Here is a list of the major new and ongoing projects of the Office of the CIO and CITES. The projects are presented in order of priority. The priorities of the projects listed represents the work and consensus of the CITES Directors and the CIO. The priorities were developed under the assumption that multiple projects can and are able to proceed simultaneously. There are changes in project priority from FY11 to FY12.
One: Unified Communications
The critical deliverables of the Unified Communications project must be completed in FY12. By the end of June 2012, all campus and UA accounts will be set up in the production voice system. Some other important milestones:
- Oct .31– All CITES Express Email accounts deactivated
- Nov. 30– All Exchange 2010 accounts set up
- Dec. 31– Express Email decommissioned; no longer under support contract
- Mar. 2– Production Voice (number porting, E911) begins
- June 30– Production Voice deployment complete, current Centrex contract for campus voice expires.
Two: Blackboard 9 Upgrade of Compass Vista
Michael Hites, Executive CIO; the Council of CIOs; and the Office of the Provost have endorsed the upgrade of the Illinois Compass system from Blackboard Vista Enterprise to Blackboard Learn 9, an important upgrade that will strengthen the enterprise LMS infrastructure and enhance the online learning environment that more than 90% of students at Illinois depend upon. Pilot courses have been running since last spring, and the goal is for the production system to be running by mid-November 2011, with the following 14 months devoted to migrating and building thousands of instructional, training, and collaboration sites, providing training and instructional design support to thousands of instructors, and building out new content and collaboration enhancements through integrations with the Blackboard Building Blocks program.
Three: Rate & Funding Initiative
The development of a per capita rate for bundled IT and communications services has been developed and communicated to campus. Ongoing work in costing, tracking and process implementation remains to be completed including the establishment of a Rate Review Committee. Additionally, all of CITES’ self-sustaining services need to be reviewed and appropriate rates established in compliance with OMB A-21 rules.
Pinnacle is a Service Lifecycle Management system. The current system needs to be upgraded to version 6. In order to do this, various feeder files to Banner are required and software development is needed. In addition, version 6 will support a project management module, which is to be installed. After this is completed, the effort will include the automation of CIMS TSRs to improve efficiency, and transfer of all of CCME’s business operations, inventory and project management controls to the Pinnacle system.
Campus Storage Initiative
A new FY12 initiative will be established to address data storage requirements on campus and at the University. The project will start as an investigative committee, established under the auspices of the Office of the CIO, similar to the Campus Email and Calendaring Committee.
A multi-year plan is being developed to build network infrastructure that delivers converged production services both on campus and across the University plus allows for the flexibility to meet changing research needs without compromising or impacting production services.
Initial steps will include:
- Assessing research needs and how to meet them, utilizing new technologies, increased bandwidth, dedicated infrastructure, or a combination of these.
- Research and testing of existing and emerging technologies for future network requirements such as enterprise services, shared services, security, and flexibility.
- Developing a specific technology roadmap for the next generation implementations of UIUCnet and the ICCN, including timelines, required resources, and projected costs.
- Designing a University-wide centralized network for common services that can be efficiently, consistently, and securely accessed from any campus location.
- Maintaining currency and participation in innovative research efforts such as GENI and US-Ignite, incorporating their associated architectures into the technology roadmap where appropriate and possible.
Tivoli Backup System Second Robot Installation
At present, additional resources are needed to perform maintenance on the backup system without adversely affecting the campus backup schedule. A second robot will allow scheduled operations to be shifted in part to the new robot allowing maintenance cycles to be available on the original machine.
New Campus DHCP and DNS
The existing distributed DNS resolver facility on campus will be migrated to a new platform. The platform has been purchased to provide a DHCP facility for campus and will be augmented to transition DNS resolver from the current servers to the appliances for the new platform.
New Campus VPN
CITES currently supports three VPN systems and the campus supports numerous other VPN installations. This project will replace the three existing CITES VPN systems with a new single VPN service. The new service will be robust and support multiple tunnels.
Innovative Technology Partnership
This is a new FY12 initiative involving CITES Academic Technology Services (ATS) staff, who will be working with faculty, teaching assistants, students, and staff across campus to explore innovative uses of tablets and mobile devices in teaching and learning. CITES ATS will work both with colleagues who already have this type of equipment and those who don't. To help jumpstart the process and remove ownership of equipment as a barrier for participation, a limited number of loaner devices will be available to selected individuals on a checkout basis. CITES ATS will collaborate and partner with colleges and units in conceiving, developing, supporting and evaluating the initiative. A call for proposals started in late September.
Pilot Managed Opt-in Service for Third-Party Applications
In order to support accelerated access to third-party services for pedagogical purposes, this project creates a formal mechanism for managing the process by which students opt-in to the use of such services. This mechanism consists of
- A defined process (proposal, review, approval, deployment)
- A user-accessible audit trail (which provides the required recordkeeping function of keeping a record of release)
- A formal definition of “informed consent” for the release of some subset of the student educational record for the purposes of supporting the academic mission of the university.
Note: for the purposes of this pilot, the technical implementation of this proposal will be limited in nature. This project is sponsored by the Office of the Registrar and the Office for Privacy and Information Assurance.
Deployment of Secunia CSI for Campus Units
In partnership with University Administration and the other U of I campuses, a license for Secunia CSI has been purchased. Working with several units from the campus, the CSI agent and console will be made available at no charge for any campus unit wishing to use it. CSI provides real-time reporting on the patch and End of Life status of software packages on Windows and Apple computers. It can also be leveraged to assist with the patching of vulnerable applications. This project is sponsored by the Office for Privacy and Information Assurance.
Center for Internet Security Benchmarking Tool
Working with the Center for Internet Security (CIS), the Office for Privacy and Information Assurance will be releasing for general campus use (at no cost) a benchmarking tool that evaluates the configuration of a computer against a user-selected benchmark. OPIA has customized the benchmarks for the Urbana environment and, to the degree possible, offers a benchmark matching existing campus standards (http://go.illinois.edu/itstandards). The CIS tool will be available for Windows and Apple hosts, and will be offered in a separate package for university- owned, and personally owned computers.
Mobile Computing Strategy
This project is sponsored by Office of the CIO. The purpose of a mobile computing strategy for Illinois is to bring more coherence to decision-making related to mobile computing opportunities, and to foster development of an expert community that can share its knowledge with others. The strategy will (1) help people at the institutional, organization, and individual level, determine whether they need a mobile presence, and if so, determine what it should do and how it could do it most effectively; and (2) minimize reinvention of the wheel through shared expertise.
The tangible deliverables of the mobile strategy will be (1) readily available descriptions of key issues for decision-makers, and (2) a collaborative expert community with opportunities for training and sharing expertise.
This project is sponsored by DRES, ACES Information Technology, and Communications Services, and the Office of the CIO. The team has just begun a one-year pilot project to expand support for Illinois faculty, instructors, and units who want to publish e-texts. The project will provide staff to work with additional authors and units to identify potential texts and shepherd the process from design to fruition, and also increase campus server capacity for hosting online textbooks. An additional goal of the project will be to develop an on-going process for supporting e-text development and publication, as well as a sustainable funding strategy.
In conjunction with this project, the working team will be hosting an e-text conference in the spring. The team will also develop Accessibility Best Practices for E-texts, which will address topics such as authoring, desirable formats, validation, and workflow.
The near-term goal of this initiative is to make user-friendly tools available for faculty, students, and organizations that need to create and maintain illinois.edu websites. Examples of deliverables include a campus WordPress service, and a decision tree to help people determine the best tool for their situation. The longer term goal is to improve the overall web infrastructure to enhance effectiveness and minimize duplication of efforts. There are working groups for site-building, multimedia and specialized content, campus community resources (re: accessibility/usability, professional development, etc.), standards and best practices, hosting and archiving, and scripting.
Undergrad Library Media Commons
Phase 1 of the project, which is a Library and IT joint effort, will include the establishment of a steering committee to shape the design, implementation, curricular connection, and ongoing assessment of the Media Commons and its programs. The project is funded by the student Library/IT fee.
Campus Network Upgrade
Two buildings remain to be upgraded. These buildings are engineered and about to be released for construction. They include the suite of buildings in Rantoul for ATREL (College of Engineering) and the Illini Union Bookstore (IUB) that houses the bookstore and University Administration.
Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband (UC2B) & Gig.U
CITES will continue to participate with the two cities as the UC2B project to build fiber rings into the local community proceeds from the engineering phase into the construction phase. CITES will also participate in the Gig.U initiative, which has similar goals for a greater number of university communities nationwide and for a greater portion of the C-U community.
Services Entries for CITES Service Catalog
While the Service Catalog has been established and made available under a Drupal/Oracle CMS system with both internal and campus facing views, not all services have been vetted and listed in the catalog. This continues to be an important element of CITES business strategy as this forms a basis for communicating how CITES spends its funding. A continuing effort needs to be made to insure that all CITES services are accurately described and reported in the Service Catalog.
PCI/DSS Credit Card Network Implementation
CITES has established a credit card acceptance network in compliance with the Payment Card Industry/Data Security Standard (PCI/DSS). Continuing work is required to add additional points of acceptance.
Data Center Consolidation Work
This project has three major components: the DCL Datacenter Fire Suppression Installation; Server Virtualization that is continuing utilization of virtualized machines to replace physical servers, including server enhancement and development of new monitoring tools; and the upgrade DCL & RRB data center network, which includes the engineering, selection and installation of new access layer switches, firewalls, load balancers and jump stations.
The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research sponsors this project. Earlier this year, a new shared cluster came online, operated by NCSA on behalf of the campus. The anchor tenant is the Computational Science and Engineering program, with 3,216 cores. Other participants bring the total for the cluster to 6,144 cores.
Web Content Management System
Work will continue on the development and deployment of a content management system for CITES based on the PHP/Drupal platform running under Apache. Processes will be established so that responsibility for web content will be moved out of the User Experience Design (UXD) group and into units. Migration of the CIO Website has been completed. The migration of the CITES Service Catalog, Security Website, ATS Website, and all of the CITES site are in process.
This project includes Tivoli Identity Management LDAP Replacement; development of the scope of work to interface with University identity standardization effort; development of a phase-out plan for Bluestem, which includes work in identifying replacement web authorization systems for Apache and Windows IIS environments against Active Directory (AD) system ; and enhancing the Shibboleth production system to include high availability and additional functionality.
General Assignment Classroom Technology Upgrades
Classroom and Conference Media Engineering (CCME) continues to upgrade the learning technology in 201 general assignment classrooms that have instructional presentation technology, and is implementing a multi-year plan to bring instructional presentation technology to another 37 classrooms in the Armory, Gregory Hall, DKH and the English Building. Currently only 50 percent of the some 400 general assignment classrooms on campus have technology newer than an overhead transparency projector
End-point Management Pilot
Participate in University-wide pilot program on desktop/laptop support. The scope is lifecycle, power, security and compliance management, and software-use analysis.