University of Alberta
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IT Principles of Operation

Rob Lake
Office of the Vice Provost (Information Technology)

Kevin Moodie
Academic Information Communication and Technologies

May 22, 2008

Information technology (IT) has become pervasive across campus and is now an essential component, similar to electricity and water, for the planning of all new University of Alberta building infrastructure. With the University's ever-increasing reliance on IT, the continually increasing demands for well-supported and secure IT infrastructure, and the requirement to satisfy stringent standards from auditors, it is recommended the University adopt the following IT principles for new buildings on campus and, as much as possible, for the renovations of existing buildings.

1. IT Principles for Networks within New Buildings

  • Where possible, IT services within new buildings will be either directly connected to the campus backbone or be supported by a high speed fiber line to the main campus.
  • Network connections will be installed as per current requirements as communicated to PMO planners.
  • All local area networks will be VOIP-enabled.
  • Building network switches will be installed and managed by AICT.
  • Local area network VOIP-enabled switches will be managed and evergreened by AICT.
  • VOIP-enabled telephones will be provided with the monthly telephone rental.
  • Departmental LAN administrators will be assigned web access to their data VPN on their assigned switch ports.
  • Units moving to a new building will have the responsibility of relocating existing desktop computing equipment, servers and printers.
  • A University-supported wireless network (UWS) will be available for all University faculties and service units within the new building. This will be a secure network managed by AICT and will require CCID authentication.

2. IT Principles for Server Rooms within New Buildings

  • When there is a clear space requirement for tenant servers, all new buildings will be equipped with a single, secure consolidate server room that will house the IT requirements for all faculties and service units within the building.
  • The consolidated server room will be purposed to service all building tenants as well as some of the greater University needs.
  • Because current technology capabilities enables users and support personnel to remotely access their servers, there is very little need for "hands on" access. Consequently, the consolidated server room will be operated as a "lights out" operation (i.e. no support personnel will be assigned to work in the server room on a full or part-time basis).
  • The consolidated server room will be managed by AICT. Since the services within the room are for the benefit of all, the resources/services within the room will be managed on a shared allocation philosophy.
  • All faculty, department and service unit servers will be managed by the unit's IT support personnel. Their staff will be responsible for system upgrades, password management, software patches, etc. If desired, this work may be contracted for a fee and service level agreement to Managed Services of AICT.
  • A card access system will be installed to permit only authorized user access. Access privileges will be managed and monitored by AICT.
  • Web-enabled video cameras will be installed to monitor and record people actions within the room.
  • Where feasible, faculties and service units will be encouraged to share and consolidate servers and services.
  • All servers located in the consolidated server room will be evergreened with rack-mounted technology.
  • AICT will supply the server racks and manage the server rack allocation. As much as possible, rack allocation will be contiguous for each client unit and reasonable growth expectations will be considered during the process. When special circumstances warrant, client servers will be housed in a secured rack (i.e. a rack with lockable doors).
  • Environmental control of the server room will be managed by AICT.
  • Utilization of UPS capabilities will be managed by AICT. If a client wishes to fund their own UPS or additional service, they will need to comply with best practices.

If desired, units within the new building will be provided a platform of business applications from a common server. Such applications include, but are not limited to:

  • One Microsoft Exchange Service to provide all building tenants with email and calendaring services;
  • File back up service;
  • Data storage and recovery;
  • Others as desired.

3. IT Principles for Classroom and Videoconferencing Facilities within New Buildings

  • All centrally-supported classrooms within new buildings will be "smart classrooms" (i.e. will include a projector, projection screen, switching gear, racks, podium, alarm system, security and an intercom system).
  • The University will install IT equipment required for all centrally-supported smart classrooms and videoconferencing rooms. The evergreening of this equipment will be the responsibility of AICT.
  • Wired network connectivity will be provided to the classroom podium only. Wired network connectivity to the seats will be considered by special request.
  • Wireless connectivity will be available throughout all classrooms.
  • Any videoconferencing classroom supported and evergreened by the University through AICT will be a shared facility. The facility will be scheduled through the Registrar's Office and be available to all University units at no additional cost. To allow for appropriate testing and set-up, bookings should be made at least 48 hours in advance. Up to, but no more than 50% of the standard available time (7:30 am to 5:00 pm) may be assigned to regular classes.
  • Non-university occupants may use the facility, but they will be charged on a cost recovery basis and they must book at least one week in advance to allow for appropriate testing and set-up. Reservations by a non-university unit may be bumped if there is a critical need for the facility by a University unit.
  • AICT will provide staff for audio-visual and videoconferencing support. The number of staff available will depend upon the number and utilization of the facilities and appropriate staff funding. Audio-visual and videoconferencing support will be available during normal University business hours. Support required outside these hours will be provided on a cost recovery basis.
  • All student lounges will have electrical outlets for student laptop use.