CSG Fall 2012 – Managing Remote Sites

Robert Winding from Notre Dame is talking about the approaches they’ve taken to managing remote sites. They set out to develop a strategy for support. Their goals were operational autonomy, core foundational services (authentication, wireless), provision for site specific services, pervasive wireless (secure using campus credentials and eduroam), opt-in account provisioning, and guest account management.

Identified need for Local IT Coordinator – wanted to restrict them to direct contact and aid to engineers back on campus where direct physical intervention is needed. Centrally manage to the extent practical – Virtualized servers, lights-out-management, patching, etc. Remote sites provide local file services, printing, lab imaging, printing, etc.

Balancing local remote IT support. Local IT coordinator, remote DSS partnership (primary point of contact for remote person), campus departments provide direct support, oversight, and design for relevant remote site technologies in networking, system engineering, operations and monitoring, classroom and lab design and support.  Local partners are used for building security and phones.

Local facility can operate independently – need campus access to provision new access or accounts. Server redundancy provides warm backup for foundational services. VPN tunnel and remote access VPN provide two paths for remote access. Virtualization enable squick recovery for upgrade/patch problems.

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