Southern Connecticut State University Office of Information Technology (OIT) Network Telecom Services – Help Desk Annual Report FY ‘07 Executive Summary Network Telecom Services The Network Telecom Services group is responsible for the creation, configuration and delivery of all local network services including installations, maintenance, repair and troubleshooting of the on campus telephone system, the data network system, the video cable system and the infrastructure (inside and outside plant – fiber and copper wiring) that delivers those services. The various equipment that we are responsible for include; voice and data switches, network routers, bandwidth management systems, network access control systems, IP (Internet Protocol) addressing and management system, security firewalls, wireless network gateway, Intrusion Prevention security system, secure remote access system, network monitoring system, and a domain name management system. State of the Network – Spring ‘07 1. WAN – SCSUs WAN connections are maintained by the System Office. We currently have two WAN connections; one is a dedicated link to the System Office (10 Mbs) on which all System Office traffic (including ERP Banner data) travels along with all voice data. We also have upgraded our bandwidth connection to the Internet (from 45Mbs to 65Mbs) which travels across the CEN network. That connection is maintained by the System Office as well as DOIT. These connections are run via a Cisco 7206 router and a Cisco LS1010 ATM switch. Both sit on the outside of our firewalls. All maintenance and security of these devices is handled by CSU. A new optical WAN design and RFP has been awarded this spring to AT&T and they will begin installing an optical DWDM (Dense Wave Divisional Multiplexing) network during the summer of 2007. Projected cutover date for production network move over to the new optical WAN is unknown at this time. The start date and ensuing timeline can not be scheduled until a P.O. is sent by the CSU System Office to the vendor - AT&T. Why DWDM? From both technical and economic perspectives, the ability to provide potentially unlimited transmission capacity is the most obvious advantage of DWDM technology. The current investment in fiber plant can not only be preserved, but optimized by a factor of at least 32. As demands change, more capacity can be added, either by simple equipment upgrades or by increasing the number of lambdas on the fiber, without expensive upgrades. Capacity can be obtained for the cost of the equipment, and existing fiber plant investment is retained. 1-13 Bandwidth aside, DWDM’s most compelling technical advantages can be summarized as follows: • Transparency—Because DWDM is a physical layer architecture, it can transparently support both TDM and data formats such as ATM, Gigabit Ethernet, ESCON, and Fibre Channel with open interfaces over a common physical layer. • Scalability—DWDM can leverage the abundance of dark fiber in many metropolitan area and enterprise networks to quickly meet demand for capacity on point-to-point links and on spans of existing SONET/SDH rings. • Dynamic provisioning—Fast, simple, and dynamic provisioning of network connections give providers the ability to provide high-bandwidth services in days rather than months. …Excerpt above clipped from “Introduction to DWDM for Metropolitan Networks” - OL- 0884-01 available at Cisco’s website : http://www.cisco.com/univercd/cc/td/doc/product/mels/dwdm/dwdm_fns.pdf 2. LAN – The SCSU LAN is composed of Core, Distribution, Server and Access blocks. The Core has two L3 enabled 6513 switches configured in a redundant fashion. There are now five Distribution Blocks (up from four last year) and include; Jennings Hall, Engleman Hall, Granoff Hall, Facilities and the New Student Center. Once Buley Library renovations are complete, the MDF in that new building will also become part of the distribution block. Each location houses an L3 (Network Layer 3) enabled Cisco 6509 switch (capable of routing) except for Facilities which has a L3 enabled Cisco 4006. The Distribution block switches all are dual connected back to the core (for redundancy) with 2 subnets - 2 traffic paths for each block. No access lists exist in the Core (which saves processing time), ACL's are set up "inbound" to the Distribution switches from the edge. This way the bulk of the network processing (for routing) takes place away from the Core block at the Distribution block. The Server block (in the Data Center in Jennings Hall) consists of an L2 Cisco 4506 connected back to the core via trunks. All Routing for the server block is handled directly via the core switches. The Access blocks mainly consist of L2 Cisco 2900-G and 4000 series switches. They are connected back to the distribution blocks via trunks and all routing is handled directly by the distribution switches. We have recently purchased and installed 2 Cisco 6509 switches in the data center to replace the Cisco 4506’s. This upgrade will provide gigabit connections from the servers directly to the core, with each Cisco 6509 switch set up the same way as the other Distribution block switches – dual connections back to the core. There are currently 54 network closets as well as 19 computer labs each with its own 4x4 network cabinet. The campus currently has a total of 130 installed Cisco access switches. Help Desk During the 2006-2007 school year, the SCSU Help Desk had a total of 8 HD employees during regular semesters and was staffed by 3 HD student workers during the Winter and Summer sessions. Hours of operation during the normal school year are 8:00am to 8:00pm M-Th and 8:00am to 4:00pm Friday. Summer hours are 8:00am to 4:00pm M-F. With 4 phone lines, a website http://helpdesk.southernct.edu/ and an email address HelpDesk@southernct.edu , we are the center for technological communications at SCSU. The purpose of the Helpdesk can be found below: The goal of the Help Desk is to resolve and to coordinate the resolution of technical (computer related) questions and problems. The Help Desk acts as the first level of support and (when needed) the liaison between the SCSU Information Technology technical staff (second level support) and the campus community. In addition, the Help Desk constitutes an important source of information for the SCSU Information Technology technical staff. By documenting problem calls, the Help Desk can provide key information on problem trends and provide better data for use in problem resolutions. An on-line historical archive, such as that provided by our Track- IT work order system, identifies recurring problem areas, reports those areas to management, who in turn recommend and implement solutions and/or additional training as appropriate. Staffing Costs for Org. 200170 (Help Desk & ResNet Support) and Org. 280205 (Network Telecom Services) FALL 2006 HelpDesk Total/Fall 2005 Student Worker Rate Hours Total/Week Semester Rick Callahan - UA $11.00 19 $209.00 $3,553.00 Bonnie Bryers $11.00 20 $220.00 $3,740.00 Paul Thomas $10.50 15 $157.50 $2,677.50 Daniel Mack $10.50 16 $168.00 $2,856.00 Mark Flash $10.50 18.5 $194.25 $3,302.25 Brandon Bobinski $9.00 20 $180.00 $3,060.00 Totals 108.5 $1,128.75 $19,188.75 ResNet Technical Support Total/Fall 2005 Student Worker Rate Hours Total Semester Donald Riles $11.00 20 $220.00 $3,740.00 Andrew Evans $8.50 20 $170.00 $2,890.00 Julie Moody $8.50 20 $170.00 $2,890.00 Kyran Ritchens $9.50 16 $152.00 $2,584.00 Adam Donahue $10.00 13 $130.00 $2,210.00 Totals 89 $842.00 $14,314.00 Help Desk/ResNet> $33,502.75 Network Telecom Services Total/Fall 2005 Student Worker Rate Hours Total Semester Anthony Brano - UA $18.00 19 $342.00 $5,814.00 Raul Graterol $9.00 19 $171.00 $2,907.00 Colin Edwards $10.50 19 $199.50 $3,391.50 Totals $712.50 $12,112.50 Help Desk – ResNet – Network Telecom Services Total $45,615.25 FALL Staffing Costs for Org. 200170 (Help Desk & ResNet Support) and Org. 280205 (Network Telecom Services) SPRING 2007 HelpDesk Total/Spring 2007 Student Worker Rate Hours Total/Week Semester Rick Callahan - UA $12.00 19 $228.00 $4,104.00 Bonnie Bryers - UA $12.00 19 $228.00 $4,104.00 Daniel Mack $10.50 12 $126.00 $1,008.00 Caitlin Kennedy $9.00 17 $153.00 $2,754.00 Lindsey Roome $9.00 8 $72.00 $1,296.00 Brandon Bobinski $9.00 20 $180.00 $3,240.00 Megan Rusinko $8.00 16 $128.00 $901.00 Totals 111 $1,115.00 $17,407.00 ResNet Technical Support Total/Spring 2007 Student Worker Rate Hours Total Semester Donald Riles $11.00 20 $220.00 $3,960.00 Andrew Evans $9.25 20 $185.00 $3,330.00 Julie Moody $8.50 16 $136.00 $2,448.00 Adam Donahue $10.00 13 $130.00 $2,340.00 Totals 69 $671.00 $12,078.00 Help Desk/ResNet> $29,485.00 Network Telecom Services Total/Spring 2007 Student Worker Rate Hours Total Semester Anthony Brano - UA $18.00 19 $342.00 $6,156.00 Raul Graterol $9.00 19 $171.00 $1,539.00 Adam Donahue $10.00 15 $150.00 $2,700.00 Mark Flash $10.50 18 $189.00 $3,402.00 Lou DeVito $8.50 18 $153.00 $2,142.00 Totals $1,005.00 $15,939.00 Help Desk – ResNet – Network Telecom Services Total $45,424 SPRING Cost for the year for Help Desk & ResNet (200170) was $62,987.75 Cost for the year for Network Telecom Svs (280205) was $28,051.50 Total Cost for the year for all 3 areas was $91,039.25 Some of the major projects that Network Telecom Services and the Help Desk have worked on this year include the following: The Help Desk took over full support of WEBCT VISTA which was implemented in the spring 2007 semester. A new and separate call center with it’s own physical space complete with phones and computers using the Help Desk’s Track-IT database was set up and a temporary emergency hire was placed in the job of running the new WEBCT VISTA Support Center. We negotiated the loaning of one staff member from the System Office for the first month of operation in order to help support any anticipated demand. While here helping us out, we were able to take advantage of Araceli Delcastillo’s extensive knowledge and began building a Vista support website to further aid the on-line students.We are currently in the middle of a search to fill the permanent position of Customer Support Center – Assistant which is an Admin II position. 2. When Southern redesigned the home page with the assistance of an outside vendor, the Helpdesk and ResNet sites were upgraded to a new look and feel that mimic's the template of our main website. Though the Helpdesk and ResNet pages look very similar to the Southern Homepage, they are driven by our own Content Management system that was implemented long before Southern's new website and content management system was put into place. We use the Joomla Content Management system which is open-souce software. Easy to configure, easy to upgrade and easy to keep both sites clean and sharp. 3. Track-IT work order system had a major upgrade. New features include a work order monitor feature that tracks changes to the database, an escalation policy that is now automated, and a new work order notification system that emails new work order information to the assigned technician. 4. Network Services updated all information for emergency system 911. This work required coordinating with the System Office, and updates and occasional audits to the 911 database. NTS also implemented and incorporated Pinnacle's ability to interact with the Avaya switch; we therefore learned to do much of our phone programming with Pinnacle's user interface rather than simply using the switch's command line. We learned to assign analog and digital phone templates as well as telephone button features within Pinnacle's system. We also corrected Pinnacle TMS system data, and the assignment of telephone set and line charges. 5. Infrastructure related initiatives included: renovations = (adding voice and data network drops) to the old bookstore for new classrooms, renovations to Moore Field- House entryway, renovations to Farnham and Wilkinson, Student study hall in Student Center, UPS repair in Jennings, renovations to Earl Hall, Buley Library ongoing construction, new fiber and copper runs to cell towers in Jennings Hall for cellular providers, upgrade of fiber for CEN (Connecticut Educational Network). 6. The wireless network was expanded in the following areas: Chase Hall Lobby, Earl Hall 2nd floor, Farnham Hall Lobby, Hickerson Hall Lobby, JessDow Field House, Neff Hall Lobby, Moore Field House, Wilkinson Hall Lobby. With all new buildings as part of the CSU wiring specifications wireless services are being installed to cover the entire building. We are currently planning the installation of services in the New Buley Library addition and upgrading the existing wireless services. We have also requested additional funding for adding a wireless mesh network outside, which will bring wireless connectivity to the guardshacks as well as propogate the wireless LAN into the quad in between Engleman Hall, Buley Library, Earl Hall and the Student Center, as well as the quad by the dorms that is the center of Hickerson, Farnham and Chase Halls. 7. New Network Installations We installed and configured new Cisco switching equipment in several buildings and installed fiber optic jumpers from the Core switch to extend our network to the new installs. We were also required to configure IP addresses, VLANs and security measures on each of the new switches. New switches were installed in the following buildings: TE-8 1- New Cisco 2948 Earl Hall - 1 New Cisco 2948 switch. This switch was installed due to additional services needed after renovations Moore Field House - 1 New Cisco 2948 switch. This switch was installed due to additional services needed after renovations Jess Dow Field House - 1 New Cisco 3524 switch. This switch was installed to facilitate NCAA broadcasts. Working with Cisco, we were able to diagnose and troubleshoot 2 Supervisor (Sup2 GE) blades that were failing. (Engleman Hall C Wing 2nd floor and Facilities Operations router). These blades were replaced during off-hours and the result was no down time to the campus community. Jennings Data Center, We installed the first of two new Cisco 6509 switches in the Jennings Data Center. These switches will replace the end of life end of service Cisco 4000 switches that are currently installed. The new switches are workhorse core switches that will be able to handle the expansion of the data center over the next few years. We are currently working on a migration plan to move all the existing data center equipment over to these new switches. The following are detailed reports directly from the two areas of Network Telecom Services and the Help Desk: Network Telecom Services Year End Report 7/06-6/07 This report summarizes the technical work of the Network and Telecommunications Division of SCSU’s Information Technology Department for the period of July 2006 through July 2007. This provides a high-level overview of the Division’s activities, including highlights of technical accomplishments during the previous year. We realize that greater use of technology continues to play an important part in our community, and that in order to accomplish our goals and objectives, a constant reevaluation of our current infrastructure and methodologies used will always need to take place. We expect that all of our employees will no longer simply be responding to problems but acting as problem solvers as well. We feel confident that by increasing our infrastructure capacity and available services through better use of our technology, and a continued dialog with our constituents we can better serve the faculty, staff, visitors, and students throughout our university. The Department will continue to expand and improve on existing services throughout the upcoming year. With the continued support of current management, a long term, 3 - 5 year plan has been devised that will allow a total refresh of our existing network architecture which will provide many new and exciting services for the future SCSU community as a whole. These changes will also provide a much more user friendly and much faster working environment for everyone involved. Departmental accomplishments during the time period of July 2006 through July 2007. These were all completed by various members of the department working together throughout year. Major accomplishments Pinnacle Telecommunications System: We completed 361 moves, adds, and changes (MACs) for telephone services and 133 trouble tickets. This work involved installing wire from the PBX port to cross connects in various buildings, and finally to the end user’s telephone equipment. All MACs required us to change programming in the Avaya switch to meet the users’ requests: correct class of service, type of phone set (ex. Analog, Digital, 2 wire 4 wire), call restrictions, and button assignments, (ex. Rollover, call groups, pickup groups, hunt groups). We also programmed voice mail, password changes, and alias mailboxes into the Octel voice messaging system. During the summer 2006, we updated all information for emergency system 911. This work required coordinating with the System Office, and updates and occasional audits to the 911 database. Finally, we implemented and incorporated Pinnacle’s ability to interact with the Avaya switch; we therefore learned to do much of our phone programming with Pinnacle’s user interface rather than simply using the switch’s command line. We learned to assign analog and digital phone templates as well as telephone button features within Pinnacle’s system. We also corrected Pinnacle TMS system data, and the assignment of telephone set and line charges. Track-it Campus Work Orders: We completed 170 Track-it system work orders. These work orders ranged from jack activation to jack repair, connectivity issues (requiring us to complete various network diagnostics, Internet-not-working troubleshoots, cable requests, and the assignment of IP addresses. We researched and approved new voice and data cabling installations whenever a user requested additional network drops—a map and report for each installation needed to be generated before calling an outside contractor. Our technicians provided second-tier assistance to Resnet’s first-tier troubleshooting. This work included but was not limited to: testing network ports on the switch, testing building cable runs, and repunching or replacing a network jack. Our technicians advised students to use correct cables, jacks and phone equipment (students in the dorms often install their telephone equipment into no-longer-active jacks and also use unsupported cordless telephones). Students also plug their voice cables into the data jacks or vice versa. We showed students how to use their campus voice mail. SCSU Campus Wireless Network: With the current installation of new access points, we perform an initial site assessment—we determined the optimum location for placement of the access point so that the end user would have the best possible signal. We coordinated network drop installations with CSU approved vendors. We provided the installation and configuration of virtual local area networks (VLANs), which allow the access points to function on the network switch. Finally, we programmed the Blue Socket wireless controller so the access point could be remotely managed. The university recently purchased a Cisco WISM Wireless Services Module to be installed in the core switch of Engleman Hall. This installation of this module will replace the outdated Blue Socket wireless controller. The WISM module will enable us to upgrade our current access points to LWAPP, Lightweight Access Protocol, balance signal strength, signal power, automated management and detection of unauthorized or rouge access points. The WISM will disable the rogue access point helping halt security breaches. The wireless network was expanded in the following areas: Chase Hall Lobby Earl Hall 2nd floor Farnham Hall Lobby Hickerson Hall Lobby Jess Dow Field House Neff Hall Lobby Moore Field House. Wilkinson Hall Lobby Future Wireless Installations: Lyman Center - 4-5 Access Points coordinated with Larry Tomascak Jennings Hall - Install 6 Access Points to provide wireless service to the entire building. TE-8 Classrooms - 1 Access Point We’ve been in contact with our network service counterparts at UCONN to research the pros and cons of installing and implementing a Cisco Wireless Open Mesh Network. The open mesh network would provide outdoor wireless service to the entire campus and one of the immediate benefits would be bringing network connectivity directly to the guardshacks located at each of the parking lots. With all new buildings (as part of the CSU wiring specifications), wireless services are being installed to cover the entire building. We are currently planning the installation of services in the New Buley Library addition and upgrading the existing wireless services. New Network Installations: We installed and configured new Cisco switching equipment in several buildings and installed fiber optic jumpers from the Core switch to extend our network to the new installs. We were also required to configure IP addresses, VLANs and security measures on each of the new switches. New switches were installed in the following buildings: TE-8 - 1- New Cisco 2948 Earl Hall – 1- New Cisco 2948 switch. This switch was installed due to additional services needed after renovations Moore Field House - 1 New Cisco 2948 switch. This switch was installed due to additional services needed after renovations Jess Dow Field House - 1 New Cisco 3524 switch. This switch was installed to facilitate NCAA broadcasts. Working with Cisco, we were able to diagnose and troubleshoot 2 Supervisor (Sup2 GE) blades that were failing. (Engleman Hall C Wing 2nd floor and Facilities Operations router). These blades were replaced during off-hours and the result was no down time to the campus community. Jennings Data Center, We installed the first of two new Cisco 6509 switches in the Jennings Data Center. These switches will replace the end of life end of service Cisco 4000 switches that are currently installed. The new switches are workhorse core switches that will be able to handle the expansion of the data center over the next few years. We are currently working on a migration plan to move all the existing data center equipment over to these new switches. Additonal work completed by Brian Beausoleil this year includes: NTS & ResNet Documentation o Wireless, How-To Docs, notices, etc… Conversion of ResNet website look to match SCSU's homepage o Created a Joomla template to match the current SCSU look and feel, then imported it to our websites (1 week for coding and testing) Tier-2 support for ResNet & HD data related issues o Support higher level issues related to the network on both admin and resnet networks including data port issues, network outages, etc… (ongoing support) Campus-wide Network Inventory Assisted the inventory control department with our inventory. Visited every network closet to account for each piece of equipment. Roughly 400 pieces of equipment disburse across the campus. Engleman Distribution Cisco equipment firmware update o Updated the firmware on approx 30 switches. (3 weeks @ 2-3 per day not including Fridays or weekends) Readdressed the Engleman distribution to the management vlan now that the remote-access dial-in box is gone (needed the subnet used by it). o Changed the ip address of approx 30 switches in the Engleman distribution. (3 weeks @ 2-3 per day not including Fridays or weekends) Upgraded Clean Access servers to new version (4 servers) Upgrade the version of software running on the servers to 126.96.36.199 from 188.8.131.52 to reflect enhancements available and supported antivirus packages Installed a new pair of servers for load-balancing (now 6 servers) o In diagnosing reports of network outages in the residence halls, we determined that the load on the single failover pair of Clean Access servers was too high for the demand. We obtained a new pair of servers and installed them. We then re-routed approx half the students traffic to the new failover pair, thus balancing the load on the servers. (1 day to configure and 3 hours to install, 1 day to test and re-route traffic) Updated equipment and alerting in the What’s Up equipment monitoring server. o As new equipment was installed, replaced or updated (i.e. ip address change) What’s Up was updated to reflect the changes. (ongoing maintenance) Worked with Nick Valsamis to streamline the telephone system for ResNet. o Added call queues and additional phones for the increase technicians (1 day) Trained new hires for ResNet o Trained new hires in Track-It, troubleshooting, Clean Access Manager, phones…all aspects of their job. (1-2 weeks for each new hire, done concurrently with multiple new hires) Day-to-day monitoring and troubleshooting of systems and issues. o Includes equipment upgrades, replacement, new installs, monitoring, routing, wiring…(ongoing) NSO o 3 days of assisting incoming freshmen/transfers with getting online, answering questions related to their accounts, email, resnet, clean access…anything related to getting online in their room. There is a tent set up in the quad in front of Wilkinson Hall where we sit and help students. See next item about a reform. Planned a new approach to NSO to reduce calls at the HD/ResNet to make more information and help available during orientation. o Planned a reform of ResNet support at NSO to reflect more appropriate/effective support to the students when they are available after their daily sessions are over. At the time of writing this we are planning on a major upgrade to Clean Access before FY06-07 is over. o Cisco has released a new version of the Clean Access software, which is considered a major upgrade. Supports Windows Vista (all flavors) along with more reporting and stability. Additional features are included but not used by our deployment. This will be an all day upgrade occurring the week after Spring semester has finished. Help Desk Services Year End Report 7/06-6/07 WEBCT VISTA o Full production version of WEBCT VISTA was implemented in the spring 2007 semester. We went from the old e-Learning center, WebCT Campus edition, to the new WEBCT VISTA platform which was a major upgrade for the university. o In light of the much needed support for these online students, we created a different call center to help students and staff use the new online classroom environment. In addition to our regular support hours, an additional support avenue was investigated for the off hours and weekend hours of support. CTDLC (Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium) was contracted to be there for the additional support hours. The structure of this contracted support was achieved by working with Bill Burns (CTDLC), Steve Gorman (System office), Jodi Barr (System office telephone programmer) and our local telecomm team. o Supported Hours SCSU HOURS M: 8am to 8pm T 8am to 8pm W 8am to 8pm Th 8am to 8pm F 8am to 4pm CTDLC HOURS M 8pm to 10pm T 8pm to 10pm W 8pm to 10pm Th 8pm to 10pm F 4pm to 10pm S (INSERT SUPPORTED HOURS) Su (INSERT SUPPORTED HOURS) o A new emergency hire position was created to staff the support phone during the regular hours. Originally we had assistance from a System office employee but decided that our Full Time emergency hire, along with a UA, was sufficient staffing levels for the current demand of support o The phone system is a very intricate web of call forwarding set up by the phone programmer in the System Office (Jodi Barr). The original Helpdesk number (2.5123) was changed to a Technical support menu. Supported users there have an option to choose 1 for Helpdesk or 2 for WebCT Vista support. Call the Helpdesk extension (392.5123) Choose option 1 for Helpdesk o Rings to the Original Helpdesk group where the phone is answered by Helpdesk UA’s and student workers. Choose option 2 for Vista Support o During on campus support hours it rings to the on campus WEBCT Vista support line. (2.9975) Monday through Thursday, voicemails are left on campus. o During off campus supported hours it forwards to CTDLC’s phone number. Friday through Sunday, voicemails are left with CTDLC. o In addition to outsourcing late hour and weekend support to CTDLC, the contracted support staff has the ability to enter work orders into our Track IT system via an email address. They can email email@example.com and the Track IT ticketing system will enter the email as a work order and respond to the technician with a work order number along with a link that will let the technician check the status of the ticket. Though this has a 5 minute delay, it allows CTDLC to place work orders for on campus personnel to contact a support user the following business day. o We have also created a support page (http://helpdesk.southernct.edu/webctvista/) which has many popular FAQ’s for the WebCT VISTA e-Learning platform as well as many links to additional support documents and the course website itself. THE HELPDESK WEBSITE o The Helpdesk website is built off of a content management system that was implemented in many of IT’s website in the 2004 educational year. When Southern redesigned the home pagepage with the assistance of an outside vendor, the Helpdesk and ResNet sites were upgraded to a new look and feel that mimic’s the template of our main website. Though the Helpdesk and ResNet page look very similar to the Southern Homepage, they are driven by our own Content Management system that was implemented long before Southern’s new website and content management system was put into place. o Many new documents were added to the Helpdesk and ResNet sites and they are upgraded weekly as new problems arise. o As per the request of Dr. Chai, a portion of the Helpdesk site is dedicated to planned and unplanned system outages. These are displayed on the front page of the site and have full functionality for archiving alerts. o Hopes are to implement an RSS feed so that outages and alerts can be pulled to people’s RSS reader if they so chose. HELPDESK OPERATIONS o This year (Fall 2006 and Spring 2007), we hired 5 new students, 2 of which are freshmen and the other 3 have at least a year to two years left. o We acquired a newer Mac which was bound to the domain controllers by our Mac team and functions exactly like any Mac found on campus. 2 students and the Vista Full timer have taken the liberty of sitting at the Mac during their designated shift. They have noticeably increased their aptitude for Mac support o As per the request of Dr. Chai and Juan Reyes, a training mechanism has be instituted for the student workers at the Helpdesk. Currently, the initial training will be done using the Microsoft E-Learning Library which is available via MySCSU. It allows the students to become more familiar with almost all of the Microsoft products that we offer on campus. This includes Outlook 2003 which is a great advantage for us since the university has decided to move to Outlook since it’s alternate email packages, Eudora, has reached it’s end of life Microsoft’s E-Learning Library offers for Pre and Post assessment quizzes which each student has to take, print, and submit to Nick on a weekly basis. Also, I plan on using Wink, a screen capture software, to create more visualized training for the user of Track IT and Banner Production so that new hires can turn to their training material accessible from the Helpdesk or MySCSU website. SMS CONTROL o Though Nick has been granted access to use the SMS Remote Control software package, there is still a need to come back to the topic. The SMS client needs to be installed on site after the computer has been delivered to the appropriate personnel. The client software reports back to the SMS server with it’s internet address and other information that makes it possible to connect with the remote software package. However, not all technicians install the client on site at the moment of delivery and thus makes it impossible to remote in to the machine for proper expedited support With the implementation of our Active Directory 2003 projected for the summer of 2007, the SMS software will be upgraded to SMS 2003 (upped from the SMS 2000 version we currently run). This software supports group policy and can be automatically rolled out by our Windows Server Team EUDORA END OF LIFE o In the first few months of the Spring 2007 semester, Information technology discovered that Qualcomm has decided to change the way that the software package works. The company decided to stop offering advertisements which were a critical portion of the E-mail package Eudora. Without the ads, the email package reverts to a light mode which removed many of the powerful features that many of our employee’s have become accustomed to. As a result, a campus wide movement to Outlook was organized. People were given the opportunity to have their email and contacts imported into Outlook by requesting a work order for the task. We announced the Vista extension as an avenue for the process which was manned by our Full Time emergency hire. Also, they could use a form on the Helpdesk website that required them to fill in the appropriate information necessary and the information was emailed to the Helpdesk where a technician placed a work order for it. Several documents were created for this particular change How to switch from light mode to sponsored mode Life after Eudora user’s guide Eudora to Outlook conversion alert Eudora to outlook conversion request form Eudora to outlook conversion self preparation document EVOLUTION OF A STUDENT WORKER o I have intentions of building an evolution path for our student workers. A means for them to learn office skills, person to person interaction, phone etiquette, professionalism, group collaboration, independence and more. The path would begin at ResNet for a year, move to Helpdesk for two years and spend the last year working WebCT VISTA support as well as ResNet Field support. ResNet Experience: During their first year at resnet they will learn how the phone system works as well as the importance of Track IT, it’s inner workings and the work order process. Here they will be introduced to our expectations of the student worker, the nature of the job and the expertise required. Helpdesk Experience: During the next two years at Helpdesk they are introduced to a larger more mature supported group. They will already have some phone training under their belt with ResNet and working at the Helpdesk will only strengthen their troubleshooting techniques and give them more training on person to person interaction. Here they will be faced with a longer, stronger work load as well as more in depth training on the services offered by the university as well as the software available to our personnel and the world. WEBCT VISTA Experience: During the last year of their employment under Information Technology, these students will be well trained to handle the support need for WEBCT VISTA support. The reasoning behind this support avenue being the last stop of their evolution is that WebCT Support issues usually lack the need for a second support individual. These calls are usually based on navigating the end user to a particular point or through a process. By gaining the experience of the first two avenue’s, these student workers will be capable of assessing the situation in a prompt manner, deciding which course of action will most quickly resolve the problem while at the same time showing the professionalism and patience of a veteran support individual. END RESULT: After four years of working in the support center, these students will be prime material for any corporate conglomerate to acquire or even as a stepping stone to some full time hire in house. TRACK IT o WORK ORDER MONITOR WAS IMPLEMENTED: Work order monitor effectively checks for many different changes in Track IT. It’s implementation has helped many of our second level support individuals. Email monitor: The software automatically checks an email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and imports any email present into a work order. This software then responds to the requestor with a work order number and a link that allows them to check the status of their work order or the means to update the ticket. Escalation: Previously, escalation policy set in Track IT did not work properly. The installation of this software package allowed the feature to take full control of escalation and policy set inside the ticketing system. The work orders are checked every 5 minutes and compares the work order to it’s overdue date. If the ticket is overdue then it escalates the ticket to the appropriate person as designated by the security policy of Track IT. Also, it enters a timestamp of the escalation and works with the Email notification portion of TrackIT to email the work order to the responsible escalated technician. New Work Order notification: Work orders placed by one technician to another technician flags the work order for email notification. So if a Helpdesk technician places a work order to any of the second level support teams, the second level support person is emailed the work order as a notification means. Unix services, High tech classroom support, Mac support and Windows Server team are very excited for this feature. Though some of the larger departments, such as ACAD and ADMIN, don’t find it as useful because of the large number of work orders they receive on a daily basis. o BANNER PROJECT Banner project has been incorporated into Track IT but as a means of project management instead of incident management. May of the popular projects that the Banner Team is currently involved in has been used to create type, subtypes and categories of Work Orders. The appropriate technicians then place a work order under the project that is reflected by the Banner Project > Project > Task subtype. These work orders are hidden from ALL other Track IT technicians and are only accessible by the Banner Team and the Helpdesk Customer Support lead. It also provides a place for attachments so the Banner Team can properly document and requests and forms used for requests. o HANDHELDS AND PDA’S A work order Type, Subtype and category tree was created for Handheld PDA’s and Blackberry’s. Though this list is still short and un populated because of the few handheld’s on campus. However, as the number of devices grows, the already created tree will help document and organize support calls to which in turn will help us depict policy and procedure for the emerging technology. TIME SHEET ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION Our emergency hire for Vista support has also been put on the project of created a digitized time sheet. Though this solution to our student worker payroll situation is primitive and home grown, it will allow for students to punch in and out on a weekly basis and then allowing me to create a crystal report that will automatically generate a time sheet which will be identical to the one the currently submit for payroll. Though it is still in development stages, the website should check for snow days and time calculation for their 15 minute lunch break (after a 4 hour shift), request of vacation time and allocation for sick leave. It will also authenticate a pre-specified list of users against the LDAP server using MySCSU username and password to access their individual punch in punch out page. Allows for the review every time sheet and make modifications necessary Allows for statistics of hours and sick / vacation time of Student Workers. Restricts them from punching in and out more than their allocated hours per week.