PACAC Meeting Information Technology Services Budget Impacts February 6, 2009

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PACAC Meeting

Information Technology
Services
Budget Impacts

February 6, 2009


Since 2003 we’ve been working in austerity mode. This is a mindset from our last budget cuts
when we realized

license and maintenance costs keep increasing every year but our budgets stay
flat.
Some of our current

ITS

budget reduction
strategies

include

the following:



So far

we’ve given up four positions permanently and have five
vacancies

frozen.



With email

off
Jan,

we are moving the

remaining Jan services from a large Sun system to
a virtualized Linux environment. We started moving toward Linux two years ago; in that
time we’ve cut our
unix
hardware and software maintenance bills significantly

(about in
half)
.



J
an has a Z: drive that competes with the H: drive

service

ITS also offers. We will move
Z: drive files to
the
H: drive and shutdown the Jan Z: drive
service.



When we get email off Dana, we can move Dana services to the same virtualized Linux
environment th
at Jan moved onto. This reduces the number of machines we support and
will save

a large Dana maintenance bill

in FY10
.



We are aggressively trying to get thin clients to work in our labs.

The cost savings
require, however, that we maintain a healthy staffin
g level and sufficient budget to
administer central servers and networks.



To save the state budget, we are moving some
student
-
related
licensing costs

including
Elluminate

into the IT Fee.



We recently shut down the machine room and improved the cooling eff
iciency by
rearranging racks, improving raised floor air floor,
and added

t
emperature sensors to let
us better monitor

the machine room.



We are exploring open source as a strategy for all existing services.
We already rely on
Linux, Samba,

Apache,

Tomcat,
Sakai, Catci, CUPs, and Subversion

(to name a few open
source products in use)
. We think
Alfresco, Moodle,
Pentaho, and

Xen are worth

try
ing
as well
. These names aren’t all that familiar

after all there’s no marketing team making
them household names

but t
hey hold the potential of reducing our costs and still allow
us to provide
top notch

academic computing services. Note that for some of these

products
, like Red Hat Linux, we purchase third
-
party support, but at a lower cost than
we’ve paid in the past
for

equivalent
commercial
products
.



Outsourcing is another, very new strategy

for ITS
. So far it’s limited to just Google Email
for students and iTunesU for media streaming
of
some course content.


While we will try not to impact faculty and students with the
se changes, there are cases where
we will be turning off some legacy services in favor of equivalent or better replacements. For
example, some small number of faculty may still be using the Jan Z: drive and we’ll need to have
them reconnect to a different
server after we move their files to the H: drive.