LAN Technology Policies & Procedures

Purpose of Policy

ITS endeavors to allow the smooth, uninterrupted operation of academic and administrative computer software which supports the central mission of the college. Increasing opportunities for sharing software and hardware departmentally or in 'virtual networks' must be coordinated with the operation and needs of the new campus network. The guidelines below are designed to reduce the likelihood of a system failure that would compromise all of our work and to provide for the best possible use of college resources.

Testing, Purchasing, & Installation Policy

Any computer systems or software intended for shared use on computer workstations residing on the campus network or which intend to utilize the campus network backbone as a carrier or will interface in any manner with the campus network must be evaluated and approved by ITS prior to purchase or distribution with regard to current ITS standards. Of greatest concern are those purchase or installation plans that involve devotion of large amounts of capital, broad distribution, or non-standard operating systems or protocols. These guidelines apply to all network purchases or installations, regardless of funding sources.

It is the intent of ITS to remove most, if not all, of the restrictions contained herein as a result of increased monitoring and testing, as well as the completion of the new campus network. Until that time, in order to facilitate testing of potential classroom and office applications at little risk to the network, faculty and staff may test demonstration software without prior approval of ITS. However, such testing should occur only during slow traffic periods on the campus network. Software which requires approval from ITS includes, but is not limited to, the following: software with high broadcast rates, high traffic, live audio or video; information push via the Web; back-ups over the network; software installations; multi-user games; traffic generators; or mass distributions. This testing may occur prior to 10 am and after 5 p.m. on weekdays or anytime on weekends. If it is necessary that testing occur at other times, faculty and staff must request approval from ITS. ITS will monitor activity on the network and reserves the right to disconnect any device from the network if traffic generated from that address jeopardizes the performance of the network for all users.

ITS assumes responsibility for public labs. Departmental labs may be configured by a departmental LAN administrator in consultation with ITS.

When contemplating shared software and/or hardware, faculty and staff should consider the following steps:

Research Phase

  • Collect information from ITS about the current campus-wide standards and direction for hardware, software, and networking. Consider that during a lengthy research phase (six months or more) technology or ITS direction may change significantly. Stay in regular contact with ITS during this phase to insure the best decision.
  • Research and test potential products in conjunction with ITS.

Implementation Phase

  • Submit Installation Plan to ITS, including server and PC configurations, a listing of all workstations involved, and identification of the installer.
  • ITS will have five working days from receipt of proposal to determine whether proposed configuration is compatible with the campus network system. If ITS determines that there is a potential conflict, it may request a delay in purchase or installation for further evaluation.
  • ITS may respond to a purchase/installation proposal in the following manner:
    a) yes, with ITS support
    b) yes, with no ITS support
    c) yes, with ITS support, but with some conditions
    d) yes, with no ITS support, but with some conditions
    e) no
  • With approval, the department proceeds with purchase using the Capital Projects Purchase protocol. Computer related purchases require ITS approval on the Capital Projects form.
  • Installation is the responsibility of the individual department. The installation may be conducted by the individual department, outside contracted services, or ITS contract (ITS contracting is not always an option). The new software must not conflict with other existing configurations.

Appeals Process

  • Should ITS refuse approval to an academic department, that department may appeal to the Academic Computing Committee (ACC) for consideration. The ACC will simply determine whether the appeal has merit for consideration by the Joint Committee for Information Technology (JCIT). The ACC will not specifically support or oppose any appeal. The JCIT shall hear appeals and advise the President accordingly. All appeals shall be ruled on by the JCIT in no less than 30 days.
  • Administrative departments may initially appeal to the LAN subcommittee of the JCIT which shall determine whether the appeal should be forwarded to the JCIT. Administrative appeals shall follow the same procedure outlined above once submitted to the JCIT.
  • JCIT will monitor the frequency of appeals to insure that the College moves forward efficiently in LAN development.