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ITPG Meeting Notes: 2011-6-16

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Attendees (22):

Arlene Allen, Lubo Bojilov, Ann Dundon, Randall Ehren, Karl Heins, Richard Kip, Bill Koseluk, Dan Lloyd, Elise Meyer, Steve Miley, Bruce Miller, Alan Moses, Mike Oliva, Ben Price, Tom Putnam, Fuzzy Rogers, Andy Satomi, Kevin Schmidt, Heidi Straub, Chas Thompson, Paul Weakliem, Jim Woods

Administrative Items

1. The Meeting Notes from the 05/19/2011 meeting were approved.

2. Vice Chair Candidate statements.  The candidate official statements have been mailed out and posted on the site and they each gave brief remarks for the membership.  The election will occur during our 7/21/2011 meeting.  If you are unable to attend, please see the rules for absentee ballot voting in the ITPG charter

3. ITPG Annual Report Review and Discussion - Jim Woods

Our report should include the more noteworthy projects, specifically the North Hall Data Center, the IT Infrastructure Funding committee effort which led to an ITB recommendation that the campus implement a TIF for FY 2011/2012, the IT Vendor Fair that has already led to 3 vendor presentations, the start up of the Center for Scientific Computing, Student Affairs SIS project, and the iTOE projects and IT organization proposal.

He is proud and hopeful for what we can accomplish next year.  He thinks a good goal for next year would be to focus on the collaboration suite effort.  The draft report should be up for review before our next meeting.

4. Helpdesk Subcommittee Formation

The proposed subcommittee needs to develop a charter.  They should review existing systems and models.  They should review clustering options and define a model for centralized helpdesk support.  Doug Drury, Alan Moses, Bruce Miller and Ted Cabeen all expressed interest in participating on this subcommittee.  The ITPG approved forming this subcommittee.


1. UCCSC 2011 @ UC Merced has been announced. Call for Proposals extended to
June 30th.

Informational Items

CIO Report - Tom Putnam

UCSB has contracted with Gartner Research and Consulting to have them look at Financial Information System (FIS) alternatives, which include patching our current system, moving to new system such as Kuali or a commercial product.  They will give us their observations on that the status of new systems. They were on campus last week interviewing functional people.  Now they are doing telephone interviews.  In late June they'll do a risk assessment and mitigation analysis.  Their first deliverable is due a week from now, then they will look at the alternatives and evaluate them.  The final report is due July 21st for a presentation to the ITB and the Financial Services Steering Board.  Additionally, Ron Cortes and Tom will give a copy of the report to Peter Taylor (UCOP CFO) and others at UCOP.  Then we need to make a decision, with the biggest issues being compatiblity of the current code with future machine upgrades. Is Gartner interviewing the other campuses?  No, but they know what other campuses are doing.  We will probably need UC President agreement with our chosen solution because UC wants to consolidate systems.  How does this interact with PPS?  Will UC select a Financial Information System?   Yes, but when?  If their target is 5 years or more out, then we still need to something today, but if their target is only 3-4 years out, then we should try to hold on.

CISO Report - Karl Heins

  • As a result of the current IS3 audit, he'll be putting together a Security Plan.  He's interested in suggestions that people have.  There is a need and interest in encryption.
  • UC Ready has the goal of completing 20 plans this year by June 30, 2011.  This year's focus was on the Student Affairs Division and Chancellor's Office.  More departments will be included next year.
  • The UC-wide Information Security Awareness training project is progressing.  The plan is to run it through the UC Learning Center LMS, and it may be mandated for all campus community. It should be rolled out to testers soon.
  • The ECP Privacy Update continues forward.  A pragmatic statement of community values has been drafted.
  • The PPS project has been delayed a little because of press and maybe Regent involvement. One of the drivers for this project is the $500M it costs just to pay our people.

There was group discussion about UC Ready:

There has been interest in inventorying what IT departments use to better be able to collaborate, e.g., PC vs. Mac, Operating Systems, tools etc.  Perhaps UC Ready could be the mechanism for collecting this information.  UC Ready information is supposed to be kept current, so using UC Ready might provide a better chance of keeping this information up to date, which would keep it valuable.

Collecting this information is impractical at the college level, the effort needs to be distributed. DR/BC for a building going away is a problem for the building occupants and that has been a department thing.  Get the departments to do it first, especially the decentralized departments.  One can then run a report from all of the data.  It wouldn't be exact, but it could provide a useful characterization.

For UC Ready to work, it needs to make as little work as possible. Departments can't accomodate ancillary effort . We shouldn't ask for additional information.  Cutting resources at the same time, that one is asking for more information to be compliant, doesn't support what the departments needs to do.  As the campus reduces people, it makes one more reliant on systems, which can be more vulnerable than people.

Your departments will be involved in UC Ready and there is a role for IT people in this process.

Subcommittee Reports

Backbone Engineering Group (BEG) - Glenn Schiferl

They haven't met since our last ITPG meeting.

Security Working Group (SEC-WG) – Kevin Schmidt/Karl Heins

At their most recent meeting they did a followup on DNS issues.  A risk document by a national security consortium referenced certain type of risks with DNS configuration and traffic flows.  A specific risk cited was the exfiltration of data from trusted systems via DNS.  We have observed traffic consistent with this type of activity, fortunately not involving UCSB data.  The traffic involves non-valid DNS queries that are the result of a mysql command.  We need to be more proactive about how we do DNS.  Their next meeting is July 7th from 10:30-noon in Broida 3302.

Web Standards and Content Working Group (WSG) - Ann Dundon

They last met on June 7th.  UCOP has sponsored SANS web application security training, with one week-long session at UCI and another at UCB.  12 UCSB people are going.  For those who can't travel there is a webcast training option.  There are no limits to the number of webcast students, but all students must pay the $300 cost.

WSG provided two training sessions, an Introductory CSS session attended by 50 people from 36 departments and an Intermediate CSS session.

The EALT web scanning has started and reports will be sent out soon.  Campuses will have 2 months to make any corrections.  From an ITLC Call: UCOP will buy a scanning tool that campuses can use to scan our own sites.  Grace Crickette (UCOP Chief Risk Officer) is running this ADA compliance effort.

ITPG Communications - Ann Dundon

The results from the ITPG IT training survey were presented.  23 departments responded.

The group discussed possible conclusions from these results: 

Let's use the resources we have to create more training opportunities than available on one's own.

There was an overall theme of interest in more coordination and sharing, but it is difficult to find someone to organize it. E.g., to support doing one class per month, it could take .25 FTE.

The WSG has this process nailed down, but the hardest part is to get a content provider.   How can we help people who are interested in teaching get the time neccesary to prepare to do it. It takes weeks to provide 1 day of training. WSG knows what they need and they do it.

Best practices network and security find people to do it. SANS training takes people away from campus for a week. One manager thinks that staff benefit from doing training, because as they prepare their training materials, they become more knowledgeable. Important to communicate with managers about benefits.

Can other subcommittees do WSG style training?

IT people are interested in everything.  If we focus on enterprise information architecture, the  benefit is that it reduces the set of subjects of interest.

The WSG was created by/for web masters.  There is nothing that stops anyone else from forming a group to do the same thing.  Vote by forming your own group.  The WSG was formed by Lubo as part of UCSB's NBA effort.  Their brief was to develop standards for the campus, and they met twice a month for 2.5 years to produce the UCSB Web Guide. Their training activity came out of marketing the standards and web accessibility, then they became an ITPG subcommittee. Official standing matters.  Can we shift the focus WSG to take on enterprise information training?  The ITPG Communications Subcommittee is looking into this.  Take what WSG has built and take to new groups.

Identity Management Subcommittee (IdM) - Matthew Dunham/Karl Heins

They haven't met since our last ITPG meeting.  The IdM projects are moving forward with Student Affairs and Matthew.  They are soliciting input for good windows of opportunity for conversion to the new IdM system.

Campus Calendaring Workgroup - Randall Ehren

They are meeting weekly.  They have finished their review of Google Apps and Microsoft 365.  They have two more products to rate.

Liaison Reports

Information Technology Board (ITB) – Jim Woods

They met and endorsed the recommendation that the TIF be implemented in fiscal year 2011/2012.  A TIF project website has been created.  Please talk to your control point if you have questions about how this change will impact your department. 

Enterprise Information Systems Planning Group (EISPG) – Lubo Bojilov

They met and continued the discussion of their projects.  They have created proposals for funding the Student Information System and Financial Information System.  Systems that have different purposes become enterprise critical.  They are now looking at different proposals and Operational Effectivenes proposals and trying to provide additional support.  They also keep asking for funding.  They are waiting for the ITB to give them a direction.

Academic Technology Planning Group (ATPG) - Alan Moses

They met and discussed the TIF and ESCI automation.  Efforts are underway to develop an automated ESCI prototype and start academic senate consultation.

Research CyberInfrastructure - Arlene Allen

They haven't met since our last ITPG meeting.  They are waiting on the NHDC Finance Board.

Project Reports - a brief report or location where projects will be located

Financial Information System (FiS) - Doug Drury

Currently in the Gartner research phase.

Student Information System (SiS) - Lubo Bojilov

They had their security modernization demonstration.  The code conversion is ongoing.  The
vendor is doing patch management jobs, i.e., there are files and data that coexist on both the mainframe and in the new SiS, with shared components that need to be synchronized.  Another issue is printing - How to continue to support all the printers or document management options.  They need to find out how things are used.

North Hall Data Center (NHDC) - Arlene Allen

There are no updates.  The project is on schedule.  They are soliciting customers.  They have one official customer, the Library, with 8 racks worth of equipment.  Arlene will be engineering the installations.  Jamie's group will take your equipment and put it in a rack, or platform as a service, bare metal service.  There is no pricing model yet, the NHDC Finance Board is meeting on that.  They are trying to accomplish a baseline service, but water cooling would cost more.  The model will try to include building infrastructure costs.  This base level building infrastructure doesn't cost the enduser directly.  The NHDC will have a managed networking environment to the rack switch that your equipment plugs into.  NHDC will be fully operational for library November commissioning. (NB: The latest "on schedule" completion date is December.)  There is a high security caged space that requires two gates to get through.  There is no general area with video monitoring with lockable racks, but it is not an open access data center.  What about PCI compliance?  - It would be compliant with tier one standards.

Collaborate - Alan Moses

Gauchospace has been running for 2.5 years.  Some campuses start with a fresh system each year, we are bringing up a new system this month, and then archiving the old server. The announcement for this has been posted since April.  They are trying to add ease of use things, such as faster file uploads.

Discussion Items

1. Member Announcements

Academic Personnel (Andy Satomi) - An Academic Personnel Recruitment system hosted by UCI will be scaled out to all campuses and we'll be one of the early adopters.  This is being mandated by the UC system.  There are multiple different recruiting systems in the COE.

CNS (Paul Weakliem) - The new campus cluster is here and running. See press release. Get everyone together to knot of people.

OIST (Arlene Allen) - She'll be sending out a note about the system-wide Oracle Coordianation group.  They need input on former sun hardware and software.

OIST (Elise Meyer) - The draft monthly newsletter Keyboard Shortcuts was introduced for feedback.  Next month a link will be sent to CSF for their feedback. (NB: June Keyboard Shortcuts will come out after the 7/21 ITB meeting.)

Carrie Frandsen (UC Ready Project Manager) was introduced.