ARlington Data Center (ARDC): The ARlington Data Center is one of two UT System data centers governed by the UT Shared Data Center (SDC) group on behalf of the UT System. It is sometimes called by its older name of the Arlington Regional Data Center. ARDC is managed by UT Arlington, has on site operations staff, is located in Ft. Worth and is rated at ~tier 2-3 on the Uptime scale. ARDC is the primary data center for UTA as well as providing optional co-location space for UT academic and health institutions. It is also the home of the TexSIS and UTShare shared service applications and their staff.
Contracting: Many people contribute to providing easy to use and affordable contracts for UT in the IT area. Some of the major UT System-wide software contracts for site licensing include Microsoft desktop/server program, Oracle’s database and PeopleSoft suites, and InCommon certificate programs; these are administered and negotiated by the System CIO’s office. Some key security software programs are negotiated by UT Austin’s Cam Beasley including toopher two factor authentication and splunk or by System CISO Lewis Watkins (Configuresoft, SANS training, mobile device management). The Strategic Alliance, www.utsystem.edu/hea/supplychainalliance, has an extensive purchasing list that includes some IT items such as printers/copiers. And outside of the UT System, the Department of Information Resources (DIR) provides product catalog as well as services such as IT staff augmentation and project deliverable contracts, www.dir.texas.gov. Nationally, Internet 2 is doing significant work with cloud contracts for higher education through its Net+ and InCommon initiatives, www.internet2.edu/netplus.
Digital Certificates: The University of Texas System is site licensed for InCommon Comodo digital certificates. These may be used to secure web server access (i.e., https) or for individual ids for faculty, staff and students. UT System also has a pilot for InCommon’s DUO service that provides for two factor authentication; this pilot is for faculty/staff. A third project is underway at UT Austin using www.toopher.com two factor authentication and other UT entities may purchase through UT Austin.
For a brief description of describing what is a digital ID and what are digital certificates, please see http://www.utsystem.edu/offices/system-wide-information-services/digitalcerts
Houston Data Center (HDC): HDC, also known as the Guhn Rd facility, is one of two UT System data centers governed by the UT Shared Data Center (SDC) group on behalf of the UT System. SDC is managed by UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, is a lights out facility, is rated at ~ tier 2-3 on the Uptime scale and is located in Houston. HDC has a hall dedicated to optional co-location usage by UT entities.
Identity Management Initiative and Federation: Realizing the need for increased collaboration, technology integration, and security among U.T. institutions, in early 2004, the U.T. System Strategic Leadership Council made the decision to begin an Identity Management Initiative, which focused on standardizing identity management policies and practices across the 16 entities/institutions of the U.T. System and on developing a standards-based middleware infrastructure capable of meeting the objectives of the new initiative. The resulting governance framework and technology infrastructure was designed to enable identity information to flow in a trustworthy and reliable manner not only throughout the U.T. System, but also to any external trusted entity.
Additional information: https://idm.utsystem.edu/utfed/index.html
Information Security: The Chief Information Security Officer for the UT System is Lewis Watkins. The CISO position is responsible for overseeing a comprehensive system-wide information security plan and program for protection of UT System information resources and privacy of confidential information. The CISO collaborates with all UT entities on matters related to information security and will provide strategic direction and assistance to the institutions concerning the implementation of institutional security plans.
Additional Information: www.utsystem.edu/ciso
IT Roadmap: The UT System IT Roadmap is a 5-7 year strategic plan which will impact and benefit all 15 UT institutions and three shared data centers, including the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). The plan evolved from the successful UT Research Cyberinfrastructure project which was created to invest in technology infrastructure for the furthering of research throughout the System. Primary missions for UT System include education, research and patient care. It is expected that proper investments in technology, people and process will advance all missions and will lead to innovation and discoveries that will benefit the citizens of Texas and beyond. In addition, administrative activities will also benefit via efficiencies realized by investing in technologies which will deliver consistent shared IT services for the participating institutions.
Initial work on the Roadmap began in 2011 when a group of 70 representatives met and brainstormed requirements and ideas for System oriented investment imperatives for technology and people, This group, known as the Internal Voices included educators, researchers, clinicians, administrative leaders, IT leaders and students. Concurrently System contracted with Price Waterhouse Coopers to develop the first version of the Roadmap. PwC visited and evaluated all 15 UT institutions, the three shared data centers and UT System Administration and over 700 different stakeholders were interviewed to determine what requirements should be considered over the next 5-7 years. The first draft of the Roadmap was completed in 2012 and the Internal Voices were reconvened in late 2012 to vet and approve the draft.
Legislative matters/regulatory: The Texas legislature meets in odd numbered years and the CIO’s office reviews/analyzes proposed legislation involving IT at institutions of Texas public higher education. We work with colleagues in System Administration, ITCHE (see IT Governance), and UT CIOs. After the legislative year, the CIO’s office works with colleagues on any resulting changes. We also review/analyze and work with colleagues on federal regulatory matters and other compliance issues.
Lonestar Education and Research Network (LEARN): University of Texas institutions are founding members of the Regional Optical Network in Texas for research and education.
Additional information: http://www.tx-learn.org
Networking (UT System Wide Area Networking): The Office of Telecommunication Services (OTS) provides reliable, efficient and cost-effective data, video and voice communications for all University of Texas institutions/entities. OTS partners with Texas A&M to provide the Texas Backbone (BB), manages the Texas higher e4ducation network (THEnet) and is an aggregator in the LEARN Texas wide research and education network. As part of UTRC 1.0. OTS deployed the 10 Gb research-usage network among all UT institutions plus two data centers (TACC, ARDC).
Office of Technology and Information Services (OTIS): OTIS is the internal IT service provider for UT System Administration departments. Its mission is to proactively provide customer focused information management and technology services and infrastructure.
Additional information: www.utsystem.edu/OTIS
Office of Telecommunication Services (OTS): The Office of Telecommunication Services (OTS) provides reliable, efficient and cost-effective data, video and voice communications for all University of Texas institutions/entities. OTS partners with Texas A&M to provide the Texas Backbone (BB), manages the Texas higher e4ducation network (THEnet) and is an aggregator in the LEARN Texas wide research and education network. As part of UTRC 1.0. OTS deployed the 10 Gb research usage network among all UT institutions plus two data centers (TACC, ARDC).
Persistent Web Presence: In the event of a disaster at a UT institution, OTS can provide a surrogate or emergency simple web status page for the institution that answers to the institution’s primary web service.
Additional information: www.the.net/services/persistent
Shared Data Center (SDC): The SDC mission is a shared services governance for the UT System two data centers- ARDC and HDC.
Shared Services: Shared Services under EVC Scott Kelly’s leadership is about more than just centralizing redundant IT and business services; it is based upon shared governance that permits greater flexibility and responsiveness. It creates incentives for participation and is overseen not just by UT System personnel, but also by representatives of the participating campuses. The initiative is organized around three basic types of shared services: information technology (e.g., data center consolidation such as Shared Data Center), business systems (software applications such as UTShare, TexSIS, eCRT) and business processes. Two examples of the latter are 1) the Shared Business Office (SBO) directed by William Huang that will provide back office work for the smaller members of the UTShare cohort and 2) reviews of best practices under consideration for our health institutions in procure-to-pay (contact: Richard St. Onge). Some of the current activities include:
SmartClassroom: A project of the SLC and Multi-media group, this project provides guidance on best practices in design and implementation of multi-media in classrooms and working with your facilities organization.
Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC): TACC is a UT Austin data center and home to UT Austin’s world class supercomputing facilities. TACC supports cutting-edge research in nearly every field of science. In addition, TACC is the provider of a key UTRC 1.0 project, the UT data repository (UTDR) -a 4 TB replicated store for research usage.
Additional information: www.tacc.utexas.edu
TexSIS: TexSIS provides the three pilot institutions (UT Arlington, UT Dallas and UT Tyler) with a shared governance student information system using PeopleSoft Campus Solutions 9.0. TexSIS is housed at ARDC and has been in full production since Fall 2009. It is currently a multi-instance implementation on IBM AIX hardware.
UT Data Repository (UTDR): The UTDR is a project of the UT Cyberinfrasructure (UTRC) initiative to provide 3TB of storage for UT researchers across the UT System. UTDR is housed and managed at TACC with a replicated system at ARDC.
Additional information: www.tacc.utexas.edu/partnerships/utrc/components#utdr
UT Research Cyberinfrastructure (UTRC). The UT Research Cyberinfrastructure (UTRC) initiative provides new capabilities that will advance current and future research efforts across all UT institutions. By providing a combination of advanced computational systems, a large data storage opportunity, and high bandwidth data access between the institutions, UTRC enables researchers within all 15 UT System institutions to collaborate with each other and compete at the forefront of science and discovery. UTRC incorporates integrated operations (central and distributed, connected at high bandwidth) and works with researchers to develop applications, manage and analyze data, and integrate with the decentralized resources. The UTRC Project facilitates, stimulates, and supports leadership in computational science research across Texas and attracts more funding and the best faculty and graduate students to UT institutions.
Additional information: www.utsystem.edu/research-cyberinfrastructure/
UTShare: UTShare is a shared governance service HR/Finance ERP implementation underway for most of our academic institutions and UT System Administration. It is housed at ARDC, is a single instance multi-business-unit implementation using PeopleSoft 9.1 HCM and FMS suites. Planning and Budgeting will be Hyperion Planning/Budgeting Public Sector. Hundreds of participants across the System are engaged in these projects. Application staff (SSA) is located at ARDC as is the Project management office (PMO), the technical staff (OSS) and consulting partners. These projects will go into production March 2014 with some of the workflow for PeopleSoft sequenced in during the summer. Participants include: UT Arlington, UT Brownsville, UT Dallas (already live on its pilot instance), UT El Paso, UT Pan American (scheduled for later) UT Permian Basin, UT’s new university in Rio Grande Valley (in planning), UT System Administration and UT Tyler.