Meeting Minutes

December 6, 1996

MEMBERS PRESENT: Mike Hatch, Paul Hons, Tim Christian, Chris Strauss, Maurice Leatherbury (Chair), Ginger Boone, Craig Berry, Mike Wright, Cyndie Harris, Eric DuChemin, Sue Ellen Richey (Recording Secretary) 

MEMBERS ABSENT: Paul Dworak, Rich Anderson, Robert Pierce, Abraham John, Cengiz Capan, Bill Buntain, Jim Curry, Dallas Newell, Phillip Chukwuma 

The minutes of the November 15, 1996 meeting were approved with a correction to show that Mike Wright was present at the meeting. 

Paul Hon reported for the Call Tracking sub-committee that they met and conferenced with Support Magic by telephone. They were able to look at some of the features and he reported that everyone was impressed with the product. The representative is willing to do a demo for anyone interested before the Christmas break. The rep. will be in Lewisville and will do another demo after the first of January if it is requested. Bill Buntain has found some helpdesk software written in Notes. Paul said he found one on the Web called "Trellis" and has requested information about it. He explained that Support Magic is sold in modules, and he estimates that for what UNT needs it will cost about $40,000 or less. Maurice asked Paul to let him know when the rep. will be here in January so he can make arrangements for a room and let all the members know of the meeting. 

Mike Hatch reported that the Intel 32-bit Operating System Standardization sub-committee has not met recently. He acknowledged that there is concern about some units planning to implement Windows 95 over the break. Although the copies of Windows 95 have been ordered, they have not all arrived. He reported that Ginger Boone has attended a 2-day class on Windows 95. Mike said he has found an product called "Billg PC" that may be an interim solution for Microsoft not having a Boot P implementation. He said that in testing it has proved to be effective, so it may be useful in a roll-out of Windows 95. One issue to be addressed in the roll-out of Windows 95 is software replication on multiple machines in labs. The sub-committee has looked at a couple of products that would help with the cloning of Windows 95. They have considered a site license of one of these products, making it available to Microcomputer Maintenance Shop as well. The two products are Ghost and HDCP (Hard Disk Copy). They take a sector by sector image of the hard disk, package it up into an image which you then replicate to a new hard drive. Paul Hons said that Ghost would cost $8.00 per machine, but they indicated that the price was negotiable. Mike said the HDCP software is shareware and the licensed version just offers a few extra features, and costs $25-$30 per copy. There was some discussion regarding the features of the various software products and the technical needs for the roll-out of Windows 95, as well as what each LAN Manager's plan is for the roll-out. Mike said there are some other options, but they have not yet investigated them fully, and said that they will be doing some more testing. 

Mike reported that WinInstall doesn't do a few other things besides not installing the OS, but they have been working with Seagate on the problems. He still believes WinInstall will be helpful and said that if anyone wants to use it just to let him know. 

Maurice asked about the status of the software orders. The Recording Secretary said she would check on that for him. 

Maurice reported that the Internet connection through DIR is tentatively to be set up during the week of December 16th. 

Eric DuChemin said he had read that there is an NT Agent for ManageWise now. Mike Hatch said he was aware of that. 

Eric DuChemin spoke to the group about the possibility of a strategy of backing up servers on the mainframe, explaining that the mainframe operation is already set up for this process. He asked if the group would be interested in looking at that possibility. Discussion followed, during which several members reported their own methods of server and workstation backup, and the cost of tapes for each type of backup system. Eric pointed out that mainframe backup tapes are archived off site regularly; and he suggested that there might not be consistent off-site archiving of server backups. Tim expressed a strong objection to storage of data on the mainframe, stating his belief that data should be close to the user, and discomfort with relying on one source of data, such as the mainframe. It was also pointed out that a human point of failure could be eliminated with a hands-off mainframe backup operation. Eric stressed that mainframe backup of servers could potentially increase performance and security across campus. Eric said that he really has to find a more reliable method of backups of the PO server and wants to investigate the feasibility of using the mainframe. 

Mike Wright reported at the last meeting that the cost of connectivity to the NT servers has gone up to $23.00 per connection. Since that time, Microsoft has lowered the price to $6.00 per connection, due to the overwhelming negative response from users. Whether or not DIR's contract is adjustable enough to allow us to order at $6.00 even though their order forms say $23.00, is still questionable. Mike said he thinks UNT can support and sustain a select agreement (a 2000-unit contract) with Microsoft for applications, explaining that some products consist of more than one unit; for example, Office is 3-5 units. Having a select agreement gives UNT a slightly better price, as well as access to the latest CDs immediately. Mike estimated that the cost of a select agreement with Microsoft would be $20,000-$30,000 per year with a 2-year commitment. There was some question about that cost, and Mike said he would bring firm prices back to the group at its next meeting. 

Maurice announced that there will be no meeting of this committee on December 20th, and January 3, making the next meeting Friday, January 17, 1997. 

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


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