Table of Contents
General Policy for the Computer Support Group
CSG Defined Support
CSG Support Restrictions
Software Request Guidelines
Software Eligibility Guidelines
Guidelines for Software Removal
Printing & Supplies
Facilities Support Restrictions
The Computer Support Group
(CSG) of the Division of Mathematical
Sciences supports a variety of hardware, software, facilities, and network
services. CSG augments the support
offering of the central IT provider ITS.
CSG is the Division’s one stop shop for IT questions. CSG will facilitate central IT issues
and questions for our users.
This document defines the policies of the Computer Support Group (CSG) of the Division of Mathematical Sciences, the
Departments of Computer Science, Mathematics, and Statistics and Actuarial Science at The University of Iowa regarding computing
facilities and information technologies.
All information herein is to be used as a guideline; specific
interpretation of this policy is left to the Director of the Computer Support
Due to staffing, efficiency and budgetary limitations, the CSG must prioritize and standardize
its support of hardware, operating systems and software which must be located
within MacLean or Schaeffer Hall.
These are the guiding principles (the order is
significant) under which the CSG
The primary responsibility of the CSG is to
support core network services like file services, printing, user accounts,
authentication, core applications and maintain a secure environment for
Support education including account creation,
course software, course accounts, mailing lists, student labs and educational
Support faculty, staff and TA/RA workstations in
the Division of Mathematical Sciences
that use the CSG approved operating systems, and to support commonly-used
educational and research software running on those systems.
Support research computing. The priority of research computing is
determined by the time CSG has left and direction from the department chairs.
CSG will provide full support to the following operating systems in CSG
managed load machines:
- File, print and limited
application/OS support of Macintosh OS.
- File, print support on all
other OS’s on an as time allows basis.
The CSG does not have the resources in terms of
time, training, or dollars to support other operating systems. We will attempt to help answer questions
based upon our knowledge but will not support other operating systems.
The CSG has a self
managed machine checklist that should be consulted before requesting a self-managed
machine. There are several
University policies that the user must adhere to when managing their own
machine. This document also has
answers to commonly asked configuration questions.
Because the CSG
manages computer and network equipment for the Division, the CSG needs to be involved
in the decision to purchase such equipment. The following items need to be considered
when purchasing equipment:
The CSG group tries to refresh each of its student labs once every three
years. The student computer
labs are funded with money from the student computer fees that the CSG
applies for on a recurring basis.
The CSG can not prohibit the purchase of hardware or software that it does
not support, but the CSG discourages such purchases. CSG realizes that there may be very
good reasons for the purchase of unsupported products, and will try to
work with faculty and staff who do purchase such products. But the CSG
cannot offer help for such purchases at the same level as for officially
supported equipment and software.
The CSG strongly recommends that no product be purchased without also
buying a support contract for that product. The CSG does not purchase
vendor or manufacturer support for any hardware or software that it does
not buy. It is the
responsibility of the purchaser of the equipment to arrange for any
necessary support contracts with the vendor or manufacturer.
The CSG should be consulted in any purchase decision so that it can offer
advice about the potential performance of the product. For hardware purchases, for example,
the CSG will offer advice as to the amount of memory or local disk space
that should be purchased.
The CSG strongly discourages the purchase and use of any product that
potentially creates a security risk for the users within the Division.
Server and Backup Capacity
The purchase of hardware and software can place demands on the disk space
on the central file server, and on the server backup system. The CSG may
require that additional disk or backup capacity for the server be
purchased along with a hardware or software purchase. The CSG may ask the
purchaser to pay for the additional disk or backup capacity.
Some products may place extraordinary demands on the Division's network. In such cases, the CSG must plan for
these demands, and must cooperate with Information Technology Services
(ITS) to meet them. Network-intensive purchases may also
require the purchase of network equipment, for which the CSG may ask the
purchaser to pay.
A purchased product may have special needs for air conditioning,
electrical power, or other facilities services. The CSG must be notified as early as
possible of these needs, so that it can cooperate with the Facilities Services Group in
providing for them. The CSG
may ask the purchaser to pay for the additional Facilities fees.
- The CSG supports several hardware
platforms, with certain restrictions.
To have a supported machine, the configuration must be approved by
the CSG BEFORE THE EQUIPMENT IS
ORDERED. There are too
many combinations and peripherals for PC's for the CSG to support every
combination or for us to list the "currently" supported
combinations. The CSG will work hard to support mainstream combinations of
video, Ethernet, mouse and sound cards. If the equipment is ordered with
out being approved by the CSG, we reserve the right not to support it. This applies to both initial
purchases as well as upgrades.
Vendor and Manufacturer Support
The CSG will keep the hardware it manages in good working order to the best of
our abilities. CSG will cooperate
with external support groups on- and off-campus to resolve hardware problems
- The CSG does not purchase or manage
vendor or manufacturer support or support contracts for supported
platforms. It is the
responsibility of the purchaser of the equipment to arrange for any
necessary support contracts with the vendor or manufacturer. Typically a
three to five year onsite warranty from the vendor is what is purchased
along with the equipment.
- Hardware Upgrades
The CSG will identify upgrades to the hardware that supports the central
infrastructure providing core file, print, web services, and backup and
- Network Connectivity
The CSG will ensure that supported networked equipment has a usable
network connection and provide a network name and address for non CSG
supported hardware. CSG will
cooperate with on-campus units (ITS) to maintain network functionality,
though CSG does not have any control of the network, network reliability,
or network performance. ITS
has administrative domain over all the networks CSG is using. ITS can and will disable network
ports that ITS deems a security risk due to violations in the ITS
acceptable use policy. The CSG
reserves the right to not provide network services for self-managed
hardware if that hardware is deemed a security risk by the CSG.
- User-Installed Networking
Users must not install any networking hardware without first consulting
with the CSG. Improperly
installed or configured equipment can make the entire network unusable for
everyone. Such equipment can
also be a potential security risk.
- Standard Backups
The CSG will back up the main file server only, so that files can be
restored in the event of equipment failure or accidental loss by the
user. Requests for restores
will be prioritized based upon CSG support priorities. Abuse of restores by users may
result in this service being terminated for that user. Backups will span a 12 week window. No client backups will be done by CSG. Please store all of your data on
the file server ONLY.
- Backups for researchers
The CSG can be contracted to backup research machines. The CSG will do some cost recovery
for these services ($.05 cents per GB backed up) since some of our budget
and salaries comes from student computer fees. There are three types of backups
available to choose from based upon the level of protection you
require: Fulls, incremental 1
(approximately monthly), incremental 2 (approximately weekly):
- Full backups are done 3 times a year,
approximately at each semester beginning with NO incremental daily
backups. Retention policy of
- Incremental 1 backups
have fulls done at the start of every month and daily incrementals. This backup will also backup
incremental changes made since the last monthly full once per day. Retention policy of eight weeks.
- Incremental 2 backups
have weekly full backups and backups incremental changes daily. Retention policy of eight weeks.
Assuming you have a 500GB data set and you choose the
Incremental 1 option would result in the following charge of 500GB*$0.05*12month=$300
for the fulls for the year.
Assuming a 1% change of data per day 500GB*.01*30days*12months*$0.05=$90. For a total of $390/year for backing up
a 500GB data set with monthly fulls and daily incrementals.
- Superuser Access
The CSG will fully support
equipment if the CSG is the only party to have superuser (root) access, or
the equivalent, on that equipment. The CSG cannot be responsible for the
state of equipment for which it does not have sole and complete
administrative access. There
is a more limited support offering for shared root machines that can be
found in the CSG
Linux Support Policy document.
- Hardware Obsolescence
CSG will support approved equipment for the duration of the support
contract purchased with the equipment from the hardware vendor. Equipment that does not have a
support agreement with the vendor will be billed on a T&M basis, though
most often, it is cheaper just to replace the hardware.
The CSG does not have the resources to support UI owned equipment off-site. UI owned equipment located off-campus
will need to be brought back to a campus office to be supported.
The CSG has limited support for laptops as defined in our Laptop Support SLA
The CSG will install and
upgrade legally obtained and licensed educational, research, and productivity
software for supported platforms according to our priorities defined earlier.
The CSG will work with vendors to solve problems regarding installed software.
Software typically has two components of cost:
CSG will only purchase academic software and
annual maintenance costs approved by the computer advisor committee (the three
departmental DEO’s or designates and the Director of the CSG). Furthermore, not all software requests
will automatically be granted. CSG
typically has a three year recurring support allocation from the student
computer fees that is used to fund these software purchases. CSG, in consultation with the computer
advisor committee, holds back a pre-determined amount of money for software
used for academic courses. CSG
facilitates the license negotiation and will install, maintain, and support the
When there is a differential cost between an
educational version and research version of a software package, the CSG and
departmental contributions will be calculated based on the cost of the
educational version. Departments
and researchers interested in the research version must cover the purchase and
annual cost differential or the entire cost if not used for academic work.
There are several guidelines CSG uses when considering a software request.
software used in academic courses or in research.
license agreement must be approved by the U of I legal team before CSG can load
the software on departmental workstations.
If the software isn’t approved, then the departments DEO must sign
off on the installation and subsequent liability.
media can be checked out to users in accordance with the University licensing
requirements for that software title.
See ITS’s software
licensing site for additional details.
licensed software. This would
include site licensed software like Microsoft Office, Windows 7, etc. See ITS’s software licensing
site for additional details.
domain software used for research or academic courses.
All software requests should be submitted to the CSG ticketing system
located at email@example.com. All requests for new software or for
upgrades to existing software must be approved by the computer advisory
committee. If the computer advisory
committee approves the request the CSG will install the software based upon the
All requests for research software will be installed by
the CSG on a priority basis. CSG
will place a priority on maintaining core network services first, completing
the academic software requests second, and installing research specific
software packages third.
will be handled on a first come first serve basis.
software that will be used in the fall semester, the cutoff date is August 1st.
software that will be used in the spring semester, the cutoff date is December
software that will be used in the summer semester, the cutoff date is May 1st.
Any academic software requests submitted to CSG after the dates above will
be installed as time allows and will not be guaranteed by the CSG to be ready
for use at the start of the semester.
CSG requires four weeks notice by the computer advisor committee to
ensure the software meets the Software Eligibility Guidelines.
In order to maintain a secure and productive computer environment, software
must meet the following guidelines to qualify for a network install.
- Annual maintenance must be
purchased for all commercial software. Annual maintenance must include
- Software must be able to
run as an ordinary user (i.e., not as a Power user or Administrator) and
is not a security risk.
- Software must support
network licensing and must be able to be run from any machine on the CSG
network unless prior approval is arranged with the CSG staff.
- Enough licenses must be
purchased to adequately support the class (or classes) in which the software
will be used. CSG recommends
purchasing a number equal to at least 20%-25% of the maximum number of
students in the class (or classes) or a number equal to the number of
seats in the B5 MLH computer lab.
- The department(s) funding
the software is responsible for any reporting requirements (e.g., Ansys
requires an annual usage report).
CSG will handle any reporting requirements of academic software
usage if required.
- The software must not
conflict with existing applications or underlying operations of the host
- Software license agreement
must be approved by the U of I legal department.
If a purchased package does not meet these guidelines, CSG will not install
it on the network. However, the
software may be installed on an individual faculty machine or in a research lab
depending on the circumstances.
The CSG recommends a one-year notification period prior to removing software
from the system. This notification
time period would allow CSG and the supporting departments to communicate the
status of the software through a variety of mechanisms (e.g., newsletter,
application wrapper, faculty meetings).
Annual software maintenance contracts must continue to be funded by the
departments during the notification period.
Software that remains on the removal list following the one-year
notification period will be removed from lab, classroom, and other public
workstations prior to the start of fall classes. In addition, CSG cannot
maintain retired software that remains on individual faculty or research
machines. It is especially likely that new OS loads will render retired
Departmental network or personal printers are
purchased by each department as well as any supplies (toner, paper, maintenance
kits, etc). The CSG will perform
page accounting to help the departments track usage.
Personal faculty and staff purchased printers
will not be supplied (toner or paper) by the CSG. The departments or the faculty member will
provide supplies to those printers.
Laboratories that are funded from the College of Liberal Arts computer fees have
no funding for printer paper. Thus,
paper for these laboratories must be provided by the users. The amount of toner provided for these
laboratories by the CSG will be determined by budgetary constraints.
The CSG provides the following
support for facilities in the Division:
controls or coordinates access to the laboratories that it manages, via a door
security system or through the Key Shop, as follows:
- Faculty and staff for
relevant departments have access to general departmental laboratories
until sometime after they end their employment with the University.
- Undergraduate students
majoring within the Division
have access to the general educational laboratories provided by the major
department; graduate students majoring within the Division have access to
these laboratories, and to any general research laboratories within their
major department. Access for a major within the Division will expire
shortly after the student graduates.
- Instructors who would like
their students to have access to a laboratory may request access for their
students. Such access will expire at the end of the current term.
- Users involved in special
research projects will have access to any related special-purpose research
laboratories; the access will expire shortly after the project or the
user's affiliation with the Division comes to an end.
- Anyone who does not fall into
any of these categories will be granted access on a case-by-case basis.
- Door Access
The CSG works with third-party vendors and the Key Shop to install and
maintain security hardware and software for doors in laboratories that the
CSG manages and other restricted use rooms. The CSG controls user access to
certain doors via this security system.
- Network Connectivity
The CSG works with ITS to
ensure that every piece of networked equipment in the Division has an
active, working network connection. The CSG also manages network name
and address assignment and various network services (for example,
directory, Web, file and printer services) within the Division.
- Facilities Issues
For managed laboratories only, the CSG works with the Facilities Services Group on
such issues as air-conditioning and electrical power.
- User-Installed Network
Users must not install their own network equipment (such as hubs/switches,
WAP’s and bridges) on any network maintained by the CSG. Improperly installed or configured
network equipment can render a network unusable by anyone.
- Food and Beverages
No food or beverages are allowed in the general undergraduate
laboratories. Any food or
drink found in these laboratories may be confiscated, and the user may be
locked out of the laboratories for a period of time.
Although the CSG discourages the practice, users of
other laboratories or offices may have food and beverages. Any accidents with
food or drink that spill onto laboratory or office equipment must be reported
immediately to the CSG. The
maintenance contract may or may not replace damaged equipment. CSG keeps some older keyboards, mice and
monitors that may be used in these situations on a case by case basis.
The CSG provides the following
support for facilities in the Division:
Default Home Space Quotas
The CSG will provide file services to the networked
equipment in the Division, as follows:
Default Personal Web Quotas
Personal Web Quota Includes: Quota
on the web server includes anything in and under your personal web directory or
folder. It does not include anything in your account's home directory.
General Quota Policies
- Faculty can purchase additional
quota for $0.25/month/GB. So, to receive 16GB of home directory quota
(your 15360 MB + 1024 MB more), it will cost $3/year.
- Shared space or projects are
setup on a by request basis.
- Faculty and staff may
request a shared “/group/username” area from which all of
their shared/project space will reside. This space will have a group quota
limit of 600MB. Any request
beyond 600MB will be charged for at the normal charge back rate defined
- Student group spaces
are approved by the CSG Director.
- Educational shared
space requests will use the “/group/class/course #” directory
space. This space goes away
at the end of each semester.
If the shared space needs to go beyond one semester, or be used by
multiple classes, the faculty member will request an exception to be
approved on a case by case basis with the CSG Director.
- CSG also has an Open
Source version control system utilizing Subversion available by faculty
request. See the service description for more detail http://www.divms.uiowa.edu/help/services/subversion.html
- Self-managed equipment access
to departmental Email, Web, ssh, and printing is the responsibility of the
user. Some limited file
service may be possible, depending on the type of self-managed
equipment. Samba/CIFS access
is available for all shared mount points and NFS access is available for
your home account on a request basis.
See the self-managed
machine checklist for additional details.
- Managed equipment: services
for self-managed equipment, plus file services and remote management all
provide by the CSG group.
Faculty and staff in the Division
will have accounts that are created based upon the University wide HawkID that
expire sometime after the owner ends his or her employment with the University. The password is separate from you HawkID
All graduate and undergraduate majors in Computer
Science, Mathematics, or Statistics and Actuarial Science are
entitled to an account usable in any applicable departmental educational and/or
research laboratories. The CSG will create such accounts by
request. The account will expire
when the campus electronic directory indicates that the student has graduated
or changed majors out of Mathematical Sciences. Usually, this happens about a month
after graduation or a change of major.
If the instructor of a course within the Division requests course accounts,
the CSG will create temporary accounts for those students. These accounts will expire at the end of
the current term, when the class is finished.
Anyone else who would like an account in the Division must apply for an
account. The application must be
signed by a faculty member in Computer Science, Mathematics or Statistics and
Actuarial Science. All sponsored
require a zero-dollar appointment. A CV and appropriate University of Iowa
title (e.g., Research Assistant II) are a requirement of the zero-dollar
appointment. The zero-dollar appointment will create or extend a HawkID for the
sponsored individual. The account will expire whenever the sponsorship ends.
Sponsorships can extend for a maximum of one year. Sponsors can apply for
All accounts and the rights associated with them are the sole property of
the single individual on record as the owner of the account. Rights and ownership are not
transferable. Individuals are not
to give access to an account to anyone else.
The use of an account is limited by departmental affiliation and status of
the account owner. Having an account within the Division does not entitle the
owner to access to every workstation within the Division.
In situations where a user is trying to connect to equipment
with the Division of Mathematics from
off-site, the CSG has no control
over the user's remote equipment or the connection from that equipment into the
Division. Therefore, the CSG can provide only very limited help for remote
access from locations outside of the Division.
- Remote Network Access
from Campus Sites
The CSG cannot support access from networked off-campus locations. The CSG will cooperate with other
on-campus support organizations to help troubleshoot problems connecting
from on-campus sites. However,
the CSG does not control the network equipment even within MacLean and
Schaeffer Halls. There is no
guarantee that the CSG can resolve any connectivity problem from locations
outside of the Division of Mathematical Sciences. For technical details see the remote access
- Remote Network Access
from Off-Campus Sites
The CSG can provide no support for network connections from outside the University.
- Wireless access
Wireless service is provided by central IT (ITS) and is partially
available in most of MacLean Hall and Shaeffer Hall. For help or details on the ITS
wireless service please reference the Wireless Support
pages from ITS.
Anonymous FTP will only be set up by request, and only for faculty and
staff. The service is too large a
security risk to grant to all users.
Both read and write anonymous FTP access is available by request
The CSG continually is subject
to attacks in which potential intruders attempt to guess passwords. If anyone does not have a good password
that is changed regularly, then that person's account is vulnerable to such
attacks. One bad password puts not
only that user's files at risk, but also increases the odds that everyone
else's data might be compromised.
On a regular basis, the CSG will attempt to crack passwords on all managed
platforms. Due to the importance of
having good passwords, the following policies have been put in place:
- If we are able to crack a
password, the user will be notified. The user will then have three days
to change the password. If the
password is not changed in this time frame, it will be changed by the CSG.
- If a user's password is
cracked in three consecutive attempts, the CSG will disable the user's
account for a period of 15 days or assign a secure password for the
account. This will ensure that
enough time has passed that any intruder that may have been able to crack
the password has become tired of trying to log in.
See http://www.divms.uiowa.edu/csg/ for more information on the services CSG provides and