changes that the team anticipates making in the production environment. The pre-upgrade testing validated that the test environment is configured identically to the production environment and experiences the same stability issues as the production environment.

The team has also upgraded most of the test environment to a new service pack (OES2 SP2) that will enable more WolfWise system stability. The team is experiencing some issues with the identity management (IDM) servers in the test environment and is working with Novell Tech Support to resolve them. Post-upgrade testing will begin once the IDM issues are resolved. This testing will validate that the OES2 SP2 installation does, in fact, fix the stability issues as anticipated and that it has no other adverse effects on the environment. Following successful testing, a date for applying OES2 SP2 to the WolfWise production environment will be decided. Once completed, the team will begin testing GW 8 in the test environment.

The team expects to deploy GW 8 this summer. For more information about the WolfWise migration, visit the WolfWise Web site.

05: ComTech upgrades campus network backbone to 4 Gb/s
As demands for more bandwidth continually increase across the university’s network, Communication Technologies (ComTech) has achieved another milestone in fulfilling the need. ComTech successfully upgraded on March 6 all of the university’s core network links to 4 Gb/s. This upgrade provides short-term additional capacity as ComTech prepares to move to 10 Gb/s within the next 12 to 24 months.

06: Free TotalView software for NC State students
TotalView Express software is now being offered to NC State students at no charge. TotalView Express is a complimentary version of TotalView, a C/C++ and Fortran debugger for Linux, Unix and Mac OS. Faculty and staff are not eligible for this offer.

Students can download their free copy of the software from the NC State Software Licensing website. Please send questions or problems regarding this license to software@ncsu.edu.

07: SAS and JMP licenses are available
OIT Software Licensing Management announces that 2010 SAS licenses are available for SAS 8.2, SAS 9.1.3, JMP 7 and JMP 8. You can view software download instructions on the NC State Software Licensing website. These licenses have an expiration date of December 31, 2010. If you have any questions or problems, please contact SAS_help@ncsu.edu.

08: OIT Lunch & Learns: “InDesign,” “Facebook,” “Usability” & “Green IT” in April
OIT’s Brown Bag Lunch and Learn series will present the following workshops in April:

  • Ever wonder what InDesign is all about? Come to “The Essentials of InDesign” workshop from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 6 in 216 Scott Hall. InDesign, a product of Adobe Systems, is principally used by designers and graphic production artists to create posters, flyers, brochures, magazines and books. Chris Donald of OIT Design, Education and Outreach will discuss how InDesign fits into the Adobe Creative Suite and when InDesign is a better choice than Microsoft Word for page layouts. Donald will also cover the most commonly used InDesign page layout features. To register, visit Classmate.
  • Do you know how to create groups and events in Facebook? Come to the “Creating Groups and Events in Facebook” workshop from 12:15 to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 13 in 216 Scott Hall. OIT Training Coordinator Twanda Baker will look at these two very popular Facebook online collaborative tools. Facebook Groups provides Web space for members who share common interests to post discussion issues, pictures and videos. Facebook Events is a social planning tool for creating, sending and managing online invitations to Facebook and non-Facebook members. This class will not cover the basics of getting started on Facebook. To register for this session, visit ClassMate.
  • Exactly what is usability testing, and how can it benefit you and your organization? Attend “The Basics of Usability” workshop from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 20 at 216 Scott Hall. Jennifer Riehle of OIT Design, Education and Outreach will explain what usability is, the benefits and challenges of usability testing, and how incorporating usability in the design and development of both Web pages and Web applications can improve the user experience. To register, visit Classmate.
  • Do you know what’s the biggest contributor to NC State’s carbon footprint, how EPEAT can help you make more sustainable computer purchases or why screen savers should be a no-no? What is “Green IT” anyway, and how can IT professionals help NC State meet its obligations to reduce the campus climate impact? Join Ron Bradley and other IT staff in a discussion of current activities, best practices and upcoming initiatives that will advance NC State’s sustainability efforts. Presented by OIT’s Lunch and Learn series on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, this class will be held from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. in 216 Scott Hall. To register, visit Classmate.

09: SAR training scheduled for April 6
Security Access Request (SAR) training for campus requestors and approvers of access to secured university data will be held from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, April 6 in the ITTC Lab 2 of D.H. Hill Library. Please visit Classmate to view available classes and to sign up for training.

10: If you print it, go get it right away!
These days sending documents electronically and reviewing them only on your PC monitor are both very green alternatives to putting the information on printed paper. Cutting down on printed output saves the university on paper and ink costs, too. However, there are times when you just have to have the information on paper. Be careful to protect access to your printed output, warns the Office of Information Technology Security and Compliance unit, especially when it contains vital information.

Leaving important, private, sensitive or confidential material lying around your office space can give rise to security or privacy breaches. Common printing areas are often frequented by various people including employees, students and guests, coming and going. Shared office areas can be gathering points for faculty and staff, and others may handle your output before you do. This access may lead to inappropriate information disclosures. Always use the closest print station or if you have one, a dedicated printer for important information, and retrieve the output right away! Keep such printed data out of sight in a folder, preferably in a locked drawer or cabinet. And remember to shred the paper when you no longer need it.


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