Thursday, June 30, 2011

ITS Active Directory Update

Phase one of the upgrade from Novell Netware to Active Directory, updating the campus PC computers, is complete. A few individuals who were unavailable during our original upgrade dates will be visited separately. If you think that your PC was never visited or you have any remaining questions about phase one, please contact the ITS Help Desk.

Thanks to everyone for your patience and collaboration during this project. In the coming weeks, all shared files on the G and H drives will be moved to Active Directory. Our next phases of the Active Directory project will include updating all the Macintosh computers, academic computers, public computers, and connections to the web server. All affected users will be notified in advance of any interruption to their work day. Stay tuned to the ITS Web site for continued updates on this project.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Technical Issues Resolved

We believe we have resolved the technical issues from earlier today. At this time, Banner, 1600grand, Moodle and other affected services seem to be back to normal. We are taking steps to make sure that the root issue cannot occur again.

If you have questions please contact the ITS Help Desk, 651-696-6525.

Technical Issues: Banner, 1600grand and Moodle

We are experiencing technical issues with servers that support several
of our systems (including Banner, 1600grand, and Moodle). These issues
have impacted Moodle response time and rendered Banner temporarily
inaccessible (both Banner INB and 1600grand Banner Channels). Our
networking staff is working to resolve these issues. We will let you
know as soon as this problem is resolved. If you have questions,
please contact the ITS Help Desk, 651-696-6525

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fall 2011 Moodle Course Sites Available June 15

To prepare for our upcoming semester, Fall 2011 class sites will be created in Moodle on Wednesday, June 15, 2011. Spring 2011 course sites will be moved to the MoodleArchive and will be available there to help you build your new course sites. Moodle will be unavailable most of June 15 to facilitate this work. If you have any questions, or would like help with Moodle, please contact your Academic Information Associate or the ITS Help Desk at 651-696-6525 or

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

ITS is Coming to Visit YOU!

This summer ITS is conducting a major network upgrade, moving from Novell Netware to Microsoft Active Directory (AD). AD is the current industry standard for “directory services”, the central repository for all key elements of a computer network. AD will provide a more stable, secure, current and reliable network. Improvements you’ll see include faster login times, more reliable network access and easier file-sharing.

Upgrades will involve a brief visit to your PC by ITS staff. Visits will start Monday June 13 and proceed by building and by department, so you and your colleagues will be upgraded at the same time. There is a volunteer ‘upgrade liaison’ person in your office, through whom we will work to schedule the upgrades and pass on needed information. Please be assured we will do our best to minimize inconvenience to you and your colleagues.

If you have any questions about the upgrade, please let us know. Call the ITS Help Desk at 651-696-6525 or email

Monday, June 6, 2011

Brief File Server Downtimes Tonight

We must perform maintenance tonight, Monday June 6, to our Novell file servers (including Academic and Admin). These are the servers you access when working with or moving files on the G:, H: and M: drives. While the servers will not be brought down, you may experience intermittent periods between 8:00 PM and 10:00 PM during which you cannot log into them. If you are logged in before the access is temporarily stopped, you should be able to continue using the servers without difficulty.

Please note that no other services will be affected. The college Web site, Banner, 1600grand, Moodle, Internet access, Google Apps and major information systems in Advancement and Admissions will not be touched, and should remain active the entire time. If you have questions, please contact the ITS Help Desk, 696-6525, or Gabe Stitzel, 696-6823.

Upgrading Macalester's Network to AD

This summer ITS is conducting a major network upgrade, moving from Novell Netware directory service to Microsoft Active Directory (AD). A directory service is the central repository for the key elements of a computer network, the place where ITS administrators manage users, computers, network folders and printers. AD provides a more stable, secure, up to date and reliable network.

There are many reasons for this move to Microsoft AD. Novell Netware is being discontinued. AD is now the industry standard. Third-party software products are now routinely created for AD and rarely for Novell. Finally, AD permits Macalester ITS staff to leverage the latest administrative tools for software installation, desktop patches/updates, and an extensive knowledge base for resolving problems.

The move to AD will take place in phases over several months, but with minimal interruption to users. During those months, users will be connected to both Novell and AD. User accounts will be created from the existing Novell accounts and kept in sync until the migration is complete.

The first visible phase of this project is the migration of Macalester staff computers to the AD domain. The next phases of the AD migration will include administrative (staff) files, faculty and academic staff computers, academic files, public computers, and connections to the Web server.

When the upgrade is complete, you will see little obvious difference, but you’ll enjoy faster login times, more reliable network service and improved file sharing.