Duke ITAC - November 20, 2003 Minutes

DUKE ITAC - November 20, 2003 Minutes


November 20, 2003

Start time:4:03

Members present:Pakis Bessias, Paul Conway, Dick Danner represented by Ken Hirsh, Angel Dronsfield, Brian Eder represented by David Kass, Tracy Futhey (by phone), Michael Gettes, Patrick Halpin, Craig Henriquez, David Jamieson-Drake, David Jarmul, Kyle Johnson, Roger Loyd, Melissa Mills, George Oberlander, Lynne O'Brien, Mike Pickett, Rafael Rodriguez, Molly Tamarkin, Robert Wolpert, Steve Woody

Guests present:Rob Carter, OIT; Chris Cramer, OIT; Bob Courier, SNIFF; Sue Jarrell, SISS; Ginny Cake, OIT; Dan McCarriar, OIT; Phil Lemmons, News Services; Jen Vizas, OIT; Sarah Roberts, OIT

I. Review of minutes and announcements:

Mike Picket announces that the high performance computing (HPC) cluster is now in production. If anyone is seeking time on the HPC, see Bill Rankin or Mike Pickett. The Sunfire system in center for genomics is almost online. If you are interested in time on that system, get your applications in the queue now.

Mike also announces a scheduled a Futures Forum on archiving technologies, 9:30-12 on Thursday Dec 18, in room 5 of the Sanford Institute for Public Policy.

II. Telephone number portability (See Portability Users Document, attachment)

Presented by Angel Dronsfield

New laws affecting telephone numbers and the ability of consumers to transfer their numbers go into effect next week. The laws let consumers keep a number when moving from one wireless service to another wireless service, and also when moving from a wireline service to a wireless service.

Two aspects Duke needs to be aware of: 1) How do the new rules affect Duke as a service provider? They don't. Duke owns the exchanges we use on desks and in residence halls; therefore, an individual does not have the right to move their number. Also, a student can't take a dorm room number and port it to a cell phone. We (Duke) can do that, but individuals using our service do not have the right to do it.

This is basically how it works: If you are wireless consumer you have a contract on your current service. You can take your number from, say, Verizon to Alltel. Verizon is obligated to give up the number to a 3rd party who handles the transfer. The transfer time can be two-and-a-half hours to two days. You get immediate outgoing service, but incoming service is the question. If you change, it is up to you to cancel your old contract with the old service provider. If you forget, you get two bills for the same period of time. Also, you may have to change phones.

Duke is working with Alltel to make sure we don't send two bills if service discontinues.


David Jarmul says the chart Angel handed out is a communications opportunity. He recommends she talk to David Menzies about communications.

Angel also announces that a new wireless phone tower is finally up and running on soccer field and should provide better coverage on that side of campus

III. Network bandwidth statistics & "traffic tickets"

Presented by Bob Currier and Chris Cramer

Since issuing traffic tickets for high bandwidth consumption was implemented, we've seen a significant decrease in bandwidth. We've issued over 200 tickets in one month. Consumption had averaged around 300 MB per student per day, but since the ticket program was started it is now at 100 MB. Bob shows several graphs that demonstrate a drop in use. Usage is primarily dominated by freshman.


Chris Cramer says a number of students have noticed improvement in network and have commented on it.

David Jameson Drake thinks we should have a benchmark to compare against.

Chris says as long as we are not hitting the 100 MB cap the performance is all the same from a student perspective.

Robert Wolpert asks if there is a next step.

Bob says if there are delays in routing, or equipment failures, it won't show up on overall traffic map. We need to look at end-to-end performance. If we aren't exceeding the cap it does not necessarily mean everything is perfect.

David Jarmul thinks we should publicize the success of this.

Tracy asks what the Help Desk has seen in response to traffic tickets.

Chris says some students say, "Thank you for letting me know this. I will fix it." Some say, "I had no idea this was going on." And of course, some argue. The Help Desk has been good at helping out students who had some strange cases. Overall the student response has NOT been, "How dare you!"

Bob next shows a 48-hour graph of the mail activity through our mail gateways.

Rob Carter points to a spike in the traffic and it was traced to a dorm machine somewhere on ResNet that was generating volumes of spam-hundreds of thousands of messages in a few hours. We noticed our boxes acting strange so we investigated. It took about two hours to figure out where it was coming from.

Robert Wolpert asks if this was bad behavior from a student?

Chris says no, the student machine had been hacked and was being used without the student's knowledge. This happens from time to time.

IV. Webmail update

Presented by Rob Carter

This is a follow up on what has happened to Webmail service since it came online in August. We are transitioning from two boxes to three that are a little faster. The numbers are staggering. The number of http transactions has been about 108 million. Separate login sessions are 2.5 million. The spread of users-what kind and how many-breaks down to about 18,000 different users; 76% are students; 14% staff; 6% faculty; and the rest are alumni, contractors, etc.

One of the things we track is the most heavily used hour of the day. Around noon is when people are most likely using Webmail.

Comparing this to the MyDuke.com system: Over the same period of it saw 404,000 separate sessions. That puts traffic there at about 40% of our servers. MyDuke.com is more heavily slanted toward student use- 86% are student users. Historically, ending in June we found 8500 users. Since we installed our new Webmail service, MyDuke.com appears to have grown less popular and our Webmail service has grown significantly.

Tracy asks if MyDuke.com is authenticated.

Rob says they are working on it. But it is not now.

David Jameson Drake asks who are considered students because the number of unique student users is high.

Rob says anyone here, anyone graduated recently, and on it goes. This is a gray area.

Michael Gettes asks when the new hardware will be installed?

Rob says it should be live in the next few days.

Pat Halpin asks how many students are using this as their primary e-mail.

Rob says it is a question he'd like to know the answer to, but it is hard to tell.

Robert Wolpert asks if there are any plans to include departmental e-mail through the Webmail system.

Rob says it is feasible. The problem is purely an issue of how we authenticate the user.

V. Web policy (See Web Policy Group Charter, attachement)

Presented by David Jarmul and Ken Hirsh

David Jarmul says communicators art Duke are approached regularly with proper use of the Web questions. What is appropriate use, etc. We formed a group to come up with some guidelines. Ken Hirsch has taken on the lead of a group that we asked to come back in February with findings and recommendations. The expectation is that we will work closely with ITAC and communications people.

Ken says the group will start next week. The goal is to elaborate on a "less is more" kind of endeavor, and look at major policies and perhaps a framework for how we want to do things in the future. He is anxious to get started.

Paul Conway asks for the group charter and membership to know who is available for questions.

Robert Wolpert comments that there are academic freedom issues in Web policy, and he is anxious to see a faculty component in this committee. Does the committee have a faculty component?

Tracy says it does not include a significant number of faculty, only one now, but we can work on getting more.

Chris Cramer says he hears a lot about these issues particularly in regard to commercial use.

Molly Tamarkin says the scope of the committee seems huge. Are you focusing on any segment of the university first?

Ken says he is inclined to think the group will look first at university Web sites. The timeframe is short. The goal is recommendations, not policy setting. We are coming up with a model on how these things can be looked at.

Robert Wolpert adds the short timeframe was on purpose to help the group stay focused.

VI. Updates from Educause

Mike Pickett says 10 or 12 people from Duke went to the recent Educause conference.

Jen Vizas says in OIT labs we use the AFS system and the client is frustrating. She saw a content library system presentation from University of Texas. They used the multi-platform system called Xythos. It as version control, version history, check in check out, and time allotment for privileges.

Sarah Roberts presented the Froshlife project along with Jen and Dan McCarriar while at Educause. Froshlife was a contest among Duke freshmen residence halls to create short digital video films. Their presentation was well received at Educause and several schools are interested in doing something similar.

(Last year's winning entry from Randolph residence hall was shown to ITAC.)

VII. Other business



Portability Users Document

Announcing cellular/wireless phone number portability at Duke

Wireless phone number portability allows users to maintain their existing cellular telephone number when they switch wireless carriers. Effective Monday, November 24, number portability will become available. To learn more about number portability, visit the Federal Communications Commission Web site at www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/numbport.

In the event any of our wireless users wish to change carriers, Duke is working with our wireless service partner, ALLTEL, on the process for "porting" wireless telephone numbers. "Porting" a wireless number to a new carrier requires processing paperwork, re-programming the wireless phone (or purchasing a new one), and in the case of non-Duke plans, signing a new contract.

Moving from another carrier to Duke/ALLTEL

Duke students, faculty, and staff may submit requests to port their numbers to one of ALLTEL's calling plans by visiting www.oit.duke.edu and clicking Telecommunications). Use the online form to place your order. If you have any questions, please call 684-2200 (students) or 684-2337, option1 (faculty/staff).

Moving from Duke/ALLTEL to another carrier

If you are a wireless user on a Duke/ALLTEL calling plan and wish to switch your wireless service to another wireless carrier, be aware of the following:

You will be required to sign a contract with your new wireless carrier. This contract will prevent you from enrolling in a Duke plan in the future (unless Duke has a contract with that carrier).

You are completely responsible for contacting your new carrier to initiate service.

After you are sure the porting process is complete and your service with your new carrier is active, advise OIT to terminate your ALLTEL service. If you ask OIT to terminate your ALLTEL service before your new service is active, you risk losing your number altogether.

Once you request that OIT disconnect your ALLTEL service, you will be responsible for all ALLTEL charges through the end of the month (ALLTEL does not prorate charges).

To ensure Duke continues to receive the best possible wireless services and pricing for our users, Duke will soon submit a Request for Proposal (RFP) to several local wireless carriers. This may eventually result in a change in our wireless partner. For this reason, we'd like to know why our customers may wish to switch carriers. Please take a moment to let us know why you are considering changing carriers by sending e-mail to sharon.byrd@duke.edu.


Web Policy Group Charter

Definitions and Scope

The Web Policy Group (WPG) is being convened and charged by ITAC to propose policies and guidelines governing the use of the Duke Community's web resources. "Web policy" broadly considered touches upon a range of web-related activities, documents, and sets of information, including:

  • Preexisting policies related to web use, some of which may not be primarily technology oriented (e.g., Duke upholds state and federal law).
  • Related, but not explicit, web policy issues, that would need to be developed by a group other than a web policy group since they are broader in scope, or not primarily web related.
  • Current web "best practice": community guidelines for web usage that we publish and promote but do not police. Most web "policies" should be of this form, since a) they are more readily adaptable than formal policies, a necessity in the rapidly evolving web environment, and b) do not carry the negative overtones and administrative burden of formal policies, which require mechanisms for monitoring and appropriate follow-up where policies are violated.
  • Web policies per se, including administrative procedures and responsibility for implementing the policy and consequences for failure to do so.

Charge to the Web Policy Group

The WPG should address all items above, though in very different ways. Items 3 and 4) are directly "in scope" for the WPG. Item 1) above should be addressed only by identifying the preexisting policies and suggesting ways to reference them more effectively for web users. In the case of item 2) above, issues should be identified and suggestions made regarding owners and stakeholders with whom web use representatives would partner in formulating the broader policy.

This is expected to be an incremental process. The WPG should be parsimonious in its first iteration of policies and guidelines, focusing on only those areas in greatest need of, or providing the best opportunity for, improvement in the Duke community's use of its web resources. The WPG should also include in its final report a limited number of examples of other web issues which, while not rising to the highest priority at present, are expected to deserve consideration in the near future.

As further inducement to ensure only the highest priority policies are addressed, the WPG should be convened by November 17, 2003 and should provide an interim report to ITAC by January 22, 2004 and a final report by February 19, 2004. This reporting schedule provides an opportunity to put forward initial policies or guidelines proposals for broader ITAC discussion and input.

A suggested outline of topics, organized by suggested approach, is attached. It will be up to the WPG to triage these topics and address any others that may arise in its own deliberations or in conversations with ITAC.

  • Preexisting policies, reference only:
  • Guidelines for mass distribution of e-mail to campus recipients
  • Observance of local, state and federal laws including copyright laws
  • External or commercial use of Duke logo
  • Privacy policy
  • Duke will not share private information outside the university (FERPA and Provost Office policy on release of employee data)
  • Not web policies per se:
  • Guidelines for posting of e-mail addresses
  • Posting of proprietary information
  • Campus web sites would not be used to track personal information about users without their expressed consent
  • Standards for financial transactions on Duke.edu web sites by campus groups, including approval process
  • Policy for publication of infrastructure or other security-related information
  • Guidelines or requirements for ADA compliance
  • Statements of current web practice:
  • Editorial and usage guidelines for text, images and multimedia
  • Information types to be included -- e.g., description of the unit, e-mail contact and feedback comment information, faculty and facility listings, up-to-date course information, link to main Duke page, legal statement protecting Duke against action due to errors, updating procedure and modification date, etc.
  • Procedures for responding to e-mail
  • Ownership responsibility for content and maintenance
  • Policy on sharing and maintenance of information about web logs
  • Design/technical standards or guidelines; use of templates
  • Technologies and software that will be supported for Duke web sites
  • Standards for maintenance and services offered on units' web sites
  • Recommendations for compatibility with browsers and other good web design practices
  • Web policy/procedure issues (what we're willing to police):
  • Who "owns" and decides what appears on the Duke.edu front page (Note: While this is already defined in principle as the Office of News and Communication, it would be useful to formally define this along with the other web policies developed.)
  • Who "owns" and decides which web site names are permitted at the level below Duke.edu (Note: Again, there has been some operating definitions used, but those may need to be formalized and/or further articulated.)
  • How many levels into Duke.edu are controlled by the central administration
  • Responsibilities and procedures for identification and removal of obscene, libelous or other disallowed information on campus web sites
  • Use of campus web sites for personal commercial or partisan political purposes, including advertising on campus sites
  • Linking of campus sites and search engines to commercial and/or external Duke sites
  • Enforcement and appeals procedures
  • Membership:
  • Ken Hirsh, Law School (chair)
  • Dorothea Bonds, Office of Creative Services, Medical Center
  • Chris Cramer, IT Security Officer
  • Cheryl Crupi, Web Services Office (OIT)
  • Tom Dominick, Fuqua
  • Mike Gustafson, Pratt
  • David Jamieson-Drake, Provost's Office
  • Rich Puff, School of Medicine
  • Ben Riseling, Office of News and Communications