ITS Service Changes
How Ongoing/Upcoming Upgrades May Affect You
Below is more detail about ongoing and upcoming changes to ITS services that are likely to impact you:
- ITIL: Interim CIO's Office Implements Change Management
- Core Network Refresh
- ITS Support of Windows 8.1 and Mavericks
- ITS Retiring Support & Services: Sun & Solaris-branded Hardware
- ITS Retiring Support: Old Operating Systems & Versions of MS Office
- Transitioning Software Distribution: Introducing UVaSoftware & the UVaSoftware Gateway
- New Service: UVa Box Cloud Storage Debuts
- The Storage Refresh Project
ITIL: Interim CIO's Office Implements Change Management
New Framework & Processes in Place to Guide IT Service Changes (Nov. 18, 2013)
- Purpose: On November 18, the Office
of the Interim Chief Information Officer (CIO) will implement the 2nd internal process
based on the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL®), a compilation of
international best practices for IT service management. ITIL Change Management follows
Management, which was rolled out in April 2013.
The purpose of the Change Management process is to ensure that:
- Standardized methods and procedures are used for efficient and prompt handling of all changes.
- Minor, moderate, major and emergency changes to service assets and configuration items are recorded in the Change Management System.
- Overall business risk is optimized.
- Impact: As Change Management practices based on ITIL® are implemented,
the University community will see an increase in predictability, reliability, and
transparency around services under the Interim CIO's umbrella.
- Goals of the Change Management process used within the Interim CIO's office include: identifying and managing risk associated with technical changes; responding to our customers' changing business requirements and aligning services with business needs; facilitating communication of changes to our customers; facilitating awareness of changes to increase the effectiveness of internal support processes; minimizing disruptions, the occurrence of incidents, and rework; and providing change history for use in incident resolution efforts.
- Benefits of Change Management to the organization and our customers include reduced operational costs and unexpected change impacts, and improved quality of service.
- End users need not do anything differently because of this change; continue to contact the UVa Help Desk when you encounter a technical issue or have questions, as always. This new process is internal. But over time, the implemented ITIL processes should increase user satisfaction with the quality of CIO-area services.
Core Network Refresh
Building a Bigger Data Pipeline (Fall 2013)
- Purpose: The UVa core network provides paths for the exchange of information between different sub-networks, interconnecting and providing intranet and Internet services to UVa academic buildings, residence halls, data centers, and affiliated organizations (e.g. UVa Health System). The current network has reached end-of-life and is insufficient for facilitating now and next generation technology that needs high performance, capacity, and reliability.
- Impact: Completion of the project will result in the network
reliability that is required to reduce the frequency of core network outages and downtimes due
to single points of failure. It will support converged network systems, e.g. combined voice (VoIP)
and data services and put the University "in front of" coming data needs.
This project lays the foundation for future increased network performance as well as possible new service offerings – the new core will allow 10 times the speed of the old one with future increases of up to 20 or 30 times. The core network upgrade is expected to be completed in December.
(In addition to the core upgrade, ITS also is expanding bandwidth and density of access points for wireless Internet connections in all buildings across Grounds. The wireless upgrade will be fully completed during the next 18 months.)
ITS Support of Windows 8.1 and Mavericks
Testing Underway Fall 2013
- Purpose: Microsoft made Windows 8.1 available to the general public on Oct. 17. Apple made Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) available on Oct. 22. ITS staff are currently testing both new OSes against popular software titles and ITS-provided services – like the Network Setup Tool – to ensure a smooth transition for our users.
- Impact: ITS Infrastructure Support Services & Administration staff will work with Local Support Partners on Windows 8.1 testing and have published a Support Statement for Windows 8.1. Likewise, they have published a Support Statement for Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks). There are known compatibility issues at this time with the UVa Network Setup Tool and SafeNet Token Software.
ITS Retiring Support & Services: Sun & Solaris-branded Hardware
- Purpose: Usage of the Solaris operating system has steadily declined at UVa over the last several years. ITS and other departmental Sun servers have had their services either migrated to more cost effective hardware and software platforms or retired without replacement. With the few remaining Solaris-based services slated for migration or retirement, ITS will no longer be supporting Solaris or Sun-branded hardware as of Dec. 31, 2013.
- Impact: As of December 31, 2013, ITS will no longer provide support for the Solaris Jumpstart service, the Solaris Patching service, or the NFS-mounted, local Solaris software directory (/itc/solaris). Users who have a need for any of these services should contact the Systems and Storage group.
ITS Retiring Support: Old Operating Systems & Versions of MS Office
Windows XP, Windows Vista, Mac OS X 10.6 & MS Office 2007/2008 (Dec. 31, 2013)
As manufacturers end support of older operating systems and software packages, ITS evaluates
our own support levels for these products, balancing support of newer systems against older ones,
our users' needs, and technical requirements and restrictions in the UVa computing environment.
To this end on Dec. 31, 2013, ITS will no longer be testing versions of new software on systems running the following OSes and will be ending user support for these platforms:
- Windows Vista and XP
- Mac OS X, version 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
- Microsoft Office 2007 (Windows) (including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, and Access)
- Microsoft Office 2008 (Mac) (including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Entourage (ITS support for this version of Entourage previously ended on Aug. 1, 2011)).
As of December 31, 2013:
- Windows XP and Vista users:
ITS recommends you upgrade your system to Windows 7 if your hardware and usage demands will
Mac OS X 10.6 users: ITS recommends you upgrade your system to Mac OS X 10.7, and to version 10.8 if your hardware and usage demands will allow it.
If you are using any of the 3 OSes above on a University-owned system, contact your Local Support Partner (LSP) or the UVa Help Desk for more information.
- Office users:
You may continue using these products but under UVa's Microsoft software partnerships
upgrading to Microsoft Office 2010/2013 (Windows) and Microsoft Office 2011 (Mac) is easy
and free for most users. The newer versions provide more features and greater security as well.
The Microsoft Software Chooser Window can help you identify what software you are eligible for, and at what cost.
- Windows XP and Vista users: ITS recommends you upgrade your system to Windows 7 if your hardware and usage demands will allow it.
Transitioning Software Distribution: Introducing UVaSoftware & the UVa Software Gateway
Research Computing Software Moving to New Site First (Aug. 1, 2013)
- Purpose: ITS is transitioning software distribution of research computing titles from the former Research Computing Distributed Software Licensing site ("LDB") to a new pair of sites: UVa Software Gateway will be developed into a “one-stop ‘shop’” for software available to the UVa community will feature inclusion of titles offered on ITS Software Central and the UVa Hive as well.
- Impact: The distribution method will change for several titles formerly offered
through the LDB:
- License keys for MATLAB for Students and Mathematica for Students will be distributed by the Textbook Division of the UVa Bookstore.
- Lisrel, TIBCO, PGI Compilers, Mathcad, and Maple will be distributed by the Scholars’ Lab.
New Service: UVa Box Debuts
UVa Box Cloud Storage (Summer-Fall 2013)
- Purpose: UVa Box
addresses a long-standing need for cloud-based
storage of University files containing non-sensitive or moderately sensitive data. This service
provides current UVa faculty, staff, and students a secure, Web-based file storage and
collaboration platform that is available anytime, anywhere.
- Box is part of the Internet2 NET+ Services program that provides services to Internet 2 member organizations, including higher education.
- This is a free service for current faculty, staff, and students.
- It was available beginning in mid-June.
- Each user has a storage quota of 50 GB.
- UVa Box is offered for storage of University-related files containing non-sensitive or moderately sensitive data, not files containing highly sensitive data.
- Apps are available for Macs and PCs, iPhones, iPads, Androids, BlackBerries, and more.
- You can learn more at its.virginia.edu/box.
The Storage Refresh Project
New Consolidated Enterprise Storage System to Replace Existing Multiple & Outdated Storage Options (Starting Late June 2013)
The Storage Refresh Project's goal is to provide a new storage infrastructure that will offer
the University community the flexibility to select a storage option customized for
specific data needs, depending upon factors such as:
- space and disk speeds,
- storage connection type,
- integration with other network infrastructures, plus
- content mirroring and other security requirements.
- Impact: The designated service owners or primary contact/business owners for impacted systems were contacted in late June. Data stored on the current storage systems will need to be migrated to the new architecture, so planned downtimes for some services will be required. Though no migration schedules are in place yet, these will be published for affected systems as soon as they become available on the new Storage Refresh Project website. More information about the new consolidated storage offerings will be posted there in coming months, as well.