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.