LSAIT Monthly Status Report - June 2014


By David Sweetman
Jun 16, 2014 Bookmark and Share

Below is this month's status report for significant projects which LSAIT is leading, as well as broader Michigan IT initiatives that may be of interest to you. Feel free to forward to others who may be interested. Feedback and questions are always welcome.

LSA IT services unavailable Saturday, July 12, 7am–3pm — LSA IT’s standard summer infrastructure maintenance day is only a few weeks away. During this time, most LSA-provided services will be unavailable intermittently while necessary work is performed. This work includes software updates, migrations, and other upgrades. Specific services impacted are: CMS/Vignette, SharePoint, File services (S: and H: drives, group, and lab spaces), LSA Sites, LSA Web Apps, ITAM software licensing (KeyServer and other license servers), and Windows infrastructure (WLMS). If you have questions about this maintenance, contact the LSA Service Center at 734.936.3279.

U-M joins Unizin technology consortium to strengthen digital education — The University of Michigan, Colorado State University, Indiana University, and the University of Florida have joined together to form the Unizin technology consortium. Its purpose is to improve the way digital educational content is shared across academic institutions and with students. Visit unizin.org or read the official announcement in the University Record to learn more.

Unizin brings Canvas license agreement to U-M — U-M now has access to Canvas as a result of its participation in the Unizin consortium. Canvas is a cloud-based common learning management system designed to help universities and their faculty take greater control of how educational content is created, used, and shared. Work on initial pilot use of Canvas is already under way. Read the official announcement for more information.

Campus Wireless upgrade — U-M is in the beginning of a $20M+ effort to improve wireless infrastructure in 165 campus buildings over the next 2-3 years. More detail on the campus WiFi upgrade project website. (LSA contact: Marissa Green)

A new look for Weblogin — The Weblogin page we all use to log in to many U-M websites, including Wolverine Access and the MCommunity Directory, will get an updated look on June 28. Because of the heightened awareness surrounding phishing and other cyber attacks, we are concerned people may be suspicious when the change occurs. Please help us reduce potential confusion by reassuring those you work with that the only change being made is to the look of the Weblogin page. (Contact: 4HELP@umich.edu)

Improved interface for IT support requests — Throughout the month of June, improvements are being made to notifications you receive for your IT support requests. Highlights include: (1) the email From field now clearly indicates who you are working with (LSA or ITS), (2) streamlined content, with the most important information highlighted for easy review, and (3) additional information is now included in the Subject of each email for easier searching, and viewing. You can also check and update status on support tickets you have submitted, check service status, and find answers to common IT questions via the new portal. These changes are a direct result of customer feedback we have received. (Contact: Erin Dietrich)

Free Blue Jeans video conferencing for all — U-M has signed a 2-year contract with Blue Jeans Network (a popular device-agnostic video conference service) to offer accounts for all faculty and staff. The service is provided at no cost to the individual and department. A Blue Jeans user account is needed to schedule, moderate, or host a meeting. However, an account is not needed to attend or participate in a meeting. Anyone with a pre-existing Blue Jeans account was migrated by Blue Jeans Network to the new University of Michigan contract. You can create your own account via the U-M Blue Jeans web page. (Contact: Todd Austin)

GPU service available on Flux — Harnessing the power of NVIDIA’s K20X graphics card, Flux now has a new GPU service that can speed certain computations by as much as a factor of 10,000. Information on how to use the Flux GPU service is available on the Flux website. The GPUs are usable from within MATLAB, Python, and CUDA programs (among others). LSA is providing access to the Flux GPU service at no cost to LSA researchers who don't need a Flux GPU allocation of their own. (Contact: flux-support@umich.edu)

Flux Operating Environment (FOE) funding model changes — We are pleased to announce a new funding model for the Flux Operating Environment (FOE). FOE enables researchers to add their own compute hardware to the Flux environment. Researchers in LSA, Med School, COE, and SPH will not be charged for FOE subscriptions for equipment purchased through external grants submitted between July, 1 2014 and June 30, 2016. All other FOE rules (coordinating with ARC to purchase compatible hardware, the four-year operation of the nodes, etc.) apply. (Contact: Erin Dietrich)

Field equipment consulting and check-out — We can help you plan for your IT needs in the field, whether it’s conducting door-to-door surveys or gathering scientific data on a mountain top. We can consult with you on your requirements, provide demonstrations and recommendations on viable options, and even loan out ruggedized IT equipment for evaluation purposes. Interested? (Contact: Peter Knoop)

Free Faculty personal and lab website development available — LSAIT and DMC Web are now offering faculty personal or lab websites development at no cost to the department. (Contact: lsa.web.support@umich.edu)

New and updated software available — Since last month's update, we’ve released the ArcGIS 10.2.2 upgrade. Two new titles were added to the software catalog: NVivo for Mac (version 10) and WinEdt 8.1. Maintenance contracts were renewed for: ChemBioOffice, NVivo, Toast, Spartan, Magma (Now a free license), and IMSL/PV-WAVE. Complete list of all titles. (Contact: Crystal Borgman)

Last day for new sites in SiteMaker is June 30 — The SiteMaker Transition Project reaches its first major milestone on June 30: on this date, no new sites can be created through the SiteMaker service. Please view the project roadmap page for more information. (Contact: John Johnston or Michael Meister)

Identity and Access Management (IAM) project update — U-M is currently reviewing and improve the many processes and systems that make up electronic authentication, authorization, and access across the University. A detailed current state assessment was recently completed. If you're interested, please feel free to provide your feedback. (Contact: Dawn Brennan or Nancy Herlocher)

IT Service Request satisfaction ratings — Below is a summary of customer service interactions for LSAIT. Over time comparisons show a slight decrease in overall customer satisfaction this month. We attribute this to some staff turnover dip in capacity that created as we work to re-fill that role and get new staff up to speed. We continue to emphasize timeliness of service and technician skill sets as areas of focus. (Contact: Greg Beyer)

Measure Feb 14 Mar 14 April 14 May 14
Total support requests across all LSA IT 2,646 2,670 2,608 2,620
Satisfaction that the reported issue was resolved 98.0% 100% 98.3% 100%
Overall Customer Satisfaction 99.0% 99.9% 97.9% 96.7%
Calls to LSA Service Center 541 437 526 509
Calls answered within 30 seconds 88% 86% 89% 89%

Finally, special thanks to Brad Sharp of LSAIT for his help this month organizing and editing much of the content of this newsletter. This is a task Brad will be continuing into future months. If you have feedback or suggestions on format or future topics to include, please contact him.