Basic Research IT Infrastructure Support Needs

  • Network
    • Stability, especially e-mail servers
      • Medical Center Exchange servers are losing emails of Mac users and no backup exists - Keith Henry, Maureen Hahn, and Mike McDonald, to name a few
    • Wireless internet access throughout VUMC
      • New areas are being installed with wireless, but many of the existing areas, such as MRB I, MRB II, and MRB III do not have it throughout and will not unless the departments pay for it.)
    • Cellular access via T-Mobile to e-mail via MS Exchange
      • This is in place.
    • In long term move away from Microsoft servers to open source Linux servers for security, stability, and speed
      • Informatics and NCS are actually going in the opposite direction on this. They are no longer adequately maintaining the Novell Directory now that Novell is moving their servers to a Linux kernel. This would be a prime opportunity to utilize the existing Novell Directory which has user accounts that are synchronized with the Microsoft Active Directory to support single sign-on when attaching to Linux servers.
    • Move away from layered secure connection systems such as VPN to simpler secure remote system access tools such as ssh
      • VPN is still firmly in place and there is no move to change that. SSH is an option for those who choose to use it.
    • Implement easily used system for access to departmental data on shared folders from anywhere in the world via a web browser
      • The institution used to support Netsilica, but that has fallen by the wayside. Again, if the Novell Directory is properly supported, iFolder could be an option for departments. Is there anything centrally supported that is available to departments now?
  • Data
    • Adequate immediate shared data storage
    • Accessible storage of older data in near term
    • Long-term off-site archival storage
    • Provide economical automatic off-site backup with rotation cycle
      • We have the data storage available for a fee on the Medical Center side, but it isnít cost-effective and the backups are unreliable. We would like information on any initiatives the campus has at this time.
    • Develop and support a secure open-source web-oriented quick launch research database system that is accessible from anywhere and for which users can easily specify field descriptions and quality checks that automatically generate web forms and SQL table structures. The system should handle standard research forms as well as data from tissue samples and high-density information.
      • The Department of Biostatistics has implemented a system based on Ruby on Rails, and Paul Harris of the Department of Biomedical Informatics and the GCRC has a web-based system that has been used on a variety of patient-oriented research studies
  • Systems and Programming Support
    • Fairly priced systems administration and user support
    • Fairly priced server adminstration for departments wishing to have their own Linux or Microsoft server but not wanting to hire a server administrator
    • Quality web site support available to all departments
    • Provide a fee-for-service computational web application service using open-source tools (e.g.,
    • Fee-based support and customized programming for small and large department-initiated projects
    • In long term become more independent of Microsoft by encouraging users to use Linux desktop and server machines
    • In short term support Linux users and negotiate discounts for hardware preconfigured with Linux
  • Administrative Computing
    • Insure that high priority and adequate funding are given to development of grant tracking, personnel effort tracking, and other research grant administrative tasks. Evaluate whether another academic medical center has already developed a suitable system that can be ported to Vanderbilt.
      • I believe that this is in place.
      • The Department of Biostatistics has implemented its own system dbconnect for publication tracking, professional development expenditures, project time and percent effort tracking, and several other functions.
  • Other
    • Videoconference capabilities
      • The campus has VC rooms available as needed for a fee. Departments can provide their own according to their budget.

-- HeidiHamm - 31 Jan 2004
-- FrankHarrell - 04 Feb 2004, 31 Oct 2006
-- Susan Wente - 09 Mar 2004
-- GordonBorck - 31 Oct 2006
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Topic revision: r7 - 31 Oct 2006, FrankHarrell

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