CUC’s TCC IT Infrastructure Services has been building a strong team and is taking steps toward appropriate centralization of networking services. On January 17, 2017 HMC officially handed responsibility for the CINE service to CUC. The CINE service provides connectivity between the colleges and beyond the colleges to our Internet Service Providers. The hand off in January was successful, as we had been preparing and gradually transferring responsibilities since last summer. There was no direct impact on people at HMC, since the CIS Help Desk is still the first port of call for network related concerns.
Along with Pomona College, Claremont McKenna and Keck Graduate Institute, we are participating in TCC IT’s “to the wall plate” network service. This became effective July 1, 2017 and the responsibilities were completely transferred by August 31st, when Roger Wiechman retired. This was also a smooth hand off to TCC IT with minimal impact on the people at Harvey Mudd.
The idea behind appropriate centralization was to allow the Consortium to take advantage of economies of scale and at the same time to free the College IT departments to focus on services that are best delivered locally. While I believe it will take some adjustment time to fully reap the benefits, we have already seen TCC IT deliver many advantages:
- They negotiated an excellent set of discounts and leasing terms with Cisco, based on the collective purchasing power of the Consortium.
- They negotiated for a “system” membership of Internet2, saving money overall and removing the need for each college to manage membership in Internet2.
- They negotiated an excellent license cost for Duo, software that we are using to activate multi-factor authentication on our systems.
- TCC IT has coordinated security initiatives that have focused on obtaining pricing favorable to Consortium members for IT security audits.
- They have worked closely with Pomona College on an initiative that will help the Colleges meet new audit requirements in relation to Financial Aid record security.
While there will always be bumps in the road for transitions like this, I am very happy with how well things have gone and with the strong work that our new colleagues at TCC IT have been doing.
When you are on the HMC campus and look at the wireless signals (SSID) available, you will normally see at least the following:
As I mentioned in the September 2012 Update from the CIO, the Claremont Colleges have agreed to remove the CINE wireless signal from service. There are a number of reasons for this:
* The CINE network is open (anyone can access it).
* The CINE network is unencrypted and therefore insecure (network traffic may be visible to third parties).
* The Library licenses electronic content that requires authentication.
* The Library was subject to some overcrowding due to the “free wireless”.
The Library and some of the other Claremont Colleges have already stopped broadcasting the CINE signal.
What should you do? The next time you need wireless access on campus, you should configure your laptop or other wireless device to connect to Claremont-WPA . This is a one time configuration as most laptops will remember the wireless network and can also be configured to give Claremont-WPA priority over other networks on campus. You will not have to enter your HMC Credentials every time you connect to Claremont-WPA. For details about how to do this visit the following link:
We do not yet have a fixed date on which the CINE signal will go away. We need to design a guest access solution that will work for the HMC community and allows access for many types of devices. Our target to get this done is the end of 2012.
If you have questions or need help configuring your laptop or other wi-fi device to connect with Claremont-WPA, please contact the Help Desk on the first floor of the Sprague Learning Center (firstname.lastname@example.org or 909 607 7777).
In my last update from the CIO I gave a quick overview of Identity and Access Management (IAM). We have now contracted with Fischer International for Identity and Access Management services. Throughout 2012, this decision will have an increasing impact on all of our daily computing lives. You will hear and read more and more references to your “HMC Credentials”, which will be a username and password derived from your current Charlie or Alice passwords (Active Directory). We will stop referring to credentials that are specific to an application, such as “your Zimbra username and password”. Eventually, your HMC Credentials will be the only credentials you need to access most services; moreover, you will see a “single sign on” ecology begin to emerge: once you’ve logged in to one service, you typically will not have to provide credentials for the next service you visit. For example, you would log on to your computer in the morning and then visit Sakai, which would recognize that you have already authenticated and not ask you for your credentials a second time. Ditto when you visit email (including Google Apps) after you’ve logged into Sakai or the Portal. And so on.
The IAM @ HMC initiative will also bring you a web interface to reset your password for your HMC credentials.
There’s more: an important milestone along the IAM @ HMC journey will be our ability to join InCommon
, which is an Internet2 initiative. Two immediate benefits: you will be able to use your HMC Credentials to access online resources through the library, NSF resources and any other “federated” resources that work with InCommon. We anticipate joining InCommon in the first six months of 2012.
This month we welcome Cindy Abercrombie as the newest member of the CIS staff. Cindy has worked on many interesting projects over the years but participating in the conversion of an old navy building into a state-of-the-art Internet data center stands out the most. The old navy building had tunnels to the sea wall and artillery buried in the basement. Pillars in the data center basement were cut and jacked up 20 inches to allow for the insertion of a ball and cup device that allowed the building to roll 18” in any direction. This amount of building movement required an open channel, 2 foot wide, around the building and flexible connectors to city utilities. The building also had 10 generators on the roof that relied on flywheels producing kinetic energy as an interim source of power (rather than batteries) if there was a loss of utility power. There was also a 100,000 gallon water tank installed under the building for the cooling system, in case an earthquake ruptured water mains. As the new Director of Projects and Planning Cindy will put such experiences to good use.
When Cindy is not working on information technology projects she spends her time with her kids working on LEGO projects, talking about books, and watching their sporting events. She also seems to have good luck at the casinos. She won royal flush on video poker machines three times.
I am delighted to announce that on May 2nd, two new Directors came to work at CIS for the first time.
Cindy Abercrombie joins us as our new Director of Information Technology Projects and Planning. Cindy was most recently Manager of Network Operations at CENIC (Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California), which operates high speed networks for California’s education and research communities. She has also worked at AboveNet and Fair, Isaac and Company (which creates FICO scores). She holds degrees in Electronics and Management. This is Cindy’s first higher ed position and she will be taking the lead on a number of our IT projects, as well as overseeing administrative operations in CIS. Cindy is a native Californian and in her spare time she enjoys watching her children play basketball and relaxing in the backyard with her dog.
Our new Director of Systems and Network is Mitch Shacklett. He comes to us from Fort Lewis College, Colorado where he was most recently Manager of Systems Administration. Like HMC, Fort Lewis College has a mixed IT environment, so Mitch is knowledgeable about Windows and Linux server administration. He holds degrees in Finance and in Education from the University of San Diego. Mitch has a connection with Claremont, as he was born here (although his parents moved when he was very young). When not deeply immersed in Information Technology, Mitch likes to enjoy the outdoors: snow skiing, mountain biking, surfing and dirt bike riding.
You may recall that our reorganization last summer allowed us to create these new positions. The search for a Systems and Network Director was a long one, but we did find two new Directors for the price of one search. Please join me in welcoming them to Harvey Mudd College!