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:
- Network Time Protocol Change
- New Telephone System Coming for UVa Faculty & Staff
- Discontinuing National Lambda Rail Service
- Transitioning: Research Computing Support
- ITS Retiring 2 Help-Related Email Addresses
- 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
- The Storage Refresh Project
Network Time Protocol Change (Mar. 20, 2014)
Network Configuration Update Removes Security Vulnerability
- Purpose: On Mar. 20, UVa will update its network configuration
to remove a security vulnerability in the Network Time Protocol (NTP). After that date,
certain core servers may no longer be used to synchronize the internal clocks of computing devices
This security vulnerability has been implicated in several distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks on computing sites outside UVa. After March 20, the reconfiguration will prevent our core servers from being used in such attacks.
- Impact: This change should have no effect on the vast majority
of computing devices at the University. It only affects users who have ever manually
entered the IP Address of one of the UVa core servers in their system's configuration as an
approved host to synchronize an internal clock.
- ITS recommends that computing devices that are used off-Grounds synchronize their time with a more global service, e.g. Windows Time Service, time.apple.com, or time.nist.gov.
- Note that this change does not affect the approved UVa host for clock synchronization (time.virginia.edu). This host will still allow connections from on-Grounds devices using NTP.
Contact Information Security, Policy, and Records via email if you have questions.
New Telephone System Coming for UVa Faculty & Staff
Replacement System to Feature Robust Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) (Jan. 2014-Dec. 2015)
- Purpose: The existing voice communication infrastructure,
originally installed in 1996, is outdated and expensive to maintain. It also lacks the
capabilities of the current generation voice technology systems that the University
needs to handle our advanced communication requirements.
The University (both academic and medical center sides) will replace the old communication infrastructure with a modern standards-based system using proven technology while providing enhanced functionality for us all.
- ~26,000 lines from the academic and medical center sides will be migrated over 16 months beginning in June 2014
- ~20,000 telephones will be replaced
- ~6,000 analog lines will be migrated (FAX, Emergency, Elevator)
- Existing telephone numbers will be retained
- Ability to use abbreviated 5-digit dialing sequence when on Grounds remains
- New voicemail will replace the currrent Xpressions
Discontinuing National Lambda Rail Service at UVa
NLR Services Transition to Internet2 Network Connection (Feb. 13, 2014)
On Feb. 13, 2014 the University will discontinue National Lambda Rail (NLR) service at
6:00 PM and transition the last of our NLR services to our Internet2 network connection
at that time.
National Lambda Rail is one of the specialized national research networks that UVa participates in via the Mid-Atlantic Research Infrastructure Alliance (MARIA), the Commonwealth of Virginia's research and education network. The MARIA Board, with our full agreement, has elected to discontinue participation in NLR. NLR has provided excellent service for the past decade but now operates an aging network and no longer provides unique services to the University.
- Impact: We do not anticipate that this change will have any impact on users. Grant proposals should no longer mention a University connection to NLR.
Transitioning: Research Computing Support
Some ITS Research Computing Consulting Services to Move to University Library (Winter 2014)
- Purpose: Beginning in December 2013, research computing support for researchers at UVa is transitioning from ITS to the University Library, in particular to Research Data Services. Research computing in the library will continue to assist UVa researchers in accessing, installing, and using research software, and will provide advice and training in data analysis through the StatLab, located in Alderman Library, room 523. ITS will continue to be responsible for research computing software licensing through the UVa Software Gateway.
- Impact: Please check Computing Support for
Researchers at UVa on ITSWeb for updates on the transition.
On Monday, March 3, all research computing software package documentation (for instance, ANSYS, SPSS, MATLAB, SAS) remaining on ITSWeb will be removed. Documentation for supported research computing software packages has been transitioned to the StatLab's Research Software Support website.
Email the StatLab for questions related to data analysis; continue to email firstname.lastname@example.org for statistical software licensing and support.
ITS Retiring 2 Help-Related Email Addresses
email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org Going Away (Jan. 13, 2014)
- Purpose: Effective Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, ITS will “retire”
the email addresses email@example.com and
firstname.lastname@example.org. These 2 addresses were previously
used to receive UVa Help Desk requests from users.
ITS will also not use these addresses in any future communications with users. If you receive an email from or including either of these 2 addresses, know that it is spam or a phishing scheme; do not respond or open the message. Contact or forward the message on to email@example.com.
- Impact: To contact the UVa Help Desk, please
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-Winter 2014
- 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 have been 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 (updated 3/19/14). Likewise, they have published a Support Statement for Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) (updated 3/19/14). There are known compatibility issues at this time with things like 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.
The Storage Refresh Project
New Consolidated Enterprise Storage System to Replace Existing Multiple & Outdated Storage Options (Starting Fall 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. Migration schedules are in the planning stage and will be published for affected systems as soon as they become available on the Storage Refresh Project website. More information about the new consolidated storage offerings will be posted there as well.