National Science Foundation Grant funds important resource for faculty research
In the Fall of 2013, Chief Technology Officer Charlie McMahon received the news that Tulane would be awarded a National Science Foundation grant — nearly a half-million dollars of federal funding to support the project, “CC-NIE Network Infrastructure: Dedicated High-Speed Science Network.” This project, popularly referred to as the Science DMZ, will establish a high-performance campus network specifically designed for and dedicated to the Tulane University scientific research community. Set to be fully deployed by September 2015, the new network will offer a ten-fold and forty-fold speed increase from the current general-purpose campus network.
Charlie McMahon relays details about the Science DMZ high-speed network to Ed Golob, Tim Deeves, Nicholas Altiero, and Jian Li
McMahon and co-principal investigators Carola Wenk, Ricardo Cortez, Caroline Taylor, and Leo Tran met with research faculty in the Fall of 2013 to explain the significance of this network and to determine which Tulane researchers would be the first to utilize the high-speed connection. Endpoints for the Science DMZ will be located in 12 buildings throughout the Uptown and Health Sciences Center Campuses.
“One of my goals upon coming to Tulane was to enhance the research environment for faculty. Procuring the NSF grant to build this dedicated network represents just one aspect of what Technology Services would like to provide for the campus,” states McMahon.
Direct access for researchers
The network will connect directly to researchers’ PCs and servers, successfully addressing the “last meter” problem currently facing many working with big data. Researchers will be able to provision a 10-gigabit connection between equipment and remote servers located on various Tulane research campuses; moreover, Tulane’s planned 100 Gbps connection to the Louisiana Optical Network Initiative (LONI) and Tulane’s Internet2 affiliation will allow researchers to connect at high speeds across the state, the country, and the world. Research goals include environmental recovery from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, advancing Mississippi River Delta research and coastal conservation, and understanding and treating genetic disease. Nicholas Altiero, Dean of Tulane’s School of Science and Engineering states “State-of-the-art infrastructure is essential to attracting the best scholars to Tulane. And computing resources have become the most fundamental component of that infrastructure. This is a significant advancement in our computing capabilities, and it will pay great dividends for our current and future faculty and students.”
Growing the network
“With additional funding, we will be able to expand the number of endpoints to include more campus locations. Researchers who intend to use the network may also consider writing the addition of access points into future grant proposals,” says Leo Tran.
Please see http://sciencedmz.tulane.edu/ for more information.
Service Catalog - One-Stop Shop for Technology Services Offerings and Products
Service Catalog comes online in February 2014
Starting this month Tulanians will have a new way to order the services that Technology Services provides - the online Service Catalog. This catalog offers a streamlined method for ordering everything from a firewall exception to a new departmental email account to requests for training.
The Service Catalog will show users eligibility, availability, cost, features, and support of each service and product provided by Technology Services. The first Technology Services departments to populate the Service Catalog include Accounts and Identity Management, Desktop Computing and Printing , Instructional Technology, and Network Services.
“Having all of our services available through a Service Catalog allows our users to access everything from one central location. Ultimately, we’ll have all services available through the catalog including telecommunications and account requests. The service catalog will also allow us to do more comprehensive reporting on the most popular services and how we deliver those services,” says Allie Hopkins, Director, Technical Support and Network Operations Center. “We’ll also gain performance in that when a user orders a service that requires input from more than one TS area, everyone involved gets notice at once, allowing us to deliver that much more efficiently.”
Access the service catalog at https://tulane.service-now.com/
Windows 7 Upgrades Continue
Over a year ago, Technology Services began notifying the campus community that Microsoft is retiring Windows XP, and many departments have worked with Technology Services to upgrade to Windows 7. Now we approach a critical deadline. After April 2014, Microsoft will no longer support Windows XP, meaning patches for security vulnerabilities will not be provided. Windows XP machines that are connected to the Tulane network after this date present a security risk to every machine connected to the network. That is why it is imperative to upgrade to the more secure Windows 7. In most cases, a simple software upgrade is warranted, but older computers may have to be replaced. Technology Services will assess each department’s machines to determine whether an upgrade to Windows 7 or replacement of machines is recommended. If replacement is recommended, Technology Connection will help order new machines.
Our goal is to replace all installations of Windows XP before April 2014. See answers to Frequently Asked Questions at http://tulane.edu/tsweb/software/xp/. If you have additional questions about the upgrade to Windows 7, please contact the Technical Support and Network Operations Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Net + SIP Services at Tulane
Phase one of the Voice over IP (VoIP) cloud-based telephone deployment also known as Clearspan has begun on the Uptown Campus. You may also hear the system referred to as Internet2 Net+ SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) Service.
The Telecommunications Department began deploying phones in late October, 2013 in buildings located between St. Charles Avenue and Freret Street. Phase two will include buildings located between Freret Street and South Claiborne Avenue. Phase three will include the Uptown Square and Elmwood campuses.
As users are converted to Clearspan, inter-office dialing between Clearspan and the old NEC system will be seamless. The tentative completion of this project on the Uptown Campus is May, 2014.
When fully deployed, Clearspan will allow users to make and receive calls from any device, at any campus location, with one phone number, one dial plan, one voicemail box, and a unified set of features.
Clearspan will be deployed on all campuses including Uptown, Health Sciences Center and the Primate Center. When completed, users will be able to dial between campuses utilizing 5-digit dialing.
Learn more about Voice over IP (VoIP) service at http://tulane.edu/tsweb/services/sip/
Backing up is the best defense against ransomware
CryptoLocker is a ransomware infection that is growing in reported instances in the USA and Europe. Ransomware is malware that restricts access to infected computers and requires victims to pay a ransom in order to regain full access. CryptoLocker is particularly interesting in that it functions by encrypting victim’s computer files with a combination of very strong encryption algorithms. Once encrypted, victims are provided a window of time in which they can pay the actors to receive the key needed to decrypt their files.
The following preventative measures are recommended to protect your computer from a CryptoLocker infection:
If you believe your computer has been infected with the CryptoLocker virus:
Tulane University’s Information Security Office has taken steps to reduce the exposure of the University to CryptoLocker. We continue to update our protection and are proactive in blocking CryptoLocker sources. If you suspect you have been infected with CryptoLocker, contact Tulane University’s Network Operation Center at email@example.com or 504-862-8888.
In March 2014 the Mobile Device Security Policy will be implemented. Users who access Tulane email through mobile devices such as cel phones or tablets will be required to set a PIN or passcode to secure these devices. Additionally, devices will be set to erase data and reset devices in the case of 10 sequential login failures. These safeguards will protect University data from unauthorized access in the event mobile devices are lost or stolen. No action other than setting the PIN/passcode is required of the user.
For more information, read the full Mobile Device Security Policy at http://riptide.me/PIN and see the Knowledge Base article at http://riptide.me/KBPIN. If you have any questions about setting a passcode, please contact the Technical Support and Network Operations Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Technology Services, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 -- TSNOC: 1-866-276-1428 -- email@example.com