About the Office of Information Technology Projects
During the past year, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) has orchestrated over 35 comprehensive IT projects. Thanks to the continued support of President Lisa S. Coico and Senior Vice President and COO Leonard Zinnanti, not only have we completed several exciting projects, we have many more in the pipeline which will continue to significantly improve the technology infrastructure at CCNY. The projects listed below, highlighting some of the larger projects executed over the past year, demonstrate significant development towards the OIT’s support of the City College of New York’s mission.
The Office of Information Technology (OIT) projects listed and described in this section are managed by the IT Project Management Office (PMO).
Major Infrastructure Projects
Wi-Fi Expansion and Upgrades
In the past several months we have deployed an additional 53 access points (APs), bringing the total number up from 370 to 425. To accommodate the rapid increase in the use of the CCNY Wi-Fi, we have acquired an additional 92 access points, waiting to be installed, to increase our Wi-Fi footprint. Once all the newly purchased access points are installed, it will expand our current wireless infrastructure to a total of 517 APs. This will dramatically increase the bandwidth and coverage across the entire campus, focusing particularly on open areas such as the libraries, as well as lecture halls and classrooms. We will continue adding to our Wi-Fi deployment each year.
CCNY Wi-Fi Controller Upgrade
The campus Wi-Fi controllers have been upgraded to provide enhanced security and more availability – allowing users to take advantage of the newer technologies such as the guest self-provisioning access to the wireless network. 425 Access Points (APs) have been migrated to this new device. The old Wi-Fi network IDs ‘CCNYWIFI’ and ‘CCNYWIFI-en’ have been replaced with “ccny-wifi” and “ccny-guest.”.
Email System Upgrade
A new more secure and feature-rich email server was deployed and implemented for approximately 6,000 faculty and staff. The previous system was not designed to support the number of email accounts that it hosted and lacked some essential features of a modern messaging system. The new system integrates additional features, such as centralized calendars, contacts, and better mobile device support. Furthermore, it provides automated and redundant backup. As a result of its robust features and stability, the new system enabled the consolidation of disparate email servers maintained by the Division of Science and various engineering departments, which were hosted on obsolete and insecure hardware and software that created challenges for system administrators to maintain.
Load Balancer Implementation for Email Services
In order to provide email server redundancy and seamless failover in the event of outages, network traffic was diverted from directly accessing the email servers and routed instead to a cluster of load balancers. These distribute the traffic of our email services to allow for optimal performance and minimal stress.
Enterprise Backup Implementation
Reliably maintaining data is a critical service of any IT organization. OIT has implemented an Enterprise Backup Solution. This solution offers IT business continuity and disaster recovery capability, which includes automatic scheduled backups of critical data maintained in CCNY’s data centers and the restoration of lost data with a minimum downtime in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. Critical servers and data are currently securely backed up to disks and then copied to removable media and sent off-site on a monthly basis.
Smart Classroom Expansion
We are continuing to expand our existing smart classrooms. Ten (10) new smart classrooms (three in Marshak, five in NAC and two in Shepard Hall) have been outfitted with AV systems, a projector, audio speakers, controllers, AV interfaces and screens. Additionally, two smart classrooms have been upgraded. NAC 6/150 has been outfitted with a completely new audiovisual system. CG 252 now has a new lectern with a built-in desktop computer, laptop connections and speakers. The college currently has a total of 140 smart classrooms. The projectors in these rooms are equipped with the latest technology lamps, providing sharper images with more energy efficiency..
General Use Student Computer Labs Mac upgrade
In order to better support the Macs in the Tech Center, Graduate and Student Life labs, the operating system of the computers was upgraded to the newest version Mac OS X 10.11. The previous version was no longer supported. Additionally, Mac management software was deployed. This was critical for simplifying the management of the approximately 200 Macs in the general student labs. The service was designed so that it can be scaled to support all of the Macs on campus.
Center for Worker Education (CWE) Network Upgrade
The antiquated network infrastructure at CWE has been completely overhauled, replacing obsolete network switches with newer switches, which have more modern and robust configurations, and substantially increasing the intranet bandwidth from 100 MB to 1000 MB. Additionally, CWE’s Internet connection has been increased from 10 MB to 1000 MB, which has significantly increased the network speed and functionality. This has improved the user experience, and given us better visibility in troubleshooting network and Wi-Fi-related issues, as well as improved and increased security. Furthermore, CWE’s network has been merged with the CCNY main campus network which will allow for robust functionality between the campuses and security enhancements, while saving the college over $10,000 a year in equipment maintenance.
Wellness / Accessibility Upgrade
The Wellness and Accessibility offices were operating within an obsolete network environment. Due to the sensitive nature of the data these offices hold, OIT implemented critical upgrades to the hardware and software on the servers. Additionally, the computers in the offices were joined to the Active Directory in order to better secure access to the data and centralize the management and security of the computers.
Spitzer IP Address Distribution Consolidation
The distribution of IP addresses was moved from an obsolete DHCP server that had been hosted in the Spitzer building to a cluster distributed between the NAC and CDI buildings. This change will help prevent frequent the network outages that users in the building had become accustomed to.
Network Storage Upgrade
The storage system that hosts over 200 critical virtual servers was upgraded in order to alleviate inadequate system resources, allowing OIT to provide additional services as needed to the user community. In addition to many critical infrastructure services, the storage system hosts directory services, file shares, several websites used by various offices throughout the college.
Campus-wide Voicemail Upgrade
The obsolete voicemail server was replaced with three new voicemail servers that include larger storage space and faster processors, which provide better performance and redundancy. This new system expansion will benefit the College for years to come.