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  OIT Home > Committees > ITPG > Meetings > ITPG Meeting Minutes 02/19/99
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ITPG Meeting Minutes February 19, 1999


Present: Arlene Allen, Ken Bowers, Glenn Davis, John Davis, Bill Doering, George Gregg, Tom Lawton, Elise Meyer, Alan Moses, Joan Murdoch, Larry Murdock, Vince Sefcik

Not Present: Debbie Anglin, Kevin Barron, Art Battson, Phil Handley, Sonia Johnston, Bill Koseluk, Pam Lombardo, Tom Marazita, Bill McTague, Ed Mehlschau, Kevin Schmidt, Jamie Sonsini, John Vasi, Pamela Webb

ITPG Suggestions for Possible Campus Policy Recommendations

March 4, 1999. Draft recommendations have been updated based on comments received from the group.

  1. The ITPG recommends that the campus establish a policy that either recommends or requires that students own their own computer and obtain their own Internet Service Provider (ISP). The ITPG recognizes that such a policy would imply that the campus provide guidance to students on the capacities and functions of the equipment they buy and the ITPG is prepared to form a standing subcommittee that will publish such guidance and review it periodically.
  2. (Note: The existence of this policy is assumed in the other recommendations outlined below.)

  3. The ITPG recommends that on-campus access for students should be focused in three areas:
    1. An open-access "safety net" for those students who cannot provide their own computers
    2. Centralized access for instructional use. This includes the course support provided by Instructional Computing as well as resource-intensive instructional use including applications that require high-bandwidth, expensive application software or address intellectual property concerns.
    3. Departmental access for resources that address unique, discipline-specific needs

  4. The ITPG recommends that the campus allocate permanent budget funds for the phased replacement of the workstations and modems used by students. The ITPG estimates that it will cost $800K-$1M per year, assuming a 4 year replacement cycle, to maintain the existing number of workstations and modems used by students. It is recognized that there are other competing needs for funding including internal building wiring, faculty workstations, software licenses, servers for several important functions, and staff to support the ever-growing infrastructure. Highlighting the equipment replacement requirement here does not necessarily imply that it has a higher priority than these other needs.
  5. The ITPG believes that the existing infrastructure can support the gradually expanding usage of Information Technology in course assignments. The ITPG recommends that the campus adopt the following guidelines for the instructional use of computer and network access:
    1. Instructors should limit their assignments to those that can be accomplished with 28.8Kbps bandwidth unless they make reservations in an appropriate laboratory or otherwise determine that their students have access to higher bandwidth services.
    2. Instructors should limit their assignments to those that can be accomplished with "Tier 1" workstations (email, web browsing of text and graphics pages and Pegasus) unless they make reservations in an appropriate laboratory or otherwise determine that their students have access to higher function workstations.
    3. Instructors should make assignments well ahead of their due dates so students have time to share scarce resources
    4. Instructors should request that students make them aware of access problems that might arise from impacted services or from special requirements such as ADA accommodations.

    First, it should be noted that this recommendation depends on support for the other four policy recommendations, that is, we encourage students to provide their own computers and network connections, continue to develop on-campus facilities, maintain the existing base and survey participants regularly. To be sure, we do not believe the existing infrastructure can support usage by every course that is offered. Some have speculated that upwards of 90% student ownership together with an 8:1 ratio of students to on-campus workstations would be required to support all classes. Nevertheless, significant numbers of students in the sciences and engineering now use computing in their regular assignments and experiments in courses such as the one described by Mark Aldenderfer indicate that within certain constraints additional usage can be accommodated.

  6. The ITPG recommends that the campus establish a policy of taking periodic surveys of faculty and students to determine where there are currently access problems, and to anticipate where they may occur in the future. The ITPG will establish a subgroup to formulate possible survey questions for students and investigate the available vehicles for delivering surveys to the intended audience.

Minutes on Other Topics Addressed at the 2/19 Meeting

Vince reported that updates to the fiber cable plant have been completed and that testing and termination would be completed by March 1. Communications Services is awaiting fiber allocation requests from Military Science and QUEST. Next step is to order FDDI equipment necessary to replace remaining broadband connections. When the FDDI data connections are moved, the only other known usage of broadband cable "B" is connection of a satellite TV receiver in Engineering. A discussion regarding what should be done with video cable remaining within buildings followed. Vince noted that Communications Services would not be pulling the unused video cable out of the underground ducts.

Elise reported that the requisition to select a vendor for CalREN-2 equipment had been returned to Purchasing. The GSR router portion of the order would be sole-sourced to Cisco to help meet quantity committments necessary to obtain the UC-wide discount.

Arlene Allen reported that the newly formed Authentication/Directory workgroup had held their first meeting. Members were brought up to speed on the history of the UC Common Authentication Project and on UCSB's participation to date. Next meeting is planned for early March in which members will contribute their opinions on the priority of issues.

Security Group has not yet met, probably because of relentless spam attacks that must be addressed

Vince presented an alternative modem pool arrangement and, after some discussion, the group settled on an additional alternative in which all modem numbers would be directed to a common pool having access to all UCSB services with a 30-minute time limit. The group then suggested that the 2400 bps pool (x8400) also have the same 30-minute time limit imposed. Communications Services data show that the average length of calls is 15-18 minutes.

Vince reported that Andrea Duda in the Library maintains a nice web page pointing to ISPs in the area. Vince suggested that Communications Services maintain pointers to the Library page and to another service that lists all ISPs in the 805 area. Some felt that Communications Services should maintain the page of pointers and/or assure that information is up to date. Vince planned to coordinate with Andrea.

A discussion of peering arrangements with local ISP vendors revealed that UCSB is currently peering with only GTE (note: there is some question about whether this is currently the case) and ImpulseNet. Others are interested and Communications Services will put up information on how they can make peering arrangements.

Other vendor plans for connectivity in the area were discussed. ITPG members reported constant questions regarding plans for ADSL, cable modem service, etc. Vince reported some ongoing negotiations but noted the difficulty we would create if we published details of unfinished discussions with vendors.

Our February 5 meeting with Stuart Lynn was reviewed with committee members feeling that Stuart had validated ITPG directions in several areas. This led to a discussion of student ownership of computers and what UCSB is telling them about appropriate configurations. The Bookstore makes recommendations based on what is selling currently and Housing sets minimums for what can be attached to their network. The group thought that a definition of the "minimum required machine" would be helpful to incoming students and parents and several people indicated a willingness to work on the specification. The timing of the release of such information was discussed with the consensus being that it should be updated twice per year, perhaps during spring or summer and again before the Christmas buying season.

Discussion then turned to the draft recommendations to ITB (reported above). The group agreed to finalize wording by email.

One unanswered question was the implication of rolling out services such as GauchoNet which might required a high-level browser (e.g., "MyUCLA" now provides up to eighteen pages of information to students – some of it fancier than straight text).

Next meeting of ITPG will be Friday, March 5, in Room 1131 North Hall.

Back to ITPG Meeting Schedule

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