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Minutes 2011-03-31

Ideas and Announcements

Richard Coffey's Computing Directors Chair term is ending. On April 28th meeting, the new Computing Directors Chair will be elected. Mark Baratta encouraged everyone to send email nominations to him of prospective candidates, including themselves.

CompDirs Mailing list

Richard Coffey asked if the moderated mailing list for Computing Directors be opened up to the public. In the best interest of the group, currently he moderates the list to avoid wasting everyone's time. Sekar responded that he likes less noise from the mailing list and the mailing list remain moderated. Richard said the Planning Committee will be moderating the list.
MOTION: Should the CompDirs mailing list remain moderated? The motion to continue moderating the list passed unanimously.

Ex-Officio Committee report

Harry Edmon gave a report on behalf of the Ex-Officio Committee [Harry Edmon, Sekar Thiagarajan, Michael Parker]. The committee decided that there shall be 3 ex-officio members from UW-IT nominated by the VP for UW-IT and the Computing Directors, and approved by the Computing Directors. This will provide the CompDirs the ability to provide feedback and input in this process. Sekar mentioned that Terry Gray and Karalee Woody should be two of those three ex-officio members since they continue to show ample interest and participation already. Harry mentioned that we may actually address them as Advisory Members, just to avoid confusion to the term Ex-Officio. There may be additional Advisory Members from other Administrative units should the Computing Directors feel the need. In addition, people from Administrative Units will be invited to attend based on topics of discussion.

STF Update

Ron Kline updated about the STF Committee rulings for the year on the proposals. There has been widespread cuts and denials to a lot of proposals that has resulted in some confusion about the handling and the lack of clarity in the process.
Ron highly recommended that the Computing Directors Group should strive to be in some sort of advisory role to STF Committee to help guide them. Planning Committee will be looking into communicating with ASUW.

UW-IT Costing Study Update

Richard gave an update on the 'Campus Wide UW-IT Costing Study' that is being conducted on 12 units across campus. The first stage of interviews are over, and is in the 2nd stage collecting the additional survey. WTC's initial findings reflect a uniform theme of providing large number of services compared to the very little resources that are available in units. Some of the involved Computing Directors will be getting together, to discuss the BPSE/FTE list, and how to make sense of it.

eScience Update

Jeff Gardner, Assistant Director of eScience Institute talked about the broader mission of eScience as to enable bigger and better scientific research and providing the researchers access to scalable resources. He also talked about the different missions being (a) educational component (b) consulting mission (c) partnership role (with other universities) (d) infrastructure mission. Today's talk will be centered around the infrastructure mission

Brad Greer from UW-IT Service Management and Planning, talked about the Service Catalog. Brad talked about basic storage components on Data Center Colocation, SAN storage, IBM Tivoli Storage Manager. He also outlined the storage service options for individuals, and explained the option of putting in a budget# if you exceed the allocated quota to extend quota. The individual option extends to nebula type systems, web data and the common cloud services such as UW Windows Live and UW Google Apps. Availability of consulting services is also provided for small and large custom engineering projects. Additional details are provided in the attached document.

Chance Reschke from eScience talked about the UW-IT Storage for Researchers (nicknamed lolo). This is some sort of super storage option which is part of eScience as well. He mentioned that researchers have specifically asked for this project for over two years over several meetings. Erik mentioned that there were about 212 researchers from all over UW participating in these meetings.

This is a big scalable storage service for all UW which is independent of Hyak. This is for sharing of data amongst users and all platforms. This is provided as an alternative to the complexity and expense to building your own storage strategies. A number of key technologies are part of this solution which is offered as an alternate to running your own storage systems. Storage can be bought in 8TB chunks for a 3 year commitment. Rates are set very conservatively. Higher the capacity, the lower the rates are for lolo. Performance also scales with capacity. Archival tape storage costs are extremely lower compared to collaboration storage costs. Additional details are provided in the attached document.

802.11n Rollout and Project Feedback

David Morton, Director of Mobile Communication - UW-IT, gave an update of the Next Generation Wi-Fi Network that is to be deployed on campus. They are in the first phase of a multi-phase deployment with 11n upgrades. He reported that in 5 years, the usage has gone up and the types of wireless network has changed. There has been an explosion of tablets and hand held devices. 92,000 unique devices are seen in a given month with 60,000 unique Wi-Fi users. The reason to upgrade to 802.11n is that it is 6-9 times improvements in speed and in density access.

David further mentioned that he sees Wi-Fi as the primary mode of communication in future. The current project is to replace all 6000 APs on campus accounting for any and all changes in size, shape and capabilities. User experience is expected to remain the same. Initial site list was provided for the first phase of this project. The project is estimated to last 18 months. The project cost for this upgrade project is very much lower than the same project done the first time around. The external contractors are charging only $25 to upgrade each existing AP with the new one, compared to about $500 for the first time it was put in place. The new APs are also capable of sensing the wireless spectrum strength which will eliminate the 2nd set of APs used in conjunction now. The project manager will be Colleen Butler. Colleen mentioned that the existing APs will be upgraded directly in each building, and then spectrum sampling will be done throughout the building to see if any additional devices or capacity needs to be added. Additional consultations will be done with the building coordinators and IT heads of the departments to sample changed needs.

David additionally mentioned that they are open to the Computing Directors feedback, dialog and input in the process.

Meeting adjourned at around 4:10pm