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Monday, September 17, 2012

New Position and IT Strategy

It's been several months since my last post, both because I was busy at the University of Kansas (KU) and because I was talking to North Carolina State University about a position in the Office of Information Technology.  I took a position at NC State as an Active Directory Architect and as I transition from KU to NC State I have been thinking about the various IT strategies I have seen at Stanford, KU, and NC State.  I have read an article from the UCLA CIO (Jim Davis) several times about a layered model approach that I think works very well in the academic environment, both on the operations and research side.  Here's a link to the article for those interested:

More to come as I get integrated into NC State.  I am going to be very busy with a Identity Management project for the University, so I imagine I'll be writing about that in the near future.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Microsoft Offloaded Data Transfer (ODX)

For all you admins and other technical people out there who have watched the Windows OS spool the data from network storage to your workstation and then back to network storage, watch for Offloaded Data Transfer (ODX).  I saw ODX at TechEd a few weeks ago and the data movement is primarily kept at the backend storage network.  EMC and other storage vendors are already posting about when they will have this functionality.

Here's some information about it:

Quest PowerShell Tools

A couple of free Powershell tools I use a lot are ActiveRoles Management Shell for AD and PowerGUI Script Editor.  The management shell I like because it reduced the number of lines I used in my code, and the editor adds some nice to haves like color coding, syntax, etc.

Here are the links:




Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Current Technologies

I currently work at the University of Kansas (KU) and before that Stanford University, to be particular the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC).  Collaborating with various Higher Ed institutions the past several years has shown a marked increase in the Microsoft side of the house.  To give you an idea of our current environment, here are some of the things we (Enterprise Systems) have been working on the past two years I’ve been at KU:

Migrated from Novell to Active Directory (AD), although we’re still leveraging Novell for IDM.  We currently have 550,000+ objects in AD, and we still have several departments to bring in.

Upgraded from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010 and Forefront Online Protection for Exchange (FOPE)

Implemented SCCM 2007 for Windows systems management

Implemented central file storage using EMC products for the backend, using CIFS as the frontend

Restructuring AD domains and Forests to decrease the administrative overhead and provide a primary authentication mechanism for the entire University

Determining Key Performance Indicators for AD and Exchange

Implemented SCOM 2007 to monitor AD and Exchange

Implemented Confluence for collaboration within IT and other technology providers at the University

Implemented Data Protection Manager (DPM) for backup of AD and Exchange

Built a test and QA environment to better facilitate upcoming changes to the environment

Almost ready to raise the AD domain level to 2008 R2


I’m sure I’m missing things, and my next post will be some of the things we’re getting ready for – like Centrify to provide AD for OS X and Linux systems.  If anyone would like more info on a particular area, please drop me a line.  I’d be happy to discuss.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Welcome to the place where I expect to put my technology ramblings.  You might notice a bent towards technology in the higher education space, where I have done much of my work the last 7 or so years.


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