The Division was previously supported by a single Computing Officer. A bespoke Infrastructure and services (Imaging Lab) to support it, were developed, and did not fit into any previous university supported model. The computing officer who was involved in the creation and support of this unique setup has now moved to ECDF.
Currently “Normal managed “and “Non –managed” University Systems, audio visual equipment, videoconferencing and printing equipment can be supported by the IS BioQuater and Central team using standard support model.
However the team lack permissions and knowledge to fully support Imaging lab and its unique requirements, in its current incarnation. Current access issues, firewalls, network infrastructure, designed with security in mind act as a barrier to provide effective support. The different operating systems and data shares provide further obstacles in delivering managed and standardised support. Software packages are installed and managed in an ad hoc fashion, which leads a support overhead and user frustration.
The other elements which need to be looked into, are research governance and administrative setup. There is a need for best practice, in terms of data creation, storage, user training and compliance with regulatory and statutory frameworks.
There needs to be an administrative path with clear delineation of duties and administration responsibilities, in terms of starters and leavers along with hardware purchasing and software licencing etc.
MVM513 will only target the Network Switches and Firewall access. The remainder of the scope (see below) will be covered in the closure report which will make recommendations for the next phases of work. Overall, this project gets us into Psychiatry and will make positive change that will both enhance the reputation of the team and attempt to ensure all areas buy in to strategic change through the rest of the year continuing to improve the experience of support and end users - see below.
Future Scope Coverage for further projects:-
One of the key drivers is to ensure that the network configuration, including the bespoke firewall setup, can be managed more centrally.
Once switches are replaced, and security is handled on router, a process will be agreed on the management of this. This will improve the existing management. However, the support model for client machines will not change. They will still be using a fairly unique configuration for their Linux and Windows PCs.
This will require a systematic overhaul of IT infrastructure, services and research governance at the Division of Psychiatry. Auditing and standardising the bespoke setup of IT infrastructure and services. Providing SOPS and aligning with university supported systems and best practice. The creation of a new framework, which takes into account the nuances in the current setup but provides more efficiency, reliably and integrity for all stakeholders and decreases the support overhead.
- Resource PM from IS - complete
- Audit of the following:
- hardware and software currently used by users at Kennedy Tower
- Research groups including non-imaging and admins
- Data and Shares
- Network and security infrastructure at Kennedy Tower
The following objectives have been captured and will be made into recommendations at the end of MVM513.
- Streamlined and clearer access mechanisms to hardware and software systems
- Standard Linux and Windows builds
- Standard Printer setups
- Standard share creation and access procedures
- Standard Maintenance and update procedures
- Standard user setup and training.
- Best Research governance and data management plans.
MVM513 deliver new network switches into Kennedy Tower and will implement new controls for firewall access.
The following deliverables have already been captured and will be made into recommendations at the end of MVM513.
- A managed and standardised computing environment
- Users fully conversant in the technology and operating procedures they are using, to carry out research.
- Standardised purchasing and setup of all hardware and software.
- Computing support staff have access and clear SOPs for looking after hardware infrastructure and computing needs of the user base.
- Highlighting and resolving potential vulnerabilities
- No more single point of failure.
MVM513 will greatly enhance the support teams ability to provide quality remote support.
The following benefits have already been captured and will be made into recommendations at the end of MVM513.
- Entire computing infrastructure and computing services at Division of Psychiatry
- Administration and setup of people into computing services and systems.
A standardised computing infrastructure and research environment needs to be created. Failure to do so will lead to an adverse effect on research to be undertaken or completed. This includes increased user dissatisfaction and frustration. Time and resource wastage and eventually a total inability to carry out core work in a timely and efficient manner.
Having this root and branch review and change will lead to increased productivity, from both researches and computing staff. Will mitigate a future crisis whether that be security, or in terms of reliability and integrity of computing systems. Staff will ultimately be able to better align with College and University goals of research excellence and student satisfaction.
This will result in:
- Streamlined and secure network authentication mechanisms
- Imaging lab operating systems audited standardised
- Standardised routines for Software installation and maintenance/ patching
- Training courses and seminars held and further developed for users and IS Support Staff.
- UOE standardised procurement process accepted and used
- AV rooms, video conferences and recording streamlined and ready for use
- Research governance and best practice embedded and understood.
- Key admin and PI contacts highlighted
MVM513 will demonstrate an improvement in the support teams ability to respond to issues at Kennedy Tower and now 7 George Sq. The complete statement around success criteria looks at the whole programme of works, much of what will follow after MVM513 sets in motion a clear direction.