University of Vermont

Update from the Information Technology Standards Workgroup

Update from the Information Technology Standards Workgroup

February 25, 2004

The IT Standards Workgroup serves as a guiding influence on the direction of information technology investment at the University of Vermont. In the interest of ensuring faster, more consistent, and generally better support for your investments, the committee will set the standards for centrally supported and centrally managed technologies.

These standards will include all types of information technology purchased by the University. It is not the aim of this group to limit the choices available to members of the University community, but rather to recommend directions for technological investment to individuals and departments.

Our policies and procedures are explained at our web site.
http://www.uvm.edu/itnetwork/standards/


Executive Summary


Several important changes that have long been planned have taken effect or will take effect soon:

Changes:

  • Support for Apple Macintosh Systems 8 and 9 ended effective December 31, 2003
  • Secure communications now is required between UVM host computers and off-campus computers
Support ending:
  • Support for Window 98 and Microsoft Office 97 will end effective June 30, 2004

If you would like to be aware of the standards discussions, please join the it-standards@list.uvm.edu listserv. See "Getting involved" below.

 

Current discussions


Apple Macintosh operating system support

Apple's Macintosh OS X now is the only supported operating system on Apple Macintosh computers.

Apple has released several upgrades for OS X which address many stability and preformance issues. Technical support staff may recommend upgrading to the current version, which may involve a license fee, as a first step to resolving known issues with earlier releases of OS X.


Support for Windows 98, Office 97 will end effective June 30, 2004

The IT Standards Workgroup adopted the following recommendations in 2002, in alignment with Microsoft product lifecycle policy:
  • Support for Window 98 will end effective June 30, 2004 
  • Support for Microsoft Office 97 will end effective June 30, 2004
  • Support for Microsoft Office 98 for Macintosh will end effective June 30, 2004

This change in support policy has been announced in the 2002 Standards Announcement, the 2003 Standards Announcement, and the UVM IT Newsletter, among other forums. We extended UVM support for the Microsoft Office 97 and 98 products past Microsoft's dates until June 30, 2004, to ease departmental planning and transitions.

For additional information or to participate in the discussion, please See "Getting involved" below.


Secure communications now is required between UVM host computers and off-campus computers

from the article Security enhancements on schedule for January 5  by Dean Williams:

Starting Monday, January 5, 2004, all access from off campus to servers and host computers provided by Computing and Information Technology (CIT) will require software that encrypts -- securely scrambles -- all communication over the Internet.  This requirement applies when you are using a dial-up, DSL, or cable modem service to connect to zoo.uvm.edu for terminal sessions (most  commonly, to use pine for email) and for file transfer (such as  publishing Web pages and saving files on your Zoo.uvm.edu account).  This security enhancement was announced over two years ago, and was deferred from July 2003 to January 2004 to give everyone additional time to prepare. 

 See http://www.uvm.edu/cit/news/?Page=News&storyID=4392 for full article.

 

Pending Discussions


Members of the UVM IT Community have identified some topics for consideration by the Standards Workgroup in the near future. The topics and some of the main discussion points are listed below:

Recommendations for email client software

  • Eudora provides poor IMAP implementation; recent versions have been buggy
  • Mozilla Thunderbird is a good alternative to the OS-bundled mail clients
  • Outlook Express and Apple Mail are included with their respective Operating Systems
  • What email clients support the new security requirements?

Recommendation that UVM migrate support from Netscape to Mozilla

  • Netscape is a "dead product," not being actively developed
  • Mozilla project now is a viable alternative
  • What about Netscape composer? Nvu is a free editor based on the Netscape Composer source code.

Recommendation for software to prevent installation of and remove malicious software (malware)

  • Removing, repairing compromised systems is an increasing support issue (time = $$$)
  • Antivirus products currently are not addressing this area
  • There are some well-respected products: Ad-Aware, Spybot Search and Destroy
  • UVM School of Business has licensed Pest Patrol
  • This issue is tied closely to indiscriminate use of Peer-to-Peer file sharing applications
For additional information or to participate in the discussion, please See "Getting involved" below.


Current Recommended Software


Operating Systems Windows XP Pro Macintosh OS X
Office Suites MS Office Standard (XP, 2003)
Lotus Approach, Lotus 1-2-3
MS Office Macintosh (2002, v.X)
Email software Outlook Express, Netscape Messenger, Eudora 5 Outlook Express, Netscape Messenger, Eudora 5, AppleMail
Web Browsers Internet Explorer, Netscape Internet Explorer, Netscape
Antivirus Symantec Antivirus Symantec Antivirus
File Transfer SSH Secure File Transfer Fugu
Calendaring Oracle Calendar Oracle Calendar

Complete list available online at http://www.uvm.edu/cit/software/?Page=recommended.html

See also a list of current software licenses http://www.uvm.edu/cit/licensing/

 

Resources for planning and migrating to standard tools


  • Consulting services are available to help plan migration to current, supported operating systems.
  • Reduced-cost licenses for current versions of these applications are available through the Microsoft Select Agreement.
    (See http://www.uvm.edu/cit/licensing/)
  • Need-based funding is available through the CAP program to help units offset the cost of replacing old hardware and software.
    (See http://cit.uvm.edu/cap/)
  • University Training and Development is providing self-paced classes for many software applications and operating systems.
    (See http://www.uvm.edu/~training/)


Getting involved


The IT Standards Workgroup is an open body. Participation by members of the UVM Community is vital to the successful. You can participate in a variety of ways:


On behalf of the IT Network and the Standards Workgroup,
Geoffrey Duke,
Coordinator, Information Technology Standards Workgroup
Computing Analyst III, Computing & Information Technology

This document is also available online at http://www.uvm.edu/itnetwork/standards/?Page=stds-update-2004-Feb.html

Last modified August 24 2004 10:31 AM

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