This past weekend’s scheduled upgrades of the Storage Area Network (SAN) in Corrigan Hall and the Blackboard Learning System were completed successfully.
The Blackboard channel in PirateNet is not yet updated to connect to the Blackboard Learning System, but users can access Blackboard directly from PirateNet by clicking the Blackboard icon at the top of every page.
As a reminder, an upgrade of the Blackberry Enterprise Server is scheduled for Tuesday, August 17, from 9AM – 12PM. University-issued Blackberries will not be able to send or receive email during this time.
Full details regarding this summer’s IT maintenance can be found at:
Steve Landry, CIO
University IT Services is in the process of implementing a common IT Service Management framework known as ITIL. ITIL is a collection of standard policies, processes, and documentation intended to ensure critical IT systems are highly available and to reduce the time to restore systems in the event of problems.
An important part of our ITIL adoption is the implementation of ServiceNow, a software package that service requests, incident tracking, and problem reporting. ServiceNow also integrates with RightAnswers, a technical knowledge base to which the University subscribes. Additional modules allow IT to track all systems and to plan and monitor system changes. The service request and incident tracking parts of ServiceNow will replace the current InterTrack software on August 23rd. The change and inventory management components are expected to be in place by the end of 2010.
All users of the current InterTrack system are encouraged to participate in ServiceNow training as early as possible to help make the adoption of ServiceNow as seamless as possible.
Steve Landry, CIO
PLEASE NOTE: Most University IT systems will be unavailable this Saturday, August 14th, due to an upgrade to the storage area network (SAN) in the Corrigan Hall data center.
Reminder: This year’s summer IT maintenance window will take place beginning 12:01 a.m. on August 10 through 11:59 p.m. on August 18. Scheduled maintenance on IT systems will take place during this time. While most systems will be up most of the time during this period and University IT Services will make every effort to give advance notification whenever specific systems are scheduled to be off line, unanticipated interruptions to services may occur while this work is being performed. Please plan your work accordingly. Continue reading
The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 includes specific requirements that all colleges and universities in the US increase the awareness of their communities about copyright law and campus policies regarding illegal file sharing. The law requires colleges and universities to have plans in place to combat illegal file sharing and to provide information to community members about legal ways to download copyrighted music and movies.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and other organizations that represent copyright holders actively scan the Internet to find and prosecute violations of copyright. Each year Seton Hall University receives dozens of settlement notices from these organizations for members of the community who are alleged to have downloaded music or movies illegally. University IT Services works with the Office of Legal Counsel and Student Affairs to respond appropriately to these notices. Members of the community who illegally download copyrighted materials face civil and criminal prosecution; fines for copyright infractions are often in the thousands of dollars. In addition, illegal file sharing is against the University’s policy on the appropriate use of computing resources. Violations of this University policy may result in sanctions including the loss of network access.
University IT Services has created an informative Web page that outlines the relevant copyright laws and University policies and provides information on where members of the University community can find legal music and movie downloads. This page is at:
Summary: Seton Hall University is by law required to maintain a reasonably secure network. Data breaches can be costly and affect institutional reputation. All users of SHU systems are required to regularly change their password and to use reasonably strong passwords. This summer University IT Services is taking further steps to improve network security for the campus. These steps include: requiring new users to change their password on their first login; reducing the number of failed logins allowed before an account is locked; upgrading the Symantec personal firewall on all University-issued computers; and, filtering outbound email for spam to prevent compromised accounts from distributing spam over the Internet. These are prudent steps to better secure our network and ensure safe and reliable services. See details regarding these security enhancements below.
AT&T continues work today on its cellular antennas on the campus radio tower. Services may be affected today as they complete this work.
AT&T 3G service on campus had been inconsistent following the lightning strike on the radio tower last summer which damaged some of AT&T’s equipment.
After today’s work, the upgrade for the AT&T cellular service on the radio tower should be completed, providing high quality AT&T 3G service for the campus.
AT&T plans further improvements in AT&T 3G service for the campus over the summer by upgrading the electronics in the microcells around campus. This upgrade is expected to provide improved AT&T 3G service inside most campus buildings, including the residence halls.
Steve Landry, CIO
Orientation for the Class of 2014 begins this week, and part of parent orientation is a brief presentation on Seton Hall University’s Mobile Computing Program.
The University’s Mobile Computing Program is a unique academic program that has three mutually supporting components: (1) We provide an appropriate standard computer for each undergraduate student. (2) We provide the support services (such as networking, software, and repair services) to make this a useful learning tool. (3) We provide support to faculty who wish to make appropriate and effective use of the technology to improve learning in their courses.
One question often asked is why require a standard laptop? The short answer is that standardizing the laptop actually increases the options available to faculty using laptops in their classes. Faculty have the assurance that when they work to develop a technology-enabled class assignment that all students have the technology they need to complete the assignment. An interesting article in today’s Inside Higher Education discusses the seeming paradox that standardization of student technology increases faculty choice; the article can be found at:
Summary: To reduce IT support costs, the University is standardizing on Windows 7. Most computers will be required to run Windows 7 by the end of this year. Faculty and students in the Mobile Computing Program will have the option of deferring their upgrade to their next refresh. If you do not have a computer that is able to run Windows 7, IT Services will provide a used ThinkPad T61 laptop with Windows 7. Over the next few weeks PC Support Services will be contacting offices and departments to schedule any required upgrades or replacements to your computers.
Last Thursday Seton Hall University began layoffs of thirty two employees in order to meet the budget for next fiscal year while moving forward with the University’s strategic initiatives. These layoffs were announced to the University community in the following letter from Monsignor Sheeran last Thursday.
Presidents Letter to the Community 20100610.pdf
In the past year and a half of budget reductions, the Office of the CIO took a number of steps to mitigate the impact of these budget cuts both on the IT professionals employed by the University and on services. We shared with the community some of our ideas for reducing the University’s IT costs (for example, in this post last February), we took into consideration the feedback we received from the community, and we crafted our budget cuts accordingly. We eliminated eleven positions at the beginning of this fiscal year, and held other positions open this year in anticipation of this round of budget cuts. Nevertheless, several IT professionals were part of the reduction in force that occurred last week.
As we move forward with a leaner and more efficient IT professional organization, our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the current economic downturn, especially our colleagues from Seton Hall University who have been affected by the current layoffs, and we hope for better times ahead.
Steve Landry, CIO
Over at the Wall Street Journal, there’s been an ongoing debate between Nick Carr, author of “Does IT Matter?” and “Is Google Making Us Dumber”, and Clay Shirkey, professor of media at NYU, who takes the opposite view that changes in the limitations of media inevitably lead to an expansion of content, much of which is of low quality, but that society eventually works out the processes necessary for dealing with the sudden increases in freedom and expression.
From Clay Shirkey’s WSJ article published yesterday:
“Digital media have made creating and disseminating text, sound, and images cheap, easy and global. The bulk of publicly available media is now created by people who understand little of the professional standards and practices for media. … But of course, that’s what always happens. Every increase in freedom to create or consume media, from paperback books to YouTube, alarms people accustomed to the restrictions of the old system, convincing them that the new media will make young people stupid. This fear dates back to at least the invention of movable type. … As Gutenberg’s press spread through Europe, the Bible was translated into local languages .. leading to claims that the printing press, if not controlled, would lead to chaos and the dismemberment of European intellectual life. … These claims were, of course, correct.”
Read the whole article at:
Stephen G. Landry, Ph.D.
Chief information Officer
Seton Hall University
AT&T service on campus has not been satisfactory since lightning struck the cell antennas on the radio tower last summer. In April I reported that AT&T was replacing the antennas over the Easter Break (see, for example, this post). While the antennas have been replaced, the upgrade to the equipment and fiber connection that support the antennas has taken longer than expected. AT&T reports that the upgrade to the cell phone antennas on the radio tower will be completed in the next few weeks. In addition, they are planning further upgrades to the microcells around campus, with the goal of having those microcells upgraded by the start of the fall semester. We expect AT&T coverage for the campus to improve significantly following these upgrades.
Stephen G. Landry, Ph.D.
Chief information Officer
University IT Services has begun a major upgrade of the campus wireless network. The plan is to upgrade to the new 802.11n wireless standard over the next eighteen months. Due to budget limitations, this upgrade will take place in two phases.
802.11n is the latest wireless networking technology that offers much greater speed, distance, and reliability. 802.11n operates at up to twelve times the speed of the current 802.11g campus network.
Phase 1 of this upgrade will begin this summer and will start with a major upgrade of the campus wired network to support the higher speeds of 802.11n wireless technology. During this phase, most of the legacy wired ports in classrooms, public spaces, and the residence halls will be decommissioned, while new access points will be deployed around campus to provide greater coverage and density of the wireless network. Beginning this fall, users will be able to access the higher speed 802.11n network from some classrooms on campus.
With the implementation of the Banner administrative system launched in 2005, University IT Services began the implementation of a very different IT architecture for our systems and services. One of the goals of this new architecture was to ensure the continuity of core IT services by ensuring redundancy of those services and eliminating single points of failure.
The implementation of this new architecture reached a major milestone in 2008 with a major upgrade to the data center network and the campus Internet connection. The campus now has two independent Internet connections providing redundancy for our campus internet connection. In addition, critical IT services are now run on redundant servers with load balancing, so that the service is not interrupted in the event one of the servers fails.
When you change your password, you now have the option to set up a self service page to allow you to reset your password yourself.
To set up password reset self service, you need to select and answer a series of personal questions, such as your mother’s maiden name or the first school you attended. Then if you forget your password, you can reset it yourself by answering three of the questions correctly (if you provided the answers to more than three challenge questions, the system will randomly select three questions).
This new service is intended to make it easier for you to change your password frequently. Remember that later this spring all passwords older than 180 days will expire. If you have a password older than 180 days (or 90 days for those with Banner INB access), you will be asked to change it soon and every 180 days thereafter.
Please call the technology help desk at 973-275-2222 if you have any difficulty changing your password or setting up your password reset self service questions. Technicians are available 24×7 to help you with this, or any other technology questions.
Stephen G. Landry, Ph.D., Chief Information Officer
Weekly system maintenance takes place between 12:01 AM and 7:00 AM Sundays. This morning maintenance on some systems, including PirateNet, went over the scheduled time. All systems maintenance is now completed and all systems are available.
Steve Landry, CIO
Microsoft reports that as of yesterday afternoon the issue that was causing some SHU email to be incorrectly routed to students’ “junk mail” folders was resolved.
As a reminder to the University community, please report to the Technology Help Desk (973-275-2222) if any legitimate email from SHU ends up in your “junk mail” folder. The campus email system is designed to let any email originating from the campus through to your In Box.
Stephen G. Landry, Ph.D., CIO
Beginning yesterday morning, the Technology Help Desk began receiving calls from students reporting that email from faculty and other University offices was ending up in their “junk mail” folder.
Today University IT Services determined that this was due to a change made over the weekend in the way Microsoft handles email from the University. This change was intended to help prevent spam and phishing emails from reaching students. Unfortunately, this has had the unintended effect of causing some legitimate email from campus to be routed to students’ “junk mail” folders.
Midrosoft is working to correct this issue. Meanwhile, you can ensure all University email goes to your “In Box” by right clicking on any SHU email in your junk mail folder and selecting the option to allow all email from shu.edu.
Steve Landry, CIO
It was reported to the Technology Help Desk this morning that some ISP’s are blocking the delivery of email from Seton Hall University. This includes Microsoft and is affecting the delivery of campus email to students.
University IT Services have determined that this is a result of approximately twenty computers on campus that are infected by the Kapersky virus. This virus became active on April 1st and sent out thousands of spam emails over the Easter break. To prevent their own email systems from becoming overloaded, a number of external ISP’s blocked all mail coming from SHU.
University IT Services is working with the ISP’s to remove these blocks while at the same time working with the individuals who have infected computers to remove the virus.
Over the Easter break, AT&T replaced the antennas on the radio tower that provide AT&T service to the campus.
These antennas were damaged by a lightning strike last summer. Since that lightning strike, AT&T cell phone service on campus has been slower than normal and subject to sporadic service interruptions.
The replacement of the AT&T antennas is the first phase of AT&T’s upgrade to cell phone service for the South Orange campus. The next phase includes putting in a faster connection to those antennas to allow more concurrent AT&T cell phone users on the SHU campus as well as to increase the connection speed for AT&T cell phone customers on campus.
Stephen G. Landry, Ph. D.
Microsoft is reporting that MS Live email is off line for SHU and other Microsoft customers due to a network problem in Microsoft’s data center. Microsoft expects to have this problem resolved shortly.
Steve Landry, CIO
The University provides Microsoft Exchange email accounts for all University faculty, staff, and administrators. To keep this system functioning at peak performance, users’ active email is limited to 500 megabytes of storage. When you exceed that limit, you receive warnings from the system, and if you go more than 10% above your quota, you can no longer send email from your account.
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t keep lots of email. The solution is to archive older email so that it doesn’t take up room on the MS Exchange system. You have two archiving options. Local archiving comes with your MS Outlook client. Another archiving solution available to the community is ArchiveOne, which archives email onto a server maintained by University IT Services. The Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center provides workshops on archiving that can help you determine which solution is best for your needs and get you set up with your preferred method of arching.
Click HERE to learn more about “Taming the In Box Monster.”
Steve Landry, CIO
Lenovo has announced the likelihood that scheduled deliveries this spring of ThinkPad laptops will be delayed due to limited supplies of the Intel Core i7 processor.
At this time we expect Sophomore refresh will be delayed approximately one week due to delayed deliveries of laptops ordered from Lenovo. We now expect sophomore refresh to begin on Monday, April 19. Students with earlier appointments will be contacted individually by PC Support Services to reschedule their refresh. We do not anticipate these shortages preventing sophomores from refreshing before their finals in early May.
University IT Services (UITS) is in the final stages of implementing a new password management system. This new system will enable behind the scenes synchronization of the passwords of serveral systems, providing a better user experience as well as a more secure computing environment. This system will enable UITS to set experitions on passwords to ensure passwords are changed regularly. In the next few weeks, a new service will be added, enabling users to set up self service for password resets.
Please change your password soon to get started on the new system and be ready for self service password resets.
To change your password, go to:
and change your password.