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Update:  This work was canceled.

The changes earlier in the week exposed the need for some additional changes that need to be made to the network supporting our disk array. We expect this shutdown to be a bit more limited in scope, but we will be shutting down the email system, Moodle, and a number of other application servers. The main Drew web site will be available. The work done earlier in the week should allow us to do this without interrupting any services, but we have decided to shut down certain systems as a precaution. If the equipment does not behave as expected, we may need to shut down additional systems, but the web site and some other key services will still be available.

We are attempting to insure that we have the most stable configuration possible before classes resume on Monday. Performing this work tonight gives us the weekend to monitor the system and see if additional changes are needed. In addition, this group of configuration changes will put us in a better position to pursue any remaining issues with the various vendors' support organizations.

Thank you for your continued patience.

It is necessary for CNS to schedule a planned shutdown to make changes to our network disk array configuration. The effect would be similar to the emergency shutdown a couple of weeks ago, but with more time to plan, we expect to be able to keep additional campus-wide services up, including the web site, as well as Internet and file access from on-campus locations.  A few web site features (some of the forms, and other items relying on an external database) will not function. Access to external Library electronic resources should be available as well, although the Library catalog will not be.  

We are taking the time to do this on the 9th while all three schools are on Spring break.  A late evening shutdown rather than early morning or the weekend gives us both time to address any lingering problems well ahead of the next business day, and also insures we have access to a reasonable level of technical support from HP and other vendors. It will likely take about 45 to 60 minutes to complete the major portion of the operation, and if we haven't run into unexpected problems we could start bringing services up after that. This involves multiple staff members from CNS and ETC in order to shorten the length of time to shutdown, restart and test the applications as we restore services. Barring unforseen difficulties, we expect the entire shutdown to last for two hours, and services will be gradually restored over the course of the evening.  

We have been working closely with HP and VMware, trying to sort out the best way to configure the new main network disk arrays. Our current configuration follows HP's documented "best practices", but we've found a few issues. In pursuing those with HP, they've recommended some changes that will make the system more reliable in the most likely failure cases.

We are pleased to announce that Microsoft Windows 7 configurations are now available for owners of Drew-issued Lenovo ThinkPad Models T61, junior model T400, sophomore model T400, and SL400c and the Tablet X61.

Since imaging between Microsoft Windows XP and Windows 7 cannot preserve the I: drive (where user data is stored), there are two methods for obtaining the new configuration.

1. You back up your own data and submit the laptop for imaging. This can be done while you wait unless any hardware problems are discovered. The process takes about 30 minutes to image and deploy.

2. If you need your data backed up, you will leave the laptop with the help desk while we back up your data, re-image, and then restore. The amount of data that needs to be backed up will affect the length of time this takes, but it will not be a "while you wait" service.

The upgrade also requires each student to buy a copy of Microsoft Windows 7 Pro media which provides a product key that will be used after graduation. The cost is $6 for the DVD and must be paid at the time of the software upgrade. You must keep this media because once you graduate, you have to enter the product key since you will no longer connect to the Drew network.

We are also strongly recommending that students DO NOT install the recently released Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 as we have not tested this release and cannot guarantee that it will not cause problems.

Finally, some juniors and seniors may want to install additional RAM in their machines, although the OS seems to run with stability on the current 2 GB RAM in those laptops. We can take orders for additional memory and will contact you when it arrives so it can be installed.

For questions or to schedule a time to have your computer upgraded to Windows 7, please email helpdesk@drew.edu with the subject "Windows 7" and which option above you choose in the body.

Maintenance completed

As of 11pm, all system maintenance has been completed.  Servers are all back up and running normally, with most being up before 10pm.  The critical stability issue we had been concerned about appears to be resolved at this time.  We are monitoring the systems for other performance issues.
 
We would like to thank the community for your patience and understanding.

We are still seeing stability issues with our back-end infrastructure services supporting critical campus servers and systems.  After careful consultation with our vendors, we have determined the best course of action to be specific patching and reconfiguration of the campus IT infrastructure.  This work needs to be completed as soon as possible to avoid future problems with these services, and to allow time for additional troubleshooting if necessary.
 
We will start this work at 8pm tonight.  We will be taking down nearly all campus services such as the web site, email, web services such as Moodle and CampusWeb, and other ancillary network services.  Basic Internet connectivity should continue to work for previously logged in computers.  We intend to bring up the most important services as quickly as possible; most likely between 60-90 minutes, and the rest of campus services up shortly thereafter.  CNS' goal is to always minimize downtime, and we do not take this decision lightly.  Our priority will be restoring services as soon as stability and performance can be reasonably guaranteed.
 
Since campus services may be unavailable normally, we will use our Facebook page and Twitter feed to post periodic status updates during the outage, and to announce restoration of services.
 
We thank you in advance for your patience.

Computing and Network Services
and
Instructional Technology Services
are announcing new University Technology services at the
 
Macs and Mobility Lunchtime Launch Event
 
Thursday, February 17
 
11:30 am - 1:30 pm
 
Commons Lobby
For all faculty, staff and students
 
 
Learn about the new Groupwise Mobility Server for getting your email on your iPhone, Windows phone, or Android phone.
Staff will be on hand to help you set up your device!
 
Also, find out about what we're offering for Mac support services at Drew
 
Meet staff and students of both CNS and ITS!
 
Hope to see you there!!

New CNS website

The CNS website is now at http://www.drew.edu/cns.

Drew 360 kickoff

The Drew 360 project to replace AIMS as our Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software with Banner and other coordinated products will be officially launched at a celebration in the rotunda of the Dorothy Young Center for the Arts at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, September 28.  President Weisbuch will be the featured speaker, and members of the Executive Steering Committee, the Project Manager and implementation Team Leads, as well as our collaborators from Strata Information Group will be present.

The project, which President Weisbuch announced to the community on June 28 has, since then, been organized into the teams of people who will accomplish it over the next two years. We are ready to begin the major task of planning and configuring the software to serve the university community.  We thank Paul Coen for the winning project name, Drew 360, that signifies that the project, when completed, will affect all areas of university life, from the portal that we see when we log in, to the processes that we use to administer our course registration, university finances, admissions and human resources.

The University community is cordially invited to attend the celebratory kickoff event, to hear President Weisbuch, meet and chat with the people who will lead the project, and learn the major goals and time-lines of the multi-year project.

Dear Colleagues,

Last month, President Weisbuch announced the initiation of the University's Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) project. I would like give you an update on our progress.

Over the past month, we have formed the ERP Executive Steering Committee, and it has been working on project startup in conjunction with the consultants whom we have engaged from Strata Information Group (SIG). An organizational structure for the project, including teams for each of the functional areas has been established, and team leads have been appointed.   We have started work on a project charter, which will set the scope and "ground rules" for the project. We intend to publish the project charter after it is approved by the Executive Steering Committee.  There will be a celebratory project kickoff event during the week of September 27, and I invite and encourage you to attend.  More details on the kickoff and other project activities will be forthcoming soon.

Finally, I would like to invite you to help us name the project.  The project will affect many aspects of campus life and will be an important technological step for the University, so its name should reflect that as well as provide a recognizable identity for the project.  Some schools have named their ERP projects with acronyms such as OPUS for Oberlin Project for Unified Systems or NJIT's ORBIT for Organization Re-engineering using Banner Information Technology, and others have simply selected interesting names.  In order to allow the Executive Steering Committee to select a name before the kickoff event, I encourage you to send your suggestion to Axel Larsson at elarsson@drew.edu no later than September 15.

Best regards,

Alan Candiotti
Chair, ERP Executive Committee

ERP Executive Committee

  • Alan Candiotti (Chair)
  • Pamela Gunter-Smith
  • Alyssa McCloud
  • Howard Buxbaum
  • Peggi Howard
  • Dave Muha
  • Axel Larsson
  • Mike Richichi
GroupWise Downtime

We will be doing GroupWise updates on Tuesday, July 20th which will result in brief periods of downtime for GroupWise email services.

We will be updating the GroupWise Post Offices and GroupWise Internet Gateway to version 8.0.2 . Most users will only observe less than 10 minutes of downtime when the server hosting their particular post office is updated and rebooted.

The updates will occur between 5:30pm and 6:30pm on Tuesday, July 20th.

The following GroupWise services will be affected:
Employee Post Office – less than 10 minutes outage for users on this post office.
Student Post Office 1 – less than 10 minutes outage for users on this post office.
Student Post Office 2 – less than 10 minutes outage for users on this post office.
GroupWise Internet Gateway – less than 10 minutes outage, generally only observed by users who use a non-Drew IMAP email client to access their email.

Only GroupWise email services will be affected by this maintenance.

Thank you in advance for your patience. As always, should you have any questions or concerns please contact us at cns at drew dot edu.

Thank you.

Please read below for important service changes that will affect the Pepin computer center and AIMS printing while the facilities undergo renovation.

One year ago, the Enterprise Technology Center (ETC) was created in order to better serve the academic and administrative offices of Drew. ETC is responsible for development and support of Drew's enterprise systems and applications, such as AIMS, Moodle, The Raiser's Edge, U-KNOW and many more. Recently, we have been busy in preparation for the forthcoming project to implement SunGard Banner, the new ERP system which the Administrative Technology Committee has selected to replace AIMS and CampusWeb.

The first step in preparation for this project is the renovation of the Administrative Computing area of Pepin to create collaborative work spaces to be using during the implementation. The renovation is scheduled to begin May 21st and will continue for about 3-4 weeks. During this time, we ask for your patience. Bill Schulz, Karen Yeaw, and Marsha Huber will be temporarily relocated to other offices during that time, so we ask that you please make an appointment or call ahead before visiting.

Temporary service changes for AIMS users:

Pepin 216 will remain closed throughout the renovation. User bins will remain accessible in Pepin 215 and will be located in the black tower shelf near the PEPIN2 printer, which will also be available in room 215. If you need to print something in Pepin, please designate the PEPIN2 printer instead of PEPIN. The printing will still be done in the morning but may take a little longer since our printers have been relocated into two locations.

We are very excited about the new center we are creating and thank you in advance for your patience during this time. Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns by email at etc@drew.edu or by phone at x3122.

On the evening of May 16th, at 7:00pm, Drew's Moodle installation will be taken offline to be upgraded. This minor upgrade addresses a number of security vulnerabilities. The upgrade procedure should take less than an hour.

This will be bringing Moodle up to version 1.9.8.

Update: The upgrade is complete.

We will be performing maintenance on the Student Post Office of the GroupWise email system this coming Monday (April 5th) between 9:30am and 10:00am. During this time, we will be make a modest increase in storage space available to the student post offices to accommodate growth we've seen over the past year.

You may access your GroupWise mailbox during the maintenance window, but you may notice disruptions in email service during this time. We anticipate the duration of any disruptions to be brief.

We thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation as we complete this maintenance. Please don't hesitate to contact us via the CNS Helpdesk at x3205 or helpdesk@drew.edu with any questions or concerns.

U-KNOW Upgraded!

We are pleased to announce that we've upgraded U-KNOW to the latest release from Atlassian, Confluence 3.2. Confluence 3.2 is not an earth shattering change, but continues Atlassian's steady improvement of the product with useful new features and improvements. Of particular note in 3.2 are the new autocomplete features in the rich text editor that make it easier to link to other wiki pages, images, and attachments.

Please let us know if you run into any trouble or have any questions.

Learn more about what's new in Confluence 3.2:

We will be performing maintenance on the GroupWise email system this Wednesday and Friday at 5:00pm which will result in a brief disruption in email service.

The purpose of this maintenance is two fold: first to perform routine patching and security updates on the GroupWise servers; and secondly to update the GroupWise system in preparation for the new major release of GroupWise – GroupWise 8.

Please note that at this time we are not yet making available and are not asking you to update the GroupWise software on your PC to version 8. The availability of the new software will be announced at a later date this spring.

The system maintenance and upgrades will be performed on the following schedule:

  • Wednesday, February 17 - The Employee Post Office will be upgraded between 5:00pm and 6:00pm.
  • Friday, February 19 - Both Student Post Offices will be upgraded between 5:00pm and 6:00pm.

While maintenance for your post office is in progress, GroupWise email should be considered generally unavailable. While the system will be available at times during the 5:00pm-6:00pm period, we do not recommend attempting to compose email as your connection to the server may drop suddenly, causing you to lose work. We do expect the upgrade to be completed well within the 5:00-6:00pm maintenance window.

In addition, we will also be performing maintenance on the GroupWise IMAP service at the same time we are working on the Student post offices (Friday, February 19th). The GroupWise IMAP service is only used by non-standard email clients such as Mozilla Thunderbird or Apple Mail and this maintenance will not affect you if you only use the GroupWise client and GroupWise WebAccess.

We thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation as we complete this maintenance. Please don't hesitate to contact us via the CNS Helpdesk at x3205 or helpdesk@drew.edu with any questions or concerns.