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ITPG Meeting 2010-05-20

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Date and Time: 
May 20, 2010 - 9:00am - 11:00am
Phelps 2536

Administrative Items

  1. Minutes of 04/15/10 meeting were posted 5/07/10.

Informational Items

  1. Member Announcements
  2. CIO Report - Tom Putnam
  3. CISO Report - Karl Heins
  4. Subcommittee Reports
    1. Backbone Engineering Group (BEG)
    2. Security Working Group (SEC-WG)
    3. Web Standards and Content Working Group (WSG)
    4. ITPG Communications
    5. Identity Management Subcommittee (IdM)
    6. Calendaring Interoperability Workgroup
    7. ITLC E-Mail Outsourcing Project Workgroup
  5. Liaison Reports
    1. Information Technology Board (ITB) – Bruce Miller
    2. Academic Technology Planning Group (ATPG) – Alan Moses
    3. Enterprise Information Systems Planning Group (EISPG) – Deborah Scott
    4. Cyber Infrastructure

Action Items

  1. Candidate Nomination Subcommittee Issues

Discussion Items

  1. Review for Comment on Draft of Annual ITPG Report
  2. Demonstration of website

ITPG Meeting Minutes 2010-05-20

Attendees: John Ajao, Arlene Allen, Jeffrey Barteet, Polly Bustillos, Michael Colee, Ken Dean, Doug Drury, Ann Dundon, Randall Ehren, Karl Heins, Kirk Grier, Tom Lawton, Aaron Martin, Bruce Miller, Alan Moses, Mike Oliva, Tom Putnam, Fuzzy Rogers, Andy Satomi, Glenn Schiferl, Kevin Schmidt, Deborah Scott, Chris Senathen, Heidi Straub, Don Voita, Paul Weakliem, Jim Woods.

Administrative Items

Minutes of 04/15/10 meeting, posted 5/07/10, were approved.

Informational Items

This month's survey question:  "Does your organization have standards for sending email in plain-text format versus html? And are there still clients or devices in wide use that have problems with html-formatted email?"
 Of the attendees responding, 15 said their organizations had no standard; one said his organization preferred plain text mail; and one, html email. Six respondents said they personally preferred plain text email, while one expressed a personal preference for html email.  At least two organizations still support Pine; one organization has "eradicated all their Pine users"; other clients mentioned were Thunderbird, Mulberry, and Outlook.

Member Announcements

Communications Services (Bruce Miller): Over the next six months, Communications Services will be upgrading their billing and management system software to a new, browser-based version with an improved customer service interface.

Communications Services has finalized their rate proposal package and are now entering the comment period. A letter detailing the new rates and including calculations of impact will go out to departments next week. There will be an increase in VoIP service rates; other telephone line, calling, and voice-mail rates are decreased.  With the exception of those departments using VoIP, the savings to departments are expected to average about 30%.

Office of Information Technology (Kevin Schmidt): The order for the Cisco core routers has been placed; wireless pieces are starting to come in. Core routers are expected to ship at the end of June.

Kevin has been testing use of OpenVPN software as a successor to campus VPN.  Having multiple VPN servers on campus makes it hard to monitor traffic, so they are trying to avoid that. They are working on documentation for OpenVPN. So far the OpenVPN solution seems better than the proprietary Cisco VPN system.

Library (John Ajao): They are testing virtualizing desktops in the Library.  Next month they are scheduled to go live.

LSIT (Alan Moses): They had been evaluating Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) as an alternative to Norton. They are now targeting Sophos for desktop anti-virus protection.

The Collaborate initiative is progressing. They now have wireless support at two new locations. As part of Collaborate's student support services, a graduate student is building a dynamic wireless hotspot map that may be run live on a GIS server.  LSIT is continuing to develop documentation on services.

Mathematics (Fuzzy Rogers): They are getting Gauchospace to work with their Webwork online course system, and expect to launch it in time for Summer Session A.

CNSI (Paul Weakliem): They have a grant to build a new campus large cluster.

Academic Senate (Andy Satomi): They are wrestling with a display name issue for the Online Catalog.  The LDAP schema does not include a professional display name field. Faculty need one for the Catalog; the common name field will not do because it is user-defined and not standardized.  Academic Senate is working with Academic Personnel to come up with a standard.

ICESS/Crustal (Aaron Martin): Approval is pending for the new name of their merged program. They are actively retiring old DNS zones, and conducting tests on a new zones system.

IS&C (Kirk Grier): They are continuing with phaseout of mainframe printing. Their new system for generating PDFs for print documents is up and running--their largest item so far has been a 3770-page document that generated a 28MB PDF. They are talking with FedEx and others about submission options for large PDFs. They are still evaluating the July 1 projected shutoff date for the printer. They have laid off two operators.

Economics (Mike Oliva): They are making a big transition to Sun Server, using a SAMP (Solaris, Apache, MySQL, Php) stack.

Administrative Services IT (Doug Drury): They are migrating the division to MS Outlook and Exchange Server for the Fall, to support division-wide collaboration and Active Directory. Sharepoint will be part of the collaboration discussion. Admin Services' migration to exchange raises the issue of campus-wide Active Directory forests.

They are continuing to explore the migration of the financial system to either Kuali or the UCLA system. A group of people are going to UCLA next week to get further explore that option, including the question of whether UCSB might implement their own instance of the system, or be hosted by UCLA. The UCLA system is based on a commercial product but is mostly homegrown.

Office of Research (Chris Sneathen): They are revising their Web site and aiming at a Fall launch. The Office of Research is working with the campus veterinarian to revise UCSB's research animal protocol.  They are looking to UCSF as a possible model.

Materials Research Laboratory (Jeffrey Barteet): MRL is building a campus-wide usage cluster to replace their current Dell installation.

SIS&T (Deborah Scott):  Student Affairs is upgrading its existing infrastructure. They have been considering cloud computing and related technologies, but for now have decided to upgrade desktops to the latest Windows and MS Office versions. One reason is that the integrated systems in Student Health require more client power. Over the next 6-9 months they plan to replace about 450 desktops, which includes all the terminals in the health center examination rooms and the like. They are also planning to upgrade their servers to Windows 2008 in a couple of years, for improved hosting of registration and admissions applications.

Deborah raised a question about storage expansion. SIS&T has encountered the need to either more stringently enforce policies regulating what people can store on network drives, or buy more storage, which then also drives backup costs.

OIST (Tom Putnam): Tom's report is covered in the CIO Report below.

Institutional Advancement (Polly Bustillos): IA is facing three major upgrades: in their call center, accounting system, and database system.

CIO Report - Tom Putnam

North Hall Data Center bids are back and they look good; we won't have to do massive cost-cutting.

The Chronicle of Higher Education and the Wall Street Journal recently reported that the University of California will save $500 million through administrative overhaul, streamlining procurement, centralizing payroll and human resources, and exploring the feasibility of shared computing.

The May revision of the state budget earmarks funds for higher education, so the Library expansion may finally move forward.

The furlough program will probably not be extended next year, but there could be layoffs.

The EVC's Administrative Advisory Committee met yesterday (May 19).  They expect the budget may not be finalized until in October.

The UC IT Policy and Security group has developed a draft campus assessment framework for evaluating risk associated with email outsourcing. Contact Tom if you would like a copy of the draft.

UC Davis, which outsources student email services to Gmail, was planning to extend this to faculty and staff, but then decided not to, citing a potential conflict between the Gmail contract and the ECP. Subsequently the Office of General Counsel determined that there is no conflict. So UCSB could outsource email for students if we want. 

A question came up about whether email outsourcing for faculty and staff would be legal at the department level?  Tom replied that there would not be a legal issue, but that department-level email addressing could be problematic. Karl added that there is still a problem with third-party indemnification, though he hopes that will be resolved soon.

There are 11 Payroll Package versions at the UC; they are hoping to develop a single shared Payroll process.  They are also discussing UC-wide strategic sourcing for e-procurement.

CISO Report - Karl Heins

The SSN review project continues. Scans of departments for SSN repositories, work on encryption, and security training must be completed before June 30, when the report is due.

Following the recent media reports on data security leaks through copier, fax, and printer hard drives, Karl is working with Sandra Featherson of Accounting Services to reinforce policies and refine procedures for managing recycling and disposal of retired machines. Xerox is offering webinars on copier security. 

UCOP has issued a new draft HIPAA policy; contact Karl for a copy of the draft. Deborah asked whether a summary of the changes could be made available.

Subcommittee Reports

Backbone Engineering Group (BEG)

The Communications Infrastructure Wiring Standards document was submitted to the ITB for review.   With the completion of some changes recommended by the ITB, they approved the document. Next it will go back the consultant for development of two versions: one a “Division 27” specification for inclusion in bid documents, the other an executive summary for project managers.

Security Working Group (SEC-WG)

They have been addressing DNS standardization, especially efforts to direct traffic through the campus DNS servers so malicious traffic can be caught.
Kevin noted that departments that have a firewall between their local DNS and the outside server may experience problems when large DNS response packets get split and then blocked by firewalls.

With the upcoming core router replacement, they are looking at the possibility of virtual routing and forwarding: isolated routing allows higher levels of security. Kevin expects the new Cisco core routers to be delivered in July, and is aiming at deployment by mid-September.

Andrew Bowers is testing encryption products.

Web Standards and Content Working Group (WSG)

At its May 18 meeting, the WSG hosted a presentation by Sandra Featherson, Accounting Services, on credit card processing at UCSB.  Sandra gave the group an overview of the whole process as well as details of the UC policies and standards regulating payment processing. She said about 80% of the departments doing online payment processing at UCSB are using it for conference registration charges. Sandra's Powerpoint presentation will be made available on the WSG area of the Web site along with a list of questions WSG members developed about PCI Compliance at UCSB.

The latest addition to the UCSB Web Guide is the update on Privacy Notification.  Policy Coordinator Meta Clow worked with the WSG to develop a Privacy Notification Statement that any UCSB Web site collecting data from visitors may link to. UCSB Web sites that collect personal information online are required to include a formal privacy notification statement. The Web Guide update includes details on how to Add Privacy Notification to Your Web Site.

On May 13, the WSG presented a Brown Bag forum on Drupal, the open source Web content management system.  Jarrod Sprague, College of Engineering, presented the talk. Jarrod's slide presentation, a podcast of his talk, and an outline of his presentation including many useful links to Drupal sites and information, available at Web CMS: Drupal for Content Managers on the Web site.

ITPG Communications

The ITPG Communications Subcommittee continues to meet regularly and has added new features and content to the site. One of the more recent is the installation of the Apache Solr search engine, offering users a more powerful search, including the ability to search attachments.  The file upload configuration on the site has been modified so that access to file attachments is governed by the same access controls that apply to the content to which they are attached.

Bruce Miller again encouraged users to take advantage of the site to help coordinate work on campus IT projects, and offered to provide a training workshop on how to use the Projects area of the site effectively. Several people expressed interest.

Identity Management Subcommittee (IdM)

Alan reported for Karl. They will be examining their charter at the next meeting.

Calendaring Interoperability Workgroup

The results of the interoperability testing need to be organized in to a document to help users understand some of the cross-calendaring techniques available.

ITLC E-Mail Outsourcing Project Workgroup

This group is no longer active.

Liaison Reports

Information Technology Board (ITB) – Bruce Miller

Their last meeting focused on phaseout of the mainframe, the Student Financial Systems upgrade, and a presentation on the Online Course Catalog, which replaces the printed catalog. The catalog is both a historical document and a legal contract with students regarding their degree requirements, so it is very important that its content be accurate. With the Online Catalog, departments have access to an online interface to update and maintain their content until the data is frozen each year for publication to students. Deborah Scott reported that SIS&T purchased 150 notebook computers for so students could acces the catalog during orientation. She can lend these notebooks to other units with appropriate needs after July 24.

Academic Technology Planning Group (ATPG) – Alan Moses

Nothing to report.

Enterprise Information Systems Planning Group (EISPG) – Deborah Scott

The EISPG has developed an aggressive schedule to get an RFP out for the conversion of the mainframe Student Information Systems.  The RFP will be submitted to 14 vendors.  A two-step process is planned: First, the top 3-5 respondents will be given an opportunity to convert a sample of Adabas code. Then a final RFP will be issued.The conversion  process is estimated to take about 1.5 years to complete.

The EISPG is developing a working list of other software besides the SFS and SIS that will be orphaned or affected by loss of the mainframe. Please contact Deborah if you know of any.

Cyber Infrastructure

Meeting next week.

Action Items

Candidate Nomination Subcommittee Issues

Bruce presented clarifications and a proposed schedule for the ITPG Vice-Chair nomination process, as detailed in ITPG Charter Revisions 2010. While the group will formally vote on the charter revisions at the next ITPG meeting, the proposed schedule for the nomination procedure was approved by the members, so the call for nominations for the 2010-11 ITPG Vice-Chair was opened.  Please send your nominations to the current Vice-Chair, Jim Woods.

Discussion Items

Review for Comment on Draft of Annual ITPG Report

Bruce presented a draft of the Annual ITPG Report for 2009-10.  Because he plans to present this to the ITB at their June 4 meeting, he requests that suggestions for changes to the document be sent to him by June 1.

Demonstration of Web Site

There was no time left for the demo.


It was suggested that there are several areas, such as wireless networks and VoIP where some standardization and coordination would be beneficial, and that the ITPG should promote such efforts.  It was agreed that at the next meeting we would try to develop a "short list" of areas we should consider creating subcommittees to address.