Duke ITAC - September 20, 2007 Minutes

DUKE ITAC - September 20, 2007 Minutes

ITAC minutes

September 20, 2007

Start: 4:02

Attendees: John Board, Bill Cannon, Ginny Cake, Tammy Closs, Ken Hirsh for Dick Danner, Nevin Fouts, Tracy Futhey (via phone), Susan Gerbeth-Jones, Billy Herndon, Rick Hoyle, Edward Gomes for Deborah Jakubs, Bob Newlin for David Jamieson-Drake, David Jarmul, Alvin Lebeck, Roger Loyd, Julian Lombardi, Tim Bounds for Caroline Nisbet, Rafael Rodriquez, Molly Tamarkin, Trey Turnet III, Andrew Tutt, Robert Wolpert.

Guests: Debbie DeYulia of OIT, Jacquelyn C Gottlieb of School of Nursing, Marilyn Lombardi, Kevin Miller of OIT, Jim Rigney, Jonathan Yun of OIT,


John Board welcomed Andrew Tutt, one of the undergraduate student representatives.

TAP Sales

Presented by Jim Rigney

Duke offers students the opportunity to buy their computers through the Technology Advantage Program (TAP). The Apple, Dell, and Lenovo laptops are available through TAP.

Jim reports that TAP sells over 500 computer systems annually. This has been a fairly steady sales number. [Note taker’s remark: Please check since numbers below add up to over 1,000 units]

TAP has set up a mail order process for this year, but only 25 systems went out because of vendor delivery delays.

There has also been a 45-day delivery cycle for the highest resolution computer screens.

The breakdown of sales numbers by vendor is Apple 47%, Dell 33% and Lenovo 20%.

2007 numbers – Apple: 555 units, Dell: 380 units, Lenovo – 234 units

TAP offers a screen warranty (Devil Pledge).

John Board asked if the increased Apple sales were a national trend.

Jim responded the University of Pennsylvania's numbers mirrored Duke's Apple

According to Tracy (via conference call) based on information she has heard at some professional organization meetings she has attended most schools are seeing significant Mac sales. Some schools have Mac sales that represent more than 60% of total  computer sales.

There have been 138 student repairs. Lenovo has had some keyboard issues.

IronMountainPersonal Backup

Presented by Debbie DeYulia

The Personal Backup offering is now live. Pricing for individual users getting the service through Iron Mountain is lower that if a user gets the service on their own.

Ads will run in the Duke Chronicle newspaper to promote the service.

Nevin Fouts asked if people are using WebFiles.

Debbie mentioned that Klara would be discussing WebFiles later in the meeting.

She mentioned benefits of Iron Mountain backup including daily automatic backup every night.

Pricing ranges from $2.40 - $16.95/month or $26.95 - $146.95/year

When asked what kind of discount Iron Mountain provides via Duke, Debbie responded that the discount was in the 45 to 50% range.

WebFiles Usage

Presented by Klara Jelinkova

Klara informed the group that about 200 new users and 80 GB of data are added every week. Over 700 students, 300 staff and 100 faculty are currently using WebFiles.

John Board asked how the count is kept.

Klara said the user numbers are gathered by Unique ID.

Klara will be working with Bill Cannon to provide additional publicity about the availability of the WebFiles service.

RENCI Update

Presented by Marilyn Lombardi

Duke is a founding member of this virtual organization, with high performance computing resources located at its headquarters in Chapel Hill, along with other physical "Engagement Sites" at UNC-Chapel Hill, NC State University, and other UNC campuses across the state. The Telcom building on the Duke campus is used as the RENCI Center.

The first floor is being renovated to accommodate new facilities. The center will have a video conferencing facility. It will be located next to the visualization room. The rest of the first floor will potentially be used by other OIT members.

The RENCI Center’s renovation timeline is as follows.

9/14/07 Demolition completed

10/05/07 Concept design finalized

11/05/07 Building permit obtained

1/10/08 Interior “upfit” completed

1/30/08 RENCI equipment installed

2/15/08 Open House event

Marilyn Lombardi is the director of RENCI. The Senior Visualization Researcher will be Xuniei Wu, Phd.

A search is currently underway to find a Senior Data Software Developer.

The search committee consists of Jeff Chase (CS), Rachael Brady (CS), Julian Lombardi (OIT), Mark McCahill (OIT) and RENCI members.

The videoconferencing facility will have a large conference table with seating for 25 people. The facility will include an in-house support staff. It will offer ACCESS Grid Technology, high-resolution telepresence, shared materials, many to many meetings, one to many meetings and access to hundreds of venues worldwide.

The visualization lab has a multi-touch interactive display. Marilyn pulled up the perceptivepixel.com web site to show a portion of an online demo with Jeff Han. Perceptive Pixel, Inc. was founded by Jeff Han in 2006 as a spinoff of the NYU Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences to develop and market an advanced multi-touch system. RENCI will be custom designing its own multi-touch interactive display.  Marilyn ran the Jeff Han video to give people a sense of the capabilities, but the RENCI center will not be using his system technology.

The meeting space offers a potential ITAC meeting space, dedicated videoconferencing abilities, research collaboration, graduate exams, telemicroscopy.

The facility can provide research support and be a catalyst for large-scale, mulit-institutional grant work. IT will offer HPC resources and expertise.

Research collaborations for FY 2007 – NSF proposal submitted.

There will be a RENCI at Duke presentation and exhibit at the 2007 “Computers in Cardiology Conference” at Washington Duke Inn.

John Board asked about how this resource could be used.

Marilyn mentioned that this is an additional option in the menu of research computing resources available to Duke researchers. She invited all to go over and see RENCI.

Tracy asked what is being done to ensure the staff at RENCI are a  complement to existing Duke technical and research staff.

Marilyn has started engaging with Rachael’s staff and RENCI is working in tandem with Rachael’s staff.

Cellular Update

Presented by Bob Johnson

Bob discussed Duke’s cellular coverage strategy to cover Duke with WiFi and cellular access.

The strategy covers such issues as “Why spend money on both technologies?” and “Is providing ubiquitous cell coverage part of our core mission?”

Vanilla neutral – CDMA or GSM

OIT plans an opportunistic build out in order to use Duke dollars wisely. Alltel and Verizon have contributed significantly. Duke OIT plans to guarantee 95% coverage 95% of the time.

When the project is complete, there should be Verizon, Alltel and Congular/AT&T access throughout the Duke campus. Duke accesses these three wireless service providers via directional antennas located on the top of the Telecom building and Duke hospital.

The remaining amount to cover the cost of build out is $920,000

Justin Wickett asked whether coverage in Bryan Center is equal to all cell providers.

Bob responded that Duke is going live with upgraded Cingular/AT&T coverage in a few days. Once this is done there would be equivalent access to all three Duke wireless partners.

Rafael asked about coverage at hospital buildings. Bob explained that OIT has to decide if there will be complete cellular coverage for Duke University and Hospital

Cellular Update

Presented by Bob Johnson and Klara Jelinkova

Duke’s legacy voicemail platforms are reaching the end of life in December 2008. The multiple platforms create support and user confusion. An example of user confusion is that most users do not know “what number do I call to access my voicemail from the road.”

The new Unity platform is currently fully integrated with Duke’s telephony switches.

800 VOIP users were migrated on 9/10/07

The new Unity voice mail platform offers a single number for access to voicemail – 613-MAIL

OIT will place all new voice mail users on the new platform.

The migration process includes moves by departmental groupings. The user impact is minimal and in many cases simply requires rerecording greetings. Old voicemail box messages will not be moved. Voice mail users will have up to 60 days to retrieve their old voicemail messages.

A communication plan will be put in place to inform users of the move to a new voicemail platform.

Bob mentioned that there would be a temporary halt to mass conversions while OIT examines unified communications possibilities.

These unified communications possibilities include unified access to email, calendaring and voice mail.

OIT plans to conduct some outreach and discovery projects and pilots to determine what unified communications means to potential users. For example, things like instant messaging, multiple points of presence, and enabling presences across all platforms, plus integrating your calendar into your multiple applications.

Klara informed the group that OIT will start doing outreach and explanatory conferences about what kinds of things we can do with unified communications.

Nevin mentioned that it would be nice to enable this presence within multiple and mixed applications.

Klara responded that CISCO wants to work with Duke to learn how to incorporate other applications into Unity.

Nevin sees this as an integrated level of services.

Kevin Miller mentioned looking at integrating new levels of open standards with the Unity package.

John Board noted that Cisco is trying to work with other universities to integrate other applications with Unity

John asked how students can integrate Unity in with their own cellphones and applications and if students would be interested in this ability.

Andrew Tutt, undergrad student rep, mentioned that many Duke students forward emails into their personal Google email accounts.

George Durban mentioned that integrating all these applications would mean that service needs would be high.

Dave Jarmul talked about how Duke News and communications can use this technology to reach duke students.

Klara’s goal is to figure out what the Duke community needs and what kind of technology to use.

Ed Gomes wanted to know if there were any pilots going on.

Klara responded that there were no pilots going on at the Duke campus.

Ed went on to ask about integrating cell phone messaging with Unity.

Bob Johnson said that it could already be done, but that wireless vendors charge for usage.

Dave Jarmul mentioned the possibility of doing a 90-second on-line video of Klara walking along talking on a cell phone.

There was a break in the meeting until Dr. Trask arrived.

Meeting resumed at 5:02

Dr. Trask


Dr. Trask mentioned that 12,000 sq. feet in the basement of Pratt engineering was allocated to house a new data center.

Of that, over 5,000 sq. feet had already been funded. It was moving along and on schedule.

The patient care system is very important.

Hope to do it on central campus. Had hoped to put it into the French Science building, but it will not happen. Gross Chemistry building was vacant.

Molly Tamarkin mentioned that their data center was a great success even at $1,000 per square foot.

Dr. Trask admitted that these things were inherently expensive. The Pratt basement will have a fairly high-end equipment room.

Rafael thanked Dr. Trask for helping with the bail out. He admitted that the cost is high even with an existing building. It is not cheap!

Dr. Trask said that the campus is cluttered with data equipment closets.

He mentioned also looking as less expensive, less critical options for less than the $1,000 per sq. foot.

John Board brought up the issue of green computing.

Tammy Close mentioned OIT’s continued effort to promote more green-friendly computing.

Dr. Trask said that utilities would be unbundled for next year.

Molly thought that it would be a good thing to make people more energy saver aware.

Dr. Trask pointed out that in every new building Duke has the ability to control temperatures down to a single room level.

Tammy said that Duke OIT is also looking at more hosted solutions.

Dr. Trask mentioned that the next energy saving area would be water consumption. Duke is considering building a 200,000-gallon water tank to chill water at night.

Tammy brought up e-Print’s two-sided printing effort.

John Board chimed in that on day one a gradate student had already exceeded his e-Print quota.

Ed Gomes said that early data has not indicated that paper usage has gone down.

Molly pointed out the fact that there were more public ePrint stations available this school year.

Tammy went on to say that it was the students that had brought up the idea of two-sided printing.

Susan Gerbeth-Jones brought up the Tech Expo on Friday, October 5th. Postcards had been sent out and people could register online at techexpo.oit.duke.edu. There would be thirty vendors present and 130 people had already registered.

Meeting adjourned at 5:25

ITAC members went outdoors for a group picture.

2007 ITAC Committee

2007 ITAC Committee