In Brief June 2015

latest news

  • This summer, UCI will be closing the fiscal year with a new enterprise financial system.  Sign up to get fiscal closing updates by going to maillists.uci.edu and subscribing to KFS-Update.
  • Faculty and staff getting their email or calendar through OIT’s Exchange service are being migrated to Microsoft’s O365 cloud service. Of almost 6400 accounts, about 3500 (56%) have already been converted.  The balance will be completed by the end of 2015.
  • Webfiles will get a security upgrade this week.  Users with current web browsers will be unaffected.

UCI Lightpath: a High-Speed Network for Research

lightpathOIT has built a dedicated high-performance network infrastructure that can help meet the needs of researchers requiring the transfer of a large quantity of data within and beyond campus. This network is called UCI Lightpath which is funded by a Grant from National Science Foundation Campus Cyberinfrastructure – Network Infrastructure Engineering Program (NSF CC-NIE)

UCI Lightpath is composed of a Science DMZ with a 10 Gbps connection to the science and research community on the Internet, and a dedicated 10 Gbps network infrastructure on campus.  A science DMZ is a portion of the network that is designed so that the equipment, configuration, and security policies are optimized for high-performance scientific applications rather than for general-purpose business systems or “enterprise” computing.

The initial infrastructure covers eight campus locations including the OIT Data Center where computing clusters, such as HPC and Greenplanet reside.  The UCI Lightpath network infrastructure is separate from the existing campus network (UCINet.)  The diagram shows the current status of the UCI Lightpath.

For more information of UCI Lightpath and its access policy, please refer to OIT website http://www.oit.uci.edu/network/lightpath/

 

Canvas Pilot Update & Instructor Panel

Canvas2015Canvas is a learning management system (LMS) developed by Instructure.  OIT is piloting Canvas as a complement to the EEE LMS.  More information about Canvas and EEE can be found on the Canvas Pilot website.

Pilot Instructor Panels – First-Hand Perspectives from Participating Instructors

On May 6th and June 2nd, OIT hosted the first two sessions of an ongoing series of Canvas Pilot instructor panel events featuring updates on the project’s progress.  The events featured first-hand perspectives from instructors using Canvas in their courses, including Kim Edwards (Chemistry), Miryha Runnerstrom (Health Sciences/Public Health), Ted Wright (Cognitive Science), Rose Jones (Academic English/ESL Program), and Nancy Aguilar-Roca (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology). The Distance Learning Center provided videography services and recordings of both events are available on the Canvas Pilot website.

Instructors – Create your Fall Canvas course space today!

All Fall 2015 quarter instructors who would like to participate in the Canvas Pilot can now create their own Fall 2015 Canvas course spaces. Currently, this process supports course spaces that include just one section. For other course space options, contact the EEE team or check back later in Summer; we’ll be adding more options to the self-service course space creation tool over the coming months.

Additional Updates

Recent work in the Canvas Pilot has included enabling Turnitin.com integration with the Canvas environment, which allows instructors to more easily work with the two systems, and improving handling of the integration between the Canvas API and custom data management utility. The results of pre-quarter instructor and student surveys, designed to gather brief, general information about participants’ expectations and prior experience with Canvas are now published. Spring assessments surveys are wrapping up in late June and the results will be posted when complete.

OIT Year in Review

OIT has published a report on its activities for 2014-15.  Here are some highlights.

Strategic IT Realignment

Over the last 5 years, UCI has undergone a campus-wide consolidation of IT services while simultaneously grappling with unprecedented service demands. Organizational changes that had been postponed were implemented this year. Five new OIT “divisions” were established: Student & Academic Services, Enterprise Applications, Central Services, Enterprise Infrastructure, and Client Services.

Key Initiatives

OIT made significant progress this year on a number of initiatives in support of strategic priorities. Full details can be found in the online OIT 2014-15 activity summary page.

  • Infrastructure improvements

UCI started a major network upgrade initiative in 2014 and replacement of our 30+ year old telephone system is nearly complete. The standard email for UCI students is nearly 100% cloud based (Gmail) and the faculty/staff email managed by OIT (Office 365 or Gmail) will be approaching the same metric by the end of 2015.

  • Research and education

Thanks to a $500k NSF CC-NIE grant, we have established “UCI LightPath,” a separate “Science DMZ” network dedicated to research. UCI continues to expand the high performance research computing cluster (HPC). In the past year, 20+ smart classrooms and lecture halls in Engineering, Computer Sciences and Physical Sciences had technology upgrades and wireless coverage enhanced. UCI began a pilot of Instructure Canvas with a planned hybrid strategy which will augment our in-house EEE offerings to create a best-of-breed feature set for campus instructors.

  • Administrative applications

In July 2014, UCI went live with its new enterprise financial system (KFS). The implementation phase of a major project to replace UCI’s legacy student information systems with the Ellucian Banner platform started in January 2015.  OIT worked with a number of units in an ongoing effort to enhance other campus administrative systems, including Kuali Coeus Research Administration, UC-Path, business intelligence using the Data Warehouse (Cognos), Facilities Management service platform (IBM Tririga), and Electronic Document Management (IBM FileNet).

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