Minutes of Meeting Number 53
30th Oct 2009 – at Aberystwyth
Alan Davies (University of Glamorgan) – Chair
David Morgan (University of Glamorgan) – Secretary & Minutes Clerk
Sean Cullinan (University of Wales Institute, Cardiff)
Tony Ollier (Swansea University) – Deputy Chair
Lyndon Shirley (Swansea Metropolitan University)
Roger Matthews (Aberystwyth University)
Julie Snelson (Bangor University)
Robert Stockton (Glyndwr University)
Chris Price (Swansea University & WNL)
Owen Parry (University of Wales, Federal Body)
Gina Woodward (Cardiff University)
Michael Webb (University of Wales, Newport)
Karl Williams (Trinity University College Carmarthen)
Steve Gibbs (University of Wales, Lampeter)
The Chair welcomed Chris Price to the meeting, as JANET/PSBA representative. As agreed previously,
Chris would become a member of the HEWIT Group.
The Group expressed their thanks and best wishes to Jeremy Perkins, who was retiring from
Aberystwyth later in the day.
The Group expressed best wishes to David Harrison for a fast recovery following a recent heart
Minutes of Last Meeting
The minutes of the last meeting (June 2009) were agreed as an accurate record.
Matters Arising not covered by the agenda
Site reports had been submitted to the Mailing List prior to the meeting.
Highlights and discussions from individual site reports arising at the meeting included:
a) Difficulties were being experienced in establishing a private network link to IBER.
b) The Citrix service was to be decommissioned.
c) The VoIP service rollout continues.
d) Unified Messaging using Exchange 2007 with OCS (Office Communications Services) is being
trialled within Information Services prior to a campus rollout.
a) Direct Attached Filestores were being migrated to 2 resilient NAS systems.
b) A few issues had been experienced with the storing and performance of roaming profiles
c) The introduction of VMWare is underway.
d) Agresso HR and Payroll are in service. More funding had been secured to enable the
introduction of the Agresso Finance system prior to decommissioning the old finance system in
the Spring. Users’ experience of HR and Payroll has been good, Finance less so.
e) Oracle Business Intelligence has been procured to facilitate the integration of Management
f) Investigating 802.1x for deployment to their Halls of Residence. TO suggested that Jez Palmer
at Swansea would be a helpful technical specialist.
g) Experience of VoIP (Mitel) had been good, with over 3,000 extensions now in service
h) Alteris is being used for Desktop Management, and further streamlining of support activities is
i) There was some concern over Blackboard Version 9 performance under load.
j) An announcement by Blackboard of a Welsh Language Pack is anticipated on 11 November.
a) As per submitted report.
a) On-line enrolment has been successfully deployed, and includes fees payment.
b) An Integrated Service Desk handling IT, Media and Library enquiries has been established at 3
c) The additional purchase cost of RM EcoQuiet PCs is expected to be recovered in the first year
d) An IS Developments Showcase event was held on 28 October and proved very successful in
publicising the achievements and future plans of the department.
a) An attendance recording system has been deployed. Uses include identifying non-engagement
of students, identifying errors in SITS data, and actual room occupancy figures.
b) Problems had been experienced with the stability of the GTA NAT Firewall appliance deployed
as a High Availability failover pair.
c) Student email had now moved to Outlook 2010 from Live@EDU.
d) The migration from Blackboard to Moodle would be assisted by the addition of a full-time
technical post and half-time academic post. The project would include the rationalisation of
house-style and integration with SITS.
e) Consideration was being given to the Moodle service being hosted externally.
a) No report submitted.
a) As per submitted report.
a) LIS and the Administrative Computing Unit are working together to migrate to a unified
Microsoft Domain and desktop infrastructure. The new standard desktop will be Windows 7.
b) Wireless networking was now viewed as more important than Open Access PC Labs.
c) Some issues were still being experienced with Cisco Access Points locking-up.
d) A contract had been secured from JANET(UK), in partnership with Loughborough University, to
develop a system to automatically configure Wireless laptops with network access.
e) IPTV is being used over WiFi, with caching necessary to deliver acceptable performance.
f) Reciprocal off-site backup is planned between SU and SMU.
g) The Blackboard Community System is being used as the Student Portal, and has been
favourably received by staff.
h) DEGW (www.degw.com) are being used for Learning Space Design.
i) Will be hosting an ITIL V3 course next March.
1.9 Swansea Metropolitan
a) Much time and effort is being expended on the SWWHEP projects with Swansea and Trinity.
b) Agresso is to be used for the student portal.
c) Have refurbished and reconfigured main machine room to assist with SWWHEP DR project.
a) No report submitted.
a) Experiencing a mid-year budget cut.
b) ICT Strategy has been approved, with a main theme of “Computing Anywhere”.
c) Concluded procurement of a new Student Records Systems, with supplier designate being
Agresso with their Distinction solution.
d) Evaluating IPT vendor solutions from Cisco, Mitel and Shoretel. Initially to be deployed in ISD,
then the new School of Management building.
e) Live@Edu is in service for student email. Old mail accounts to be closed down at Xmas.
f) There is a steady growth of Apple Macintoshes.
1.12 University of Wales
a) No report submitted.
Chris Price provided a detailed update on PSBA. Highlights and discussions resulting from the
a) The core network has now been in place for over a year, and has 12 core PoP sites, 29 NAPs
and 110 Local NAPs (unbundled exchanges).
b) Over 1300 sites are now connected, with 1000+ in the Health sector including 750 GP surgeries
connected at 2Mbps.
c) The HE/FE sector has 53 sites connected.
d) Gateways are in place to JANET @ 2 x 10Gbps, GCSx @ 100Mbps and 10Mbps, Health @ 2 x
e) QoS (Quality of Service) is deployed.
f) MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) is in place for Health and the UA sectors, and is now
being considered for the HE/FE Sector.
g) PSBA and Logicalis will soon be undertaking a capacity planning exercise, with all connected
institutions being invited to identify any plans that may increase PSBA utilisation.
h) Sector Engagement Managers are in post for Health ( ) and Local Government (Andy Smith)
i) [Post-meeting note – Chris Price took up the position of HE/FE Sector Engagement Manager
within the PSBA team on Monday 9 November, with JANET(UK) bearing the cost of Chris’ time.
Chris will continue to carry out his existing JANET role in Wales)
j) Dyfed Powys Police has become a user of PSBA. Mike Stephens of DPP has joined the PSBA
k) Rob Hall has left Logicalis and Sean Hart, Head of Sales (Wales), is the new account manager
for our sector.
l) The PSBA project is now entering a Benefits realisation phase, to include the introduction of
PSBA services such as Voice services, Video services and Data Centre services. A “call for
support” for the Voice services initiative had recently been sent out by Guy Middleton, PSBA
Project & Service Manager. DM would forward to HEWIT. ACTION: DM
m) To ensure adequate communications and consultation with the Sector it is proposed to
establish WRENA (Wales Research and Education Network Association). Chris Price to circulate
the draft WRENA Memorandum of Association for information. ACTION: CAP
n) Whilst the concept of WRENA was supported by the meeting as a good vehicle for operational
aspects of sector engagement with a particular focus on information sharing, the group
recommended that a smaller focus group should be established to liaise with PSBA and JANET
on more strategic matters. This latter group, similar to the JANET/PSBA liaison group that was
established during the procurement and initial rollout phases of PSBA, to have a few
representatives from HE, FE, Research and other key stakeholders from the sector.
a) The WVN contract expires in March 2010.
b) HEFCW and DCELLS have confirmed continued future funding
c) Discussions are continuing in relation to establishing a unified Video Network Support Service
under the umbrella of a PSBA service, building upon the existing WVN and HSW (Health
Solutions Wales) services.
a) The Wales RSC is expected to proceed with Round 4 covering the period 2010-2013.
Items for Note/Discussion
a) CAP advised that JANET(UK) will soon be updating their contacts database.
b) TO advised that the Blackboard Northern European Teaching and Learning Conference would
be held at Swansea on 12-14 April 2010.
Confirmed that UWIC and Cardiff University are the organisers of Gregynog 2010 and that planning
would commence soon.
At the last HEWIT meeting Paul Wood (Bangor) offered a conference call with the organising
committee at the appropriate time to discuss sponsorship opportunities and experience. The offer still
Date of next meetings
a) Wednesday 24 February 2010 via Video-Conference
b) Thursday June 2010, @ the Gregynog Colloquium