Meeting Minutes

February 19, 1999 Meeting

Members present: Craig Berry, Mike Hatch, Paul Hons, Chris Strauss, Robert Pierce, Tim Christian, Gary Matthews, Paul Hons, Jim Curry, Mike Wright, Kelly Wood, Cyndie Harris, Maurice Leatherbury, Wil Clark, Allen Bradley, Kirk Kelly, Ginger Boone, Roy Zumwalt, Troy Bacon

Members Absent: Dallas Newell, Ramu Muthia, Abraham John, Sandy Burke, Rich Anderson, Bruce Pollock, Eric Duchemin, Bill Buntain

Guests Present:  Richard Harris, Chris Coffer, Curry Searle, Jason Myre, Craig Terrell, Jon Walker, Andrew McGregor, Daren Dugan, Chris Cofer, Chris Stoermer

The minutes of the February 5th, 1999 meeting were approved as written.

Tim Christian, reporting for the Call Tracking Committee, said that the project is lagging and he's decided to stepp down in order to rejuvenate the development process. If a majority of the Remedy steering committee doesn't object, Robert Pierce will take over as of Tuesday, February 23rd. Maurice reported that we'd received communication from Remedy this week about potential price changes. Apparently, they're changing the maintenance contract to take the concept of "off-the-shelf help desk package" seriously and will charge additional for the help desk solution. The new maintenance contract might raise our cost $5,000 to 6,000 per year.

Maurice reported that the Campus Agreement project is proceeding slowly. He said that he'd brought the question of adopting the Campus Agreement up at the IRC and there was a good discussion. The IRC approved it by taking a "sense of the body" vote.   Mike Wright is now working on writing an RFP. We still need to get student involvement for Spring 2000. Mike Wright has contacted CompUSA to verify our Select Agreement expiration date: they say it is August 31, 1999. Mike, SueEllen, and Maurice met with the order fulfillment company for the UT system to get advice on how to write our RFP and whether to go to Open License or Select. Last calender year we spent $145,000, up from the previous four quarters' total of $117,000. We couldn't make a Select quota for non-Campus products, so the Open License agreement is apparently the only way to get reduced-cost non-campus agreement products. The only products we purchased last year in volume that are not covered under the Campus agreement are Works, NT Server, SQL Server, and Project. Publisher is in Office 2000. Tim Christian asked whether the BackOffice product was covered, and Maurice responded that the client only was in the CA. Maurice needs to know what non-Campus products will be purchased in the next year by the distributed areas. He reminded the attendees that the Premium version of Office 2000 will not be available to education customers at education prices but that version only adds PhotoDraw 2000. Everyone is to send their lists of projected non-CA purchases to Maurice or Mike to put in the RFP within a week.

Maurice reported, in Bill Buntain's absence, that the $3.2 million bond issue for the datacomm upgrade was approved by the Board last week. Datacomm's ambitious schedule calls for having some dorms will be wired by the Fall and the rest by Spring.

Maurice also reported that Dr. Hurley did sign UNT's UCAID membership application and he didn't expect be any hitches in getting approved for membership. The NSF Grant for connection to Internet 2 went at the end of January. Tim Christian noted that Armin Mikler of the Computer Science department has a committment from Packet Engines to donate high end switching equipment as a result of UCAID membership. Dr. Mikler is a co-author of UNT's Connections grant.

Cyndie Harris brought up the issue of Human Resources policies negatively impacting her ability to hire the right person for a position she's trying to hire in her support shop. She said that they won't screen for what she needs but overscreen for experience and education. Tim asked who writes the rules for experience equivalencies, and Maurice responded that they are in job descriptions. Allen Bradley noted that the policy written by HR has caused problems for him and we should be able to it rewritten, particularly if all of the DCSMT members signs a memo requesting the change. Mike Hatch said that rule seems to be that if you aren't paid for computer support it doesn't count for experience. Maurice said that we should be able to change campus wide requirements by talking to Steve Miller. Richard Harris noted that  DCSMT is supposed to be a representative body with Maurice serving as voice for the group. He said that in the past, HR has been receptive to computing support needs and suggested that Maurice contact them to discuss the issues. Someone suggested that MCSE and CNE certification could be counted toward meeting the experience requirements, and it was also suggested that we test applicants for their skill levels rather than relying solely on experience. Richard Harris recommended that a subcommittee of this group be appointed to work with HR to present a unified proposal, recognizing that UNT must maintain equity across campus. Maurice said that he will talk to Steve and see if they will attend a forthcoming meeting of the DCSMT.

Allen Bradley presented his unit's plans for putting students in the NDS tree. The project is part of a much larger project for campus-wide Common Directory Services (CDS) for Mainframe, Remedy, etc. access. We're creating a unique, single, permanent User ID per student. The solution fixes the contextual login problems and people won't login as machine numbers in the labs. Tim asked about how the Libraries users (who might not be affiliated with UNT), and Robert Pierce said that the libraries are interested in seeing how the student solution would affect them. Tim said that it might be possible to lock the library machines down some more under the new system. Allen  described how the new system will have groups per class and said that it should be available to everyone next semester. Dr. Schlieve is using a trial version this semester. Mike Hatch asked how will this work for non-COE areas and whether it is customized based on COE's requirements? Allen responded that they had taken the original plan from several years ago and tried it in COE, so the new system isn't based entirely on one college's needs. Craig Terrell said that home directories will need to be decided in each area and that the new system has the potential of making resources available to users a simple process. Allen noted that everything is geared around classes, but Mike Hatch said that users might want different mappings depending on their reason for logging in. Tim said that we could handle that by prompt users for their preferred context at login. Jon Walker, in response to questions about who has rights to edit user objects, said that there will be one administrator account per area.

Tim raised the issue of  how many students could be in a partition: Novell in the past had sent us some rules stating that there should be fewer than 1000 objects per partition, and fewer than 500 per group. He asked what the life time of an account would be, to which Allen replied that guidelines aren't ready yet. Jon noted that we use 5000 per partition for objects and because we keep a copy of the root partition everywhere we have fast response times. NDS also has its own dedicated backbone so we can violate some Novell rules. Tim asked about how we would handle lab and lecture classes, and Craig said that the groups were based completely on SIMS, so there would be a separate group for each class section, but that network managers could choose whether or not to use the system. The transition plan to move old student accounts off the tree is through attrition.

Craig Terrell asked that the network managers send him an e-mail with course prefixes by college so he could properly partition the classes. There is no Jove naming conflict because jove and NDS will be using the same naming system.  Tim asked about e-mail for students under the new system, and Maurice responded that student e-mail will be done via Jove, which currently has about 17,000 accounts. Student accounts are left active for one semester after the students leave the University before they are deactivated, and we will have an acccount for every student although the account may just be a place holder until they ask to use it. Chris Cofer asked how will teachers be handled - will they be in the class group? Allen said they will be now

Richard Harris noted that the dorms need to be factored into the plan. Troy Bacon asked about plans for the management of dorm wiring and users. Bill buntain is looking at this and is forming a group to recommend some policies.

Maurice reported that we might get another room next time because ISB 203 doesn't lend itself well to our meetings. Gary Matthews said that we should be back in ISB 204 in April.

The meeting adjourned at 11:33am

NOTE:  Thanks again to Robert Pierce for supplying the notes of the meeting.

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