Duke ITAC - March 24, 2016 Minutes

Duke ITAC - March 24, 2016 Minutes

I.   Announcements

  • Undergraduate admissions decisions will be posted online tonight, March 24th, at 7 p.m. 
  • The beta for the student portal went live a couple days ago.  The launch was delayed due to shibboleth issues and display issues across platforms.  A group of 150 undergraduate volunteers were given the opportunity to register early in a live environment using the beta portal so that they could provide live feedback.  The student portal is planned to go live this summer.

II.  Agenda Items

4:05- 4:20 – West Union Building IT & Infrastructure Updates, Tim Bounds (10 minute presentation/5 minute discussion)

What it is:   West Union, opening in 2016, is posed to be the center of community and activity on campus.  Students, faculty, staff, groups and organizations will be able to gather here for food, diverse social and education experiences, and entertainment, located in the heart of campus center.

Why it’s relevant:  Tim will expound on the IT and Infrastructure components that support this new facility.

Technology Update:  Prior to infrastructure changes to West Union, the Student Affairs IT Office supported less than 5 audio visual spaces.  There are now over 75 spaces.  A person has been added to Desktop Support to help with the added workload to support the additional AV spaces.  AV has been added to the central budget process including support and maintenance. 

 There will be several large video displays within West Union.  Student Activities is working with REVERED, a brand marketing firm, to design content layout for the large digital signage screens.  Content will include directional information, maps, events, and TV streaming. 

Infrastructure Update:  Tim presented a visual representation of the renovated West Union building. Besides the many dining venues, there will also be a demonstration kitchen, 6 multipurpose/meeting rooms – one room will include video conferencing, 4 digital signage installations, a private dining room, 2 small performance spaces, building-wide background music and 62 security cameras. 

 Points of Interest: 

    •  A Sushi venue set to open sometime after the initial building opening, will have a pay at the table ordering system.  Guests will be able to order and pay by credit card, points or flex directly from their table.
    • A training/demonstration kitchen that can be used for classes and by celebrity guests has 4 video cameras that can stream to large video displays within the space and to video displays throughout West Union.
    • Devil’s Krafthouse opened a couple weeks ago on the lower level of the West Union building.  The pub has 6 TVs inside and a large 80-inch screen for guests seated outside.  All TVs are controlled from one central control panel at the bar.  There is a small performance space that can be used by singer/songwriters and for other small presentations.
    • Event Management in the Student Activities Department will provide scheduling for meeting rooms. We are currently evaluating Crestron, an event management system, to schedule rooms on an adhoc basis when rooms are empty using a display pad that will be located next to meeting room doors. 
    • One conference room will have a Crestron wireless AirPlay display.

Questions and Discussion

Question:  Are we planning to standardize the scheduling of academic rooms using a mobile app?

Answer:  We can add this as a future ITAC agenda item.

Question:  How many meeting rooms will be reservable? 

Answer:  There will be a number of rooms that will accommodate 10 to 15 people.  Once Dining moves out of Penn Pavilion in a couple years, larger venues that can accommodate more than 200 people will be available to reserve.  The Student Health and Wellness Center, opening in early 2017, will have 2 event-sized spaces that can accommodate 50 to 75 people. 

4:20-4:30 – Flash Array Storage in OIT, Charley Kneifel (5 minute presentation/5 minute discussion)

What it is:  An all-flash array is a data storage system that contains multiple flash memory drives in place of spinning hard disk drives, allowing for much faster data transfer rates, and more efficient use of data center resources.

Why it’s relevant:  OIT provides several centralized storage offerings, the latest being the Platinum, all flash based level.  Charley will provide an overview of Duke’s service offering, along with some insight into how moving to this technology is preparing Duke for the future of storage solutions.

Platinum Service Offering:  All-Flash storage is a new “Platinum” level of storage offered by OIT.  Flash storage, first developed by Toshiba, is any type of data repository that uses flash memory (no spinning drives).  The cost of this SAN connected service is $3/Gb/year which is the highest cost of our 5 service levels – Silver $1/GB/year, Bronze $0.30/GB/year and NAS $0.18/GB/year and NAS Archive $0.10/GB/year.  It is best for use in high database environments with high input/output operations per second (IOPS) like Cacti (network monitoring tool).  It is overkill for file servers, NAS services, web servers and app servers.

 Advantages compared to spinning disk: 

    • Non-volatile – keeps its state until it is reprogrammed even if the power goes out
    • Fast - 100x faster than spinning disks – almost immediate access
    • Lower power – less heat
    • More reliable

 Disadvantages compared to spinning disk:

    • Hot spots due to a fixed/limited number of writes
    • Corruption can occur
    • Limited storage capacity
    • More expensive although the price has been dropping

 

4:30-4:45 – TelCom Building First Floor Renovation Update, Julian Lombardi (10 minute presentation/5 minute discussion)

What it is:   A renovation of the first floor of the TelCom building is scheduled to begin in 2016.  The plan includes a recording studio, a new innovation studio and co-lab, lockers to store projects, a common space to facilitate ad-hoc collaborations, a conference room space, an editing suite, an ideation space, a messy room, a clean room, a kitchen, and restrooms.

Why it’s relevant:    Some of OIT’s objectives focus on service evolution, quality improvement and innovation in support of the growing needs of Duke’s research and academic activities.   Julian will provide an update on the progress of the renovation and how its components support these objectives.

 Update:  Julian Lombardi gave an update on the 1st floor TelCom renovation project.  Some of the features of the planned renovation include:

    • an open airy feel with a lot of light - high use of glass
    • Research Computing area with 6 cubicles and dedicated wall space for research visualizations and posters
    • Media Technologies studio with 4 editing suites
    • Co-lab and Innovation Studio – 3D printers (45 planned), garage door that rolls up so that materials can be brought in, messy room for 3D material scraps
    • RENCI Engagement Center
    • a commons area for adhoc meetings that will have digital displays
    • a dedicated meeting room, a conference room and a consulting area
    • student lockers
    • kitchen
    • emergency communication center for the University
    • flexible space - all furniture on rollers for easy reconfiguration 
    • card reader access to get into the buildings

Questions and Discussion

Question:  Will there be high-end telepresence in TelCom?  

Answer:  There will be standard conferencing capabilities but not the high-end telepresence.  Fuqua has high-end telepresence available.

Question:  Will the bathrooms be updated? 

Answer:  They will not be renovated. 

4:45-5:00 – North Building Data Center Shutdown, Charley Kneifel (10 minute presentation/5 minute discussion)

What it is:  Another facet of the TelCom Building renovation includes migrating the North Building Data Center and Service Operations Center staff into the TelCom Building. 

Why it’s relevant:   Charley will provide an overview of the progress of the migration.

The decision to shut down the North Building Data Center and to migrate the Data Center and the Service Operations Center staff into TelCom was based on:

    • Significant investments would have to be made for North Building to continue as a data center. 
    • TelCom has key fiber assets.  We are now online at NC1 – a Tier 4 data center that DHTS has deployed in RTP.

TelCom Update: The 2nd floor of TelCom has had its first round of modifications. Old equipment (computer and networking racks, legacy cabling for telephone switches, legacy AC power distribution and legacy DC power distribution) has been removed from TelCom. 

North Building Update:  145 North Building has been powered down.  All Research Computing equipment has either been replaced or migrated to Fitz East Data Center where there is sufficient power backup and redundant cooling systems.  Network fiber path dependencies have been mapped and remediated.  154 North Building storage services have been migrated to TelCom.  This includes, SAP secondary systems, telephony secondary systems, and VMWare secondary systems.  There are still some backup servers and 6 servers that still have to be migrated.

Questions and Discussion

Question:  How is HVAC being handled?

Answer:  The room has 4 computer AC units that use chilled water with DX backup.  There is an old central AC unit on the 1st floor that will be replaced with 2 smaller units. 

 

5:00- 5:30 – Undergraduate Presentation – State of IT, Kavita Jain, Jared Katzen, Sean Bissell (20 minute presentation, 10 minute discussion)

What it is: ITAC Student Representatives from DSG will present on the state of IT from their perspective.

Why it’s relevant: Feedback from the students allows IT representatives to hear firsthand the challenges that students face on a regular basis. This information can help set goals and priorities for various IT projects.

Survey Results:  A summary of the results of the 2016 undergraduate perspective on the state of IT were presented.  There were 75 surveys returned (freshman: 40, sophomore: 12, junior: 9 and senior: 4). General comments made by the respondents included improving speed (Wi-Fi, Sakai/ACES loading, mobile service, etc.), making services more user-friendly (mobile apps; 25Live; DukeMail on Android Devices), increasing awareness of changes and new initiatives/programs and making OIT surveys shorter.

IT service-specific key findings include:

Panopto Lecture Recording:  66% of respondents haven’t taken a course that used it.  Most of the respondents that have used it are satisfied (90% rated it 3 or higher out of a 5 pt. scale).  Recommendations to improve the service include having video and slides independent from each other and providing higher quality recordings.

Sakai: Recommendations to improve the service include longer login times, better mobile version, ACES integration and automatically removing unused tabs in sidebar.

Online Learning:  32% of the respondents said they have used Warpwire in Sakai and 29% have used Coursera.  Only 5% have used iTunesU.  Of those that use online learning platforms, most were satisfied but would like to have more course offerings, especially over summer.

ePrint:  Most of the respondents are satisfied with the service (93% rated it 3 or higher out of a 5 pt. scale).  68% didn’t know there is mobile ePrint app.  Most said they would use the service if they knew about it. Recommendations to improve the service include adding more black & white and color printing stations, extending time in print queue (was 8 hours but has been increased to 24 – had to increase disk space), and using ePrint allocation rather than Flex for color stations. 

Question:  Are there geographic areas that are lacking stations? 

Answer:  Heavily trafficked academic buildings (BioSci, LSRC, Nicholas, and Physics) are lacking stations.  Add more centrally located ePrint stations.

Online Storage:  65% of the respondents do not use Box online storage.  Most, 94%, use Google Drive.  Those that use Box are generally happy with the service (89% rated it 3 or higher out of a 5 pt. scale).

Duke Mail:  Of the 49% of respondents that use mail.duke.edu, most are generally happy with it.  91% get their email on their phone.  Apple Mail is the most commonly used app (73%).  Recommendations to improve the service include being more user friendly for Android users and using automatic folders to separate Sakai/class emails from others (similar to Gmail Primary Updates & Social Folders).

Internet/mobile Service:  68% of respondents prefer Google Chrome over other browsers.  40% of respondents use Dukeblue to access the internet while 58% use DUKE.  Respondents are generally satisfied with the service (71% rated it a 3 or higher out of a 5 pt. scale).  Recommendations to improve the service include improving the speed, increasing coverage on bus routes/stops, increasing notifications when the network will be down, improving service in dorm rooms and expanding Dukeblue to the Medical Center.

Cellphone Service:  Most of the respondents use AT&T (51%) and Verizon (28%).  70% of respondents rated the average cell signal strength on campus a 3 or higher out of a 5 pt. scale).  Recommendations to improve the service include improving 4G/LTE signal strength and improving service inside dorms/buildings and on bus routes.

DukeMobile:  35% of respondents don’t use DukeMobile.  Of those that do, most rated the service a 3 out of a 5 pt. scale. Recommendations to improve the service include improving speed, extending login time, improving design, providing an auto-save feature for passwords and being more mobile-friendly.

TransLoc:  Respondents that use TransLoc are generally happy with the service.  Recommendations to improve the service include improving accuracy of bus tracking, improving app load times, providing notification for “last bus of night” and improving app reliability (frequent crashes).

Roku:  42% of respondents don’t use Roku boxes.  Most of those that use the service watch live events (sports).  Roku provides channels that others don’t (CNN and ESPN).  Recommendations to improve the service include easier navigation and instructions and reduced lag time.  Some prefer cable TV.

TheLink (OIT Service Desk):  51% of respondents haven’t used the service.  Of those that have used the TheLink, most are satisfied.  Recommendations to improve the service include faster service times, extended weekend hours, authentic Apple chargers and relocation of Duke Computer Repair to TheLink.

25Live:  65% of respondents don’t use 25Live.  Respondents that have used the service are generally not satisfied.  Recommendations to improve the service include expanding accessibility for student groups, extending reservation times, making it more user friendly and switching to a different service.

Duke Desktop Computers:  Less than half of the respondents have used a Duke desktop computer.  Those that have used them are generally satisfied.  Recommendations to improve their experience include improving speed, using the same login for student affairs and work study, providing desktops in dorms and providing more powerful desktops in the Data & Visualizations Lab.

Innovation CoLab:  81% of respondents haven’t heard of the Innovation CoLab.  Those that have used the service have been satisfied.  Recommendations to improve the service include providing more 3D printers online, providing more fabrication space for projects, and extending office hours with staff knowledgeable about APIs and other online resources.

NetID:  88% of respondents don’t change their NetID password.

MFA:  Only 12% of respondents have used multifactor authentication.

Software Services:  83% of respondents said they know about the service.  Most of the respondents are satisfied (94% rated it 3 or higher out of a 5 pt. scale – 50% rated the service 5 out of 5).  The most downloaded software by respondents has been Microsoft Office and Adobe.   Recommendations to improve the service include better communicating initiatives to student body especially at the beginning of the semester and better communicating free services.

Adblockers:  57% of respondents said they use adblockers.

Antivirus Software:  54% of respondents are using antivirus software.  The two most popular programs that respondents use are Symantec and McAfee.  74% said they didn’t know Symantec is provided free of charge. 

Security Week.  72% of respondents did not participate in Security Week.  88% said they didn’t know about it even though there were several email notifications and other notifications.