Duke ITAC - April 25, 1996 Minutes

Information Technology Advisory Committee


April 25, 1996

Members Attending: Betty Le Compagnon, Bill Auld, Anne Beckwith, John Board, Jeff Chase, Dick Danner, Jim Dronsfield, Paul Harrod, David Jamieson-Drake, Roger Lloyd, Kevin Meyers, Melissa Mills, Steven Natelborg, Caroline Nisbet, Richard Palmer, Mike Pickett, Evan Scheessele, and Robert Wolpert, ITAC Chairman

The Information Technology Advisory Committee was held on April 25, 1996, in room 211 Tel-Com Building. The meeting was called to order by Chairman Robert Wolpert. The review of the previous minutes was waived until receipt.


  • Mike Pickett of OIT reported on the first meeting of the System Administrators and Network Administrators from all areas of the University. It was an excellent forum for sharing of ideas on networks and software applications. A virus protection presentation was held. The committee reviewed various virus protection packages and a recommendation on the best package for Duke University will emerge from this review. Approximately fifty Systems Administrators and Network Administrators attended this meeting.
  • Mike Pickett also reported on the e-mail situation. OIT is working hard to eliminate duplicate e-mail messages arising from some gateway problems with Medical Center and cc:Mail. One solution is to provide a larger header message and this will be added to cc:Mail messages in order to assist with ease of tracking problem locations.
  • Betty Le Compagnon reported that suggested member names for the Remote Access Subcommittee have been submitted to her and the finalized committee will be constituted shortly. The members of ITAC will be receiving a copy of the roster of the membership of this committee.

Systems Integration Coordinating Committee

  • Betty Le Compagnon reported the Systems Integration Coordinating Committee has been formed and the first meeting has been held under the chairmanship of Dr. Tallman Trask. The purpose of the committee is to evaluate various system packages that will enhance the entire University and perhaps provide coordination, timing, and integration of those areas desiring to replace their current Legacy Systems. The committee will also look at various vendors and evaluate their product life cycles to hopefully have an overview of projects underway to enhance integration of purchasing where possible. It is the committee's plans to meet once a month.

SISS Status

  • David Jamieson-Drake distributed to the committee members of ITAC a preliminary evaluation of vendors for the SISS project. There appears to be approximately an eighteen month time frame for delivery of this product and implementation of the project. He also reported that the selection of the successful vendor will be heavily dependent upon the Human Resource effort including Payroll which has as a much larger impact on the University and therefore a much larger project.

Adding subcommittee chairs to the Strategic Planning Committee

  • It has been suggested by members of ITAC that a member of the Data Committee and the Student Computer Committee should have representation on the Strategic Planning Committee. John Board commented he thought this was a good proposal and that broad representation was already on the committee but this would complete representation. After further discussion John Board moved to approve this suggestion and the motion seconded by Melissa Mills. The motion was carried.

A Shared Data Base Server Proposal

  • Mike Pickett proposed that a study be conducted for the purpose of perhaps having OIT provide hardware and software in a client server environment to departments and/or schools on a shared basis. One option would be that time could be rented to provide services to these departments and an economy of scale could be accomplished if OIT could fund up front the necessary costs for this project. OIT could provide a test and/or a production machine along with training and consultative services in order to enhance use of this shared data server concept.
  • Ann Beckwith is certainly an interested party but is not sure how many other people around the university would be interested in this service. Mike Pickett thinks there would be great potential in this effort. Roger Lloyd commented the libraries may have need for this service and coordination of all library data bases would be important. The new library director may wish to move in this direction. Richard Palmer suggested that OIT supply a small system and develop a data base server and have it scale up to a production model. He also suggested this be made available at no cost to the departments as a way of stimulating use of the available resources. Carolyn Nesbitt commented that Student Affairs attempted such a coordinated effort of purchasing a fairly large server application but was unable to find any other department interested in going in on a joint effort. The question was asked about the types of data bases that would be utilized. Mike Pickett commented that these are daily decisions based upon the circumstances involved but presently we are normally using Sybase. The Medical Center has what they need for now and will probably not be interested in expanding with this effort.
      • Jeff Chase asked if we are looking at security and access with CGI scripts. What will be the security parameters and protection mechnisms be? One suggestion that perhaps one machine could be provided for development and one for production. There will definitely have to be a cost analysis developed and what parameters of funding will be involved in this project.
      • Mike Pickett proposed that a small group be formed to investigate the feasibility and cost of this project. Network and Systems Administrators group will discuss this issue at their next meeting.
      • Melissa Mills raised a question on e-mail. She wondered why cc:Mail is still being offered and supported. She was referred to the previous study document on e-mail packages. The overall feeling was that cc:Mail is a very well entrenched e-mail package on campus with some 8,000 Medical Center users and 1,300 University users. There are no plans to eliminate any existing packages, only to support a limited number. Hopefully in the future a robust, more universal e-mail package will be available and migration to it would be a feasible plan.
      • Richard Palmer asked about OIT's summer plans for new programs and other efforts. Mike Pickett reported that IMAP servers will be added. Jim Dronsfield reported that there will be two new clusters put in place during the summer at the Pegram residence hall and in Eden's Quad. The pilot printing program that was initiated this spring will be expanded this summer as a result of the excellent response received from the printing program from the students.
      • Mike Pickett reported on the status of the University-wide Lotus site license that will be funded by Landen Bain from MCIS. The available software packages from this site license will include Lotus Notes and Notes Server.
        Being no further business the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting of ITAC will be held May 9, 1996, at 4:00 p.m. at the Washington Duke.

        Respectfully submitted,
        James B. Dronsfield

    • A Shared Data Base Server Proposal Continued:

      Other Business