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The Connect IT
September, 2016 utdallas.edu/oit/newsletter/

The Office of Information Technology Bids Iris and David Farewell

Left to Right: Iris Decker, R. David Crain

Crain’s tenure oversaw the creation of a research computing support group, which is installing a shared high-performance computing cluster. He initiated upgrades to the campus data network to add performance and resiliency while also tripling the campuses internet bandwidth and increasing campus connectivity overall by 600 percent. In addition, OIT rolled out a new service management system, upgraded faculty and staff email, and expanded the wireless networks on campus.

In his new role, Crain will lead The University of Texas System’s Shared Information Services in Irving. The department is engaged in the development and management of shared system-wide information technology solutions in support of the academic and health institutions in The University of Texas System. We wish him continued success in his new role.

Iris Decker is retiring after a career spanning nearly 30 years at UT Dallas. She came to the university in 1978 and began in Shipping & Receiving. Iris has worked in Payroll, Financial Aid, Telecom, and then landed in OIT where she has remained for the last 20 years. She has made many friendships along the way and has always been a valued asset, ally and friend to all who she has worked with.

It’s time for her to move on to other adventures, but we will always consider her FAMILY and she will be greatly missed. You can always reach Iris at her alumni mailbox: [email protected].

The 411 on One Directory Service

Plans are in the works to consolidate directory services to achieve efficiencies, provide simplified architecture, improved focus, increased security, improved quality of service, and standardization for our students, faculty, and staff.

A directory service is a shared information system that stores and shares networked resource and service information. Today UTD has two directory services: Microsoft Active Directory (AD LDAP), which provides information and authentication for Office 365 and Exchange, Windows servers, desktops, laptops, shares, and many applications, including OnBase, CrashPlan, and MyHousing; and Oracle Directory Server Enterprise Edition (Unix LDAP), which provides information and authentication for Linux/Unix servers, desktops, laptops, and shares, and many applications including Galaxy, eLearning, and the Directory of People website. Currently both systems receive information from NetID, PeopleSoft, and other sources; each receives both common and unique information, depending on the services they currently support.

OIT will be consolidating to the Active Directory (AD LDAP) platform, as Exchange and other Microsoft systems require the use of AD, while AD also supports the LDAP protocol. The OIT Systems and Operations Linux, Windows, and Identity Management teams are collaborating with university stakeholders to plan, design and validate the changes that will need to be made to allow AD LDAP to successfully support its existing resource consumers as well as the critical systems and applications currently supported by Unix LDAP.

The first phase of the project is to migrate applications that can be switched to AD LDAP in its current configuration. OIT will be reaching out to application owners to determine how they currently use Unix LDAP, and to start the testing and migration process. Questions about the project can be sent to [email protected]

The Office of Information Technology Welcomes the Class of 2020

The Office of Information Technology welcomes the class of 2020

OIT participated in a variety of Welcome Week activities including the Cometville Carnival. Caitlin Ye, Maizie Desmarais and Valerie Enriquez distributed tech tips, played games, and gave away prizes while showcasing some of OIT’s many services including:

Account Management - Change your password, security questions and answers, and manage your NetIDplus two-factor authentication. Computer Labs - Walk-in locations in the McDermott Sonora and Founders Commons computer labs offer students help with NetID/password issues, Basic wireless configurations, and General Information on browser configuration and anti-virus software installation. We also offer support by phone, email, and appointment to help with more complex issues. Networking - Services supporting Campus Network & Connectivity, Upgrades and New Deployments, VPN, LAN/WAN, WiFi, etc.

Email services - Email services provided by the university for students, faculty, and staff.

Training - PeopleSoft and other related training.

Software - The Microsoft Campus Agreement (MSCA) makes available additional Microsoft titles for use by technical support staff.

Telecommunications - Services supporting Campus wide VoIP, Upgrades and new deployments, Relocations, Faxes, and Unified Communications.

WebEx - Web-based platform that allows effective collaboration by streamlining the entire meeting process.

For more information or assistance: 972.883.2911 or [email protected]

High Performance Computing Cluster Under Construction!

One small step for OIT, one giant leap for UT Dallas!

Ganymede Moon UT Dallas will soon be announcing the availability of “Ganymede”, our first sharable High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster at UTD. This cluster’s usage is maintained via a “condo model”, where researchers buy into a guaranteed # of computing cores and storage, and OIT invests in the common foundation: the cluster management software, shared infrastructure, system administration labor, and negotiated buying power. Currently OIT staff are configuring the cluster and completing network connectivity. Once ready, the four key researchers who contributed to this outstanding investment (Dr. Will Anderson, ME Dr. Dong Qian, ME, Dr. Arif Malik, ME, Dr. Zhang, ME) will launch their projects utilizing the new cluster.

The resulting price to our research community is significantly less than what it would cost to purchase and maintain an equivalent single user systems.

Ganymede’s technical specifications include:

  • 800 computing cores (680 reserved, 120 shareable)
  • 1536 sharable graphics processing cores
  • 500 TB of sharable compute storage
  • An extremely fast, high bandwidth network fabric (100 GB Infiniband)
  • Scalable architecture for adding thousands of additional cores and PBs of storage

Ganymede is meant to compliment, not compete, with allocations available from TACC, XSEDE, and INCITE HPC systems. For more information, please contact Frank Feagans or Gi Vania.

Please Help Us Welcome the New OIT Employees

  • Heronn Harrison - Systems Engineer I – Windows Team
  • Marissa Meiter – System Engineer I – Windows Team
  • B. Nick Evans – Database Administrator I – DBA Team
  • Niraj Thapa – Database Administrator I – DBA Team
  • Rajeswari Prabhakaran – Business Technical Analyst III – EAST Team
  • Todd Ihle - Network Engineer I – Network Team

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