Duke ITAC - December 17, 1998 Minutes

DUKE ITAC - December 17, 1998 Minutes


December 17, 1998

Present: Landen Bain, Pakis Bessias, Pete Boyd (for John Sigmon), Rob Carter, Kevin Cheung, Chris Cramer (for John Board), Jim Coble (for David Ferriero), Dick Danner, Jim Dronsfield, Nevin Fouts, Jimmy Grewal, Patrick Halpin, Paul Harrod, David Jamieson-Drake, Kyle Johnson (for Caroline Nisbet), Jason Kreuter, Betty Leydon, Roger Loyd, John Oates, Mike Pickett, Rafael Rodriguez, Charles Register, Bill Scarborough, Clark Smith, Forrest Smith (for Melissa Mills), Robert Wolpert

Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by Rafael Rodriguez;

Review of Minutes & Announcements

The minutes of the December 3rd meeting were approved without amendment.

Betty Leyden announced a correction to the November 5th meeting announcement concerning undergraduate salary rates. While it is true that students can be compensated a greater than the set rates, approvals must still be obtained from the respective Deans and the Provost. A simple request letter to the payroll office is not sufficient.

David Jamieson-Drake announced that the SYS project has experienced a set back. Due to communication problems with PeopleSoft, Duke will be implementing the SYS software with the 7.5 release, not the 7.0 release. This causes a 1-4 month delay in the scheduled timetable. Therefore, two new installation windows are currently being considered: first week of July and fall break in October. David states that a more complete update will be given at a future ITAC meeting.

Cluster Discussion followup

David Jamieson-Drake started a discussion on the Princples of Cluster Use. The goal being to prioritize the ideas from the November 5th brainstorming session (see 11/5/98 ITAC minutes). David provided an initial list of items related to 'Cluster Purpose.' The initial list, from highest to lowest priority, is

  1. Support the academic mission of the University - faculty need for classroom teaching
  2. Broader use, i.e., e-mail, web browsing, register for courses.
David described (1) as providing academic/instructional support and (2) as meeting the needs for electronic communication.

Discussion followed on 'who' has the right to use the clusters. A third, lowest priority item was proposed:
  1. Computing needs of other members of the Duke community (faculty and staff).
Further discussion refined the list to:
  1. Academic support (institutional)
  2. General needs for electronic communication and software application
    1. Students
    2. Faculty, Staff and other members of Duke community.
Discussion on prioritizing the list ended, due to the fact that David had another commitment. Rob Carter and Charles Register continued the cluster use discussion by presenting detailed usage statistics on all the Duke clusters (UNIX, PC, and Mac). The handout materials detailed usage, frequency of execution of different applications, and clock duration of execution.
Summarizing the data, Rob noted that two peak periods of usage are evident: 7-12 midnight (mid-to-late evening) and 2-4 p.m. (after lunch). Rob also noted that mail readers and web browsers were the most used commonly applications. He also noted the heavy remote usage of the UNIX clusters. Further, Rob noted that the data suggests that the residential clusters are being used differently from the academic building clusters - i.e., location is important. The handout materials and raw data are available from Rob Carter at:http://www.oit.duke.edu/~rob/cluster-usage/

An executive summary of the usage data was requested and will be provided to ITAC in the future.

CAUSE98/IVY+ Report

Rafael Rodriguez noted that several Duke personal attended the CAUSE98 conference and Duke received a network award.

Mike Pickett presented a list of major points that he took from the IVY+ meeting:

  • Other schools are also strongly focusing on administrative computing issues
  • Brown: much discussion on Graduate School computing support, the new Provost, and new system of charging for modem pool access
  • Chicago has frozen their modem pool
  • Many schools are discussing the issue of 'who has access to what information'
  • Security issues are also being discussed. One IVY+ institution has recently hired 2 full-time security personal
  • Some discussion concerning on-line HR recruiting packages
  • Y2K problems are again being discussed. Schools worried about research issues (old code and equipment in research labs) and how to communicate problems to researchers.
  • "Millenniated" v. fixed from Y2K problems. usage example - We hope that PeopleSoft has been millenniated.
  • One school is using electronic pictures from ID cards for class rosters.
  • Finally, lots of PeopleSoft discussion and worries.

Update on Y2K report to Board

Betty Leydon presented a summary of her presentation to the Board of Trustees. She stated that the overall goal is to maintain operation of mission critical applications. Betty also talked about the evaluation of current status, game plan and costs.

Discussion followed on the issue of Researchers Y2K problems. Annette Foster (annette.foster@duke.edu) should be spreading the word about Y2K problems to the individual departments.

Question about Computer Use Policy

Rafael Rodriguez explained that the computer use policy has been approved by the legal department at Duke. It was then submitted to the Executive Committee of the Academic Council. They decided that ITAC approval was sufficient. The policy is on the ITAC web site at <http://www.oit.duke.edu/oit/policy/>.

New Year's Resolution

A listing of ITAC issues from 4 years ago was distributed to all members. The question was raised of the need to create a new list and/or how the list should be changed. Discussion followed. The following points were made:

  • Add issue of centralized vs. decentralized apps
  • More focus on use of computing in research (not currently supported)
  • Add security issues item
  • Expand need to synchronize data, no duplication of information
  • Computing support in general, 24/7 computing support, centralized vs. decentralized support, disaster recovery
  • Add category of Intellectual Property which will include software licensing and piracy issues, web page content, faculty research
  • Add site license category
  • Issue of student owned PCs
  • The instructional computing category will need to be reevaluated with addition of Lynn. This also relates to research computing.

Other Business

This was Jim Dronsfield's last ITAC meeting. He is retiring from Duke after 17 years. Good luck, Jim. Hope to see you in Cameron.

ITAC Schedule

A listing of 1999 ITAC meeting dates was distributed. All meeting are Thursdays, 4:00-5:30 p.m. in 211 Tel-Com Building. 1/14, 1/28, 2/11, 2/25, 3/11, 3/25, 4/8, 4/22, 5/6, 5/20, 6/3, 6/17, 7/1, 7/15, 7/29, 8/12, 8/26, 9/9, 9/23, 10/7, 10/21, 11/4, 11/18, 12/2, 12/16