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Technical Support Provider Forum: Archived Notes

March 21, 2007
February 21, 2007
January 17, 2007

2005-2006 archived minutes
2004 archived minutes
2002-2003 archived minutes

Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


VPN implementation
Wyman Miles; Senior Security Engineer, OIT-CIT IT Security

  • Wyman used a PPT presentation to cover most of the information on the upcoming VPN implementation.
  • VPN is roughly analogous to what dial-up was.
  • IP-Sec will encapsulate any other services.
  • VPN treats RedRover as "off-site," which allows it to be used for testing and demos.
  • April 19 is targeted for the "go live date" for general availability, and it will be available to anyone who can register for RedRover (all members of the CU community).
  • A web-based component to the software will be part of phase2.

Latest news on BASIL
Jon Atherton; Packaging & Delivery Lead, CIT Information Systems

  • Jon distributed a handout (MS Word doc) outlining the SALSA infrastructure/BASIL update.
  • Feedback or answers to the questions addressed on the handout should be sent to

Briefings on... CU IT forum, Vista, & Campus Agreement
Sunny Donenfeld; Director of Distributed Support, Office of VP for Info Tech

    Campus Agreement:
  • Jen Holleran from Computer Science spoke on Sunny's behalf regarding the Campus Agreement.
  • This is a follow up to the update on exploring a Campus Agreement with
    Microsoft for Office Professional. The ITMC representatives were asked
    to consider how much time you think your unit is spending tracking
    office licenses annually and whether or not going with a Campus
    Agreement would save not only your unit money and time, but also the
    University as a whole. Based on the information presented at the ITMC
    meeting and talking with the folks in your organization we would like to
    get your feedback.
  • Current state:
    • Licenses purchased through Select are per machine and on average we've
      been spending about $95 k annually for licenses and media. This does not
      include licenses purchased from other venders such as Dell, Campus
      Store, Staples etc.. This also does not include those units currently
      using a campus agreement (spending approximately 30k on the Office piece
      of their separate agreements).
    • Campus Agreement covers public computers/ labs, 2nd, 3rd, nth Cornell
      owned machines (physical and virtual) for individuals, upgrade any PC or
      Mac to new version of office anytime, no need to track licenses.
    • Work at home (.01) and requires tracking.
  • Proposal:
    • Campus Agreement for Office Professional Plus (Access, Excel,
      InfoPath, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, Word) 8872 fte's x $~20(level
      B pricing) = $177,440 annual cost
    • Weill: 3411 fte's x $~20 = $68,220 annual cost
    • We think the savings University wide will be at least 3-4 fte's.
  • Please send Jen Holleran ( any thoughts you have about this proposal.

  • IT Forum:
  • The 2007 Cornell IT forum will be held on June 13, from noon to 4:00, at the Duffield Hall atrium.
  • The forum will kick off with keynote speaker E.P. Rogers, former CIO of MONY presenting from 10:30-12 at the Statler Auditorium.
  • Sunny is currently looking for additional participants -- there is no charge for participants from the Cornell community. Please contact to volunteer to facilitate a session.

  • Vista:
  • The previous message the Vista-SIG had sent to the community was "don't upgrade," but that has changed...
  • The new message is for technical support providers to please upgrade to Vista in order to test its use as the primary operating system -- as this is the only way to find out potential real issues.
  • Please e-mail all Vista testing results to vista-l.
  • E-mail Sunny at if you are interested in using the test lab for testing Vista.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007


CIT Unified Billing System (CUBS) Update
Greg Menzenski; Consultant/Advisor Spec, Office of VP for Info Tech

  • Greg gave a PPT presentation to provide an update on the CUBS project objectives and plans for communication, as well as a demo of the new system.
  • In addition to the PDF format for individual usage bills, basic Excel files will also be available for each overall account.
  • The most recent 13 months of bills will be maintained, going forward from the first month of implementation.
  • Upon implementation of the online billing system, paper bills will continue to be sent out for a 3 month overlap period.
  • Units will be able to determine who has what level of access to particular bills and accounts.
  • At this point NUBB is not associated with CUBS, but is planned for Phase 2.

Bear Access, BASIL, & Vista
Dan Bartholomew; Sr Technical Consultant, CIT Systems & Operations

  • Dan gave a PPT presentation to provide a status update on Bear Access, BASIL, and issues involving Vista.
  • The new version of Net-Print will not require Sidecar.
  • The fall 07 version of Bear Access will be built using existing SALSA infrastructure and will continue to work under XP, but will not be a good solution for Vista...
  • The newest Mac OS does not support Kerberos 4 -- they're working on solutions.

Vista SIG update
Sunny Donenfeld; Director of Distributed Support, Office of VP for Info Tech

  • The Vista SIG has recommended not to upgrade to Vista at this time; however, it is extremely important to have, at a minimum, "workarounds" available for all students in the fall, as many new students will certainly be using Vista by that time.
  • A bulk e-mail was suggested to detail the reasons behind the Vista SIG's decision not to recommend Vista at this time. The e-mail will also mention the problems encountered with Office 2007 and IE7.
  • Units should know what systems they use and test their status under Vista. Send all findings to Sunny at for posting on the Windows Vista Upgrade Recommendation page.
  • When purchasing new equipment, the recommendation is to buy the Vista license, but to downgrade to XP for now.

Dedicated Channel for Support Providers
JP Brannan; Contact Center Mgr, CIT Customer Svcs & Marketing

  • There is an acknowledged need for different and better support channel for technical support providers, net admins, etc.
  • So, the Contact Center has decided to simply "jump in" and try some ideas, rather than go through an extensive needs analysis process. Focus groups were held to get some initial feedback and ideas.
  • A separate phone number and email address will be made available for for tech support professionals, as well as a community wiki which will not be as "polished" as an end user version would ordinarily be.
  • This channel is intended for "2nd tier" support issues -- but initially, no calls will be rejected and they will assume that anyone using the support provider contact number or email is a valid TSP.
  • The intention is to staff this channel using full-time reguar staff rather than students.
  • Issue will be tracked using Vantive at first, then switch to Remedy when it is implemented for all of the customer support systems.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007


CU charity: inventing the Cornell Computer Reuse Club...
Al Heiman; Consultant/Advisor Sr, CIT Systems & Operations

  • This charity started as a "one-man-show", with Al working to provide computers to various non-profit organizations in Africa.
  • Al now works with a student group that is currently focused on local needs such as for GIAC and Ithaca HS. As the Cornell Computer Reuse Club grows and becomes better established, they will move toward working again with developing nations.
  • While they are currently receiving many donations, they are always seeking more good computers for those in need, as the list of organizations they would like to assist is constantly growing.
  • The Cornell Computer Reuse Club will accept PentiumB and above, and G3 Macs and above (but prefer G4).
  • More information on this group is provided in a December Chronicle Online article.
  • For more information, contact Al at

EZ-Backup presentation, demo, Q&A
Bob Talda; Prog/Analyst Specialist for EZ-Backup, CIT Systems & Operations

  • The EZ-Backup software, TSM (Tivoli Storage Manager), is scheduled to be upgraded on 2/1/07.
  • Version 5.4.0 will focus on areas that currently have no coverage (Vista, Intel Macs). There *will* be bugs, which is why they usually don't roll out --.0 versions.
  • 5.4.? for Windows will be available mid-summer, and will not support Win2000.
  • 5.3 is the last version supported for Win2000.
  • The "backup files" feature may delay when another backup can be performed (until the "behind-the-scenes" delete process is completed, which can take up to a few hours).
  • Scheduled backus will be handled differently in the version.
  • It should be a clean, simple upgrade, but a "silent" install will be available for those who wish to use it.
  • Many new features of the upgraded TSM are detailed in the PPT Bob presented.




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Last modified: August 21, 2008