About LSA Information Technology. Information technology resources and support for LSA faculty, staff, and department system administrators.



accessible view | jump to content | search | jump to site-wide navigation

About LSA Information Technology

An Introduction to Computer Support in the College of LSA

The College of LSA is a collection of approximately 70 units under the direction of the Dean of LSA. Computer platforms and computer support for these units is as diverse as the environments of each unit. In addition, all of the computer support personnel in the College must understand that they work within the larger framework of computer services provided by the University's ITCS. For more information about campus-wide computer services, you should visit the ITCS website.

LSA Information Technology (LSAIT)

LSAIT is divided into five operational groups: Computing Services Group (CSG), IT Security and Asset Management (SEC-ITAM), Systems Group (SG) for Windows and Macintosh Services, Research Systems and Support (RSS) for Linux and Cluster Computing , and Network Support (NS). The functions of these groups are described in the sections below.

LSAIT is a part of the LSA Dean's Office under Associate Dean of Budget and Finance, Anthony (Rick) Francis. LSAIT staff report to Senior Manager, Ron Loveless who, in turn, reports to Bob Johnston, Director of Facilities and Operations. Ron is responsible for overall college IT operations, including the Computer Upgrade Program for Instructional Faculty (CUIF) and the Computer Upgrade Program for Administrative Staff (CUAS). LSAIT's budget is 5.5 million (FY08).

Computing Services Group (CSG)

The CSG provides front-line, direct end-user computing support for LSA units that have not hired their own computer support staff. CSG also provides some backup support to those departments with their own computer support staff. The day-to-day operations of the CSG include:

The CSG emphasizes support for Windows and Macintosh environments. CSG technicians will support department computer support staff on an informal basis or, formally, as their backup during scheduled absences. CSG orders some parts for departments and will repair blue-tagged (University purchased) workgroup printers for departments supported by CSG.

College-wide, the CSG also organizes the "College-Wide Computer Support Meeting" held during the academic year on the 1st Wednesday of the month. Additional information about CSG services can be found at the LSAIT website:

back to top

IT Security and Asset Management (SEC-ITAM)

The SEC-ITAM group monitors and responds to IT security and software licensing issues across LSA.This group has 3 primary functions - IT Security, Software Licensing and IT Asset Management. Email the LSA-Sec-ITAM group (lsa-sec-itam@umich.edu)

back to top

Systems Group for Windows and Macintosh Services (Systems)

The Systems group manages the day-to-day operations of the College's Windows network and Macintosh services. The network supports user file space (referred to as "the H: drive"), department file space (referred to as "the S: drive"), group and lab file space, web services for the IIS platform, and backup services for all the Windows-based servers. In addition, the Systems group assists the campus Windows Update Group in distributing software as needed on a College-wide basis, updates security settings (via WSUS), and monitors network traffic to maintain stability of the overall system. The infrastructure and services of the Systems group is documented in general at http://www.lsa.umich.edu/lsait/admin/windows.asp.

For more detailed instruction, computer support personnel with the appropriate permission can access documents at https://www.lsa.umich.edu/lsait/appsnet. To request access to this website, contact the Manager of the Systems Group.

The Systems Group hosts the LSA Windows Administrators meeting (LWA) to discuss operations of the network. This group meets on the 2nd Wednesday of each month. In addition, Systems maintains the email group, lsa-win-admins@umich.edu, which serves as an important communications tool for those staff who support Windows workstations in the College.

The Systems Group hosts the Macintosh Administrators group for the College. The focus for Macintosh services is for instructional and research users in the College. Over the summer of 2007, Systems brought to service a multimedia streaming service that will support instruction across LSA. Two mail groups exist for Macintosh issues. One is the lsa-mac-admins@umich.edu. The lsa-dev-osx@umich.edu email group is a subset of the lsa-mac-admins email list and is reserved for discussion about the system development of the Macintosh environment for LSA.

Beyond daily operations, Systems is also responsible for the future advancement of the college Windows network including the integration of the College Windows network into the University of Michigan Campus Computing Environment (UMCE). The Systems Group group also designed and maintains a mechanism for building new workstations, or upgrading existing workstations, to the most recent, supported version of Windows offered by the College.

back to top

RSS-Research Systems and Support (Linux and Cluster Computing)

The RSS group supports High Performance Computing (HPC), use of the Linux operating system, and college infrastructure and services run on the Unix/Linux operating systems. The infrastructure support includes servers providing Domain Name Service (DNS), Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), the LSA FlexLM license server,  the Redhat Network Satellite server, and various specialty web servers.

In addition to infrastructure services, support is provided for applications running on Linux, Redhat loadsets, HPC clusters, and special requests.

The Research Computing Administrators group meets the third Wednesday of each month to discuss support and development concerns.  The RSS also maintains the email group lsa-unix-admins@umich.edu .

back to top

Network Systems

LSAIT's Network Systems manages and operates the College's Ethernet network infrastructure (layers 1-3 in the OSI reference model). Network Systems is responsible for network architecture upgrade planning and installation, and network capacity reinforcement. They also manage the service agreement with ITCom, which provides for 24/7 monitoring and 8/7 service calls for the College networks.

Network Systems staff work closely with the LSA Facilities Office and campus network infrastructure providers. They are represented on the IT Commons Network Working Group.

Computer support staff with questions regarding wiring, wireless networking, data connections, or needing help to resolve connectivity issues, should contact Network Systems.

back to top

Department Computer Support Staff

Outside of LSAIT, but within the College, departments with the resources are able to hire their own direct support computer personnel based on their own criteria. In larger units, several computer support staff may report to a Manager of IT for that Department. Computer support personnel that report directly to their department should clarify with their hiring supervisor the expectations for their position within the department and then participate with the larger College and University IT organizations as they feel appropriate.

Responsibilities of the Department Systems Administrator

For convenience, LSAIT often refers to the computer support personnel of a unit as "department systems administrators" or DSAs. This term is not an official job title within LSA but, rather, the recognition that these individuals have been hired to provide some level of direct, end-user support to their respective unit. The expectation of most units is that the DSAs will be experts in the hardware and software used by the unit and, in some units, DSAs are also expected to have at least a basic understanding of their user's academic interests. DSAs are the liaison for the unit to other computer support groups across the campus at the college and university level. It is common for units to hire other personnel who support or are hired for specific technology interests (e.g., web editing positions, instructional support positions, A/V technicians). The responsibilities listed below refer only to those that might be appropriate to a department system administrator-not to those responsibilities held by other computer personnel in the unit.

A DSA could be responsible for the following services (depending on the size of their unit and their unit's goals):

  1. Provide frontline support for all OSs used by the faculty, staff and students of the unit. This might entail:
    1. Configuring new systems for use in administrative offices, faculty offices, faculty homes, portable machines, and research labs.
    2. Consulting for PC, Macintosh, and Unix purchases with faculty and staff users for administration, instruction, and research.
    3. Maintenance of existing Windows accounts using Microsoft Enterprise Administrator tools.
    4. Maintenance of UMCE accounts for e-mail and AFS or contacting LSA Accounts for assistance.
    5. Maintenance of Mpathway (via Mpathways) accounts.
    6. Providing documentation and training or training recommendations to local faculty and staff users.
    7. Software Distribution-via SMS or the Software Licensing Site for Windows and via other methods for Macintosh and Unix computers.
    8. Providing remote administration/support to departmental PCs using SMS.
    9. Moving and/or disposing of equipment and tracking these changes.
    10. Maintaining an inventory of hardware purchases.
  2. Physical workstation repair-PC, Mac, Linux -to the extent that the DSA is trained and expected by their unit to do so.
  3. Provide printing services (local or basic IP printing) and printer repair. (College-owned, blue tagged workgroup printer parts may be supplied by CSG, contact csg-info@umich.edu for more information.)
  4. Activate network jacks, manage and distribute IP information.
  5. Advocate for the unit's computer interests/concerns to LSAIT and represent their unit's computer interests to the College.
  6. Create unit policies on computing within the structure of the University's Standard Practice Guide and any existing LSAIT computing services policies.
  7. Interact with any existing faculty or staff computer user groups.
  8. Provide some level of testing (time/staff permitting) to College-wide infrastructure projects, e.g., packages or automated OS builds.
  9. Maintain professional computer expertise pertinent to their job in the unit.

In large or complex departments the DSA may have additional responsibilities as well. These may include:

  1. DNS management through Unix.
  2. DHCP management.
  3. Server management for departmental servers - Windows, Unix, MacOSX.
  4. Maintain a hardware collection for setup and repair, e.g., network cables, NICs, Hard drives, Flash drives, CDRs, RAM, tapes, etc.
  5. Support lab and/or classroom research and instruction - providing lab accounts, file space, permissions, projector support/training, mandatory profiles, and auto-loading.
  6. Providing server-based printing solutions - Windows, Unix.
  7. Providing loaner equipment (where funded) for projectors, CDRW, laptops, and hot-swap spares for desktops.
  8. Providing color-printing services for transparencies, instructional documents, and grant related research printing.
  9. Maintaining a trouble ticket system and/or monitoring work flow within the computer support group.
  10. Providing backups for local disaster recovery.
  11. Providing setup and support for instructional and colloquium settings (dealing with laptops, projectors, and other AV equipment for presentations).
  12. Providing user forums with faculty for discussion of how to improve departmental computing resources.
  13. Supervising other computer support staff and/or work-study students.
  14. Preparing budget requests for either department or LSAIT review.
  15. Coordinating faculty and/or staff computer upgrades.

back to top

Where these DSAs are located

There are approximately 70 "units" that comprise LSA. These include departments, institutes, resource centers and museums. Eighteen of these units have hired their own computer support personnel who provide direct support to the department's computer end users. These departments are listed here for your reference. Note that larger departments (e.g., Physics, Psychology) have more than one employee.

Research groups that maintain support staff frequently included within College services and communications:

The remaining units in the College receive computer support from LSAIT's CSG division. CSG is divided into two shops, East Hall Shop and "Annex" Shops, to better service the geographic diversity of the units. Please contact Greg Beyer, CSG Manager, if you would like additional information about which shops serve these units. CSG also provides one dedicated technician to the English Department and to Museums as a way to facilitate support.

back to top

Communicating with other DSAs

There is no centralized email list by which you can reach all the DSAs across the College (remember that DSA is not an official "job title"). You can contact groups of LSA staff who focus on supporting end-users by addressing email to the appropriate OS support list:

If you know the individual's name, you can search for their email address at: www.directory.umich.edu

Some departments prefer that you send service requests to a group name (e.g., psych.it@umich.edu) and you may find that a useful way to make contact with the department group for a larger unit.

back to top

Resources for Computer Support Personnel in the College

Meetings

back to top

Other ways to Communicate with your peers

The majority of the staff of LSAIT have College-provided cell phones that you can use to access them during business hours. These numbers are not published, however, to ensure that the average user goes through the appropriate triage prior to contacting an individual directly. You should confirm with your support colleagues how comfortable they are with using their cell phone as their primary means of contact. Email is also a primary way of contacting your peers across the College and throughout the University. There are a number of special interest groups (SIGs) that you might find useful in your day-to-day work. Check the University of Michigan Online Directory (UMOD), www.directory.umich.edu, for listings. Please remember that email is not necessarily the best way to relay difficult, awkward, or potentially sensitive information about either an end users situation or a computer concern. Please use email with appropriate discretion and courtesy.

back to top

LSAIT Staff and responsibilities

Additional information about LSAIT staff can be found at www.lsa.umich.edu/lsait.

back to top

Other numbers/URLs that you may need for your job involving computer support in the College

As an LSA staff member with computer responsibilities, you may find yourself interacting with many other computer groups across campus. Your job may require that you interact with computer services provided by ITCS, CAEN, MAIS or other Schools & Colleges at the University. Please refer to the chart below for additional URLs where you will get information about these resources.

Other U-M Computer Groups
Organization Overview
ITCS Central computer services for the University campus
MAIS (Mpathways) Central administrative computer system
Wolverine Access One way to access MAIS data
IT Comm Data, phone and video network to the Ann Arbor campus
CTools support University wide course management software used by LSA faculty
(Also contact jperaino@umich.edu)
LSA Instructional Support Services A/V equiment, services; auditorium support; video editing resources for LSA faculty and students. Also responsible for LSA enhanced classrooms.
LSA Development, Marketing and Communications Provides web site development for units as part of a larger communications plan
UM Virus Busters The best central resource for virus information
Building Maintenance/Services (Plant Operations) The physical building folks
Department of Public Safety Safety and Security
Procurement Services Departmental purchases (with shortcode)
Computer Showcase Personal purchases (UM discount for faculty, staff, and students)

In addition, you may find that there are user groups (Sigs) or email groups that are useful communities for you to join. Some groups that other computer personnel have found beneficial include:

These, and other groups, can be joined via the UM Directory (www.directory.umich.edu). Note that some groups are identified in the Directory as not "joinable." Contact the owner of the group to be added to these communities.

back to top

Information Policies

The University of Michigan's Information Technology Central Services (ITCS) is the home site for several University policies about the appropriate use of technology and computing resources. Refer to: http://www.umich.edu/~policies/. These policies are a subset of the University policies found at: www.umich.edu/~spgonlin In particular, you should be aware of the policies:

And the University Guidelines:

back to top

LSAIT Notification Policy

The following chart was developed by LSAIT to facilitate internal discussions about when to make changes to LSAIT systems and how best to notify users and the computer support personnel of the College. These guidelines have informed the process by which LSAIT sends out notifications. For more information, contact Ron Loveless, Senior Manager for LSAIT at ronl@umich.edu.

LSAIT Assumptions:

LSAIT Notification Policy Chart
Change Categories Notification Limits* Release Lockdown Period Type of Change
Security Stability Bug Fixes Configuration Changes New Versions New Software
* This timeline assumes notification only. Releases requiring more extensive training or documentation would need specialized timelines. ** UM Network maintenance window is 5-8 a.m.

Major (work done during breaks or scheduled maintenance weekends - four times per budget year, dates determined in consultation with Dean's office)

Prohibited times are the first and last two weeks of a term; broad announcement of work to all in the College.

10 business days prior to release

x

x

x

x

x

x

(must be pushed to all users at the same time)

Minor-Doesn't Affect Users Service time for bug fixes that do not require user notification
NOTE: This is a push to all users.

Requires 5 business days notification to department system administrators

2 business days prior to release

x

x

x

x

Minor - Affects Users
Service time for bug fixes that require user notification
NOTE: This is a push to all users.

Requires 5 business days notification to end users and department system administrators

2 business days prior to release

x

x

x

x

Daily Service Time
Maintenance invisible to users or department system administrators

System service time (11 p.m.- 1 a.m.); requires a 3 day notification to dsa's if work is more complex than a reboot.

2 business days prior to release

x

x       

(reboots, memory upgrades, minor repairs)

x

On Demand
Invisible to users and DSA's. Done at any time to ensure system stability

Notification based on risk analysis of LSA IT managers

2 hours prior to release

x

x

Emergency
Provides a solution to a service outage

None: LSAIT reserves the right to insure the security of the network on limited notification.

2 hours prior to release

x

x

You may find it easier to browse the LSAIT Notification Policy Chart using the accessible version of this page, or
you may find it easier to view the LSAIT Notification Policy Chart as a Word document.

back to top

LSA and LSAIT Email Groups

Selected email groups for communication throughout LSA and LSAIT
[1] Campus-wide notification is done via fln@umich.edu. and should not be initiated by LSAIT

lsa-info-tech

lsa-csg

lsa-accounts

lsa-sst-win

lsa.win.

admins

lsa-sst-unix

lsa.unix. admins

lsa.mac. admins

lsa.linux admins

lsa-fln

lsa-it-people

Owners

Greg Beyer, Ron Loveless

Greg Beyer, Tammy Davis

Greg Beyer, Gloria Love, Tammy Davis

Chris Brenner, Tim Rolston

Chris Brenner, Greg Beyer, Tim Rolston

Dave Pugh, Karen Pachla, Lynn Zhang

Dave Pugh, Karen Pachla, Lynn Zhang,

Dave Pugh, Gretchan Kopmanis, Karen Pachla, Scott Lemm

Dave Glaser, Jeremy Hallum

Chris Brenner, Ron Loveless

Greg Beyer, Ron Loveless

Joinable?

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Members

 

Staff at

1007 E. Huron

 

LSAIT Help Desk staff

 

Greg, Gloria, Tammy

 

Staff of the SG Windows group

 

Windows system administrators including members of LSAIT CSG, SEC-ITAM, and SG-Windows groups

 

Staff of the RSS group

 

Dept Unix Admins

 

Dept Mac Admins

 

Dept Linux admins

 

Individuals, or groups, that need to be informed of early notification on network and system-wide issues

 

Joinable to anyone on campus

Purpose

All LSAIT staff

Contacting the Help Desk

LSAIT group responsible for providing account info and account info backup

SST Windows group

email

Communicate with Windows admins in LSA

RSS Unix/ group email

Departmental Unix adminstrators, lsa-sst-unix, and CSG reps

Departmental Mac administrators

Department Linux administrators

Any Individuals interested in LSAIT's front line notification

anyone who wants to be informed about LSA Computer discussions - open forum

Special instructions

 

This is for help requests only. To reach all of CSG use,  csg-info@umich.edu

Should be contacted for all account-related concerns

 

To reach campus-wide windows administrators use:

 winadmins@ umich.edu

 

 

Mac admins doing work on the LSA image may also members of the group, lsa-dev-osx

Never send messages to this group only. Email to lsa-fln should also be forwarded to others (e.g.,   lsa-win-admins, lsa-unix-admins, etc.) [1]

Be sure message is composed for wide, general audience

You may find it easier to browse the LSA and LSAIT Email Groups Chart using the accessible version of this page.

back to top


back to top