(eNews Extras are late-breaking stories not included in the printed version of this newsletter)
The Division of Information Technology is conducting surveys to help us improve our offerings and services. Faculty and staff, please take a few minutes to fill out the web-based questionnaire (www.uwyo.edu/itsurveys/ 2007facstaff/). Faculty and staff who complete and submit the questionnaire by May 20 are entered to win a Nintendo Wii, an Apple 30GB iPod video (5.5 generation), or a Canon PowerShot SD600 6MP digital ELPH camera. The selection of the winning faculty or staff member will be made at random and the winner will be notified at their UW email address. Thank you for telling us how we can improve technology at UW and Information Technology’s services.
In March 2006, the Wyoming Legislature approved funding for the construction of a new building to house UW’s central computing operations and the Division of Information Technology. A planning team consisting of members from Information Technology, Facilities Planning, Physical Plant, student representatives and others has been working since August with the architectural firm of Anderson, Mason, and Dale to develop an efficient building design.
The design of the building is on schedule and nearing completion. Construction is scheduled to begin late this summer on the current site of the UW Honors House on Sorority Row. The site was chosen because of its accessible location, near the core campus, giving students, faculty, and staff easy access to IT’s services, training support, and a new IT store.
A critical component of the university’s technology infrastructure is IT’s computing center, which houses the university’s main computing and data storage resources. A major element of the new building’s design is a modern state-of-the-art data center. The data center will consist of a 6,000 ft2 raised-floor computer area supported by redundant electrical and cooling equipment. The center will be capable of housing over 200 computer cabinets with each holding multiple computer servers.
Properly cooling a facility of this size is a major design concern. The continually increasing speed of computers and their simultaneous decrease in size combine to create significant heat generation and buildup in a room this large. A fully populated cabinet of high-speed servers can easily consume over 20 kilowatts per hour of power and can require over 65,000 BTUs of cooling. A typical home electric oven consumes 8 kilowatts per hour. For the new data center, the initial power and cooling equipment will be capable of handling 600 kilowatts of power consumption with a design capacity for expansion to twice that amount.
Once built, all of the university’s central administrative systems will be housed in the new data center. Among these are the university’s payroll, financial, human resources, and academic records and registration systems, as well as the campus email system, Web services and a host of other academic applications.
Redundant electrical and cooling systems will provide a high degree of computer availability and minimize the amount of downtime due to outages. Security of physical systems and information contained on them is also a major consideration in the design. Access to the data center will be highly restricted using modern access and monitoring systems.
For additional information about the data center, please contact Bill Winn, IT Director Business Services, 766-4840, email@example.com.
Information Technology customers can download and install various software applications directly from the UW network, such as Microsoft Office. The specific versions of some of these applications have differing lifecycles. IT strives to maintain and support up-to-date versions of software. In some cases both the current and previous versions of an application are supported. Older, less functional application versions become difficult to support and are periodically removed from the network. On May 15 some older application versions will be removed from the UW network and no longer supported by Information Technology.
If you are using any of the software applications listed in the table at right, please check to see if you need to upgrade – assuming the upgrade is compatible with your other applications and dependencies. Some titles will still be available by checking out a CD from IT.
Microsoft Office Suite – Information Technology will provide Office Enterprise 2007, Office 2003 Professional, and Office 2004 Standard for Mac from UW servers at no cost to UW departments. Office Suite versions to be removed – Office XP Professional, Office XP with FrontPage 2002, Office 2000 Professional, and Office 2000 Premium.
Microsoft Applications – IT will provide FrontPage 2003, Visio 2007 Professional, and Visio 2003 Professional from UW servers for users who have paid for a license through the Microsoft Select Agreement. Office applications to be removed – FrontPage 2002, FrontPage 2000, Publisher 2002, Visio 2002 Professional, and Visio 2000 Professional.
SAS – IT provides this statistical software package to its customers without charge and it is available on the UW network and on CD. The current version is SAS 9.1.3 with Service Pack 4. SAS 8.2 will be removed. Users who have not upgraded yet should contact their IT user consultant to request access to the network resource for this application.
SPSS – This statistical software package is provided without charge to UW customers who install the application from the network. IT will provide SPSS 15 and SPSS 14 for use on university computers, and will remove SPSS 13 from its servers. It is recommended that users upgrade to the latest version of the software (v.15). Please note that the student computer labs will continue to use SPSS 14 during the spring and summer of 2007. Your IT user consultant can help you upgrade.
Windows Operating Systems – Windows 2000 Professional computer users should consider upgrading their systems to Windows XP Service Pack 2. Microsoft’s extended support life cycle for Windows 2000 Professional limits the type of patches that are released, thus increasing the support efforts to maintain these systems. The Windows 2000 Professional Operating System download will be removed from IT’s servers. The Windows 2000 Resource Kit will also be removed.
For more information on other software applications see www.uwyo.edu/software/softwaretable.asp. Please call the IT Help Desk at 307-766-4357 (6-HELP) option 1, or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. Information Technology is unable to provide support for older versions of software. For Windows 2000 Professional systems that cannot be upgraded IT consulting staff can only provide limited, "best-efforts" support.
Do you need to brush up on Microsoft Access to get a project started and can’t wait for an IT Training workshop? Are you located at an Outreach office and can’t get to Laramie for hands-on instructor led IT workshops? Perhaps you are using an application that IT doesn’t provide training for – like Groove, OneNote, InfoPath, or Visio. Or maybe you are making the leap to Office 2007.
We have a solution and, best of all, it’s free. Through Information Technology’s agreement with Microsoft, we are pleased to announce E-Learning, a brand new online technology training service.
All UW employees and students are eligible to log into Microsoft’s online E-Learning Web site and take as much training as they would like. UW employees and students can select from various courses - core to advanced - that cover popular Microsoft applications. The selections also include Windows XP Professional and Vista courses.
All it takes is a Windows Live ID or Passport account and the access code. If you don’t have a Windows Live ID or Passport account, you’ll be stepped through a process to sign up for one. Then you will be on your way to learning introductory to advanced topics from a wide selection of courses.
Visit www.uwyo.edu/software/elearning to obtain your access code and get started.
Please note that the access code accommodates a limited number of users from our university. The special code must not be shared with anyone who is not a UW employee or student.
Our initial testing shows that both IE and Firefox browsers will run the tutorials. However, if you want to run the scanning tool that determines if your computer has all the necessary components and configuration required to run the tutorials, it is advised that you use Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher.
In a continuing effort to expand software services, IT is pleased to announce the release of SAS 9.1.3 for the Linux operating system.
SAS for Linux has been added to IT’s license agreement and is available to our customers in two forms:
The software is provided at no cost to IT customers. However, Information Technology is unable to provide support for the installation or use of the software. We have created a very brief set of installation guidelines when using the CDs. Linux administrators are expected to be familiar enough with their operating system to set their own privileges to allow them to install the software.
Call the Client Support Services Front Desk at 766-3686 or email email@example.com to reserve the CDs for checkout or to be added to the server download share.
Information Technology released Office Enterprise 2007 to all UW students and employees in March. Office Enterprise 2007 includes Access, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, Word, Groove, InfoPath, and OneNote.
Users who could not upgrade previous versions of Microsoft Office due to PeopleSoft compatibility issues should not upgrade to Office 2007. The Suite is not yet available in the UWStudent computer labs; however the Microsoft Compatibility Pack is installed in the labs allowing students and other users to open Office 2007 files. Office 2007 will be available in the UWStudent computer labs in the fall of 2007.
Before deciding to upgrade to Office 2007, consider who you typically share your files with - faculty, staff, administrators, students, or on- and off- campus peers. Those people may be affected by your choice. There are three options:
Saving new files as earlier versions is the only option that will allow Macintosh users to easily view files created in Office Enterprise 2007.
The Office 2007 programs have a very different look and feel than previous versions of Microsoft Office software, as well as new file formats. Because of this, Information Technology recommends departments analyze their sharing of documents and collaboration patterns to determine if compatibility issues will affect their decision to upgrade the entire office at the same time or individually, particularly in regards to Access databases. IT is waiting on courseware updates to be able to provide training to faculty and staff. Classroom training on Office 2007 will begin in the fall. In the meantime users can access self-paced courses at www.uwyo.edu/software/elearning/ (see IT Offers Free Online Learning for Microsoft Applications in this newsletter).
IT recommends a thorough review of our Office 2007 FAQ (http://www.uwyo.edu/askit/displaydoc.asp?askitdocid=1341&parentid=1) prior to installing Office 2007 on any computers. UW employees can install Office Enterprise 2007 by visiting the IT Software page (www.uwyo.edu/software/). Work at Home Office Enterprise 2007 CDs are currently available. See the UW Work at Home Web page (www.uwyo.edu/infotech/services/sales/software/wah.htm), for further information. UW enrolled students can also download Office Enterprise 2007 free of charge by visiting the WyoWare Web site (www.uwyo.edu/software/students/). Students should be able to order Office CDs in May 2007. We encourage faculty and staff to inform students of this great UW benefit.
Please contact the Client Support Services Help Desk at 766-4357 (6-HELP) option 1, or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions regarding the upgrade to Microsoft’s Office Enterprise 2007 Suite.
In response to the UW community’s desire for better spam management, the Division of Information Technology began spam quarantining March 8, 2007 on the central UW email gateways. Email users now receive a single daily email summary that lists all detected spam messages. Spam quarantining has greatly reduced the volume of false emails being delivered to users, making email management easier and reducing the number of unwanted messages in Inboxes.
Users can easily release any message from their daily quarantined list summary and can manage their individual spam processing through a Web interface. The Web interface allows users to view and release the messages or add senders to a whitelist of safe "approved" senders. The interface can be found at www.uwyo.edu/uwspam, or by following the UWSPAM link on the Outlook Web Access (http://uwmail.uwyo.edu) Web page.
More information about spam processing and answers to frequently asked questions is available on the Spam Blocking at UW page (www.uwyo.edu/spam/uwspam).
Quarantined messages are only stored for 14 days and then permanently deleted from the email servers. After 14 days the messages cannot be recovered.
Information Technology recently upgraded its central data backup capability. The new system, based on IBM Total Storage products, utilizes new tape libraries and new tape drives and is approximately five times faster than the system it replaced. The older system had reached capacity and could not back up all of the university’s data in a 24 hour period. IT currently backs up an average of approximately 1,400 GB (1.4 terabytes) of data per night.
The University of Wyoming and the State of Wyoming share tape libraries in Laramie and Cheyenne which allow remote, off-site, backups for each entity. UW’s backup data is stored both at UW and in Cheyenne, protecting UW’s data in the event of a disaster in Laramie. The new tape libraries are connected by a new private fiber circuit which currently operates at 2 gigabits per second (Gbps).
WyoWeb has a number of useful features with many more additions planned. Check out a few of these tips:
By Fall 2007, WyoWeb will have additional features and a new look to the log in page. If you have any questions about WyoWeb, please contact the Information Technology Help Desk at 307-766-4357, option 1 or email email@example.com.
The last IT newsletter reported that the Wyoming Legislature provided funding for IT to upgrade the University of Wyoming’s wireless data network. The planned upgrade will begin late this summer. The upgrade will provide reliable, high quality wireless access to the UW network and Internet from most UW core campus buildings and some adjacent outdoor areas.
A Request for Proposal (RFP) for the upgrade was recently issued to wireless equipment vendors. A vendor will be selected in the coming weeks. We recommended that departments do not purchase additional access points until the new wireless system has been selected. For more information please contract Bob Morrison, IT Director, 766-4880, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two of our long-time employees recently retired after 72 combined years service in Information Technology. Dr. Larry Sims joined the Division of Information Technology (then known as "Computer Services") in 1970 while Jim Kirkpatrick joined the division in 1972.
Throughout their careers in IT, Larry and Jim worked on numerous computing platforms including servers from Xerox, Control Data, Digital Equipment, IBM, & SUN. Larry and Jim are truly unsung heroes who worked mostly behind the scenes keeping computers, networks and applications running smoothly and securely for the entire university. Their service, knowledge, and dedication will be greatly missed.