Click on any of the project titles below to view the latest status update for that project.
CAPITAL PROJECT - STAFF EMAIL UPGRADE PROJECT
Following an evaluation process which involved focus groups with representative from all areas of the Trinity community, Office 365 was selected in 2015 as the new email platform for staff. Office 365 will provide staff with a new large 50GB exchange mailbox. Office 365 also provides users with the latest version of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote) for PC, Mac and mobile devices with up to five installations available per user. Users will also be able to avail of 1 Tb (terabyte) of personal file storage (cloud storage) on OneDrive. Once stored on OneDrive, files can be accessed from any device in any location where a connection to the Internet is available.
IT Services will move all staff email and calendars from our current Microsoft Exchange Service to Microsoft Office 365 between February and June 2016 The project to deploy Office 365 and migrate all current staff mailboxes is scheduled to complete in Q4 2016.
CAPITAL PROJECT - DISASTER RECOVERY AND IMPLEMENTATION PROJECT
The DR implementation project seeks to provide the University with a highly resilient IT infrastructure that will underpin and support the day to day operation of all University activities that use core IT services.
Three of the four deliverables of this project have been completed within scope and under budget. These deliverables include:
- Establishing an offsite disaster recovery site where critical data is backed up to and where University systems can be operated from in the event of a disaster event that affects the campus. This was delivered on time and under budget in August 2014.
- The relocation of essential communications equipment so that the equipment can benefit from increased resilience and superior facilities including but not limited to fire suppression, appropriate security and access controls, and a lower flood risk.
- A communications upgrade for the University campus involving the installation of a new fibre ring. This provides the University with network resilience in the event of infrastructure failures or of damage to cables during on-campus construction projects. This project is due for completion in Q3 2017.
AUDIO VISUAL EQUIPMENT UPGRADES PROJECT 2016/17
IT Services continued its annual programme of audio visual equipment upgrades to support teaching and learning in Senior Lecturer Area pool theatres and seminar rooms. The Project identified and upgraded the following locations where old equipment needed to be replaced and responding where possible to user needs.
- Room 2.03 AAP – complete re-design and upgrade to include dual Laser projection, touch panel control, scaling presentation switcher, new teaching desk, new sound system, and new full HD document camera,
- Lloyd 4 – upgraded to full HD Laser Projection including new 24” preview monitor,
- Lloyd 8 – upgraded to full HD Laser Projection including new 24” preview monitor,
- College Green Room 2 – complete re-design and upgrade to include Laser projection, push button control, scaling presentation switcher, new teaching desk, new sound system, and new full HD document camera,
- College Green Room 3– complete re-design and upgrade to include Laser projection, push button control, scaling presentation switcher, new teaching desk, new sound system, and new full HD document camera,
- College Green Room 4 – complete re-design and upgrade to include Laser projection, push button control, scaling presentation switcher, new teaching desk, new sound system, and new full HD document camera,
- Room 3026 - complete re-design and upgrade to include Laser projection, push button control, scaling presentation switcher, new teaching desk, new sound system, and new full HD document camera,
- Room 3051– complete re-design and upgrade to include Laser projection, push button control, scaling presentation switcher, new teaching desk, new sound system, and new full HD document camera,
- Room 3071 - complete re-design and upgrade to include Laser projection, push button control, scaling presentation switcher, new teaching desk, new sound system, and new full HD document camera,
- Room 3074 - re-design and upgrade to include Laser projection, scaling presentation switcher, preview monitor, and new full HD document camera,
- Room 3081 – complete re-design and upgrade to include Laser projection, push button control, scaling presentation switcher, new teaching desk, new sound system, and new full HD document camera,
- Room 3106 – complete re-design and upgrade to include Laser projection, push button control, scaling presentation switcher, new teaching desk, new sound system, and new full HD document camera,
- Room 3126 - complete re-design and upgrade to include Laser projection, push button control, scaling presentation switcher, new teaching desk, new sound system, and new full HD document camera,
- Room 3131 – upgraded with new teaching desk,
- Room 4066 –AV requirements for new collaboration systems designed to include screens, collaboration devices, custom tables, and appropriate switching.
MAC IMAGING SOLUTION - CASPER
IT Services successfully delivered a project in Q4 2016 to implement a Mac imaging deployment solution (Casper Suite) to install software on Mac computers in the IT Services computer rooms, theatres and seminar rooms. This tool allows us to quickly and efficiently deploy software images and offers a comprehensive approach to the complexities of client device management of Apple computers, ensuring the environment is successfully maintained. Because the Casper Suite features deep integration with core Apple technologies, it provides a seamless solution for administrators to image devices. It allows administrators to fulfil the needs of end users, while at the same time ensuring that the enterprise management requirements are met. The ability to customize the Casper Suite specific to an environment makes it capable of handling a broad range of challenges.
CAREERS TARGET CONNECT
IT Services worked with the Careers Advisory Service to adopt the TARGETConnect system for TCD. TARGETConnect replaces existing fragmented systems, spreadsheets, and paper by providing a unified online system for careers services management of students, graduates, employers, and staff. The main objectives of the project will allow the Careers Advisory Service manage online, the provision of employers' vacancies, customer relationship management, event booking and management, careers news items, advisory appointments and many other items. The software is specifically designed to create efficiencies in the operations of a Careers Advisory Service at an enterprise level and as such, increase graduate employment outcomes and graduate satisfaction. IT Services will provided work on the system setup and integration of data for the system. This project was delivered in Q3 2017.
ACCOMMODATION SYSTEM ENHANCEMENTS
This project involved the upgrade of Accommodation system software and the implementation of new modules. This included modules like the Kx request module that enables students to request services such as overnight guests, kitchen packs, room moves and early departures using the Kx student web site. This module will make it easier for the student to make requests and streamline the office work necessary to process them. This software upgrade will ensure the Accommodation System remains supportable and the new functionality will improve the student experience.
UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS PHASE 1
The Unified Communication project was initiated as the existing telephone exchange was end of life and support was coming to an end. This highly critical service serves circa. 3,500 internal telephones and faxes on campus.
This project was successfully completed in April 2017 with all its objectives delivered. It provides College with a fully supported modern telephone system; allowing College to introduce affordable IP desk phones where needed and provide a platform upon which Unified Communications can be delivered in the future to the College community.
The Project objectives achieved were:
- To upgrade the current end-of-life Mitel telephone exchange so that all hardware and software components that comprise the telephone system are back in full vendor support.
- To vacate room 0.07 in Aras An Phiarsaigh as this space is to be demolished and repurposed as part of the Oisín House redevelopment project.
- To move the intelligence and call handling features of the telephone exchange from legacy single points of failure hardware in Aras An Phiarsaigh into resilient data centres thereby mitigating the major risk to the service arising from the Oisín House project.
- To facilitate resilience in the Mitel telephone service.
CAMPUS NETWORK RE-ARCHITECTURE
The Campus Network Re-Architecture Project was successfully completed in Q3 2017. The objective of the Campus Network Re-architecture project was to redesign the university network to align it with best practice design for enterprise-scale campus networks. To meet the project objective the first step for IT Services was the design and implementation of a new distribution layer of router-switches. This layer aggregates building network connections and provides resilient high-capacity links to the university network core. Following on from the introduction of the distribution layer a major piece of work was successfully undertaken in migrating the network connection of each university building to the new distribution layer. The migration of building network connections allowed for the subsequent move of staff wired network services from the network core router to the distribution layer service. This massively reduced the load on the core router which was key to delivering a highly available and resilient network. The new enterprise class network platform was a crucial component in enabling the university mobility project which resulted in one thousand additional access points providing wireless network services to staff and students. Other achievements of the Campus Network Re-architecture project included the improvement of network security through the roll-out of IP source guard (a service that denies network access to unregistered devices), the enabling of IPv6 routing and security services on the network core and the implementation of the first dual-homed dynamic resilient network connectivity between the university campus and an off-campus location.
WI-FI REWORK 1
Designing, deploying and maintaining enterprise Wi-Fi networks is to some degree a continuous process. Small gaps in actual coverage relative to designed coverage are to be expected and the Wi-Fi environment can change over time due to physical space changes. Software configuration changes are used where possible. Physical Rework in the form of moving or adding additional Wi-Fi access points is required to fill in residual known coverage gaps, thus maintaining user quality expectations over time.
The Wi-Fi Rework 1 Project was delivered in 2016-2017 and addressed twenty-two residual coverage gaps identified in 2015/16 by surveys and user feedback via the IT Services Support Desk.
Additionally a service extension in Santry playing fields to provide Wi-Fi coverage adjacent to the existing buildings was completed Q3 2017.
STAFF BYOD (BRING YOUR OWN DEVICE)
A project was initiated to provide an Internet Connect WiFi service at College for staff to connect their own personal devices, smartphones and tablets to the internet. The project was successfully completed and the service was released in Q3 2017.
For more details see http://www.tcd.ie/itservices/network/staff-internet-connect.php
This activity identified and created procurement frameworks for the provisioning of Wi-Fi infrastructure services and addressed outstanding gaps in both; procurement compliance identified by the Office of Comptroller and Auditor General, and health & safety compliance matters. The activity concluded in Q3 2017.
ANNUAL SITS UPGRADE - UNIVERSITY STUDENT ADMINISTRATION SYSTEM 2016-2017
The objective of the project was the upgrade of Trinity’s Tribal SITS student administration from version 8.7.1 to version 9.2.0 - an upgrade of four versions. Tribal SITS is a flagship enterprise level solution in College and the minimising of downtime or impact to business areas was a further major objective.
Tribal had discontinued support for version 8.7.1 of SITS and this meant an enterprise system supporting Colleges critical business functions was without vendor support
The rollout of SITS version 9.2.0 was needed to allow the University leverage the latest functionality available from Tribal SITS ensures the continuing supportability of the application. SITS 9.2.0 offered Responsive Framework (RF) enabling an attractive interface to the SITS Vision portal when accessed from devices such as tablets and smartphones. Modules will be RF enabled on a prioritised basis assisting day-to-day business be carried out more easily on the portal.
The project required considerable testing of the new version by Management Services Business analysts, co-ordination of work with Tribal and others involved in the maintenance and refreshing of the environments.
This project completed and the upgraded system went live in February 2017.
SUPPORT FOR CAPITAL PROJECTS
Extensive consultancy was provided by IT Services to support the University's capital projects including engagement with Estates & Facilities on new building projects. The following were completed in 2016-2017:
- Completed Capital building projects include: TBSI Cat 2 and IPH Tallaght.
- Completed Minor refurbishment Project include: 2 refurbishment Projects for the Sports Centre.
CAPITAL PROJECT - STUDENT ADMINISTRATION SYSTEM (SITS) AND ACADEMIC REGISTRY ENHANCEMENT PROJECT
The overall objective of the Academic Registry Enhancement (ARE) Programme is to support the registry and to ensure that it can provide the services necessary to support the student lifecycle, support schools in delivering the University’s mission, and to enable the University to grow student numbers with confidence that the structures, processes and systems in the registry can support that growth.
It is an integrated change programme with a number of workstreams.The most significant workstream for IT Services work is the ‘Systems’ workstream. This has been further sub-divided into 10 small projects, for which IT Services staff are doing all of the business analysis and some of the development work.
These include Awards Calculation (Harmonised courses); Academic Transcripts; Visiting Students (Online application); Student Record Mains; SCE; Finance Automations; Online Registration Screens; Exam Paper submission and Post Graduate Modularisation. Work is also being completed by IT Services on the ‘Process’ workstream and ‘Data’ workstream elements of the Programme.
The programme was completed early 2016. It is expected to have direct impact on reputation, on the satisfaction of existing students and on our ability to attract future students.
NETWORK ADDRESS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM UPGRADE
Devices such as PCs, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, servers, storage and specialist equipment need a specific address on the Trinity network to enable them to communicate with each other. As the number of devices on the network increases, it becomes increasingly challenging to manage them without the use of an address management system.
IT Services initiated a project in 2015 to upgrade its network address management system, known as Internet Protocol Address Management (IPAM). IPAM provides various address management services and methods, depending on the specific requirements of the device and the services it requires or provides. The upgraded system is designed to provide high availability (HA) to critical network services, with HA configured on various subsystems and components located in different data centres, both on and off the main campus.
A new IPAM system has been procured at significant cost savings to the University. Installation started in October 2015 and service went live by mid-November 2015, the project closed out in Q1 2016. It will provide a scalable and high-performance IPAM system for the next five years that will be capable of meeting increased capacity requirements, will provide enhanced functionality to support self-service IPAM and streamline administration, operation and maintenance.
DATA RECOVERY AND DISPOSAL PROJECT
In response to a request from IT Support staff around Trinity, IT Services undertook to identify third-party providers of data recovery and data disposal services which would meet a range of identified requirements and which would provide a high-quality of service. Critical Data Services (CDS) were identified as the recommended party to engage with for data recovery requirements and DiskShred were identified as the recommended company to contact for on-site, secure, certified data disposal work such as hard drive destruction. In both cases the third-parties identified provide a level of service that meets the highest data security standards, ensuring the security of Trinity data - one of the key identified requirements.
FSD TIME AND ATTENDANCE
FSD had a requirement to upgrade their time and attendance system as it was end-of-life. IT Services worked with Flextime to provide the necessary infrastructure to host the new solution. This new supported software will provide FSD with the functionality to manage their time and attendance with less administrative overhead. It also means that the system and the underlying infrastructure are completely up-to-date, secure and fully supported.
LECTURE CAPTURE SOFTWARE
IT Services upgraded the lecture capture software to Panoptu software to provide lecturers with a new platform for capturing their lectures. A showcase of the software solution was organised for lecturers, and support guides were setup to assist them in the use of the solution.
LIBRARY MANUSCRIPTS PROJECT
Library Manuscripts and Circulation requires specialist functionality not supported by standard, MARC-based, library management systems (including the Sierra LMS in use in Trinity Library). Axiell's CALM LMS is a specialist product that provides the required functionality, and includes a public catalgoue interface. The first implementation was deployed in Trinity on a Windows 2003 infrastructure and so this underlying infrastructure and the software required a full upgrade. The upgraded LMS system for the Library Manuscripts Department allows them to continue to support and attract Trinity Research through the improved visibility of their unique research asset.
ENTERPRISE APEX UPGRADE PROJECT
Web applications related to the Research Support System (RSS) and WiSER (Women in Science and Engineering Research) System were developed using an Oracle web application design and development tool known as Oracle Application Express (APEX). This project upgraded the APEX system, migrated the web applications from the current system and decommissioned the old APEX servers with minimal disruption to the Trinity community. The main benefits are improved robustness for RSS and WiSER System applications and ability to deploy the applications on mobile devices.
ESD IT SERVICE DESK CALL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
As the old IT Service Desk incident management system, Remedy, was nearing its end of life, Enterprise Service Desk (ESD) was chosen to replace it. The purpose of this project was to design, test, implement and deploy the Enterprise Service Desk call management (ESD) system for use in IT Services for logging and tracking calls to the IT Service Desk. ESD went live in January 2016 and the system is now up-to-date and supported in terms of hardware and software. The delivery of this system has improved our incident management and has enhanced the overall user experience.
LIBRARY TIME AND ATTENDANCE SYSTEM
The Library original T&A system was end of life and needed to be upgraded. Advance Systems Ltd. TMS software was selected and the new Library T&A was hosted internally by IT Services. The Time and Attendance system is critical in supporting HR reporting requirements, including compliance with legal time rules. This project went live in Q3 2016.
COLLECTIONS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
This project was setup to deliver a new Collection Management System. It was requested by the Curator of the University art collections to allow for the effective curation of the collections by having an electronic catalogue of artworks and collections. IT Services will host the application and database with a view to making the Trinity Collections databases available online for research, teaching and outreach purposes in line with the current University Strategic Plan 2014-19. The Adlib system was the system chosen to implement. It is used for University and Museum collections at other major Institutions. This will further enhance the perception and prestige of Trinity’s heritage and research management. This project went live in Q4 2016.
An upgrade project for the iTunesU service began in 2015 and will migrate the service to virtual machines hosted by IT Services. The new solution will provide greater functionality to the Trinity Web and Digital team, who upload the content to iTunesU on behalf of University. The project is expected to complete in Q3 2016.
SITS ENHANCEMENTS 2015-16
The following enhancements were made to SITS during 2015-16:
- Student automations -enables the automatic update of multiples of data tables following a student data change
- Student orientation timetable -enables a new entrant student to access an Orientation specific timetable during Freshers’ week
- Cohort Billing - enables the billing of different cohorts of students who are on the same course
- TSM examination results calculations -enables the final year TSM calculation to be made
- Enhanced hospital placements for Nursing students
- Plagiarism recording and reporting
- Bank payments and refunds
- Seanad Election functionality
- Disability Service registration
MYDAY STUDENT PORTAL
IT Services successfully released a new Student App and Portal called Myday in Q3 2016 which aims to give students a single application (portal) that is specifically designed to cater for the way students interact with technology and services. It provides students with a series of tiles that provide access to important University applications such as their Module Timetable, Blackboard Learn and Library. Other information available within the app are Student Myzone, Tasks, Account Balances, Social Media feeds and Student Counselling Services. The Myday app will make a significant contribution to enhancing the Student Experience in Trinity College with further integration and development of the apps throughout the year. This app provides an intuitive interface, customisable, rich functionality and can be customised. The portal is accessible from a PC/Laptop or via the web application from anywhere. The apps are available from Google play and the iTunes app store.
ADMIN 5 DECOMMISSIONING
With the delivery of SITS, FIM and FIS projects the old infrastructure of Admin5 (Vax based) was no longer required and a plan was devised for its decommission. This decommission involved assessing the remaining applications not covered via SITS, FIM or FIS and delivering new versions on a new platform and re-writing applications depending on their degree of dependency on Admin5 and the support status of the underlying software infrastructure. Admin 5 was shut down and disposed of in Q4 2016.
CAPITAL PROJECT - MOBILITY
Since March 2015 IT Services, as part of the Mobility Project, has been upgrading the existing Trinity WiFi service with an enhanced and expanded service, designed to meet the needs of students, staff, guests and public visitors into the future. The Mobility Project was completed on time on 30th November 2015.
On completion the upgraded WiFi service operated on the latest technology available and became the most advanced and largest of all “AC” type WiFi networks in Ireland. For staff and students this will result in expanded and better-quality WiFi services, meeting the increasing need for access to information at all times.
In the early stage of the project a full redesign of WiFi coverage across all University working spaces was completed. To deliver on this design 1,950 high-speed and high-capacity WiFi access points are being installed across Trinity sites across Dublin city.
CAPITAL PROJECT - IDENTITY MANAGEMENT
IT Services successfully completed the implementation of the Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager Project, a new University Identity Management system to identify and authenticate users and grant them access to University services and IT resources, based on their role. Final testing was carried out at the end of 2014, followed by the rollout of new software processes and decommissioning of older technology.
This project consolidated identity data into a centralised Identity Management system, thereby promoting consistency of organisational data and improving identity data quality and security across University systems. This project completed in 2015.
TRINITY DITGITAL ID CARD PROJECT
A project to deliver a new TCD digital ID was completed and launched in September 2015 during Fresher's week. The project was a collaboration between the Students Union, the School of Computer Science and Statistics (SCSS) and IT Services. The Trinity ID application provides students with a way to verify their identity on campus, using their mobile device, without the need for a physical card. Two Junior Sophister students in SCSS wrote the application and the server software. The application works on Apple and Android devices.
IT Services coordinated and managed the project, delivering the hosting and necessary integrations with internal University applications. The Trinity ID application can be used by students to verify their identity with University Security; Academic Registry; Library; IT Services; Careers Advisory Service; University Health Services; Student Counselling; the Students Union, and the Sports Centre.
GENESIS STAGE 5
The GeneSIS project has been formally closed and the functionality that was delivered in the final stage of the project is complete. Graduations have been run using SITS and the Seanad election is being conducted through SITS. The research functionality will be deployed to the live environment in the next few weeks. Alumni management is being conducted using SITS although the alumni portal is not yet live.
OFFICE 365 PRO-PLUS FOR STUDENTS
Working with Microsoft as part of the staff email upgrade project there was an early benefit for Trinity students. IT Services successfully released Office 365 ProPlus to students, offering a free full downloadable version of Microsoft Office for PC, Mac and mobile devices for up to 5 devices per user. It also includes 1 terabyte of personal file storage (cloud personal storage) through OneDrive.
IT Services ran a pilot project to evaluate an application virtualisation solution. Application virtualisation makes application software available, for example, in public access computer rooms, without having to actually install the software on the computers in the room. This provides for greater speed and efficiency in software distribution and license management and reduces the labour overhead associated with physically installing software on multiple computers.
As a result of the pilot, a system called Software 2, which is widely used in higher education institutes, was implemented in Trinity. At present it is used in some public access computer rooms and lecture theatres to distribute software remotely.
NETWORK OPERATIONAL UPGRADES, MAINTENANCE AND IMPROVEMENTS
The ongoing programme of maintenance upgrades and enhancements to the University network, hosting and web infrastructure and services continued during the academic year.
The following services were upgraded or enhanced:
-10 Gb/s firewall infrastructure and software upgraded, which ensures that our high speed network connections to the outside are maintained.
- Old central wireless controller infrastructure and wireless access points decommissioned and replaced with new equipment under the Mobility Project.
- Bradford Campus Manager System that manages self-service connections to TCDconnect for students upgraded to latest version.
- The virtual private network (VPN) providing remote access to the University network was upgraded in November 2014 and the latest Windows, Mac and Linux clients were added in 2015. This allows secure access for University staff to the Trinity network from anywhere in the world.
-The intrusion detection system (IDS) provides security and monitoring services for the network and detects possible hacking attempts.
-The RADIUS wireless authentication service, which controls access to the WiFi network by authenticating users and authorising their devices on the network, was upgraded. This upgrade significantly improved the security of the WiFi network.
- Computing capacity in the primary data centre in Áras An Phiarsaigh was increased by 55% through a memory upgrade to the servers. Further improvements were made to the secondary data centre in the Lloyd building (RIT) by adding more powerful servers. - The University has been piloting a new style of telephony to work on the IT network, which greatly reduces costs. The system in use, Cisco Unified Communications Manager, was made highly available (HA) by the addition of servers dedicated to telephony in the secondary data centre in RIT.
- The migration of the Enterprise Backup solution from old on-site tape devices to state-of-the-art off-site efficient disks was completed. The Enterprise Backup Software was also upgraded to the latest version available. These improvements have led to a very significant decrease in the time taken to perform backups and restores.
BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLANNING PROJECT
The Business Continuity Project advanced further in 2015 with the delivery of a Business Continuity Plan that, when fully tested and implemented, will enable the University to recover from events that disrupt operations in a planned, structured, and timely fashion.
This will ensure that critical IT systems and services are restored as quickly as possible and with the least amount of disruption. IT Services will review, update and test this plan on an ongoing basis to ensure that it stays relevant and accurate.
UPGRADE TO CENTRAL COMPUTER STORAGE INFRASTRUCTURE
Major service improvement works and business continuity testing were completed successfully on the primary data storage device in June 2015. This work involved considerable preparatory work to ensure a successful upgrade with minimum disruption to University services. As part of this work, IT Services successfully tested its business continuity procedures by using high availability technology and associated procedures to fail our main University systems from primary to secondary sites and back again.
The work was scheduled for the end of semester in order to minimise impact on academic activity, and took place outside of core business hours. Service improvement works were completed successfully on the secondary storage device in July 2015 with no downtime of services and also on TCD's Disaster Recovery storage infrastructure located in ServCentric in August 2015.
SUPPORT FOR UNIVERSITY CAPITAL PROJECTS
Extensive consultancy was provided by IT Services to support the University's capital projects including engagement with Estates & Facilities on new building projects, for example the new Business School and Oisín House.
AUDIO VISUAL EQUIPMENT UPGRADES
The project enhanced staff teaching and student learning experience through the replacement of old audio visual equipment with newer, more reliable and more serviceable equipment. Presentation facilities were upgraded in D'Olier street theatres, including new projectors, screen control equipment, document camera, video conferencing and audio equipment. The system control equipment was upgraded in the D'Olier Street seminar rooms. An interactive white board was provided in Room 5040 in the Arts Building. Arts 5052 was upgraded with a new high definition projector, a new screen, new Mac computer and new switching equipment. The Emmet, Davis and JM Synge theatres had new touch panels and controllers installed. Museum M4 was upgraded with new switching equipment, a new controller, Mac computer and wireless microphone.
BLACKBOARD COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
IT Services engaged with the Centre for Learning Technology to deliver a project in 2014-2015 to integrate data from the Student Administration System, SITS, into Blackboard for the effective use of the Community Engagement module (a Blackboard add-on module). The main benefits of this were to allow the Blackboard web page to be tailored to students, depending on their roles; allow special presentation of Blackboard to online students; allow devolved administration of Blackboard using the organisational hierarchy and its associations; allow collaboration and sharing across courses and research groups and allow creation of non-credit bearing modules for staff development and training.
LABSTATS - MANAGING COMPUTERS IN STUDENT COMPUTER ROOMS
LabStats software provides a simple solution to measure computer usage in public access computer rooms. It provides reports on both past use of computers and real-time information about current use. It monitors the period of use of computers; the number of logins; the software application that are used, and the length of use. This software helps IT Services to determine how computer rooms are being used, including busy periods and slack periods. The status of computers is rooms is monitored remotely and if a computer goes offline for a set period of time an alert is sent to IT Services to check the device. The system was recently upgraded and provides better reporting capabilities and a friendlier user interface for users. The benefit of this work is that IT Services can monitor computer usage in rooms to better meet the needs of users and to optimise the provision of software and computers in computer rooms. It will also assist IT Services to plan more accurately the number of computers and software licenses required to meet student needs in different rooms. Students can check the availability of computers using a simple web interface
RESEARCH SUPPORT SYSTEM UPGRADE
The Research Support System facilitates the University's scholarly communications by allowing Trinity Researchers to maintain their Curriculum Vitae and bibliographic data and to record their research outputs in one central location. This project upgraded the old RSS infrastructure to supported versions of Windows and Oracle. The transition was completed with minimal interruption to the University community. The new functionality includes the ability to enter the ORCID ID to the RSS Curriculum Vitae, thereby creating a persistent link between these two information systems; enabling users to change publication and other research output types themselves, and enabling publications and other research outputs to be imported directly to the RSS.
REDESIGN OF RESEARCH IT DATA CENTRE TO REDUCE POWER USAGE
The objective of this project is to reduce power usage in the Research IT Data Centre and bring the site in line with modern data centre standards that support the Trinity's Green IT objectives. The project ended in Q4 2015.
UNIVERSITY CALENDAR IMPROVEMENTS
The University calendar was further improved in 2014-2015 in response to the request by the Secretary's Office to allow for the rollover of different years. The main benefit is the provision of functionality for the pre-population of future University calendars. University users now have access to multiple University calendars online.
Kx ACCOMMODATION SYSTEM UPGRADE
IT Services worked with the Accommodation and Catering Service to complete an upgrade on their software to the latest version. The Kx application supports Trinity's Accommodation and Catering Service to provide accommodation to students and summer visitors. It assists the booking and smooth running of conferences and other events. The Kx Hotel online booking system was upgraded to a new mobile-friendly version. The main benefits of the upgrade are the improved functionality, particularly for the student web component, a more supportable and up-to-date system with all the latest bug fixes and new functionality.
UPGRADE OF WINDOWS SERVERS AND DECOMMISSIONING OF OLD SYSTEMS AND SERVERS
The challenge of keeping our IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, operating systems and applications, up to date and in support by suppliers has been exacerbated in recent years by the economic downturn and reduction in University budgets. Nevertheless, during the past year, IT Services migrated over 30 systems that were no longer under support to a supported platform. Microsoft ended its support for Windows 2003 server operating system from July 2015 and this meant that they no longer provided official patches, security updates or support for this system. The main benefit is to remove the University's exposure to harmful security threats and new viruses, and to provide University systems with secure supported underlying operating systems. Upgrades included the Student Health Service system and the Counselling Service system.
UPGRADE TO CENTRAL COMPUTER STORAGE INFRASTRUCTURE
Major service improvement works and business continuity testing were completed successfully on the primary data storage device in June 2015. This work involved considerable preparatory work to ensure a successful upgrade with minimum disruption to University services. As part of this work, IT Services successfully tested its business continuity procedures by using high availability technology and associated procedures to fail our main University systems from primary to secondary sites and back again. The work was scheduled for the end of semester in order to minimise impact on academic activity, and took place outside of core business hours. Service improvements works were completed successfully on the secondary storage device in July 2015 with no downtime of services. Service improvement works were completely successfully on TCD's disaster recovery storage infrastructure located in ServeCentric in August 2015 with no downtime of services.
SPORTS CENTRE SYSTEM UPGRADE
IT Services worked with the Department of Sport and Recreation to upgrade their existing service, which is used to manage admittance, bookings, membership and reporting. The upgrade ensures the system is running on supported technology hosted in the University's main data centre. It also ensures that it is based on a supported, secure application, operating system and database architecture, enabling better performance and security. It also offers more functionality including the SEPA-compliant management module allowing instalment payments; the potential for direct debit payments; the potential for online booking of sports facilities in the future, and improved reporting on membership and retention.
IT Services developed an application portal in 2014-2015 to replace old technologies and to provide a secure user-friendly web application framework to support the rapid development and delivery of small business applications. The portal has been developed on a vastly improved infrastructure that will provide greater availability, resilience and accessibility. This solution's main benefits will be improved quality of programming and development, faster speed of deployment for applications and a consistent look and feel for end users.
NATIONAL COLLECTION OF CHILDREN'S BOOKS
Developed by RIT, the NCCB (https://nccb.tcd.ie) website is the centrepiece of a multi institutional collaboration between TCD, the Church of Ireland University of Education and five institutional libraries. This website hosts a centralised catalogue of children's book collections from the participating institutions. It also contains a database of selected texts, including detailed descriptions and images of the texts.
Rather than build a fully standalone site, the NCCB site uses resources and application programming interfaces of the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) as a database for the catalogue. Indeed, it is currently the largest single DRI collection. The NCCB website was launched on 28 September 2015 at the Dublin City Library and Archive. Initially it was hoped that 50,000 records would be uploaded to the system.
SECURING THE MAIN UNIVERSITY NETWORK
A project was completed in 2014-2015 to enhance security and reliability of the wired network. The main objective of the project was to apply enhanced security features to each switch in the University to ensure that only known and valid devices can connect to the network. The rollout was phased over a 16 month period and required extensive consultation with staff. It was implemented in over 123 communication cabinets and 353 switches on campus and in all remote locations, covering over 94% of end user network points.
NEW AND EXISTING REFURBISHED BUILDINGS PROJECTS
IT Services has been working with Estates and Facilities on new buildings and refurbishments of buildings to ensure the buildings are designed to the highest networking standards, comply with IT Services cabling policy and meet the appropriate quality standards in relation to all aspects of networking that are carried out by external companies. Once commissioned, IT Services integrate the buildings to the core network, commission networking switching equipment, configure access points, patch points and test to ensure the highest possible standard of networking is ensured for the end-users. Major refurbishment work was completed for Enterprise Centre Unit 24; Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (Business School); House 5; Anatomy; 22 Westland Row; Enterprise Centre Units 3 and 8; Clare Street; Museum Building, and minor refurbishment work in Áras an Phiarsaigh Room 3.06; Parsons Building; Sports Hall; Kinsella Hall, and Ussher Library.
IMPROVED ORACLE DATABASE BACKUP SYSTEM
A project was completed in Q3 2015 to implement Oracle RMAN Catalog, which is software that manage centrally all Oracle database backups. The main benefit of the project is to reduce the effort and complexity of database management by providing a single source of backup reporting, saving disk space on databases, and increasing the reliability of database backups. This ensures that there are common back-up and recovery methods that can be implemented quickly, backup logs can be centrally managed, backup failures captured quickly in a single location, easier rescheduling of backups and alerting on the status of backups.
MANAGING NETWORK TRAFFIC
A project to implement internal load balancing, which improves network performance and security, was completed in 2014-2015. This solution ensures that IT Services can offer greater availability, high performance and failover protection for internally hosted web services.
INTEGRATED RESEARCH DATA SERVER IMPROVEMENTS
During the year, RIT conducted a full review of its hardware and software for integrated research data that was spread over multiple older computer environments. A solution was implemented that allowed for the older computer environments to be integrated into the more modern Infrastructure as a Service environment, while still permitting access to the older storage systems.
IMPROVED CONNECTIONS TO TRINITY'S OFF CAMPUS LOCATIONS
Connections to a number of new off-site locations were provided and existing sites were enhanced over the course of the year. A resilient pair of 1 Gigabit/s links are currently being installed to serve the student residential campus at Trinity Hall in Dartry, replacing the current 300Mb/s and 100Mb/s circuits from the main campus. These new links, which were operational in Q4 2015, will incorporate full automatic failover and can operate as an aggregated pair which will significantly increase the bandwidth available in this busy location. The links are also future-proofed to allow them to scale up to 10 Gigabit/s in the future should the bandwidth demands require. A 1Gb/s link was also provided for the new Institution of Population Health Medicine Building in Tallaght and a small site on Clare Street has been connected with a 100Mb link back to main campus.
SCHOOL OF NURSING ALLOCATIONS SYSTEM UPGRADE
The Student Allocation System is used by the School of Nursing and Midwifery (SONAM) to manage the allocation of student nurses to training hospitals. This project will migrate the old system to an entirely new server infrastructure, with minimal disruption to staff and students. This essential service, necessary for administering allocations, will run on a secure and supported platform, with easy access to an online portal for staff and students, providing continuity of the service with agreed support from the supplier. This project went live in Q3 2015.
UPGRADE TO THE CENRAL ANTI-VIRUS SERVICE
The ePO system is the central anti-virus service that monitors virus and malware activity on the staff networks for some 5,000 computer clients. The main objective of this project is to migrate the antivirus service from an old Windows 2003 server to a new Windows server operating system, and to upgrade the ePO application. The work involves a phased migration of all computer clients over a six-month period. The main benefit is an upgraded, supported ePO service for staff to help maintain a more secure, virus- and malware-free environment on the staff networks. The project was completed at the end of 2015.
DRAWN TO THE PAGE PROJECT
The Drawn to the Page (DTTP) database catalogues an initial selection from the holdings of the Trinity Library of publications illustrated by Irish artists between 1830 and 1930. The database provides a selection of high resolution images from each of the texts listed, subject to copyright restrictions. The main aims of this digital resource are to facilitate wider public access to the material, to create a greater awareness and appreciation of Irish artists' activities as illustrators and to encourage further research in relation to Irish artists and illustration. The project went live in December 2015.