MMM Minutes 3/15/01

Minutes of Smathers
Middle Manager's Meeting
March 15, 2001

Present: Rich Bennett, Suzanne Brown, Gary Cornwell, Robena Cornwell, Leilani Freund, Martha Hruska, Tom Minton, Cathy Mook, Betsy Simpson, Phek Su, Jan Swanbeck
Campus Networking - Internet 1 Upgrade
  1. Campus networking is planning to bump up the available bandwidth again.
  2. We're currently at 90MB bandwidth, which at peak times, is starting to hurt.
  3. Internet 1 will be expanded to 150MB bandwidth, probably by August.
  4. This is not as great as the last time that it was expanded - at that time it was doubled.
  5. We will be getting vendors in to try and work a deal - we hope to get the price down with the proliferation of more capable vendors to do the job.
Campus Networking - Internet 2 Upgrade
  1. Internet 2 provides traffic between research centers and the University to take pressure off of Internet 1.
  2. The Internet 2 connection is planning to turn UF into a hub for five SUS clients.
  3. Bandwidth to expand from 155MB to 622MB. That will provide a two-fold increase in Internet 2 speed, helping to insure that no traffic spills over to Internet 1.
  4. Internet 2's addition to SUS is uncertain; the State Technology Office is planning to build a statewide center and that could interfere with current plans and the whole thing could come to a halt.
  5. The Libraries should be fine with the amount of bandwidth - we haven't been experiencing choking, although it may not help for any given site.
Campus Networking - Wireless
  1. There have been recent articles in the newspapers about the campus-wide expansion of wireless networking.
  2. The articles have been a bit misleading, grouping the indoor and outdoor wireless into one chunk.
  3. The first phase of this project is strictly for outdoor wireless. It is predominantly purposed as an electronic aid for handicap access.
  4. Antennas are now going up around campus just for outdoor access.
  5. Martha notes that it is very difficult to use a laptop during the day - even in the shade. There is not a lot of utility for outdoor laptop use, perhaps with the exception of use at night.
  6. There is a burgeoning standards problem with wireless networking. 80211B is the standard in place, 80211A works better and 80211E is supposed to be even better yet and there is a current push underway to change to it. There is always a fight over the spectrum in the bandwidth.
Wireless Networking - Libraries
  1. East - 2nd & 5th floor stacks are done. Waiting on equipment to finish the 3rd floor.
  2. Assignment of IPs will be worked out on a case-by-case basis.
  3. In the future, we hope to have all the stacks on floors 1-5 hooked up on the wireless network.
  4. We are currently using 80211A standard in the stacks - it is better at penetrating the walls, etc. We'll have to see how the standardization process goes.
  5. West - once the building addition is complete, wireless will be an option in that library.
  6. Martha notes that she read were it could cost $150-$200 to get a laptop fitted to work in a wireless environment. Plus, the standards could change so rapidly that it could become a public relations issue.
  7. Gary interjects that he saw the wireless technology working really well at UCF. Bill notes that you have to have total agreement on all of the standards required to make it functional - and UF is far too fragmented an organization to have that kind of agreement.
Xerox Quarterly Meeting
  1. Xerox held their quarterly meeting on the status of the Library public printing.
  2. Barbara Oliver reports that the statistics show that computer printouts are down while photocopies are up.
  3. Regarding the periodic print failures - they seem to happen with large PDF files.
  4. Xerox ran experiments trying to recreate the problem in West & AFA yesterday, but they could not get it to fail. The problem is probably not inherent to Xerox.
  5. These high-density, shared access sites are now on switches, which may be improving their performance.
  6. They will continue to experiment to see if they can get them to fail.
UF VP for IT?
  1. Some people have heard talk that the University is looking for a vice president of Information Technology.
  2. Bill notes that an IT review committee was formed last year to produce a report on IT at UF. The top-secret report has never come out, but was supposedly delivered last week.
  3. In theory, we have a CIO - divided 50-50 between UF and Shands. He has mostly gone in the direction of mainframe expansion.
  4. As for the national search, some have heard about it, but there has been no official word. It is unclear what the scope of the duties would be.
  5. It will require a convergence of UF's IT intelligence. Seems as though it would take a major restructuring of the various computer fiefdoms in order to pull it all together. Watch out for the ITRC report for the best clue as to where UF IT is headed.

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Last updated March 15, 2001
by Debra Harris