March 2001


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Tim Raymond <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Departmental Technology Coordinators <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 13 Mar 2001 17:46:08 -0500
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From Jess:
> On Tue, 13 Mar 2001, Alex Scortzaru wrote:
> community would like to see CIT change the services it provides, they need
> to be vocal about it.  Next time you start complaining to the person
> sitting next to you about central computing, stop and complain TO central
> computing instead.  How can we improve unless you share your perspective
> with us?  If your needs aren't being met, tell us what your needs are.


I would like to not provide a machine for domain name service however I would
like to be able to make updates to our records myself so I can make sure it
is done when I need it.  I feel confident that I am capable of upgrading records.
It makes sense to merge our records onto the DNS servers CIT uses.  We could
set up sccs or rcs (I prefer sccs) to maintain locks on files so that two people
aren't editing at once.

I would like to not have to supply a machine for an email server, but I need to
support our usernames and we don't have quotas on our mail files.  It makes sense for
us to use the CIT mail server.  We use elm,pine,eudora,outlook,netscape and mail to read
email.  Some of our users have their own mail servers so we have to support sending
their mail to the proper place.  Our users need to be able to use pop/imap from afar.

Can our needs be met?


> It seems like almost every group on campus is faced with scary budget cuts
> once again.  In this environment, how can anyone afford to re-invent the
> wheel?  How can UVM afford to pay a non-central IT person to investigate,
> purchase, set up and maintain a file server for a dozen people, when we
> already have a reliable, fast, secure file server centrally which already
> serves thousands, integrated into everyone's existing accounts, backed up
> nightly, and maintained for free?
> That's why CIT advocates using central resources - it makes sense.
> Even if your group does have needs that go beyond what CIT can provide
> centrally, we are often willing to consult with you (for *free*), and help
> you design a system that will integrate well with UVM's existing IT
> framework.  Who but a fool would pass that up?
> > - CIT invests lots of money in IBM's flavor of Unix (AIX) and Unix
> >   based applications and services,
> FYI - we are using other "flavors" of unix as well these days.. Solaris
> and Linux mainly.    We use the best tool for the job.
> > - departments invest lots of money in Linux, NT, Novell and their
> >   share of services and applications,
> > - my manager wants something on his table ASAP,
> > - my manager wants something reliable which I will be responsible for,
> Those are often mutually exclusive (nothing personal :-).  If my manager
> wanted a web server (for instance) that was secure, reliable, scalable,
> kept up-to-date, and required minimal learning for the people who were
> going to use it (not yet another account with another name, password, and
> file space), the answer would NOT be to deploy my own server just for our
> school (which would cost many thousands of dollars in hardware and my
> salary, and would be a nightmare to maintain if I ever left the position).
> The answer would be to use Zoo.  Let me (the school's IT person) be
> responsible for school specific things - neat projects and support
> questions that are beyond the scope of central computing.. and let central
> computing provide their services at a level I couldn't match anyway,
> at 40 hrs/week.
> > - I need to make a decision,
> > - debate is still going on,
> > - Mike wants me in, Steve says be careful,
> > - other administrators are in the same boat,
> > - should I hire a consultant (C2 maybe?),
> Your manager would certainly be upset with you for hiring an expensive
> consulting company that only offers one solution and doesn't consult with
> central computing when designing their proposals, without first making the
> best use of UVM's existing resources.  Before you waste money paying
> people with fancy ties, you should set up a meeting with some of the
> consultants who are already on campus - network with peers in other
> schools who have already found solutions, talk to central computing about
> your needs and find out if there is a solution that will increase the
> level of services to everyone at UVM, including your department.  Many
> people at UVM know more about computing than any consultant you could
> afford - you just need to ask.
> Sometimes a request from one small group will result in an increase in
> quality of services for everyone.
> > - or should I follow the University Requirements published at ????
> Very good point.  Hopefully the IT Network will help with this one.  We
> are an open enough community that I doubt you'll ever see university
> "requirements", but I think having some "Best Practices" published would
> be a very wise thing.
> May the debates rage on..
>                                         - Jessica Dion
>                                           Computing Analyst, SNR and CIT

Tim Raymond                             [log in to unmask]
Director,                               233 Votey
EM Computer Facility                    Burlington, Vt. 05405
The University of Vermont               (802) 656-0508