04 April 2006

Initial Project Proposals (Project Mandates)

The University is developing a new way of managing IT projects that have an impact across the campus.

Under proposed arrangements through the University Information Management Systems Committee (UIMSC), any information and communications (ICT) project in the University that involves IT or Information Systems (involving storage or manipulation of corporate data in electronic form), and:

  • will impact on more than one section of the University;
  • requires more than five IT staff days of effort; or
  • involves the development of a new service or system

will need to be considered by UIMSC.

The Division has identified three projects initially that, it would appear, need to be considered by UIMSC. These are:

1. ICT Services hosting of Staff Profiles and Home Drives

Divisions are responsible for providing servers and storage space to hold and manage the profiles and My Documents folders (‘home drives’ or ‘home directories’) for their Divisional Staff. This facility is duplicated across all three Academic Divisions. ICT Services hosts profiles and home directories for the other, non-academic Divisions. There may also be solutions in place in some of the Centres around the campus.

This duplicates facilities across four Divisions at least, and causes problems for staff moving between Divisions in the University.

While shared drives are not covered here, there is also a need to provide staff with access to shared, ‘collaborative’ network file storage space in addition to their own storage. This shared storage (‘network drives’) should be available not only within Divisions but also between Divisions so that groups of people from different Divisions working together can have common space to collaborate.

The Division has requested that UIMSC consider a project to provide staff profiles and home drives centrally.

2. Centralised control of Wireless Access to the University Network

In 2003 the Division of Communication and Education began rolling out experimental access points to allow some students around the Division to access the University network wirelessly. Following a survey in 2004 ICT Services began the rollout of wireless services to a number of spaces around the University, including the Hub, the Refectory, the Staff Club and parts of the Library. It is proposed to wireless-enable Building 2 in 2006.

A Wireless Working Party endorsed a security plan for providing wireless access to the University Network. In brief, this plan involved a Virtual Private Network model that requires all wireless access points to be on a separate part of the network so that only properly authenticated users can access the facilities of the University network. ICT Services Network Management Team must manage the VPN model because only its members have access to the administration services needed to configure network switches to support the Virtual Local Area Network, or VLAN, services needed to implement the system.

The Division of Communication and Education still has three wireless access points in operation (and use) that do not conform to the University’s wireless access policy. These service the 9C25 Conference Room and 9C26 postgraduate room; the 5C15 and 16 Microteaching rooms and the 5C43 Art Room; and the Compatibility Lab in the Curriculum Resources Centre (5A15).

The management of these access points needs to be handed over to the Network Management Group, or replaced by them with suitable access points that fit in with other access points in use around the campus.

Any new wireless access points (there are requests for wireless access to be provided in 1C33 (CLRC) and the ILTC (20B18)) should be the responsibility of ICT Services.

The objective of this project is to provide standardized, central control over existing and proposed wireless access to the University network.

3. Replacement network switches in Buildings 1, 9 and 20

There are network switches in Buildings 1, 9 and 20 that have not been replaced since being installed by the Faculties in 1998. The old switches are not to the University ‘Layer 2’ standard and prevent us from using the network for multicast services like Ghosting machines over the network. Access points for providing wireless access to the University network require upgraded switches to allow for the management of the services in line with University policy on providing wireless access to the University network. Network response at times of peak usage is unacceptably slow, and it is not possible to move large files (for video editing purposes, for example) over the network in its existing state.

It is essential that ICT services (like the network infrastructure, for example) remain up to date so as to not put the University at a competitive disadvantage when compared with other comparable institutions.

This project seeks to have the network switches in the Division of Communication and Education brought up to the University standard within a reasonable timeframe.