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Archive for December, 2007

An exciting opportunity to think differently

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

dan-goochweb.jpgDaniel Gooch will oversee a major re-think of IT at UNE which aims to streamline the provision of IT services and promote innovation.

This year has bee a big one for reflecting on how UNE manages the provision of IT services. An IT sub-plan was prepared earlier in the year and an external review into IT at UNE was carried out by consultant Mike Rebbechi. Daniel Gooch, IT project manager will now look at the organisation of IT services throughout UNE and how some of the recommendations from these reviews might become a reality.

Daniel sees one of his main goals as changing the way in which the UNE community engages with IT “We should really be focusing on how to get more out of IT – it’s really something that should be enabling us to work more efficiently and be more creative.”

The external review into IT at UNE concluded that the provision of IT services at UNE was highly devolved and recommended a comprehensive audit of IT service provision and IT governance. Daniel Gooch explains “Having a devolved IT structure is not a problem but we do need to make sure that we are all working together and that services are being efficently provided to the university community.”

One idea that will be explored is a process driven approach to IT provision. “At the moment we really organise IT around the different business units which doesn’t allow for information sharing or smooth management of the various processes that are our core business.”

Daniel is also keen to identify areas in which UNE can excel by supporting innovation in IT. Through the provision of increased support for innovation UNE will seek to enhance its reputation for smart use of IT technology in teaching and learning.

Daniel will spend the next few months considering the various recommendations and translating them into concrete outcomes for UNE. You can view the progress of this project and get involved by visiting www.une.edu.au/it-services/strategy

Thousands of viruses blocked – and that’s an average day

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

computerwithvirus.jpgUNE’s new anti-virus scanning device had a busy day yesterday (December 10th) with more than 2500 infected emails identified and blocked– and that’s just an average day at the office. 

UNE was targeted by 22 unique viruses, worms and other internet nasties yesterday with more than 2500 infected emails and attachments identified and blocked from the UNE network. But that’s all in a days work for the new anti-virus scanner installed earlier this year as part of the UNE network upgrade.

The most frequently blocked virus, with 1900 identified instances, was a Trojan downloader virus. These small viruses will secretly download and run other viruses and files. They are often used by online advertisers to push adware/spyware to users.

Also blocked yesterday were 658 instances of the worm Bagz.E. This family of worms will send itself to email addresses gathered from the infected computer. It will also try to turn off anti-virus applications and allow other viruses to gain access to the computer.

The new anti-virus scanner is one of twelve filters that incoming emails pass through before being delivered to UNE users.

Students get results by SMS

Monday, December 10th, 2007

More than 3,000 UNE students have received their second semester unit results by SMS.

Results are out – and ITD’s e-results project seems to have made the grade. All students received their results by email for the first time. In addition more than 3,000 students received their results directly by SMS.

In spite of a small hiccup that saw the SMS message arrive a few hours late all SMS notifications were successfully sent.

Students can also access their second semester results online through MyUNE.

All eyes on ITD

Monday, December 10th, 2007

building.jpgMany thought it couldn’t be done but ITD’s recent database upgrade and the subsequent upgrade of UNE’s student information system UNESIS been so successful that other University’s are sending teams to learn more. 

When ITD announced that it was going to upgrade its database using the latest RAC technology there were many who said it couldn’t be done. But after months of hard slog, UNE proved them wrong becoming the first Australian university to successfully move to an Oracle RAC environment. 

RAC allows users to access a database through multiple, interconnected computing nodes rather than accessing one single giant computer. Multiple computing nodes communicate with each other forming a computer cluster. For users this means faster access to the entire database and at busy times or in cases of breakdown users can be directed to other available nodes.  

ITD chose to migrate off it’s current Tru64 environment (end of life 2010) onto Linux, instead of another proprietary systems, such as IBM or SUN, because Linux clusters provide an incredibly cost effective technology allowing UNE to maximise services to staff and students. 

Daniel Watkins, Database administrator explains ‘We realised that for UNE, RAC provided flexibility, protection against faults and importantly room to increase our capacity to keep pace with our needs. With this system we can just keep adding nodes.” 

In October UNE upgraded to the latest version of the Callista student information system. This involved migrating Callista onto the new RAC database. The success of this upgrade has sparked a lot of interest from other university’s IT departments. This week a team from Deakin University will visit UNE to find out how it was achieved with a team from Monash expected later this month.

Lamble Power upgrade

Friday, December 7th, 2007

An upgrade to the power supply for the Lamble building will ensure uninterrupted power.

This weekend will see an upgrade to the power supply for the TC Lamble building including the installation of an uninterruptible power supply (UPS).

This will mean that there will be power outages to the Lamble building while work is carried out. The proposed power outage will commence at 7.00am Saturday 8th December and last for around 6 hours i.e. until 1pm Saturday.

A number of systems will be unavailable during this time, including:

  • Callista (and related systems DEM, Timetabling and eSubmission)
  • Mail
  • WebCT
  • Erskine (as well as Banner and all QA and DEV Tru64 applications)
  • FinanceOne
  • Forums
  • Blogs

For further information contact Dan Dooner on ex 3251

1.5 Million Books – and much more – only a click away

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

The Million books project now contains over 1.5 Million books (maybe they need a new name?) in more than 20 languages.  All the books in the collection are available free online. You can find out more about the Million books project here http://www.itnews.com.au/News/66093,digital-library-hits-15-million-volumes.aspx

Another fantastic online resource is the Internet archive which has in addition to books archived websites (the Wayback machine) video and audio. You’ll find it here http://www.archive.org/index.php

What’s your favourite online resource? Why not share your online treasures…….