ITAC Meeting Minutes

November 6, 2014

I.        Announcements

  • Registration update:  There were some hickups in the registration process this morning, that appear to stem from some entrepreneurial code from students that
  • Conflict with the next meeting and the game? We are inclined to move forward with the meeting as scheduled.

II.      Agenda Items

4:05 - 4:30 – Duke Web Services, Evan Levine, Ryn Nasser, Julie Grundy (15 presentation, 10 discussion)

What it is: Duke Web Services is a full-scale Web Design group within the Office of Information Technology at Duke University. Their expertise include print design, web design, web strategy and consultation, site and application development, database development and project management.

Why it’s relevant: Duke Web Services will provide an overview of the services they provide, the structure of their team and demonstrate some of their recent project work.

  • Our group began in Arts & Sciences years ago and as our scope of work continued to expand, we were absorbed by OIT in 2007 to focus more on centralized projects. 
    • Services: 
      • Website Development (Druple & WordPress) -  The majority of our sites are responsive to adapt to mobile de
      • Information Architecture – Planning the organization of a site or application; how is information organized; how the information will look,
      • Design and Art Direction – Bringing goals to life, consulting
      • Support & Maintenance – All sites are supported by a Service Level Agreement
      • Central Services – Duke WordPress, and Duke WIKI – Our sites integrate with existing Duke systems. Scholars at Duke, for example… (recording) – shibboleth – ITSO….
  • Projects:
    • – The goal of the site was to provide a visible presence to Duke in the world.  We used news stories and an interactive map that pulls from Scholars data.  As a user clicks on a country, it lists the scholars.  Users can also filter the lists of scholars by school or institute.   Region pages were created to group countries, institutes, and schools doing work in respective countries.
    • Graduate School Website – The site is integrated with the find funding database.  Current students’ greatest priority was finding money. Prospective students’ greatest priority is degree offerings.  All of the information on the site is dynamic.
      • Q – How does the website know there is a new program offering?  Program listings are a part of the
      • Q – What is the current state of the work queue for Duke Web Services?
      • Q – Recording……. S.Bass….
    • CFAR (Center for Aids Research)  - Since CFAR is a tiered organization, the content was derived from different cores/groups.  Recent publications are linked  using

4:30 - 4:45 – CSG Update, Charley Kneifel, Mark McCahill, Evan Levine (10 presentation, 5 discussion)

What it is:  The Common Solutions Group works by inviting a small set of research universities to participate regularly in meetings and project work. These universities are the CSG members; they are characterized by strategic technical vision, strong leadership, and the ability and willingness to adopt common solutions on their campuses.

Why it’s relevant:  CSG meetings comprise leading technical and senior administrative staff from its members, and they are organized to encourage detailed, interactive discussions of strategic technical and policy issues affecting research-university IT across time. We would like to share our experiences from the recent 2014 Fall meetings.

  • Cloud Computing: ECAR (Educause Research……)  Cloud vendors are not yet
    • Q- Has the recent announcement that Microsoft is offering free storage had an effect on decisions?T
    • IT’s Roll in the teaching and academic technology landscape – The most common theme was that the same roles and functions were being performed across institutions.
      • Learning Management Systems – The schools unhappy with LMS are struggling with long term decisions for changing.  While Sakai does not meet all needs.  Nearly all the institutions agreed student involvement could be increased.
      • Tools infrastructure – We want to emphasize toolkits
      • Content production  - New types of educational content are becoming more popular and no one institution
      • CRMs (Customer Relationship Management Systems) – Many departments are beginning to use Salesforce to meet their needs.  While the solution works well for departments, it proves difficult at best to implement
      • Programming for citizen developers – Mendix? (sp – Chicago)
      • SDN – new topic for the next CSG
      • Dev Ops and Automations
      • Q-Educational technology tools – It’s currently difficult to find what’s available at Duke University. What are departments using Salesforce for?
      • Cloud computing – Was there any discussion for using servers as an auxiliary service for peak times?

4:45 - 5:00 – HackDuke, Ashley Qian, Michael Faber (10 presentation, 5 discussion)

What it is: Duke is once again sponsoring a 24 hour event to allow students from across the country to write applications and build gadgets. Previously, the Hack-A-Thon challenge resulted in over 100 different projects and we expect as much excitement again this year.

Why it’s relevant: We will give some insight the planning and organization of this event. ITAC can look forward to a more detailed update following the completion of the HackDuke event later this semester.

  •  HackDuke Focuses: Mentorship, Women in Technology, Duke & Durham (working with Code for Durham to determine ways we can improve the Durham community), Education
  • Q – What is your feeling about bringing medical center staff to present problems to the hackers?  H
  • Q – Have you done outreach to high school students?  Yes. However, it’s not currently possible and
  • Q – Where does the money come from and who is responsible for managing it? We have an account managers and program directors through I&E.  The money comes from companies/sponsors excited about the event. 
  • Q – What does the money go for? Most of it goes to parking/transportation, food, etc.

5:00 - 5:15 – Network Update, Robert Johnson, Daniel Frederick (10 presentation, 5 discussion)

What it is: The Network team has been working to upgrade the core network to support the growing demands on Duke resources.

Why it’s relevant: The network team will provide an update on the project, including the current progress on completing the necessary work.

  • The new core is live, with the majority of the sciences buildings in need of more bandwidth have been moved over.   A new feature included as part of the new core is there is less risk of one building’s traffic affecting performance of another.  QoS (Quality of Service – guarantees voice and data services priorities being set based on the type of traffic)
  • Internet Edge Design –
  • Q – Is Duke Medicine not on the same IPS system as OIT?  We are in the process of finishing the design of a new core network.
  • Q – Are student-controlled machines in the Outlands? Yes

5:15 - 5:30 – Software Defined Networks (SDN), Jeff Chase, Charley Kneifel, John Board (10 presentation, 5 discussion)

What it is: Software-defined networking (SDN) is an emerging architecture that is dynamic, manageable, cost-effective, and adaptable. SDN architectures decouple network control and the application, enabling network control to become directly programmable and the underlying infrastructure to be abstracted from applications and network services.

Why it’s relevant: We will discuss how this is being considered at Duke.

  •  The goal of an SDSN is to allow users to flip a switch to bypass the core network and security devices to transfer big data using the available speed and size of the links on the network.
  • AL2S – Provides a connection between any nodes on an SDSN circuit.
  • Switchboard App -  - recording
  • EAGER Grant – Pilot a Software Defined Science Network (SDSN) to expand/enhance our link with
  • CC-NIE Evaluate Switches and deploy a campus SDSN