July 9, 2012

Today's topics:

Campus migration to Microsoft's Office 365

Cornell has decided to take advantage of Microsoft's Cloud-based Office 365 service (free for educational institutions) and will begin migrating all Exchange mail accounts to Microsoft's service in the fall semester. This will not affect the use of other Office software on local computers. Further details will be made available as we learn them.

IMPORTANT July 14-15: Exchange Message Size Limit Lowered

The weekend of July 14 and 15, CIT will be lowering the limit on individual email message sizes to 25 megabytes. Among the options for sharing files within the university and with non-Cornell colleagues are Cornell's new Box service and Cornell DropBox. Also on July 14-15, the Exchange 2010 email and calendar system will be upgraded to Service Pack 2. The upgrade resolves several client email problems, especially with Outlook 2011, and is required for the campus migration to Microsoft's Office 365 service, which will begin in the fall semester. For more information, see http://itnews.cornell.edu/?p=1484

Start Using Box

As announced by CIT on June 5, a 10 GB Cornell Box account has been created for all faculty and staff. Box is a cloud-based collaboration and storage service that provides a web interface for uploading, downloading, sharing and discussing files. Cornell's Enterprise Box service also includes desktop sync. Box is designed to work on Macs, Windows, smart phones, and tablets, so it gives you access to your files from just about anywhere. For more information, see http://itnews.cornell.edu/?p=1464

Matlab License Renewal

Matlab users will get periodic notices about how many days are left before our Matlab license "expires"
We will renew our Matlab license in the timeliest manner possible. The re-licensing process goes like this:
  1. The CIT will (hopefully soon) poll the campus to see how many licenses are needed for the next year
  2. we will estimate the number we think we need and respond to the poll within a day
  3. some time later, CIT will send a second email asking for payment for the requested licenses
  4. we will give the account used for payment within a day
  5. some time after that, CIT will send a third mailing with the license file and any necessary instructions
Typically, the process finishes 1 to 3 weeks before the license expires

Leap Second

A leap second that occurred on Saturday, June 30 was not handled properly by recent linux kernels. Problems ranging from server crashes to high system loads and erratic behavior were experienced world-wide. A fix was identified and applied to critical SL6 systems Monday morning and to all LEPP SL6 systems by Tuesday morning, July 3.

The Earth's rotation is gradually slowing down, so every few years a leap second is added to keep clocks synchronized with the Sun. For details, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leap_second

End of life(EOL) of older computers

The LEPP Computer Group has an ongoing plan to retire computers that are just too old to be useful in their assigned tasks. While we cannot replace them all at once, we will be contacting appropriate users and informing them their systems need to be upgraded.

Some old systems are OK as they are currently being used, but old enough that they cannot be re-tasked, re-configured or repaired if they break. Where appropriate and as time allows, the LCG will notify you if your computer is one like this -- if we can identify the computer and who we should notify. Computers that are disconnected from the network, turned off, or part of multiple user labs etc are some we may not know who is appropriate to notify, or for which we might not have a recent record of its status.

To help users identify computers that ought to be considered replace only, the LCG has a simple description. Technical specs can help and are in ()... If the computer is:
  1. Running Windows XP or Scientific Linux earlier than 6
  2. Is more than 4 years old (32 bit only CPU, RAM limited to 4GB or less, not using at least DDR RAM)
  3. Has a hard drive smaller than 80GB.

If your computer falls into this category, you should consider if you can afford to have that computer out of operation for a few weeks while a new one is configured and you get software working on the newer OSs. If not, you need to formulate an orderly transition plan as soon as possible.

EDMS Software Update

At 10am Tuesday, 7/10, CLASSE's Invenio installation will be updated to v1.0.1. This is a minor bugfix release only, and should only result in ~15 minutes of downtime for CLASSE's Electronic Document Management System - https://edms.classe.cornell.edu/.

General network and server maintenance will occur every Tuesday from 12 noon to 2:00 PM. The CLASSE-IT group will always announce any expected disruptions in our NewsLetter and via CLASSE-IT-NEWS-L, but with the size and complexity of our network there is always the potential for something to go wrong. We will do our best to contain all network maintenance and planned outages to Tuesdays from 12 noon to 2:00 PM.

Unless other arrangements have been made, CLASSE-managed Windows systems may be updated and rebooted on Tuesday morning at 2:00 AM, so please avoid critical or lengthy operations at that time. For more details, please see SystemExpectations.

Questions or problems? Submit a service request.

Other resources:

Topic revision: r6 - 09 Jul 2012, JamesPulver
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