SBS CCITC presentation

Report
SBS CCITC presentation
Juri Rappsilber
Gareth Poxon
Stats
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Computers >2000
250 PGR students, 1400 undergrads
650 FT staff
IT support:
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IT service manager,
general computing officer,
Wellcome funded computing officer,
E-learning officer,
web/database developer
Procedures
• First line support through IS helpline (in theory), now
a lot of direct support (in practise 90%) Desktop support,
student lab computing, Email, E-learning (Blackboard/WebCT)
• Installation of new computers (1-2 per day), new
printers, new hardware (servers)
• Web services
• Data storage for some institutes/centres (<20% of
SBS)
Projects
• SBS home page (80% complete), hosted by UoE Polopoly
service
• SBS intranet (complete), hosted by UoE Wiki service
• School needs in databases and web forms (mostly light
weight, 1-2 months development time)
• Biannual Biosafety questionnaire (database and web page)
• Seminar speaker sign up
• Student sign up forms (e.g. honours projects, next year’s courses)
• Bespoke research databases (mostly light weight, 1-2
months development time)
• Generally no bespoke computing/storage projects (except
for Wellcome Trust centre)
Central services used by SBS
(essentially all)
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Euclid
Email
E-diary
E-learning (WebCT/Blackboard)
Polopoly service
Wiki service
Supported desktops
Networking service
Finance system (Efinancials, Sciquest, Pecos)
Use ECDF (technical issues and cost are barriers)
Issues
• We have no resources to develop local solutions, hence are very
vulnerable to delays/errors/changes in central services.
• Projects by central services do not necessarily match out needs
(e.g. Polopoly, Euclid, Pure)
– This means SBS IT needs to adapt locally (costs are relayed to SBS)
• IS reorganisation two years ago made first line support very
inefficient
• ECDF technical issues and cost are barriers
• Some duplication due to charges for central services (e.g. web
hosting)
• Research councils demand research data storage for 10 years
(associated technical challenges and costs)
Are we getting value for money from
central IT?
Our ideal university IT structure:
central IT does maintenance,
schools lead developments (in coalitions)
“Bundeslaendermodel”
Future of research computing
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more data storage,
more archiving,
more computing,
more bioinformatics support but also
biologists will increasingly be active in
computing issues (“the new physics”),
• more mobile devices (a lot personal but used
for work)

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