Priorities

The main thing to know about User Support is that we must be flexible. You never know what tomorrow is going to bring; the night’s storm might have fried a bunch of PSUs, or a virus outbreak could shut down every lab on campus. I spent most of today building web servers in virtual machines to test redirection solutions for our wiki, and had intended to write something about Linux at some point because I ❤ Linux oh-so-much. But a new project has given me a different focus.

Over the next week and a half, I’ll be working on two main things. First, and as quickly as possible, developing a list of security concerns, problems, proposals for research and further consideration, and potential solutions. We have some consultants coming to the university eventually to look into IT security, and we’d like to have something to give them to help them with their work. The second is a set of training and documentation guides on the new Banner system we are putting in. Banner is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) program developed by Sungard Higher Education (HE) that we began working on a year or so ago. The implementation is a three year process, all told, and we’re nearing the launch of the first modules. My boss has requested a set of documentation by next Friday and assigned me to the team to work on it, so I started that earlier today.

Redirection will be moved to the backburner, my whiteboard has some ideas scribbled on it for the security RFP, and I feel productive. I’ve been reviewing other university’s Banner documentation and will be doing more of that tomorrow… as well as downloading Debian (which comes on 3 DVDs apparently?) to play with in a VM once this has all settled down.

Always different one day to the next, but it’s an exciting career I thoroughly enjoy. Hopefully I’ll have some good things to write about security in the next few days (I particularly look forward to delving into the latest version of Truecrypt).

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