Monthly Archives: January 2011

BigFix Clients Uninstall

The BigFix pilot program is ending today. I thank everyone who participated by installing the client agent on their workstations. We were able to gain a lot of valuable insight into the capabilities of this system.

You may uninstall the BigFix client anytime you wish; just use the normal application removal process.


Switch UHB First Floor North

The switch went down at noon on Sunday. The trouble was the UPS failed
and both switch power supplies were connected to the UPS. I connected
an adaptor cable to the 30 amp power outlet in the rack and then the two
power supplies to the 20 amp outlets on the adaptor. We need to replace
this UPS and add a 20 amp power outlet in the rack.

Jamie Voyles

HSB 119

217 206-7840

ICCN Service Disruption

This has already happened and expired. I post it only for your information:

## Description ##
ICCN Peers Internet2 and Internet2-CPS (Commercial Peering Service) experienced an outage from 0958 to 1001 27Jan2011.

## Impact ##
ICCN customers that utilize these services experienced a brief interruption accessing resources that normally traverse the Internet2 or I2-CPS connections. These resources include but are not limited to,, and

## Notes ##
ICCN Engineers have verified that the peering sessions have reestablished properly and are again functional. No further impact is expected.
If you are experiencing any issues you believe to be related to this issue please contact us via one of the methods given below.

## Contact Info ##
Emergency: 217-265-4226
Web Ticket:

Repair of BRB Core Switch

The replacement Supervisor module for the core switch in Brookens has arrived. Kevin and Scott are restoring the original configuration now. The switch is currently off-line and will stay that way until 5:00 pm, at which time we’ll reconnect it back to the network. We do not expect any disruption of any services when it is brought back on line.

UPDATE: HSB Core Switch Failure and Response

Once again, my sincerest “Thank You!” to everyone, both those who directly worked on recovery yesterday and the rest of us that helped keep the campus community calm and informed. While there are several lessons we can learn from this experience, the most important thing we rediscovered is that ITS people are both highly skilled and ready to assist in unity when times like these come around.

I thought you’d also enjoy hearing a small sampling of comments from the UIS community:

“Thanks Todd.  You guys keep up the good work.  Appreciate it!”   Larry Golden

“Thank you for your work.  These events serve to show us how much we rely on your office and how seldom we have any problems.”  Marilyn Kok

“Todd, great work from you and your people.”  Patty Stoutamyer

“Great, that [getting BB back up] was quick! And, it seems to be running even faster now. Great job handling the problems, thanks so much!!”  Rachel Tohme

“Hi Todd, I just wanted to personally thank you and all your staff for the great job you all did getting us back up and running!  I don’t know what we would do without you! Thanks and much appreciation!!!”   Candace Powers

“Todd, We appreciate what you and your staff have done throughout the day – THANKS TO ALL!  We take our communication system so much for granted.  It is sometimes a blessing when all goes down, so we really can appreciate what we have.”  Charlene Lambert

“Actually I and many other nameless souls appreciate your efforts on this challenging day.  If it was up to me to fix this mess I would have sat in my office weeping like a child. Good Job boys [and girls]!”  Jim Bonacum

“Thank you for all of your efforts to get our network services up and running.”  Neil Headman

“Todd, sounds like you & your team have indeed had a challenging day.  Thanks for everyone’s hard work getting things back on track.  I’m sure it wasn’t easy.”  Milissa Thibodeaux-Thompson

“Thank you, and the rest of the IT staff, for all of your hard work today. I really appreciate the swiftness with which the problems (as least from a user’s standpoint) were resolved. Thanks again.”  Tony Lombardo

“Hey Todd, Thank you and your staff for your hard work today.  Now BREATHE!” Teresa Szabo

These are just a sampling of the comments that Todd (as our information spokesman) received throughout the day yesterday. In fact, out of the 40-50 responses received, ALL OF THEM were positive. Farokh also received a personal Thank You from Chancellor Berman as well.

Again, thank you, everyone.

Core Switch Failure Status

Here is the current status of ITS services after the failure of the HSB core switch today:

  • All core service are up and functioning.
  • About 95% of the wireless network is functional. The remaining portion will not be functional until we receive the replacement part.
  • Some back-office systems located only in BRK are down until the replacement part arrives. We do not know of any end-user services (other than wireless) that are still affected.
  • When the new part arrives tomorrow morning, we should be able to install it and bring up the BRK switch with no disruption to the campus services.
  • We will need to schedule a maintenance window (30 minutes should be enough) within the next week to restore some network cabling connections to their original locations.
  • One of the four units that make up the MPC SAN volumes has apparently failed (Tom is still working on it). This unit hosts a portion of the eDocs and Blackboard data. The data is currently accessible, but we cannot sustain a second failure without loss of all data stored on the devices. We are currently in the process of obtaining a replacement SAN. Until then, Roger will be monitoring the daily backups to ensure that we are protected.
  • It took about 6 hours from the time of failure to restore Blackboard and about 7.5 hours to restore all other failed services.

Cooling System in HSB Server Room

Monday January 24, 2011 8:15am

The Stationary engineers have turned the old cooling system off and the
room is completely on the new systems mounted in the ceiling of the

They will monitor the temperature and humidity for fluctuations.

The old system is ready to be turned back on if needed.

Jamie Voyles

HSB 119

217 206-7840

Bigfix Pilot: Testing Power Management

Good morning, everyone.

We are ready to test the power management features of the Bigfix system on ITS workstations. Here is what we are planning to do:

  1. Create a two new policies that will configure power management settings on participating desktop computers.
  2. The first policy will be for ‘daytime’, will apply from 7:30 AM till 5:30 PM and will be configured more towards performance and less towards power savings. Planned settings are for the computer to power off the monitor after 15 minutes of inactivity and to never put the computer to sleep. This is equivalent to the default Windows 7 power profile of “High Performance”.
  3. The second policy will be for ‘off-hours’ and is focused on increasing power savings. Planned settings are for the computer to power off the monitor after 5 minutes of inactivity and to put the computer to sleep after 30 minutes of inactivity.
  4. Once the profiles are configured, they will be silently pushed out to all of the machines in the test group (about 20 as of now). No user intervention is required and there should be no noticeable impact, other than having the new settings take affect. The push should take place sometime today.

For clarification, when a Windows 7 computer goes to sleep, it will act as if it is powered off but is, in fact, just pretending. The screen will power down, the PC fan will shut down, and the power light may flash. Files open as the time of sleeping will be either kept in memory (which is still powered on) or saved to disk (this depends on how the machines “hybrid” power setting is configured). Touching the keyboard or pressing the power button restores the system, like recovering from a screensaver. It just takes a bit longer. At least, this is what I’ve experienced on my machine; YMMV. 🙂

If these power settings affect you positively or negatively, I’d like to know about it. Please e-mail me or leave a comment on this blog post. We can exclude machines if needed.

Finally, we still only have 20 or so machines participating in the pilot. We’d like to double that number to get better results. If you’ve not yet installed the Bigfix client on your desktop or notebook PC or Mac, please do so. The instructions from Todd’s previous e-mail are included below for your convenience. You’re help is greatly appreciated.

Thank you.


Installation Instructions:

1.     You can find the necessary files here: \\uis11\stayout$\BigFix

2.     Run the installer for your OS, and follow the prompts.  No settings need to be changed from their default.

3.     If you are on a Mac, copy the build.conf file into /Library/Application Support/BigFix/BES Agent/__BESData/ directory.

New InCommon SSL Certicates Now Available At No Cost

Through a University-wide arrangement, we now have the ability to issue InCommon SSL certificates for webservers in the domain. There is no cost to obtain these certificates and there is no limit on the number of them we can have.

In the future, as our existing SSL certificates expire, they should normally be replaced with the InCommon certificates. Also, internal servers (like those used for testing and development) that are using self-signed certificates or are not using SSL due to cost concerns can easily use these third-party certificates, making the experience much friendlier for the user.

Let me know if you have any questions.