Duke ITAC - April 10, 1997 Minutes

DUKE ITAC - April 10, 1997 Minutes

ITAC Minutes

April 10, 1997

Present: Bill Auld, Landen Bain, Pakis Bessias, John Board, Ginny Cake, Bob Currier, Jim Dronsfield, John Eisenmenger, David Ferriero, Nevin Fouts, Paul Harrod, Ken Hirsh, Jay Kamm, Dave Kirby, Kevin Lee, Roger Loyd, Melissa Mills, Caroline Nisbet, Michael Pickett, Charles Register, Alex Reutter, Leslie Saper, Bill Scarborough, Evan Scheessele, John Sigmon, Robert Wolpert.

Minutes of the 27 March 1997 meeting were approved.


  1. Mike Pickett announced that the Futures Forums have started. Information about two new forums will be posted: Lotus Domino/Notes and Electronic Calendaring.
  2. The Sun PC Cluster order is about to go out. Call Mike Pickett if you have "emergency needs."

Network Design Committee Final Report

John Eisenmenger, Chair of the Network Architecture Design Subcommittee presented the work of the group which has been meeting for just over one month. The full report is available at http://www.cs.duke.edu/~jpe/duke-net/concept.html. The report makes a series of recommendations around which discussion centered.

While there was a wide-ranging discussion of the report, most of the discussion centered on two recommendations:

  1. Vendor Evaluation. The report recommends establishment of a procedure for the fair evaluation of equipment used in the construction of DukeNet. Discussion was around the rationale of evaluating an already evaluated product, ability to replicate the "Duke traffic mix," and the distinction between testing and test driving.
  2. Adoption of Standards. The report recommends evaluating and implementing solutions with an eye towards standardization. In the discussion Eisenmenger reported that the subcommittee felt another group needed to be appointed to address the IP standard issue. Concern was expressed that the report was leading us in the direction of one standard for all without taking local needs into consideration.
ITAC congratulated the subcommitee on their report and thanked them for their work.

Update on Email Duplicates and Slowdowns

Landen Bain delivered an apology to the rest of campus from the the Medical Center for the recent problems with the PMDF gateway (connects cc:Mail to the internet and non-cc:Mail users). Bain introduced Kevin Lee, who described the current situation noting that it requires a lot of manual intervention to manage loads. He described the current configuration as a situation ripe for problems. MCIS had one more mail file to deal with and expected to be back to normal operations April 11. There is a contractor in house replacing the PMDF system with a target of end of April for completion. All the pieces have been delivered, configuration and testing are next on the agenda. The performance enhancement expected: 1-1.5 hour turnaround time.

Mike Pickett talked about long term solutions and recommended IMAP backend on campus side and pursuing Lotus Notes Mail as an alternative to cc:Mail. Pickett thanked Bain for purchasing Lotus Notes Mail for the Unversity. Pickett reported that an Intergrated EMail Team responsible for both campus and Medical Center email was being formed.

duke.computing Issues

The group discussed community communication strategies for computing issues. There is a general lack of understanding of how the community can influence IT policy or express opinions. Posting information to computing@duke and better use of the ITAC homepage were suggested as ways ITAC could encourage the community to participate in ITAC committee work. Mike Pickett agreed to post the IT Vision Statement recently released by senior administration. Kudos to Jay Kamm for raising the civility level of the list!

Remote Access Committee Update

Dave Kirby reported that the final report is due on 24 April. Previews:
  1. Every consituency feels the need for greater degrees of access.
  2. There are a number of new technologies which are practical and affordable.
  3. Demand/pull expected.
  4. Qualitative difference in speed makes a big impact.
Other issues:
  • On the road access?
  • International arena? There was general agreement in ITAC that there is a great deal of interest on campus for international access.
This led to a general discussion on remote access in general and it was agreed that this would be a good future agenda item.

ITAC Openings

Robert Wolpert asked ITAC members to send him names of nominees for council appointment.

Next Meeting: Thursday, 24 April, 4:00-5:30, Washington Duke Inn