Meeting Minutes

October 17th, 1996 meeting

MEMBERS PRESENT: Richard Dupree (for Paul Dworak), Bill Buntain, Paul Hons, Ginger Boone, Jim Curry, Mike Hatch, Dallas Newell, Cyndie Harris, Tim Christian, Eric DuChemin, Cengiz Capan, Chris Strauss, Maurice Leatherbury (Chair), Sue Ellen Richey (Recording Secretary)

MEMBERS ABSENT: Craig Berry, Rich Anderson, Robert Pierce, Abraham John

GUESTS PRESENT: Richard Harris, Bruce Pollock, Curry Searle, Ovee Rahman

The meeting was called to order at 2:00 PM on October 17th, 1996. The minutes of the October 4th meeting were approved as distributed.

Tim Christian reported for the Network Operating System Management Sub-committee that his committee has evaluated a lot of products and the differences between them all were quite obvious. ManageWise looked like the best product for monitoring Novell Netware servers; and although it does not monitor NDS, an add-on product, DSExpert, does that task. It was pointed out that a document summarizing their evaluations can be found on the WWW (http://www-lan.unt.edu/dcsmt/netmanso.htm). Tim discussed some of the points made in that on-line document . The sub-committee recommended the use of Novell's ManageWise to meet UNT's network monitoring/management needs at this time, and NetPro's DSExpert for the monitoring of critical NDS partitions. The cost of the DSExpert product is estimated to be around $20,000.

Richard Harris stated that the Computing Center has budgeted enough money to pay for the DSExpert product, and pointed out that the ManageWise product is being provided by Novell at no cost to UNT.

Maurice asked if the committee felt the need to postpone a decision on ManageWise and DSExpert until the LAN Desktop Management Software. Bill Buntain stated that there didn't appear to be a better solution than ManageWise and DSExpert, in any case. Maurice decided to put off taking a vote on this until the other outstanding issues are discussed.

Mike Hatch reported for the Intel 32-bit Operating System Standardization sub-committee that they are meeting again but they do not have a recommendation yet. The committee has looked at two products: WinInstall and Saber LAN Workstation Suite from McAfee. Bill Buntain distributed a spreadsheet which summarized the estimated pricing of these two products (Attachment #1). He pointed out that a decision needs to be made before October 31 in order to take advantage of the lower price on WinInstall. Bill also pointed out that Novell has specifically chosen WinInstall as a "snap-in" product for use with their own system; in addition, Novell plans to have WinInstall, or another product like it, included in ManageWise within a year. Mike Hatch stated that he has been testing WinInstall and reported that it provides the functionality needed at UNT. Discussion followed concerning the features of each product. It was pointed out that none of the products Hatch's committee has looked at will support Macintosh; however, since only 15% of the total number of desktops at UNT use Macintosh, this type of support for those systems is not critical at this point. It was noted that ManageWise will inventory MAC and OS2 but will not remotely control them. It was agreed that OS/2 is not an issue, since there seems to be decreasing interest in using that operating system. It was also pointed out that ManageWise will not work with Windows NT at this time, either.

Cengiz Capan warned that some faculty are not going to be happy with LAN managers having a remote software management product that allows them to look at what is on their desktop machines.

Bill Buntain pointed out that if this group decides on WinInstall, it can be funded centrally; on the other hand, Saber LAN Workstation will have to be funded jointly by the Computing Center and participating schools and colleges.

The group agreed to purchase WinInstall prior to October 31, based on further testing by this subcommittee up until October 28th, with the provision that the product will not be purchased if any serious problems are encountered during this testing period.

Maurice asked the group for its decision about whether or not to purchase the DSExpert product. Following more discussion, it was agreed to buy DSExpert but not to invest in the unlimited telephone support contract.

Maurice asked the committee to discuss the issue of a blanket purchase of Windows 95 while it is being offered at a low price. Several LAN managers said they would purchase copies of Windows 95 and others stated they would rather wait for Windows NT rather than change to Windows 95 now and in 6 months change to Windows NT. Bill Buntain said he would be sending out a memo to LAN managers informing them of this special purchase opportunity. Bill said he recognized that Windows NT is a better long-term strategy, but that since it will take a while for all of the campus to change over to that operating system, he believes Windows 95 is a good interim step. In the discussion that followed, it was pointed out that a long-term strategy should be established if UNT switches over to Windows NT. It was agreed that a blanket order would be placed, and that Jim Curry would have an option on the order form to put Windows 95 on newly-built PC's. Maurice stated that there is obviously some question about whether or not Windows 95 is the ultimate operating system the campus will adopt, but at the present time it is a viable option for those who have the equipment and money to use it. In the meantime, a memo will go out stating the availability of Windows 95 at the low price, that it will be supported, but that there will most likely be an upgrade in the next year. Orders will be consolidated, purchased centrally, and departments can get copies of Windows 95 through the Computing Center.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:00 p.m.


Return to Distributed Computing Support Management Team Home Page.

Page last modified on May 05, 1997 by Philip Baczewski