The spring meeting for the IT Reps was held on June 6, 2018. It was a full agenda and informative session with an emphasis on current initiatives that are being carried out at the University.
The session kicked off with the new CIO, Martin Bernier who started at the University 2 months earlier. He was happy to meet with all the IT representatives and is interested in having a true 2-way dialogue with the sectors. His key messages were about synergy, collaboration and transparency. In the upcoming months, he will be meeting with as many faculties and sectors he can to get a better sense of the challenges being faced by the institution.
Jean-Ray Arseneau, IT Manager for Security Services, then discussed the IT security initiatives that are underway. Security is of great concern to most organizations and there is a need to strengthen our defences. He presented disk encryption, workstation optimization, multi-factor authentication, privileged access management, the web application firewall, web single sign-on consolidation, and the upgrade to the new Sophos client. Several more security projects will start up later this year.
API security using Apigee was presented by Rajesh Dawar, Applications Integration Architect and Emily Frouin, Senior Programmer Analyst, both in Information Technology. In the upcoming year, the intent is to migrate all ESB web services to the API gateway and transition existing clients from using direct ESB communication to using the API gateway. Ultimately, direct authentication on the ESB will be disabled and the ESB servers will be moved to the secure zone.
In what was an engaging topic for all, Michel Racine, IT System Manager at the Faculty of Engineering presented the VDI solution for computer labs project that has been underway. Collaborative in its approach, it has had the involvement of the faculties of Engineering, Science, Telfer School of Management as well as Information Technology. VDI benefits include an improved user experience, streamlining of desktop management, and the ability to offer specialized lab images. The key thing was to set the ground for a scalable infrastructure that would be able to accommodate other groups at the University. From a user perspective, the experience is the same as using a regular desktop computer. Computer labs are still required in today’s University. VDI can reduce capital expenditures and there are economies to be had in implementing VDI collaboratively.
A new service is being rolled out for researchers, Google Drive File Stream. Paul Mercier, IT Manager for Research in Information Technology, gave the highlights of how this and the other storage solutions available to researchers will benefit them. They will be able to upload files up to 5 Tb!
The last topic was Office 365. Alex Dipietro, IT Manager for Collaboration Services in Information Technology. He presented the limits the new service has in terms of the number of emails per day, retention period for deleted emails, etc. The information is posted on Information Technology’s web site. Faculties and services have been migrating to the new platform since mid-April. Everyone has been very supportive and a push has been made to get most faculties done before the September academic term.
The next IT Reps meeting is scheduled for the fall.