Below is this month's status report for significant projects which LSAIT is leading or participating in.  Feedback is always welcome.  Please let me know if you have any general questions or comments, and please feel free to contact the project contacts listed below if you have any questions or comments regarding those specific projects.

IT in LSA visioning - Over the past 2 months, IT leadership from across LSA has been working together to draft a common vision for IT in LSA.  The vision calls for highly performing IT staff who are valued collaborators in proactively and creatively enabling the knowledge creation and dissemination missions of LSA.  Click here to view the current draft and offer comments to help shape it.  Our next steps will be articulating concrete strategies for achieving this vision.  (Contact: David Sweetman)

Helpdesk changes - This past Monday, through partnership with ITS, Kristina Sarrica, a senior member of the ITS Helpdesk, joined the LSA IT Helpdesk.  In addition to providing us a significant opportunity to help inform and shape MiWorkspace from an academic Helpdesk perspective, Kristina's wealth of excellent customer service experience will also be beneficial in helping us identify opportunities to build and improve upon the service we offer. Concurrent with this change, Gloria Love has transitioned from the Helpdesk to the CSG MLB location. Gloria will work with the MLB team to provide desktop support.   (Contact: Greg Beyer, David Sweetman)

New Advocacy staff members - Nancy Herlocher will be joining the Advocacy and Research Support team on November 19.  The second round of interviews for the other open position are almost complete.  We plan to fill the second open position filled by the end of November. (Contact: Erin Dietrich)

Lorch Hall IT Support and new south CSG location - In conjunction with Nancy’s move from Lorch Hall (Economics and Linguistics) to LSA IT, IT support needs will be provided centrally for these two departments.  As a result of this change, Kim Chinchak, Desktop Support Specialist with Economics, will join CSG on November 26.  Also, CSG is in the process of creating a new South University location to better serve all CSG users in this area.  Karen Wilson of CSG will lead this new location.  She will reside in Nancy’s former office in Lorch Hall until a more permanent location is finalized. (Contact: Greg Beyer)

Mark Weishan to Retire - After over 38 years of service to the University of Michigan, Mark Weishan will be retiring at the end of this year.  His last day in the office is November 30.  He has specifically requested no large celebrations. Please contact Marissa Green if you have any questions regarding future support where you relied on Mark in the past. (Contact: Mark Weishan, Marissa Green)

Webcams Available - We still have a supply of webcams available to use in taking advantage of the video conferencing hangout functionality of Google.  If you would like to request one for your workstation, contact CSG at or 6-3279.  (Contact: Greg Beyer)

Windows 8 plans - Microsoft recently released the Windows 8 operating system.  We are carefully evaluating this new operating system.  No upgrades from current versions of Windows are scheduled at this time.  (Contact: Greg Beyer)

IT Advocacy visioning - A major change in LSAIT reorganization is the creation of advocacy roles specifically designed to enable LSAIT to more effectively partner with departments, understand needs, and navigate the UM IT ecosystem to best provide for those needs.  After last month’s meetings with LKAG small groups, this month we have been talking at Chair and Director luncheons to further refine what shape IT advocacy will take in LSA  (Contact: Erin Dietrich).

MiWorkspace - MiWorkspace, introduced in last month’s update, is part of the University’s overall IT Rationalization initiative.  The goal within LSA is to “right-size” IT by providing scalable commodity IT services centrally and reinvest those savings in providing LSA-unique specialized support of research and instruction.  There are many nuances to figure out between that “simple” dichotomy of commodity vs. unique services.  IT staff from LSA who will take part in working through these details include Doug Cox, Greg Beyer, Eric Pinaud, Tim Rolston, and Vlad Miskevich.  The Helpdesk change mentioned above is another way we are being proactive in helping shape the MiWorkspace implementation. (Contact: David Sweetman)

Server Room Consolidation - We have continued migrating servers to the ITS cloud server offering, MiServer. We are still defining the project in detail by completing a thorough server inventory, prioritizing the list of server moves, and scheduling appropriate resources and maintenance periods. We hope to have this analysis complete by the end of November.  We continue to work with LSA Facilities to finalize an analysis of energy costs of our existing server rooms/closets. (Contact: Marissa Green)

Museums Database Project - We now hosting Filemaker databases for four units and continue to add more to our FileMaker 11 Server running on ITS MiServer cloud service. We are also working with ITS MiDatabase team to build a MS SQL server instance and will begin migrating existing Museum SQL databases to this centralized instance. (Contact: John Torgersen)

Wireless antenna upgrade –  The last remaining upgrade is the Angell Hall complex of buildings and it is on-track for completion by the end of November. (Contact: Marissa Green)

Red Hat Satellite Server – To address continued growth needs of our Linux software repository and management system, we are upgrading the Satellite server from standalone LSA hardware to ITS MiServer cloud service. This project is divided in two phases: upgrading the Satellite Server to the latest version in-place by early November and fully migrate it to the MiServer offering by the end of the year. (Contacts: Karen Pachla, David Rhey, Marissa Green)

KeyServer Upgrade - An upgrade of the UmichITAM Sassafras KeyServer occurred during the November maintenance weekend. While the service is stable and available following the upgrade, we continue to work with the vendor to resolve some lingering issues.  All machines connecting to K2 need at least version 6.1.2 of the key client installed. Version 7.x is recommend to leverage new features. (Contact: Crystal Borgman)