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Elsevier’s Reference Module on Earth Systems & Environmental Sciences (trial ends March 16, 2015)

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Faculty, staff, and students from Middlebury now have access to several encyclopedias and other reference works on the ScienceDirect platform. This information sheet explains the module and its contents which include:

ClimateVuln

 

 

EncyEnvirHealthComprehBiotech

 

and much more. Explore, and let us know what you think – email eaccess-admin@middlebury.edu or your liaison.

Wireless Network Changes

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Greetings!

Over the course of the next several weeks, we will be replacing the wireless networks at Middlebury.

What do I need to do?

Starting March 2nd, please connect to the new secure wireless network named MiddleburyCollege (like midd_secure but better). Middlebury Faculty, Staff and Students will login with your standard Middlebury username and password. Guests will need to create a Middlebury guest account and use it to connect to MiddleburyCollege. This is not a change for change’s sake – we are confident that the end result will be a wireless network that is more convenient and more secure for everyone.

Why are we doing this? What are we trying to achieve?

Some devices have trouble with the current configuration of midd_secure. Midd_secure was created many years ago and wireless standards have since evolved. Additionally, guests have traditionally connected to midd_unplugged, a non-secure network.

It is important that all wireless devices, including those of faculty, staff and students as well as guests, have a way to connect to our network securely, quickly, and easily. Also, as part of our improved security posture, and to comply with all regulations and generally accepted guidelines, devices on our network need to be identified and associated with an individual, for everyone’s benefit.

What will the new configuration look like?

  • Anyone with a Middlebury College username, including faculty, staff, students, etc., will connect to the new wireless network called MiddleburyCollege using their username and password. Guests will also connect to MiddleburyCollege with their guest account name and password, where they will have access to the Internet, but not our internal servers.
  • Guests from other institutions that are also part of the eduroam project will continue to connect to the eduroam network (for Internet access only).
  • Guests and others who do not have a username and password, either because they haven’t created an account or they have forgotten their password, will connect to a new open wireless network created for this purpose, called GuestAccountCreation. No password is required, but connections are limited to intervals of 15 minutes. When they connect, they will be offered links to create a new guest account, reset their guest password, or activate/reset their Middlebury account password.
  • Certain older or residential devices, for technical or procedural reasons, do not support standard security protocols (username and password), and require what’s called a “pre-shared key” instead (a shared password, like Midd-standard has now). For these devices, we are creating a limited-access pre-shared key network called MCPSK. This is only for devices that cannot use MiddleburyCollege. If you suspect this applies to you, please contact us (see “What if I have more questions?” below).

How will we get there? What is the transition schedule?

To reduce the impact of this change, we are planning on a phased implementation that gives people time to transition from one network to another. For performance and capacity reasons, we cannot have more than four different wireless networks at once, so we will introduce new networks on the following schedule:

Now to 3/2 3/2 to 3/09 3/09 to 3/16 3/16 forward
midd_unplugged (transition to midd_secure)
MiddleburyCollege MiddleburyCollege MiddleburyCollege
midd_secure midd_secure (transition to MiddleburyCollege)
MCPSK MCPSK
Midd-standard Midd-standard Midd-standard (transition to MCPSK)
GuestAccountCreation
eduroam eduroam eduroam eduroam (unchanged – for guest access from other institutions)
  1. Anyone currently connecting to midd_unplugged should take a moment now to transition to midd_secure. If you have trouble connecting to midd_secure, please contact the Helpdesk for the password to Midd-standard.
  2. On Monday, March 2nd, midd_unplugged will be removed and we will introduce the new MiddleburyCollege network. From then on, all faculty, staff, and students should connect to MiddleburyCollege, though midd_secure and Midd-standard will continue to work for enough time to allow a smooth transition. We will prepare offices that frequently bring guests to campus to help them get connected to Midd-standard if necessary during this transitional period. In short, midd-unplugged will cease operating on 03/02/2015 – use midd_secure before then, and MiddleburyCollege after.
  3. On Monday, March 9th, all College personnel should be connected to MiddleburyCollege, and we will remove midd_secure to allow for the introduction of the MCPSK network. Starting on this day, anyone who hasn’t been using midd_secure due to incompatibility should first see if they can connect to MiddleburyCollege. If your device doesn’t support it, please contact the Helpdesk so we can connect you to MCPSK. For most devices, switch to MiddleburyCollege before midd_secure goes away on 03/09/2015.
  4. By Monday, March 16th, all individuals who have been using Midd-standard should have moved to another network, so we can remove Midd-standard and add GuestAccountCreation. To recap, switch to either MiddleburyCollege or MCPSK before Midd-standard goes away on 03/16/2015.

Other Frequently Asked Questions:

Are you saying guests will connect to the MiddleburyCollege network? Isn’t that a little weird from a security perspective?

There’s some behind-the-scenes magic there – people with Middlebury Guest accounts will be isolated from the regular Middlebury network and be provided with Internet access only.

Why start by removing midd_unplugged instead of another network?

For starters, it’s slow and insecure, but a good chunk of people keep using it, unaware that that’s the primary reason for their bad experiences. As much as possible during this transition, we want to make life easier for the people who are currently depending on the faster secure networks. We did consider temporarily disabling eduroam instead, since not as many people use it, but it’s part of an agreement with other universities and we want to honor that.

If I’m bringing a guest to campus after March 2nd, how can I make their experience easier?

The best thing to do is direct them to Middguests so they can create an account before they get here. Then, once they arrive on campus, they can immediately connect to MiddleburyCollege with their guest username and password. If they’ve forgotten their account info, once the GuestAccountCreation network is in place, it’ll provide links to help them reset their password or create a new account.

What about College faculty, staff, or students who’ve forgotten their password or don’t have one yet?

The GuestAccountCreation welcome page will also have a link to the password activation/reset page, and the Helpdesk phone number should anyone get stuck.

What if I have more questions?

If you have a technical issue, now or at any time, or if you need access to the limited MCPSK network, please make a ticket or call us at 802.443.2200 so we can assist you. If you have general questions about the plan, please post them here so everyone can see the answers.

Peace and change,

~Zach Schuetz for the Helpdesk

ITS Systems Maintenance Sunday, Feb 15th

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

During our regular maintenance window this Sunday, February 15th  we have the following activities scheduled:

 

  • The database servers for the primary website will be patched and rebooted
    • There will be a 45-90 second outage between 7:00am and 7:30
  • Replace two of the four San Volume Controller nodes serving our Storage Area Network
    • There is no service outage planned with this maintenance
  • Our primary nameserver will be rebooted
    • There is no service outage planned with this maintenance

 

We appreciate your patience as we continuously strive to keep our systems functioning optimally.

 

Regards,
Billy

 

Billy Sneed

ITS – Central Systems & Network Services

Friday links – Feb. 6, 2015

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

“Amazon Takes on Textbook Sales at Major Universities.” Engadget. Accessed February 2, 2015.http://www.engadget.com/2015/02/02/amazon-college-distribution-centers/.

A concise update on net neutrality –

and How Netflix helped change the FCC’s definition of net neutrality.

Systems Maintenance Sunday, Feb 8th

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

During our regular maintenance window this Sunday, February 8th  we have the following activities scheduled:

 

  • Starting at 5am EST the Middlebury website, http://www.middlebury.edu, will be put into a read-only mode for approximately 5 hours for an upgrade. After the upgrade completes the site will be put into full read/write mode.
    • What’s available during this read-only period?: All publicly-accessible content on our website will be available.  Links will continue to work.  Drupal webforms are hosted on another site and can be accessed and edited as normal.
    • What’s not available during the read-only period?:  Commenting on news stories, content that requires logging in before viewing, content editing on the main Middlebury website.

 

  • The hosted Hyperion and Banner applications, including Banner INB and SSB, will be updated and unavailable between 8am and 9am EST. The development environments for those services will be unavailable between 9am and 10am EST.

 

  • Middfiles, which includes Orgs, all Classroom, and home directory folders, will be rebooted and unavailable for approximately 10 minutes starting at 8am EST.

 

  • The Exchange email environment will undergo resource reallocations impacting 8 servers. The email environment is sufficiently redundant that we expect no impact to availability during this maintenance.

 

We appreciate your patience as we continuously strive to keep our systems functioning optimally.

 

 

Billy Sneed

ITS – Central Systems & Network Services

Middlebury College

Middlebury, VT  05753

Friday links – Jan. 30, 2015

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Lepore, Jill. “The Cobweb: Can The Internet Be Archived?” The New Yorker, January 19, 2015.
Good read about the Internet Archive and Wayback Machine.

Forget Virtual Reality. Are You Ready for Virtual Sushi?

Project Nourished combines brightly colored experimental cuisine, crafted from agar and pectin, with VR simulations intended to make those meager morsels seem tastier than they really are.

Forget Virtual Reality. Are You Ready for Virtual Sushi?- A small Los Angeles-based team of designers, engineers, and chefs have cooked up a “gastronomical virtual reality experience” that use head mounted displays, 3-D printers, and food science to take aim at our tastebuds.

Please welcome Joe Langevin to ITS

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

We are pleased to announce the recent addition of Joe Langevin to the staff of ITS.  Joe joins us in the role of Senior Programmer Analyst on the Administrative Systems team in Enterprise Applications.  Joe spent the previous 15+ years working as a Senior Technical Consultant for Ellucian and Sun Guard Higher Education.  During this time Joe provided consulting services to over 150 schools in the areas of Banner Student, Advancement and Self Service.   Prior to his time at Ellucian Joe spent 10 years as a Senior Project Analyst at the University of Vermont.

Some of you may also know Joe from his time here at Middlebury.  As an Ellucian employee Joe participated as a consultant and programmer to guide Middlebury’s original implementation of the Banner Student module.

Please take an opportunity to say hello and introduce yourselves to Joe.  We’re very excited to have Joe on our team and look forward to the benefits of the vast experience he brings to our organization.