Coming Soon--- Enterprise Backup Service for SMU Computers
For years the responsibility of regularly backing up the data stored on a computer has resided with the customer. Although we all know we should backup regularly, few of us actually do. Unfortunately, that leaves us scrambling when a hard drive crashes or a laptop is stolen. In addition, the process of backing up user data and transferring that data for new computer installations adds an average of 4 hours to the install process. That component of the process hinders us from providing a quicker install turnaround and keeping up with the 1200+ installs per year.
We are excited to announce that a new enterprise backup solution will be available to SMU owned computers later this semester. The project team has just begun the implementation planning and will be working diligently to implement this service quickly. IT has selected Crash Plan Pro for this service.
Crash Plan Pro is a software application that can be installed on Windows, Macintosh and Linux platforms. After the initial installation, the software performs a complete backup of the folder locations specified in the configuration. Once the initial backup is complete, the application will continuously backup only those changed files automatically. The process runs continuously in the background but utilizes very few resources. All data is fully encrypted and secured in transit from your computer to the server storage in our datacenter. Best of all, the process is fully automated and requires no user intervention! When you need to recover data, there’s a quick and easy process to locate the folders or files that you need from the backup client.
Once this solution is in place, our hope is to eliminate the backup and transfer component from the install process. Instead, the install team will ensure that a backup has been completed. They will prepare the new machine installing the standard software and any specialty software that is required. The new computer will then be installed at the customer’s desk. The restore process can be initiated and the installers can move on to the next ticket. This will allow us to complete installs in a more timely manner across campus.
A project timeline and more detailed information will be posted and additional communication will be provided later this semester.
Important Information for Employees with a University-Owned Cell Phone or Cellular Device
Last year the cellular service justification process was implemented to ensure compliance with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations. This process must be completed on an annual basis. We’ve made several changes to the process this year to make it easier for all involved. Please read carefully!
- On February 4, all employees with a University owned cellular device will receive an email with a unique link to the form. They will receive an individual email for each cellular device assigned to them.They will have 2 weeks to complete the form.
- On February 20, all supervisors will receive a single email with a unique link. They will have to review and signoff on each of their employee forms individually. They will have 2 weeks to complete this process.
- Finally, on March 11, the Financial Officers will receive an email with a unique link. They will review and signoff on all of their forms individually. All reviews must be completed by March 29, 2013.
We need your assistance and cooperation in completing this process within the specified timeframe. Each form must be completed by the assigned individual (no delegate approvals) using the link in the email. Failure to complete the forms in a timely manner may result in the suspension of your cellular service.
For more details about this process, visit click here.
New Computer Naming Convention
In order to simplify the technology fund allocation process, a new naming convention has been implemented for all SMU owned technology devices. The old ITS stickers will no longer be used on new equipment. Instead a new sticker will be used that begins with the two digit number identifying the year it was purchased (13-XXXX). The computers will also be named according to this new tag number. Going forward, it will be easy to identify the year a computer was purchased and therefore determine eligibility for replacement under technology funds.
Mountain Lion Upgrades Available for OIT Managed Macs
We have officially completed our testing of the Mountain Lion OS for Mac computers. Although new Mac orders have been deployed with Mountain Lion installed, we have not yet offered the upgrade to existing Macs. Now that the testing is complete, customers with a previous Mac OS may request an upgrade to Mountain Lion via help.smu.edu. Mountain Lion will also be the standard OS for any new installs or computer upgrades going forward.
Microsoft will discontinue all support and patching for Windows XP in 2014. Any IT managed computers that are still running this operating system will need to be upgraded this year to Windows 7. IT is currently running a query to determine the computers that fall into this category and will be contacting owners throughout the year. To request an upgrade, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the ITS number of the computer.