OIT News – January 2012

OIT News

Monthly news briefs, information and announcements
Office of Information Technology, NC State University
Issue 51, January 2012
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Follow OIT on Twitter @NCStateOIT
For up-to-the minute reports on OIT systems, see SysNews
For help with computing problems, contact the NC State Help Desk
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01: Get Yo’ Git On at FOSS Fair 2012
02:
New area code coming to state!
03: OIT upgrades campus backbone to 10Gb/s

04: A Financial upgrade!
05: ComTech continues progress on campus IP telephony project
06: OIT and McKimmon Center implement new enrollment system
07: New SAS licenses are now available for download
08: OIT Lunch and Learn: “Website Accessibility Tuneups” on Jan. 27

09: Google Apps @ NC State mail and calendar training
10: Create and Collaborate with Google Docs
11: SAR training scheduled for March 6
12: What’s in your Dropbox?

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01: Get Yo’ Git On at FOSS Fair 2012
Are you interested in free and open source software? Then come learn about the Git fast version control system at the
Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Fair 2012. The event will be held on Saturday, Feb. 18 beginning at 9 a.m. in Room 3211 of Engineering Building 2 (EB2) on NC State’s Centennial Campus. In addition to “Get Yo’ Git On,” other proposed sessions for this year include “Android Development” and “Google Apps Manager.”OIT Campus Linux Services together with Red Hat, Inc. will bring you this year’s unconference-style event, which is completely driven by its participants. Any topic relating to free and open source software is welcome. You can suggest a session, volunteer to give a talk, and register for the event on the FOSS Fair 2012 website.

To get more information about this year’s conference, contact Jack Neely, event coordinator, at 513-1522 or visit the FOSS Fair 2012 website. Lunch will be provided for registered participants only.

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02: New area code coming to state!
Effective March 31, North Carolina residents who have dialed 919 as their area code will soon have to get used to a second area code – 984 – and dialing 10 digits to make local phone calls. All campus telephone numbers beginning with the prefix 512, 513 or 515 will remain in the 919 area code.

Due to the increase in the number of cell phones and other mobile devices, phone numbers in the “919” area code are being depleted. The new 984 area code will overlay the entire existing “919” area, and only new telephone numbers will be assigned the 984 area code. That means that if you live in the Triangle, your next new telephone number might be in the 984 area code while your work, home or cell phone number might be in the 919 area code. You will also have to dial all 10 digits (the area code plus the full telephone number) to make local phone calls.

OIT Communication Technologies (ComTech) is testing university telephone systems for compliance and will publish more specific dialing instructions after testing is complete.  

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03: OIT upgrades campus backbone to 10Gb/s
OIT ComTech has upgraded the campus network gateway, core and distribution routers – collectively referred to as backbone routers – to 10 Gb/s Ethernet technology. The final backbone router, which services west campus, was upgraded earlier this morning. For more than a decade, NC State has utilized 1G/bs technology.

The backbone upgrade will alleviate the congestion of main distribution routers in certain regions of campus wherein area buildings collectively had a maximum of 2Gb/s of connectivity to the rest of campus and the Internet. After the upgrade, the main distribution routers will have 40Gb/s of northbound connectivity to the campus core by load balancing traffic across four 10Gb/s links.

These upgrades also will permit ComTech to continue to converge services such as voice and video onto a single unified Internet Protocol (IP) backbone and to deploy new technologies such as multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) and IPv6. The core router upgrades also support a second project that is currently underway to provide 80Gb/s of connectivity between the OIT data centers and the rest of campus through the deployment of new data center core and aggregation routers. The additional backbone bandwidth will eventually permit individual buildings that receive network technology refreshes to have the option of connecting to the backbone at 10Gb/s rather than 1Gb/s if funding is available and if metrics determine that this type of connectivity is required.

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04: A Financial upgrade!
The Financial System will be upgraded from Version 8.9 to Version 9.1 on March 26. The Financial System provides financial management applications for accounting, budgeting, contracts and grants, and purchasing for the entire university.A joint project with Finance and Business, OIT and campus users, the upgrade will maintain vendor support from Oracle and offer efficiencies in processing and sharing of electronic attachments. In addition to electronic workflow improvements, the new Financial System will certify compatibility with browsers, desktop applications and operating systems. For more information on the upgrade, visit the Financial System Upgrade website.

05: ComTech continues progress on campus IP telephony project
To date, OIT ComTech has transitioned more than 1,000 additional customers to the new campus telephony infrastructure – Cisco’s Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Phase II of this project began last July and is slated to be completed this summer.

As a cost-saving measure, ComTech will convert more than 5,000 AT&T digital telephone lines to VoIP technology during phase II, and the actual telephone sets currently used by customers will be replaced by Cisco Internet Protocol (IP) telephone sets. Customers will receive a new VoIP phone if they now have a digital Meridian telephone or if someone who answers their calls has a Meridian telephone. OIT is funding this effort, and customers will not have to pay for the replacement telephone sets. ComTech continues to identify and contact affected users.

Training on the new Cisco handsets is currently  being offered via Classmate. Future project updates will be available on the ComTech IP Telephony website.

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06: OIT and McKimmon Center implement new enrollment system
Last fall, OIT and the McKimmon Center for Extension and Continuing Education partnered to implement the Destiny One enrollment system for non-credit course and certificate offerings. In addition to enrollment, the system also offers financial, marketing and reporting capabilities. The system is accessed via the McKimmon Center for Extension and Continuing Education website.

Currently, Destiny Solutions, with input from NC State, is designing and developing a new module in the Destiny One system for Conference and Event Management at the McKimmon Center. NC State will be the first Destiny customer to implement the Conference and Event Management module with implementation scheduled for spring 2012. For further information, you may contact Connie Reitfort at clreitfo@ncsu.edu or Marina Kelly at mlkelly@ncsu.edu.

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07: New SAS licenses are now available for download
OIT Software Licensing Management is now offering new SAS licenses for SAS 9.2, JMP Pro 9.0 and JMP Genomics 5.  

Users of SAS 9.1.3, SAS 8.2 and JMP 8.0.2 will be required to update their software before applying the updated licenses. Please note that licenses for these older versions of SAS software will remain active until March 31. OIT is also working with SAS to offer SAS 9.3 in the near future.

You can download new licenses via the Software Licensing website. If you have any questions or issues when trying to use new licenses or upgrade your software, please email sas_help@ncsu.edu.

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08: OIT Lunch and Learn: “Website Accessibility Tuneups” on Jan. 27
Do you have questions about your website’s accessibility but don’t know who or what to ask? Bring your questions and website URL to the OIT Lunch and Learn series workshop, “Website Accessibility Tuneups,” on Friday, Jan. 27 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Faculty Senate Chambers of D.H. Hill Library.

During this informal and fun session, Greg Kraus, University IT Accessibility Coordinator, will provide you with easy steps to tune up your website and make it more accessible. To register, visit Classmate.

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09: Google Apps @ NC State mail and calendar training
OIT is conducting Google Apps @ NC State mail and calendar training sessions on Thursday, Jan. 26 and Friday, Feb. 3 from 9 a.m. to noon in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center (OIT Training Labs).
 
Chris King of OIT Technology Support Services will cover everything you need to know to get started with Gmail and Google Calendar, including an overview of the apps and helpful resources. For more information and to register, visit Classmate. Customized training on Google Apps at NC State is also available to groups of faculty and staff. Please submit training requests via the OIT Custom Training Form.
10: Create and Collaborate with Google Docs
OIT is offering several Google Apps @ NC State Google Docs training sessions. Upcoming sessions will occur:
  • Friday, Jan. 20, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Room 112 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center
  • Monday, Jan. 23, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Golden LEAF Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC) on Centennial Campus
  • Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Room 112 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center
  • Friday, Feb. 3, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Room 112 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center

Join Christopher Donald of the Office of Information Technology to learn how to create, import or build a collection of Google Docs (Web-based word processing documents). During this demonstration, you’ll also learn how to use Docs in a collaborative environment – simultaneously editing the same file/doc with your colleagues and friends – as well as get tips on how to secure your docs by implementing the proper file sharing permissions. For more information and to register, visit Classmate.

Customized training on Google Apps at NC State is also available to groups of faculty and staff. Please submit training requests via the OIT Custom Training Form.

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11: SAR training scheduled for March 6
Monthly Security Access Request (SAR) training for campus requestors and approvers of access to secured university data has been suspended until March due to the Financial System 9.1 upgrade, which is slated for March 26. SAR provides the ability to request access to the Financial System.The next SAR training session will be held on Tuesday, March 6 from 9:30 a.m. to noon in the ITTC Lab 2 of D.H. Hill Library. It will include requesting changes to the new Financial System.

Employees needing training prior to the Financial 9.1 upgrade should contact Beth Jones, OIT security administrator, at 513-1192 or via email at beth_jones@ncsu.edu.

To view and sign up for upcoming training sessions, please visit Classmate.

12: What’s in your Dropbox?
Many in the NC State campus community are now using Dropbox, a cloud-based storage service that allows users to share files (photos, docs, videos, etc.) across multiple platforms, including computers, smart phones and the Dropbox website. While there are some privacy and security concerns regarding the Dropbox product, it is both useful and widely used. Recommendations for using this service or similar cloud data storage in NC State’s campus environment include the following:
  • Store only appropriate documents and data in Dropbox. Dropbox may be a convenient place to store and share only personal files that have no privacy concerns and files that only contain publicly available data.
  • Do not use Dropbox to store documents or files containing high-risk and sensitive university/institutional information. This includes any data subject to university privacy regulations; protected by state and federal laws (such as FERPA, HIPAA, State Identity Theft Act, or Research and Export Regulations); under contractual provisions (such as PCI DSS, social security number, patented proposals, etc.); or whose release could cause financial or reputational harm to the university.
  • Any private or sensitive personal data (such as your tax return, driver’s license number, etc.) should never be stored in your Dropbox public folder, which may be viewed via the Internet by anyone. Note: If you publish a Web link to your Dropbox public folder information, then it is likely that anyone can find and access your data using a search engine (e.g., Google, Yahoo, Bing).
  • Dropbox globally encrypts your data both at rest on its servers and in transmission. Any folder you share with specific people or devices is decrypted by Dropbox to allow access to the files you have shared. Dropbox, however, provides a single security key to encrypt all of its customers’ data. Therefore, your shared files on Dropbox or your shared devices may need additional protection from hackers or others seeking to obtain information without your awareness. If you want further protection for your files, you can use tools like TrueCrypt to encrypt the entire Dropbox folder or Winzip v15 to encrypt individual files and subfolders on Dropbox.
  • Safeguard access to your Dropbox control files – particularly your Dropbox configuration database file (named …/Dropbox/config.db), which contains your Dropbox login credentials. Do not allow others to copy this file. Anyone with this information on their computer can impersonate you and access any data you send via Dropbox. You will not be able to change or remove their access to your information by using your computer!
  • Download Dropbox “apps” only from reputable software publishers to safeguard access to your information. Independent Dropbox app developers can, via their apps, access any data available to Dropbox on your device and send it anywhere for any purpose via your Internet connection.
  • The terms of service for Dropbox are between you, the account owner, and Dropbox. The terms and conditions in the “click-through” Dropbox personal license have not been approved by NC State University Office of General Counsel for official university use.
If you need assistance in evaluating Dropbox or other cloud-based services, particularly for institutional data storage and sharing, please contact the OIT Security and Compliance unit at security_office@ncsu.edu.  
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