Duke ITAC - June 19, 1997 Minutes

DUKE ITAC - June 19, 1997 Minutes

ITAC Minutes

June 19, 1997

Old Trinity Room, West Union

Attending: Caroline Nisbet, Melissa Mills, John Eisenmerger, Donna Hewitt, Pakis Bessias, Alex Reutter, John Sigmon, Marion Sheppard, Robert Wolpert, Nevin Fonts, Roy Weintraub, John Board, Rafael Rodriquez, Jim Dronsfield, Bill Scarborough, David Ferriero, Billy Herndon, David Jamieson-Drake, Michael Pickett, Bill Auld, Phil Verghis, Bob Currier, Betty Le Compagnon

Meeting called to order.

Minutes from previous meetings approved.

Presentation and discussion of revisions to Networking Subcommittee Report

Significant changes/additions:
  • Advocate use of independent rather than local testing as first testing of product
  • Section on isochronous protocols added - John Board asked what advice might the subcommittee give about best time to buy new technologies;
  • response was that equipment that can be upgraded should be purchased (i.e., equipment which is soft-coded)
  • Service level agreements section reworded, especially the network section; see ITAC's role
  • Customer follow-up meetings after completion of wiring to determine customer satisfaction. John Board asked whether this report was a call to retire the FDDI ring. Response was "yes" but with no specified timeframe.
  • Star topology - supportability issue. Robert Wolpert, in further comment to the FDDI issue, questioned running fast Ethernet with FDDI and gradually retiring FDDI or running parallel.
  • Continuation of segmented network (old section name "Flat Network"; segmentation for better support/troubleshooting); Robert Wolpert raised the issue of adopting IP only protocol; recommended another subcommittee to study the implications. Response was that a number of things are coming together to facilitate IP only - for example, the emergence of NT with native TCP/IP, Novell IP aware version; suggestion for IP only enterprise apps
  • Appendix concerning buying guidelines along with performance stats to keep in mind. John Board asked "What is the state of independent lab testing?". Answer was that is was difficult to say at this point
  • Would need to use multiple tests and comparisons rather than relying on one testing group. Question was asked whether recent problems would have surfaced in pre-implementation testing. Bob Currier indicated that it was unlikely - testing cannot adequately simulate all the complexities of the Duke network. David Jamieson-Drake asked what would happen if the University adopted standards (particularly for Novell servers) which were "less chatty". The response was that this might help in the interim.

The proposal to approve the report and disband the committee was accepted. Robert Wolpert and Betty Le Compagnon thanked committee members. Some follow-on questions were asked (Melissa Mills) about switched Ethernet and the associated costs - whether we could afford to do it all or should we prioritize.

Net Architecture for Document Imaging

  • Some Schools and other areas of the University are experiencing issues already with document imaging
  • SISS implementation (admissions, Winter 98) will have scanning functionality and networking issues; readers all over campus, local print servers - don't we need advanced planning for this?
  • Robert Wolpert commented that the Libraries were doing more with imaging; David Ferriero indicated that such usage in the Libraries wasn't increasing at a large rate but that sponsored research and electronic proposal submissions were becoming and issue. John Board wondered whether our usage will be much greater than what we're currently experiencing. Bob Currier indicated that his group has been planning for increased use of imaging, using simulations and stress testing. The seasonality of traffic was pointed out. Nevin Fonts questioned whether we could monitor ramps to the backbone and monitor the headroom on the backbone. Bob Currier indicated that Data Comm's website had such stats.


Discussion of Administrative Reform Paper Draft

Michael Pickett led a discussion of a draft paper on administrative computing reform, pointing out the major key points listed in the paper (see draft). Significant discussions were had both about funding issues and the ambiguous nature of the paper itself concerning several issues such as funding and prioritizing.

Betty Le Compagnon asked what some of the administrative computing issues were that needed to be resolved by senior management; Robert Wolpert indicated that there were capital costs which needed to be compared to proposed savings (which are not clear in the paper). Betty Le Compagnon asked whether saving money was the only criteria for administrative systems reform and stated the need for a business case for these system reforms. Roy Weintraub stated that the business plan needed to provide several alternative funding choices, that is, several levels of funding, each of which would result in different levels of reform. John Sigmon proposed that funding spent on administrative systems reform was not going to save money, but that we needed to spend funds more wisely. Conversation followed (Betty, Roy, John and others) that a business case needs to be made for the investment of funds in administrative systems and that the current draft paper did not appropriately address this issue (but needed to). The paper also needs to inform the senior officers as to the questions that need to be asked on this issue. Mike Pickett requested that additional comments be sent directly to him.

Other Business

Bill Scarborough thanked OIT for implementing the new email aliases.

Meeting adjourned.

Minutes submitted by Bill Auld