Thursday, June 9, 2016

June 2016 Update

CMT Media Production – 1st Place Award

A video created by Creative Media and Technology (CMT) promoting water conservation has been selected for a top award in the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association’s (NIRSA) 2016 Creative Excellence Awards. NIRSA supports leaders in collegiate recreation and is composed of 4,500 professionals, students and businesses. Its Creative Excellence Awards aim to recognize NIRSA members’ outstanding accomplishments in marketing.

CMT’s 2½ -minute video “Water Woman,” which urges faculty, staff, and students to reduce water use at the campus’s Wildcat Recreation Center (WREC), won first place in the audiovisual promotion category.

Disk Storage Crisis Averted… In a Flash

The growth of virtual servers over the last eight years has created increasingly high demands for disk performance and capacity from the data center disk storage system in order to support the various application and database workloads.



As more servers were placed into production, disk storage system performance began to decline, causing applications to run slowly and databases to disconnect and reconnect randomly during peak times of the work day.

To remedy the situation, the campus data center recently received funding to supplement the aging NetApp disk storage system with new NetApp All-Flash disk resources. The system utilizes enterprise grade solid state drives (SSD) similar to the SSD drives found in many laptops and desktops today. The benefits of this storage system are:
  • 90% less power usage and heat generated
  • Semiconductor based disk drives with no moving parts
  • 20x increase in server and database performance response time
  • Less rack space usage
Lower power draw and less heat generated will equate to significant cost savings in power consumption for Chico State. SSD drives will be more reliable as the failure rate is predictable over time and the drives can be replaced before they wear out. SSD drives in this new system are rated at 8000 read/write operations per second compared to the fastest spinning disk drive at 160.

The purchase and deployment of the disk storage system required outstanding work from many teams in Information Resources, Shipping & Receiving, Property and Procurement. Many thanks to Sara Rumiano and Jessica Verardi for their help in moving this purchase through. Over 250 production servers were migrated from the old disk system to the new system. The system was shipped, delivered, installed, and up and running within three weeks of purchase.

The SSD system was recently put to the test with the annual Housing residence hall room registration event on April 12th at 6pm. The server handling the room applications from the incoming fall freshman class needed to accept and process 1,000 applications within a 5 minute window. The server performed flawlessly. In past years, the storage system wasn’t fast enough to handle the load effectively. This year, a crisis was averted.



Bringing ESPN to Acker Gym

Information Resources provided the internet connectivity required by ESPN to broadcast the Chico State men’s and women’s basketball games on Friday, February 19th.

In addition, Creative Media and Technology created a commercial to highlight Chico State during the game.

 


Bay to Box Migration

In 2017 the hardware supporting our current file sharing storage solution (Bay) will reach it’s end-of-life. As a result, Information Resources has contracted with Box.com to provide secure cloud-based file storage and collaboration for the campus.

Some of the benefits of Box include:
  • Secure online storage
  • 5Gb maximum file size limit
  • Unlimited storage
  • Detailed version history for all documents 
  • Advanced collaboration tools

At present, the Bay to Box project team is getting input and feedback from major Bay users on campus, as well as interviewing departments in order to better understand both how they currently use Bay and how their content in Bay is organized.

Over the next year, IRES staff will be reaching out to faculty, staff, and departments to coordinate the migration of their data from Bay to the Box environment.

For more information on the Bay to Box migration project, please visit The Bay to Box Migration website.

TechTalks Update

TechTalks continue to be a great information sharing channel for Information Resources staff as well as our campus partners. We have had 8 successful and well attended sessions since January covering a wide range of topics. Each TechTalk presentation is 15 minutes, followed by 15 minutes of Q&A. TechTalks are presented by technical staff on campus to stimulate cross-departmental and interdepartmental communication about technologies managed/used on campus.

A big thank you to our presenters for the Spring 2016 series – Dennis Partington, Brent Liotta, Mike Wood, David Zeichick, John Bracey, Jordan Layman, Cale Whitehouse and Miroslav Lulic.

Feedback from the sessions is very positive with almost all attendees reporting they are satisfied or very satisfied with the sessions. The TechTalks committee continues to look for speakers and topics for the upcoming summer and fall series. Staff interested in presenting are encouraged to email Eva Kennedy or Brooke Banks for information.

A list of TechTalk sessions can be found on the TechTalks webpage.

CMT Classroom Technology Projects

Last month the Deans were updated on the 2015-16 Classroom Technology Services project plan. This plan covers three important campus objectives:
  1. Installation of 17 new learning and conference spaces in the new Humanities and Fine Arts building
  2. Refresh of 18 centrally supported smart classrooms. This involves converting systems from analog to digital, with all new equipment
  3. Upgrade of 14 department classrooms to standard smart classroom equipment

Accomplishments

Greg Haugen - BS, Computer Science (December, 2015)

Tony Dunn - ITIL Intermediate Continual Service Improvement Certification (February, 2016) 

Chris Witthans - Promotion to Information Technology Consultant Expert

Retired Staff

Donald Converse served as the Rapid Graphics Copy Center manager in CMT for 4 years. We thank Don for his service and wish him well in his new life in New Mexico. 

Denise Visconti served as the Administrative Analyst/Specialist in Computing and Communications for almost five years. We wish her well and are thankful for everything she has contributed to the university.

New Employees

Ron Smith joined Enterprise Applications (EAPP) on March 2nd. Ron was most recently a programmer at 11Main.com and has experience with web applications and design. He will be working as a PeopleSoft programmer as well as supporting EDI and Perceptive Content. Ron is married with two little girls and enjoys golf and disc golf in his spare time. 

Zoe Zempel joined IT Support Services (ITSS) in March and provides IT support for the Student Health Center. Zoe graduated from CSU, Chico with a BA in History. After graduation, she worked for the Butte County Department of Behavioral Health as an IT Technician providing front line service desk support, and later expanded to include server administration. Zoe and her partner Devon enjoy watching bad sci-fi or horror movies, anything directed by John Carpenter and almost anything starring Robert Z’dar. She enjoys reading Stephen King, and hopes to make more time for that in the future. 

Georgia Zweber joined IT Support Services (ITSS) as the new Student Supervisor in March. She provides support for our student employees, including interviewing, hiring, scheduling, mentoring, and training. Georgia has a Bachelor’s of Arts in English and has worked in the tech field for over 20 years. Her IT experience includes help desk, servers, enterprise application, and data center support. Most recently, she worked for Magenic Technologies in San Francisco as a senior consultant, leading a support team of 25 people. Georgia just moved to Chico in February and enjoys tending her new almond orchard and gardens with partner Jody, three dogs and four cats. They enjoy art and literary happenings, concerts, cooking, and anything to do with the great outdoors. 

Eva Kennedy joined our team as the Administrative Analyst/Specialist in the human resources side of the IRES Administrative Service Center in February. Eva came to IRES from University Housing and Food Service where she was the Assignment Operations Coordinator since 2011. Prior to coming to work at CSU, Chico Eva worked for a year at Chico Natural Foods where she facilitated all aspects of human resources. Eva also worked for the housing office at San Francisco State. Eva holds a BS degree in Management Information Systems from Tamkung University in Taiwan and an MBA from Chico State. Eva enjoys outdoor activities whenever possible including hiking, backpacking, riding bikes and running. She also enjoy reading and knitting on cold and rainy days. 

Matthew Torst joined Creative Media and Technology (CMT) in March as Reprographics Specialist, filling the gap left by Don Converse. Matt has over 24 years experience in the copying and printing industry; 15 years working for Kinko’s in Chico starting in 1991, and 9 more years with The Copy Center in Oroville. He is the father of 3 daughters. The oldest graduated magna cum laude from Butte College in 2015. Her sister is currently enrolled at Butte College and is a member of the Chico State Wind Ensemble in the percussion section. His youngest daughter is a junior at Chico High and is involved in the marching band and a cappella choir. Matt has started taking guitar lessons in the past couple years, and since 2014 has helped out as a supporting band member for the Holly Taylor vocal recitals held twice a year. 

James Gordon recently joined the Information Security Office (ISEC) as the Information Security Analyst. James comes to us from Butte County Behavioral Health where he worked as an analyst on their Health Records application (EHR) for the last 5 years. Prior to his work at Behavioral Health, James spent 5 years in the U.S. Army as a Network Systems Switching Specialist for Patriot Missile systems. James has a strong background in reporting and analysis and will be a great asset to the IRES team. James has lived in Chico since 2002 and is married to a Chico local, Emily. James and Emily have four children, Mattie (11), Cora (9), Oliver (7), and Henry (3). James spends most of his free time with his wife and children, but also enjoys reading, video games, and is active in a local church.

Monday, February 8, 2016

February 2016 Update


College of Agriculture Wall Murals

Creative Media and Technology (CMT) has completed an impressive environmental design project for the College of Agriculture. Five large-scale, floor-to-ceiling photo murals, with the longest one spanning more than 30 linear feet, were installed on the second and third floors of Plumas Hall. These murals added vibrant color and excitement to the otherwise monotonous hallway while showcasing the beautiful University Farm and its amazing products.

Conceptualized by CMT photographer Jason Halley and managed by Johnny Poon from the Presentation Graphics Lab, this project was conducted over the course of 2 months. The project was highly collaborative, starting with cooperating with Environmental Health and Safety for fire regulation approval, working with Interim Dean David Daley to develop the visual concept to tell the story of “College of Agriculture,” and finally by working with outside vendors for fabrication and installation. An exciting time-lapse video of the installation was also produced by CMT Video Production Services to create social media exposure and excitement for the College. This project was paid for entirely by donors annual funds. Additional assistance from Ag Administrative Specialist Robin McCrea, CMT Art Director Chris Ficken (retired), and EHS Coordinator Yvette Streeter, made this a truly collaborative success.



TechTalks “A half hour of neuron firing knowledge”



TechTalks_logo.jpg

On Friday, January 15th Dennis Partington presented the first TechTalk titled Beyond the Firewall. Each TechTalk presentation is 15 minutes, followed by 15 minutes of Q&A. TechTalks are presented by technical staff in Information Resources to stimulate cross-departmental and interdepartmental communication about technologies managed/used on campus.
 



The first TechTalk was very successful with 69 staff and student staff in attendance. The next TechTalk is scheduled for Friday, February 12th at 11:30am in Colusa 100A. The presenter will be Brent Liotta from Classroom Technologies and the title of the TechTalk is How Smart Is Your Classroom? For a schedule of future TechTalks, visit the TechTalks webpage.

University Advancement New Tower Society Website

Web Services recently helped University Advancement launch the Tower Society website at www.csuchico.edu/tower. The recognition society honors donors who make an annual leadership gift to support programs and initiatives across campus. The custom responsive website was designed as a way to showcase the society and the reasons to give to the University.




Customer Feedback

Information Resources appreciates constructive customer feedback. Below are some positive customer comments we received since the last newsletter.

“ITSS personnel have been highly responsive and competent in the set-up, delivery and trouble-shooting my new computer. My compliments to the guys (and gals) in the shop. I would single out Kevin Weherly and Dain Sandoval as particularly helpful.”
-William Loker, Dean of Undergraduate Education
“I love the new online service for creating tickets, orders, ITPR's. It's very smooth, fast, and helpful. Thanks!” -Amanda Coorough, Intercollegiate Athletics
“Over the years, I've had a few calls to fix something related to the computer or projector in Glenn 210 (after all, even with our best efforts, stuff breaks). When I needed something fixed the response time was VERY fast. Not only fast, but technicians were sensitive to class activity. I'm always impressed. It is clear the technicians understand the mission of our university and clearly see their role in making it happen.” -Robert Sprague, Management

CNI project and the Palo Alto Network

As part of the Common Network Infrastructure (CNI) refresh program, the campus border firewall was upgraded in December 2015 to increase capacity and add a rich set of new security features. The border firewall acts as the first line of defense between the Internet and internal campus systems, and is a key part of our broader security architecture. The previous system was replaced with a pair of firewalls from Palo Alto Networks, a leader in the network security field.

This new system has features that can significantly increase network security in areas such as:
  • Detect and block malware traversing the network
  • Identify malware that has never been seen before
  • Block many types of common network attacks
  • Identify suspected compromised systems within the campus network
  • Provide rich data mining and reporting capabilities to assist with security incident forensics
CSU, Chico was the first CSU campus to implement Palo Alto Networks firewalls for the CNI program, and helped identify a number of ways the project implementation could be improved. The rest of the CSU system will be seeing similar upgrades this year, and the lessons learned here will be of great value to other CSU campuses. Network Operations (NOP) and Information Security (ISEC) will be working together with their peers across the CSU to find the best ways to optimize and manage these sophisticated new systems.




Team Dynamix Client Satisfaction Survey

In October 2015, Information Resources began sending out IT client satisfaction surveys to a sampling of users who had requested IT help. The purpose of the survey is to gauge the overall satisfaction with our services and to help IRES identify areas for service improvement. The survey, sent via email, asks users how satisfied they were overall with the service they received and how satisfied they were with the timeliness of their service.

Since starting the survey, 1399 surveys have been sent out and we have received 317 responses - a response rate of 23%.

Taken together, survey respondents have rated their overall satisfaction at 4.44 out of 5, and their satisfaction with the timeliness of their service at 4.35 out of 5. 86% of all respondents were either “Satisfied” or “Very Satisfied” with their overall experience, and 82% were either “Satisfied” or “Very Satisfied” with the timeliness of their service.



Tips for Using the IT Service Catalog

As part of the rollout of the new IT service management system, Information Resources, in concert with Business Information Technology Services, has launched a new online IT Service Catalog.

The IT Service Catalog can be used to quickly and easily request everything from a new computer (faculty and staff only) to getting help with the wireless network. The service catalog is available to all students, faculty, and staff on campus, and contains hundreds of available IT services.

Because there are so many services available in the service catalog, here are a few tips to help make the service catalog more useful and easy to use.

1. Use the Search Box

Rather than use the menus to try and to find the exact service you need, try using the search box in the upper right-hand corner of the page. Try entering in keywords that match what you're looking for, like "new computer" or "wireless help".

More tips:
You may see more services if you log into the service catalog first. Some services are only available to staff and faculty and aren't visible if you aren't logged in.

The search box in the upper right searches both the service catalog as well as the knowledge base. To search just the service catalog, click on "Services" and then "Search" in the submenu (see screenshot, below).



2. Favorite Services that You Use Frequently

If there are services that you use a lot, you can add them to your favorites. Just click on the "Add to Favorites" button (only visible if you are logged in) to add a service to your favorites.

To access your favorite services, click on "My Favorite" under "Services".



3. Check the Status of your Tickets Online

When you submit a service request via the service catalog, you can easily check on the status of your ticket online.

To check the status of your tickets, click on "Services" and then "Ticket Requests". Your most recent ticket will appear at the top of the list.



Staff and Organizational Changes

New Staff

Gail Vanderhoof joined Creative Media Technology (CMT) in November as Senior Graphic Designer, focusing on special projects. Gail comes with extensive agency and direct marketing experience, providing advertising, print, web, and multimedia projects for numerous national clients. Gail has resided in Butte County for 15 years and has two sons. The oldest graduated from Chico State two years ago, and the youngest is soon to be an alum in the spring. Outside of work, she is putting the finishing touches on a multimedia children’s book about their family’s bulldog titled B is for Bentley.

Megan Bielich joined Creative Media and Technology (CMT) as web support lead in December. After graduating from Chico State in 2009, she worked as a graphic designer for a small marketing company here in Chico. From there she moved to a software company where she started as a web designer and worked her way into user experience design. Since then, she has been an advocate for the user and enjoys breaking down complex user interactions to create simple solutions. At home, Megan likes to flex her creativity by making things and experimenting in the kitchen. She can whip up a batch of swiss meringue buttercream in no time, and has perfected her technique to bake the perfect apple pie.

Paul Smith recently joined the Telecommunications Services Department as a Field Services Technician. He was born and raised in Yuba City and graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in Soil Science. After graduation, he worked as a contractor in the telecomm industry and worked for several years here at Chico State. Prior to this job, he worked for the Colusa County Public Works Department as a Civil Engineering Technician. Paul enjoys any activity involving the outdoors, especially fishing and golf. He has always liked the Chico area and is excited to be an employee of Chico State.

Retirements

Crystal Williams served as the Administrative Analyst/Specialist in Information Resources responsible for HR activities for almost two years. In that time she worked with HR and the IRES managers to make the process of recruiting and hiring easier. She has also helped plan numerous meetings and events which were well attended and appreciated by IRES. Crystal started working on campus in 2001 and has worked in Student Judicial Affairs, Career Planning and Placement, Financial Aid and Scholarship, and Student Life and Leadership. Crystal is excited to spend more time with her husband, children and grandchildren. We wish her well and are thankful for everything she has contributed to the university.