January 20, 2015
Convened by M. Connolly
S. Cann (ITS) topics
1. Altiris – S. Cann, R. Jensen, C. O’Connor and M. Connolly constitute an ad hoc committee to anticipate issues with Alteris (university-wide capability to access all university computers). Issues: 1. high CPU* when in Alteris is in operation (problem for some if this interferes with research and academic computing – solution is an attempt to choose off periods for Alteris); ITS-pushed issues need to be reported to faculty – working principle for ITS is obligation to consult with faculty FTCs;
IT internal “philosophical” discussion (Sami Karachi, Manager, IT Consultants) committed to positive to faculty/IT interactions. “Contract” with faculty only to use Alteris for patches and after alerting FTCs (in other words, Alteris will not be used to track computer use or install software without prior notification).
The most recent instance is the Yosemite upgrade. S. Cann concluded we did not have a consensus for using Alteris to do the upgrade and eliminate an obstructing file to facilitate Yosemite across campus despite the efficacy of doing so.
Outcome: Alert colleagues of the danger of the upgrade for “BC-imaged” machines (M. Connolly). Avoid Yosemite at this time (January, 2015).
S. Cann – Altiris is a real advantage to the university, but [this should not be] not at the expense of individual teaching and research.
M. Connolly – general question of whether faculty ever hear from TCs except when there is a problem. Message to S. Cann – address a concern about TC system that it is not proactive in making individual identity/presence known.
2. Voicemail lights memo – message waiting indicator lights went out everywhere. Everyone alerted because it was a real possibility that someone might miss a voicemail. Caused by an antiquated system clashing with an upgrade.
3. Yosemite question. BC system compatibility was still an issue in minor instances. Best to wait on this upgrade (but it can be done by any .
4. MyFiles replacement – there is a “sunset” project to end MyFiles. Cloudlock/Google Drive will sit within the educational suite and replace MyFlies. But at the moment, MyFiles warns against using Google Drive for sensitive data. Eventually, there will be file level and folder level encryption within Google Drive using Cloudlock; Cloudlock is Waltham-based and Google uses Cloudlock within its own offices. This project will be yearlong. Migrating MyFiles data will be part of this process – there will be no “easy” way to convert faculty data. January 2016 (Dec 2015) is a projected completion date. To be clear: the strategic plan calls for “virtualization and cloud computing” to coincide with retiring MyFiles by January, 2016. Individually, it may be possible to set up one’s own files on one’s own desktop and drag and drop to Drive, but only as MyFiles “retirement” proceeds.
5. Computer Activation Replacement (IPV6 to replace IPV4 - group of 4 sets of IP numbers to be replaced by 6 for more IP addresses). Asia and China pushing this because of demands for IPs. IT can give IPV4 devices IPV6 addresses. Goal is for users to need only to log-in/reactivate. This also enables EduRoam.
6. M. Connolly – “Lecture capture” changes across campus. S. Cann – move from Echo 360 to another product – new is Panopto – new approach allows BC to develop our own “black box” for running the software. Kit Baum – using Panopto early adoption – in Room 253 (O’Neill); good tech support from the company; today one can set up capture to link lectures automatically to Canvas pages. Students can annotate the course lectures both privately and publically (wiki-style); slides during the lecture can be pulled up by students who can follow links (if Power Point).
G. Wyner question – Personal Capture. PanOpto link sits on Canvas menu. C. Joy response. K. Baum happy first adopter.
S. Hesse-Biber - how? 28 classrooms are configured and set up OR “Personal Capture”. Classroom capture is full capture of an interactive nature. Panopto allows an extra camera. C. Joy – recommends consent forms when using/capturing students.
7. M. Connolly. Query whether any faculty are using body temp and blood pressure apps in classroom settings (“Healthy University” applications)?
8. 3D printer – next generation software. Built-in web camera so that you can monitor your “build”.
9. S. Cann – Library Construction; Phase Two this summer will be third floor construction with combining of library and IT staff; expect improvement of student services in undergrad commons; expanded walk-in support area.
10. S. Cann - Digital Studio in O’Neill (second floor) now open; former CTRC needs for students placed there; comparable to FMRC for faculty.
11. S. Cann -Kuali student systems: BC decision is to continue with Kuali, including with an outside firm that may be licensed with Kuali. Components to expect soon – stay tuned. See November minutes for an earlier discussion on this topic.
12. Campus Security Project – “broad effort” overall to improve physical security. Increase in cameras, door swipes, and attention to safety of buildings; Early stages of a discussion of security to privacy balance. More cameras in the future. M. Connolly asked about the level of faculty involvement in the conversation. Open question, since Residence Halls equally important – Walsh access controversy, for one. Sense of the meeting: too many locked doors and too many cameras can be stifling. R. Gross. Is BC considering “Proximity Cards”? Being considered, according to S. Cann among possible further security measures.
13. Data security. Device-level encryption being investigated. File-Vault used by some (Scott). This is being developed/tested for secure encryption.
14. R. Gross – VPN query. “Full-tunnel” now operative. Now we use a Cisco client – see October and November minutes for earlier discussion.
Joys and Woes
15. G. Wyner. – re: change your password process; If you log out from Google to use a new password. “Wacky” Google behavior (Michael C) – Google can sometimes require a new password which it will then reject as not the proper email.
M. Connolly email 12/17/14 re: Altiris
To FTCs, liaisons, and alternates
As announced earlier, the monthly FTC meeting originally scheduled for today has yielded to Fr Leahy’s Christmas reception at 4 in Lyons.
At our January meeting we will have a number of important topics to discuss, but one requires some more immediate notification:
Our colleagues in various patterns may have been experiencing notable slowdowns, near freezes, on their BC-owned workstations while on campus and in some cases will have seen a notification box not to shut down or restart their computers because Altiris is installing "a new program", and may even be wondering what this intrusive beast may be.
Scott Cann, as Technology Director of ITS Support Services, wants you all to know, and to pass on to your colleagues the following information:
Beginning in mid-November, ITS began a routine, rolling upgrade of the Altiris client.
There have been issues reported, such as system slowness and "hangs"
while this upgrade is in progress. We are actively working to understand the
issues behind the scenes and will work with our faculty partners to ensure a
better experience going forward. We also could have done a more effective job
communicating this, which is also something we will be improving in short
My apologies for the interruptions or negative experiences here. We will have a deeper discussion about Altiris in the next FTC meeting.
This is an important issue for us, since Altiris is the tool which, from the November meeting’s decision, was also going to patch our BC-imaged OS X Mavericks systems so they could upgrade safely to Yosemite—that hasn’t quite happened yet, and the Altiris 'upgrade' is not really related to that matter.
In addition to a number of issues such as a successor for MyFiles and encryption of files uploading to GoogleDrive, we will have a long-ranging discussion in January about Altiris and to what extent the university can manage its technology assets while not hindering the academic mission and standards of the university.
At least, if you hear colleagues concerned or complaining about slowdowns and blockages, you now have an idea of one of the likely sources and will do best to refer them to their TC for assistance in the meantime.
Generally it is simply a matter of waiting for the beast to have run its course—admittedly a far from convenient happening during the exam period.