Friday, July 29, 2011

Reminder: Banner Maintenance Tomorrow, 7/30

1600grand and Banner will be taken offline tomorrow, Saturday July 30 starting at 8:00 AM for scheduled maintenance. 1600grand and Banner will be unavailable for approximately 8 hours while Banner is patched and updated. Access should be restored by 4:00 PM. All other IT services, such as Web access, email, Moodle and Internet access should not be affected. Please contact the Help Desk at 651-696-6525 with any questions relating to this scheduled maintenance period.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Apple Releases Lion OS

Apple has just released Mac OS X 10.7, Lion.  Due to some software incompatibilities, ITS does not recommend upgrading your Macintosh to Lion at this time.  We will continue to test Lion with our supported software tools. 

Please don’t go online and buy Lion with your PCard!  When the incompatibilities are worked out, College-owned Macs can be upgraded free under the terms of our Apple Educational License Program.  (To get Lion for a personally-owned computer, you’ll need to purchase it.)  If you have questions, please contact the ITS Help Desk at 651-696-6525 or email helpdesk@macalester.edu.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Community Update: Admin Upgrade to Active Directory


We want to report on our progress in upgrading the Admin server to Microsoft Active Directory (AD). The Novell Netware Admin server has been taken out of service.  All administrative staff departments are now sharing and storing files on a brand-new Microsoft AD Admin server.  The next phase of the campus upgrade will be to make the same changes for the Novell Web and Academic servers, which we will do in the Fall.  

Since we’re using a new system, some things will inevitably look different and act differently than before.  If you see anything that strikes you as odd, whether or not it is potentially a problem, please don’t live with it—call the ITS Help Desk at 651-696-6525.  What you’ve noticed may just be new, and we’ll reassure you.  If you have identified a real problem, we will work to resolve it for you.  

Thanks to all staff for your patience during this transition!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Reminder: AD Upgrade Starts 5:30 PM Today

This is a gentle reminder that the next phase of our upgrade from Novell to Active Directory starts today, Wednesday July 20, at 5:30 PM.  All staff access to the Admin server (including your G: and H: drives) will be disabled at that time so that we can make the change on the back end.  Please shut down your computer when you leave work today.  Tomorrow morning, July 21, you can finish the upgrade on your computer(s) by following the brief directions we’ve published in the Daily Piper and this blog.  If you have any questions about the upgrade, or if you experience any problems, please call the ITS Help Desk at 651-696-6525.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Staff remote access users: what to expect July 20-21

If you are a staff member who remotely accesses files on the Admin server’s G:, H: and M: drives from off campus, the upgrade from Novell to Active Directory (AD) will change how you get to those files. This upgrade will only affect files stored on Admin - for example, Argos and Advance will not change. If you do not access Admin files remotely, you can skip this message.

We have created some useful information to help you re-establish your remote access to Admin files:  

Windows PCs: Instructions for Windows PC remote access.  

Apple Macintosh: Instructions for Macintosh remote access.  

If you have problems, please call the ITS Help Desk at 651-696-6525. 

Staff Student Employee Supervisors: what to expect July 20-21

This posting  is intended for all staff members whose student workers access files on the Admin server’s G:, H: and M: drives using Windows PCs.  If you do not supervise student employees, or if your student workers use only Macintosh computers, you can ignore this message.  Please note, this does not apply to computers in labs, nor to general-access computers—only to Windows PCs used to access Admin by work-study student employees.

On the morning of Thursday July 21, you will need to log into all of your student employee workstations as ‘Administrator’ in order to complete the AD upgrade for those PCs.  Other than choosing ‘Administrator,’ the process will run just as for other Windows PCs, described in a separate Windows posting.  If you encounter any problems, please do not hesitate to call the ITS Help Desk at 651-696-6525: we will have extra staff standing by to assist you immediately. 

Staff Windows PC users: what to expect July 20-21

If you are a staff member using either a Windows XP or Windows 7 computer, here’s what you need to do to complete your PC’s upgrade from Novell to Active Directory (AD).

The migration will begin at 5:30 PM on Wednesday, July 20.  At this time, access to your G:, H: and M: drives will be disabled so that the files can be moved to AD. When you leave work Wednesday, please shut your computer down.

When you arrive the morning of Thursday, July 21, turn your PC on and log in normally.  Several windows will appear, which means that the update process has started successfully.   If you are prompted with a message asking, “Do you want to allow the following program to make changes to this computer?” and listing Novell Client as the program, click OK.

DO NOTHING on your PC until the computer reboots itself, which it will do within five or six minutes.  Don’t click anything, don’t type anything, don’t pull the power plug – just let the computer chug along and do its thing.

After the computer reboots, your login screens will look slightly different because Novell has been removed from your system.  Press CTRL + ALT + DELETE, then enter your network (email, 1600grand, Novell) username and password and log in.

If you see several login icons instead of a username and password window, click the “Switch User” button, then click “Other User” and log in normally.   This preference will be saved, so you’ll see a normal login screen from now on.

Your network drives under My Computer may look slightly different, but your access to the G:, H: and M: drives should remain the same.  Don’t be alarmed if directories you have created now show in all capital letters - the contents will remain unchanged. You will also see slightly different names attached to your network drives:
        
G: - GROUPS (your shared group directory)
H: - HOME (your personal user directory)
M: - COMMON (the all-campus directory)

If you have any problems, please call the ITS Help Desk immediately at 651-696-6525.  We will be standing by ready to assist you if needed.

Staff Macintosh users: what to expect July 20-21

If you are a staff member who accesses files on the Admin server’s G: (GROUPS) or H: (FACSTF2) drives using an Apple Macintosh, the upgrade from Novell to Active Directory (AD) will change how you get to those files.  Existing aliases will no longer work to access Admin.  To re-establish your Admin file access, here are two methods:

1.  ITS staff will send out two customized aliases, G_Groups and H_Users, via email on Thursday 7/21.  Copy one or both of these shortcuts to your Mac, then doubleclick on the alias to connect.

2.  Open the Finder.  Under the Go menu, select Connect to Server.  Enter either smb://files.macalester.edu/admin/groups or smb://files.macalester.edu/users.

If you have difficulty, please call the ITS Help Desk at 651-696-6525.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Banner Maintenance Coming Saturday July 30

1600grand and Banner will be taken offline on the morning of Saturday, July 30 starting at 8:00 AM for scheduled maintenance. 1600grand and Banner will be unavailable for approximately 8 hours while updates and patching take place. Access should be restored by 4:00 PM. 1600grand and Banner provide services such as Course Schedules, Transcripts, Financial Aid Awards and Requirements, Leave Balances and Time Sheets. (All other IT services, such as Web access, email, Moodle and Internet access should not be affected.) Please contact the Help Desk at 651-696-6525 with any questions relating to this scheduled maintenance period.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

“Why should I care about this AD upgrade thing?”

ITS has been telling you a lot about our Active Directory (AD) upgrade over the past few weeks. You’ve read that we will begin the next phase of the upgrade at 5:30 PM next Wednesday July 20, and that you will run a process on Thursday July 21 to complete switching your computer away from Novell Netware.  Details will be published next week about what you will see, what steps you may need to take, problems you may encounter and how to get our help with those problems.  Watch for those details in the Daily Piper and the ITS blog.   You will find all the “what,” “where” and “how” in those postings.

What you may want to know now is “why are we moving from Novell to AD?  What benefits will I notice?”  Since Novell Netware is no longer being actively developed, we must upgrade our network OS, and AD is the industry standard product.  We are beginning the upgrade with staff members and the Admin server’s G:, H: and M: drives because you’re here, while most faculty and students are away from campus.  (We will upgrade the Academic server later, during the Fall semester, when faculty and students are back.)  You will see real benefits from this upgrade, including

*faster logins
*one single login to your computer, tied to your network account
*fewer drive mappings (but you’ll keep the ones that matter)
*significantly increased reliability and stability on Admin
*more reliable printing across the network
*unification of Admin and Academic file systems, creating easier access to files that were previously stored on other servers

You won’t see it now, but this upgrade also lays a strong foundation for continued development of new online tools and resources, which will ultimately benefit you as well.

Thank you for your support as we get ready to enter the next phase of the AD upgrade!  If you have questions, please call our ITS Help Desk at 651-696-6525.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Active Directory Upgrade: Enhanced Schedule

ITS is moving the Admin server’s Novell Netware to Active Directory cutover to Wednesday July 20 - Thursday July 21. We will use this period for further testing of our procedures and supporting materials. You can expect to receive detailed communications on what you will see (and, in some cases, what you need to do) to complete your upgrade on Thursday July 21.

The general procedure remains the same. Please shut down your computer when you leave work Wednesday 7/20. At 5:30 PM that day, logins to the Admin server’s G:, H: and M: drives will be disabled so that we can migrate your files. On the morning of Thursday July 21, Novell Netware will be a thing of the past for all Admin users, and you’ll enjoy faster logins as well as better support under Active Directory.

Watch for messages in the Daily Piper describing specific points of interest for the following types of staff members who use Admin:

*Windows PC users, both XP and 7
*Apple Macintosh users
*Staff who access Admin drives remotely from off campus (Windows and Mac)
*Staff who supervise student employees with Windows PC workstations

If you have any questions about the upgrade, please call the ITS Help Desk at 651-696-6525.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Alert: Internet Service Interruptions 7/7/11

Starting at 9:45 AM today, Thursday July 7, our Internet connection has been intermittently cutting out. The interruptions are brief - usually less than a minute - and may not immediately be noticeable. We are working with our Internet Service Provider to determine what is going on, and fix the problem. We will send more information as we have it.