12th IT Support Staff Conference

St Catherine's College Thursday, 21 June 2007


Programme | Workshops | Who's Who? | Registration | 12th (2007) ITSSC Home Page

Workshop List

Topic/theme Presenter Presentation
Workshop Description
Windows Vista Tony Brett, ITS3, OUCS .pdf  .ppt
In this workshop we will take a tour around Windows Vista and look at important differences between it and XP. We will also consider how Vista is licensed and activated and how its adoption is progressing in Oxford.
X86 Server Virtualization: improving efficiency and easing management Jon Hutchings & Alex Mittell, NSMS -
An overview of virtualization in the context of server workloads, followed by an in depth look at VMware Virtual Infrastructure and how it is used within NSMS to improve service provision, reduce costs by maximising return on hardware investment, as well as saving rack space, electricity and the environment. Demonstrations of the advanced features of ESX3, and a comparison with the Xen virtualization products. A look forward to some of the "self service" technologies which NSMS will be offering in the near future - and a brief look at the upcoming virtualisation alternatives (KVM, XenSource, VirtualIron).
Ruby on What? A brief introduction to Rails Christopher Hoskin, History Faculty .pdf  .odp
A whirlwind tour of the open-source Ruby on Rails web framework and its ecosystem. Why is it generating so much interest, and should you consider it for your project?
The technology behind a geek hotel
A small business with Open Source and more
Graham Ellis, Well House Consultants -
Well House Consultants have been running Open Source training courses for ten years, stepping up from contract courses to public courses at their own training centre, and now stepping up to a residential business hotel, training and conference facility designed around the needs of their geek customer base.
In this session, Graham Ellis of Well House Consultants, who has taught Oxford University staff topics from Java to Tcl and from Linux to Perl (via MySQL) talks (at both a technical and nontechnical level) about making a hotel and training centre that's so appropriate to the Geek customers that they return at the weekends with their partners.
... you'll come across doorbells that ring telephones, webcams and telephone answering machines that email us worldwide, and a wiki going on in the background that keep the whole thing ticking over. Mostly Open Source, of course, and all that in addition to loads of PHP and MySQL.
Project Management Neil Caithness, OERC -
Basecamp from 37Signals has become a widely popular web-based tool for project collaboration with over 1 million users. Often billed as a project "management" tool, the creators of Basecamp prefer to call it "collaboration utopia" and shun many of the traditional tools of project management like Gantt charts.

In this session I will present an overview of Basecamp based on experiences of using it in the OeRC over a period of six months. I'll also present a "pros & cons" evaluation and a comparison with some other management tools like dotProject that take a more traditional approach.

Finally, I'll explore the possibility of 3rd-party extensions to Basecamp for Gantt-like scheduling and reporting.

ITSS Career Development Tony Brett, ITS3, OUCS .pdf  .ppt
This workshop will look at career development both from an internal perspective - running through current best practice for making sure you are happy and effective in your job - and will consider external development tools and professional bodies that can help you get the most out of your career. We will also take at look at the ITS3 mentoring/buddying service.
Shibboleth access management: a replacement for Athens and more Mark Norman & Christian Fernau, OUCS -
You may or may not have heard of the new national and international access management system of "Shibboleth". Shibboleth will soon reach us all and it will have the effect of extending our single sign on experiences to services outside Oxford and even the UK. But what is it and how does it work? How will it eventually replace Athens as the de facto method of accessing academic (and other) resources? Mark Norman will give a simple introduction to the basic concepts and Christian Fernau will follow up with more detailed examples of Shibboleth working in Oxford.
OxClic Peter Robinson, OUCS .pdf  .ppt
OxCLIC was an online image management project, focusing on updating slide collections held by a number of humanities departments. The project documented the workflow for digitising and cataloguing analogue slide material and reviewed suitable online image repository systems. OxCLIC chose an open source system, MDID (http://mdid.org/), that supports numerous teaching activities and runs under Windows IIS and MySQL. In this talk we'll demonstrate the MDID software and look at possible alternatives. We'll discuss applying WebAuth to a Windows server and the problem of devolved authorisation of access for staff and student groups. http://wiki.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ltg-public/OxCLIC
Active Directory and Oxford Single Sign-on: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly Bridget Lewis, ICT Support Team & Adrian Parks, NSMS .pdf  .ppt
In this workshop we will explore some of the issues surrounding the integration of Windows Active Directory with the Oxford Kerberos Single Sign-on infrastructure. We will include an example of a college where student authentication to Active Directory is handled by the OUCS Kerberos infrastructure thus simplifying local password management.
Basic Networking John Ireland, Jesus College -
Want to know your switch from your hub? Your router from your firewall? Then this is the workshop for you! - A beginners' guide to real data networks: from cables and equipment to design and diagnostics. We will take a look at a typical college network, focussing on the things you need to know for basic network support and administration. This workshop has been updated to include an introduction to wireless networking.
Imaging and Application Deployment on OS X using Casper James Partridge, OUCS -
OUCS and NSMS are currently introducing the Casper software suite for managing Macs across multiple networks. Casper enables us to do rapid system imaging, application packaging & deployment as well as full inventory. In this session we will demonstrate how we are using the Casper suite and show how simply and quickly you can deploy Casper for a fully managed Mac environment.
File System Factory Lyn Waddington, OUCS -
Nifty utilities to automate file creation, sharing and distribution. Why is it that most user problems involve either their files or emails? I will demonstrate a utility that allows administrators to automate creation of files stores, group shares and quota management. File System Factory, for which we have a site license, uses either Active Directory or eDirectory to grant file rights and runs on Linux, Windows or Netware.

So that deals with users within the organisation, but what about external users? DocXchanger is a utility which allows both internal and external users to share files across platforms.
Weblearn showcase/futures Adam Marshall, OUCS -
This talk will give a quick introduction to WebLearn: the University's centrally hosted Virtual Learning Environment. (weblearn.ox.ac.uk)
We will include a brief description of the WebLearn tools and how their use can make life easier for all members of the University; in addition, there will be short guest slots by ITSS officers who will talk about how they use WebLearn.
The talk will conclude by highlighting recently introduced features and outlining what to look forward to in the future.
Mac OSX Leopard - A closer look Stuart Anderson, Apple (UK) Limited -
Apple's exciting new Operating System "Leopard" is imminent. In this session we plan to take a closer look at some of the key features within this eagerly anticipated release; some examples of both the management and productivity tools within the new OS will be presented as well as a preview of Leopard Server.
Google Apps including Webauthing Barry Cornelius, OUCS .pdf  .mp3
Google are providing Google Apps for free to educational establishments (with 2GB of e-mail). And there are some educational establishments switching their student e-mail systems to use Google. As well as e-mail, Google Apps includes documents, spreadsheets and calendars. To make it look like you are providing the service, you can brand the access to these Apps with your own domain name. You are also able to control the creation and deletion of the users that can access your domain.

Google provide a SSO capability for Google Apps. And it is possible to use Webauth for this. So you can arrange for a user to have to supply their Oxford SSO username and password before they can access a domain to run Google Apps.

The aims of this workshop are to:
(a) explain how Google are making this attractive to business/education;
(b) demonstrate and provide some details about each App;
(c) describe how domain administrators can manage the creation of users;
(d) demonstrate how Oxford's Webauth can be used for authenticating users;
(e) discuss how Google Apps might be deployed at the University of Oxford.
Supercomputing/big storage David Wallom, OUCS; Marcus Baldwin & Mark Cobban, Dell -
Mark Cobban - Introduction to Dell and the HPCC Market; Overview of the new HPCC Team at Dell and Future Initiatives; Support offering for HPCC specific and Partners (Streamline)

Marcus Baldwin - Overview of HPCC with Dell at Oxford University - Structure of Resource and Products for HPCC at Oxford. Account Wins; Projects rollouts of HPCC at Oxford; Focus areas going forward; and specifics with Streamline computing at Oxford.

David Wallom - Research Computing at Oxford; HPC Groups; Provision of Microsoft Cluster; specific Cluster projects in Oxford; Visualisation system; campus grid
Let’s talk Oracle! Tara Jewell and Cécile van der Weert, BSP -
A workshop to discuss both the Student and Financials Oracle systems and upcoming projects and development … how do you want to be involved?

We want to hear your views on our communication methods, communication timing prior to our implementations and upgrades, and your interaction with our systems support.
Getting the most from Data Tony Ward, LG01 Ltd -
Data collection and management, regardless of how complex or varied the input or ultimately the weight of reports generated, is not worth much if that's where it stops or decision makers have to spend an inordinate amount of time sifting through reams of output hoping to glean gems of information that may help them in their quest. The very best data management should lead to evidence based decision making i.e. action taking place, otherwise practitioners are simply looking at a report of what happened, rather than the much more meaningful context of what happens next. Without that, decision-making is little better than raising a finger in the wind.
IT Recycling & Disposal (WEEE Directive) Giles Cole, ICEX Ltd -
The presentation is about the WEEE Directive and who should deal with safe environmental recycling, disposal, asset tracking and data erase. Maximising Reuse and Minimising land fill.
HP Business Desktop PCs Peter Von Oven, HP and Daniel Belton, Intel -
HP Business Desktop PCs with Intel®vPro™technology provide built-in professional management and security capabilities that meet critical business needs. It can lower maintenance costs while providing greater levels of IT compliance using Intel vPro technology’s improved remote management, provisioning, problem resolution, off-hours maintenance, and proactive security capabilities, all controlled directly from the IT console. If you would like to find out more we will have joint presentation from Intel and HP to give you the chance to find out how VPro can work for you.
Save the Planet and the Budget - Green IT in Perspective Paul Sleep, NexStor & Wayne Allen, Plasmon -
Does it cost to go Green? A common perception is that it requires additional investment and can impact system performance. In fact, it could help reduce these overheads as 'Green IT' based energy efficiency begins to span much more than just the environmental impact of data growth.

NexStor present a comprehensive guide to efficiently store and protect data whilst maintaining performance and system availability.

Programme | Workshops | Who's Who? | Registration | 12th (2007) ITSSC Home Page

ITSSG, 13 June 2007