Less is More
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  • 1. Less is More Expanding Ubiquitous Computing Without Increasing the Staff Hopkins Information Technology Services Johns Hopkins University EDUCAUSE Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference 16 January 2003 Rich Caserta, LAN/WAN Architect, Desktop Computing Services Brandon Lockett, Resnet Coordinator, Network Services Brenda Stidham, Technical Analyst II-Acting Manager, Technical Assistance Copyright Johns Hopkins Institutions, 2003. This work is the intellectual property of the author. Permission is granted for this material to be shared for non-commercial, educational purposes, provided that this copyright statement appears on the reproduced materials and notice is given that the copying is by permission of the author. To disseminate otherwise or to republish requires written permission from the author.
  • 2. Less is More…
    • History of Undergraduate IT Support at JHU
    • Approximately half of Homewood Campus’ 4000 undergraduates live in dorms.
    • Fall 1994 : Resnet pilot program – “traditional” division of labor arose
      • Network Services managed network wiring, electronics, and signup procedures
      • Desktop Services supported PC hardware and software configuration
      • Support Services logged and routed support requests
    • Fall 1995 : Freshman dorms wired – over 500 connections
      • self-service instructions did not suffice
      • full-time and student staff needed over two months to clear support backlog
      • problem resolution often went beyond network configuration
  • 3. Less is More…
    • History
    • 1996 - 1999 : We try harder!
    • Fancier self-service instructions - more pictures and steps
    • Windows 95 helped ease configuration burden
    • But this is offset by more computers, more connections
    • … until finally…
    • We offer standardized computers to students and more automated processes
  • 4.
    • 2000: Mobile Computing Program
    • standards improve supportability
    • built-in networking
    • in-house support included
    • 2001: Resnet enhancements
    • DHCP throughout dorms
    • in-room Resnet registration
    • 2002: Wireless
    • open to all students
    • MCP laptops have built-in wireless
    Less is More…
  • 5. Less is More…
    • Residential Networking @ JHU
  • 6. Less is More…
    • Resnet @ JHU - New Automated Registration
    • Students register without assistance
    • Students no longer wait until orientation day to register
    • Simple instructions
    • Paperless registration
    • Fewer staff to assist with registration
  • 7. Less is More…
    • Resnet @ JHU - DHCP
    • Easy configurations
    • Improved IP management
    • Paperless distribution of IP’s
    • Eliminated IP conflicts
  • 8. Less is More…
    • Resnet @ JHU - Spoof DNS
    • Student receives valid IP with DNS of the registration server
    • Forced registration
    • Eliminated registration server address confusion
  • 9. Less is More…
    • Resnet Registration
    • Login Page
    • Basic Resnet info
  • 10. Less is More…
    • Resnet Registration
    • Post username verification
  • 11. Less is More…
    • Resnet Registration
    • Acceptable use policies & criminal offenses
      • infringing copyright
      • forging electronic communication
      • hogging network resources
    • Click ‘ here ’ link initiates MAC address retrieval
  • 12. Less is More…
    • Resnet Registration
    • Demographic page
    • Semester selection page
    • ‘ submit’ button to insert MAC address into DHCP database
  • 13. Less is More…
    • Resnet Registration
    • Thank you page
    • Contact info for technical assistance
  • 14. Less is More…
    • Resnet SWAT Sessions
    • Resnet, Mobile Computing Program, Wireless Networking, Telecommunications, and E-mail support are offered to students during fall semester startup
    • Convenient location in dorms
    • Wiring and configuration issues
  • 15. Less is More…
    • Resnet SWAT - Staffing Requirements
    • Staff coverage needed for fall startup decreased by a minimum of 30%
    • BEFORE
    • First three weeks
      • Seven to twelve FTE’s
      • Six part-time students
    • Next three weeks
      • Four to six FTE’s
      • Six part-time students
    • Remainder of semester
      • One to two FTE’s
      • Six part-time students
    • AFTER
    • First three weeks
      • Five to ten FTE’s
      • Four part-time students
    • Next three weeks
      • One FTE
      • Four part-time students
    • Remainder of semester
      • One FTE
      • Four part-time students
    • REDUCTION
    • IN HOURS
      • 20-30%
      • 60-70%
      • 20-40%
  • 16.
    • Resnet Weekly Registration Stats (2000 vs. 2001)
    • More students had their Resnet connections sooner with these changes
  • 17.
    • Resnet Registration Growth from 1995 to 2002
  • 18. Less is More…
    • Resnet Infrastructure
    • 10Mb switched connections to dorms
    • Cisco hardware
    • Gigabit backbone
  • 19. Less is More…
    • Mobile Computing Program @ JHU
  • 20. Less is More…
    • Mobile Computing Program - Rationale
    • The goal: offer students better and broader in-house computer support
    • How to get there
      • Offer “choices with limits” – standardize as much as possible
      • Perception : offer “premium” support for those who participate
      • Simplify the support model
  • 21. Less is More…
    • Mobile Computing Program - System Bundles
    • Key model selection criteria
      • 9 to 12 month availability - “business” not “consumer” models
      • One “desktop replacement” and one “light” model per vendor
      • Three-year warranty and damage insurance coverage standard
      • Minimum specifications on memory and hard drive capacity
      • Built-in Ethernet, modem, and wireless on all 2002 models
        • IBM : ThinkPad A31 and R32
        • Dell : Latitude C840 and C610/C640
    • Software image
      • Developed in-house and sent to vendor for initial software load
      • Windows XP: prompt for password change on startup
      • Preinstalled software: anti-virus and Internet “helper applications”
      • Notebooks arrive ready for use
  • 22. Less is More…
    • Mobile Computing Program - Support
    • Students are mailed information directing them to the JHU MCP web page to order
      • Recommended models listed on web site - linked to vendor web pages for ordering
      • All ordering processes handled between vendor and purchaser
    • Distribution
      • 2000/2001: In-house mass distribution to students was a big logistics problem
      • 2002: Laptops were shipped directly to students’ homes
  • 23. Less is More…
    • Mobile Computing Program - Support
    • Several support contacts
      • E-mail: mobile.computing@jhu.edu
      • Phone: 516-3382
      • Walk-in support
      • Web site
    • Troubleshooting and Support
      • Software issues
      • Hardware issues
      • Loaner pool
  • 24. Less is More…
    • Wireless @ Johns Hopkins
    • Hopkins wireless network uses the 802.11b standard.
    • Wireless LAN adapter must be capable of 128-bit WEP (wired equivalent privacy) encryption.
      • Configuration of the network and encryption parameters is handled by Hopkins ITS Technical Assistance
      • To ensure supportability, only vendors’ wireless cards that are listed on the Johns Hopkins wireless web page are supported
    • Over 220 locations across the Johns Hopkins Institutions.
    • Available in several common areas on the Homewood campus.
    • http://nts.jhmi.edu/networking/wireless.cfm
  • 25. Less is More…
    • Wireless @ Johns Hopkins
    • Policies and procedures
      • Customers will be set up on the wireless network as long as they meet the criteria on the web page.
      • To get set up on the wireless network the customer places a service call to the Support Center (Help Desk).
      • Technical Assistance will set up an appointment and explain the security audit.
    • Security audit
      • A security audit is run on every laptop.
    • Students with disabilities have benefited from the Mobile Computing Program and the wireless network.
  • 26. Less is More…
    • The Future…
    • Resnet
      • Improve upon network management systems and procedures
    • Mobile Computing
      • Apple PowerBook, handhelds (PDAs), and tablets
        • Palm & Pocket PC OS
    • Wireless
      • Dynamic WEP keys to improve scalability
      • PEAP (Protected Extensible Authentication Protocol) for additional security
      • Expanded coverage
      • Automated user registration
  • 27. Less is More…
    • Benefits of our Efforts
    • 2002: We have more time!
    • Collaboration between Technical Assistance, Network Services, and Desktop Computing Services pays off!
    • Help Desk calls for student IT support reduced by 60%
    • Lower support burden allows IT staff to further enhance services
  • 28. Less is More…
    • Questions?
    • E-mail addresses
      • Brandon Lockett, Network Services: [email_address]
      • Brenda Stidham, Technical Assistance: [email_address]
      • Rich Caserta, Desktop Computing Services: [email_address]