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Meeting conducted March 1, 2010.  Patrick McGrath, Michael Leefers, Jack Shnell

Storage

Storage Team

  • Right now, the storage offerings (SAN) are oriented towards departments than small groups or individuals.
  • 5 TB allocation to AFS for example
  • Haas - 5TB for video management.
  • Contemplating Mass tiered offerings with greater support for other protocols (e.g. CIFS, etc.). Looking to also deliver file / document sharing authenticated/authorized/encrypted offerings too.
  • Concerns that AFS will not scale (past 50TB?) with the server that is in operation
  • Storage team wants to get into the same space. Pursuing this with vendors/RFP.
  • NAS RFP by June.  looking at very scalable and low cost solutions.
  • CIFS may be a better protocol for on/off campus for sharing and backups.
  • Ideally, a new rate of 10 cents per GB for economy, which includes the underlying repository to support the file/document sharing.
  • Many machines that use the SAN in the data center already have reasonable SA expertise supporting them.NAS may require more knowledge.
  •  

Windows team

  • Storage services (file server) for file / document sharing also being provided directly by the windows team, authenticated and authorized by active directory.  Quite a few customers on this offering.

Significant direct potential overlap with AFS with both Windows and proposed storage team offerings

Sharepoint

  • Current strengths within the activex/office space.
  • platform can deal with restricted data [though concerns afterward heard though Susan Tobes about security concerns]
  • There are functional issues (platform bound) and UI issues with the current version of Sharepoint, which may get resolved in large part with the Sharepoint 2010 upgrade (perhaps released in june 2010).  Perhaps 6-12 months after to upgrade for the campus implementation.
  • About 90 sites currently.  Perhaps 30% of which are IST customers.
  • Capital Projects using IST sharepoint services. thinking about doing their own thing.
  • Not aware of other groups across campus running their own instances.  Maybe Haas?
  • Document Management seems to be one of the main functions used at the moment.
  • A number of departments have developed document workflows and infopath forms (including IST) leveraging more of the ECM features of Sharepoint. Examples - IST SAF and paperless drive for AP.\
  • Not sure whether Sharepoint 2007 supports CMIS (Content Management Interoperability Standard).
  • Perception of a high technology-knowledge barrier to Sharepoint.  We could really drive more adoption with more training and consulting services on this platform.  this is contradicted however with solid instances of non-technical staff building functional application workflows directly with the platform.
  • Permissions / authorization seems to be a particular stumbling block for users, with a common lack of understanding which could introduce significant risk to content (modification/consumption).
  • Looking to develop multiple service offerings on Sharepoint. Different SLA's with different functions. Perhaps Infopath consulting?
  • Based on relatively low personnel allocation to this service, the knowledge is not as deep as it could/should be.  (low cost offering was of prime importance)
  • We shouldn't charge like experts if we have not developed deep knowledge of the product and implementation practices.
  • documents/digital assets stored within database blobs, which make it slightly easier for disaster recovery but provide potential performance issues at scale. This is currently a concern for the existing service on the existing infrastructure.
  • accordingly, may need to migrate to 64bit soon.
  • Sweet spot?
    • While file folders can be mounted directly to a desktop (e.g. WebDav), this is probably not a cost-effective (or high performance) method of achieving the file storage/sharing goal.
    • Great for managing workflows (e.g. approvals), document versioning, etc. with additional metadata.
    • Good for collaboration sites. like project sites that benefit from a suite of wiki, blog, issues tracking, events, document libraries, etc.
    • document libraries are effectively a list with documents that have customizable metadata
  • Sharepoint currently priced at $50 a month.  Looking at deficit this year based on storage administration and accounting issues.  Michael reduced time allocation (from 25%) to lessen impact on recharge rate.  2 people supposed to be backing michael up with current offering, but not to a large degree  (not counted for within the recharge rate).  Thinking of addressing this better when sharepoint 2010 is released to campus.   Looks like potential recharge rate increase?
  • CAL licenses are required for any end users.  This is included with MCAA customers like IST, but it's up to the customers to deal with this themselves.  Potential license compliance issues for the campus?  CAL licenses at $23 per head, which can be reused with multiple campus sharepoint sites. Sharepoint 2010 wont need CAL's.
  • Antivirus is already included in the SharePoint service, monitoring documents submitted.  Great!

Recommendations

  • Paying customers really drive change in these services. Would be good to get input for campus level-services.  Hoping the TAMS will provide more input.  Micronet, some form of advisory.
  • Brown bags - need to do more of these across the board.  Audiences - need to be directed to technicians and end-users to really be effective and drive informed adoption.
  • Develop power users network, training courses. 
  • We cant really do all this now, based on impacts to the recharge rates.  (where to get the funding to develop these materials when the services are already minimally staffed)?
  • At an IST level -
    • Would like a way of determining what's the best solution for what problems/needs.
    • Compare funding/funding models.
    • Buy-in from customer-base.  How do we get this?  We can drive scale in numbers.
    • IST should provide a core package of applications. try and concentrate of a reduced set of tools.
    • Bring it in close, offer service support internally
    • What are the components and what are the sourcing alternatives?
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