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CVMBS

Computer Support Policy


Document Published Date: March 12, 2013
Approved By: CVMBS Executive Council
Approval Date: February 21, 2013

Executive Summary of February 2013 Changes

There will be a change to the CVMBS Computer Support Policy. Please see the full CVMBS Computer Support policy below for the full details.

Why the changes?

This change will allow IT Services to offer the best computer support service level to our customers within present resource constraints.

When will these changes take effect?

February 21, 2013.

What new computers will be supported?

CSU authorized vendor PC (or Vendor), purchased through IT Services. IT Services will then order the computer using the customer’s account number. The computer will be shipped to IT Services who will set it up and then deliver it to the customer. Please see the new purchasing process document at http://it-services.cvmbs.colostate.edu/faq/purchasepolicy.htm.

What new computers will not be supported?

Any computers that are not purchased by CVMBS IT Services for the customer will be provided only Minimum support.

What is Full support?

IT Services, along with Vendor, will ensure that the computer’s connections will all work as intended, network resources can be accessed, and the IT Services supported programs all work. IT Services will work with the Vendor until the computer works as intended.

What is Minimal support?

An active network wall jack will be provided to appropriate, business-related devices. Your device must support the CVMBS DHCP service and run the CSU anti-virus/antispyware programs.

Customer Data

IT Services wishes to acquaint CVMBS users with the responsibility users have to maximize the safety of the data they acquire and create. Data means anything from individual Word documents and Excel spreadsheets, research data files, to files/folders in which daily email is kept, perhaps largely unknown to the user. The safety of this data is a collaboration between the user and IT Services, using various available resources. The amount of data that is vulnerable to loss or corruption far exceeds the network resources that CVMBS is able to provide to guard against such contingency. Therefore, users must make choices about the criticality of their data and execute their own backup procedures. IT Services can assist the users with purchasing external media as well as setting up a scheduled backup of important data.

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IT Services Support Areas

IT Services offers support for the following areas:

Costs for purchase, maintenance and replacement of all computers, peripherals, and network wiring connections back to the wiring closets, are the responsibility of departments and units, not IT Services.


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Windows Computer Support

IT Services computer support ranges between the following three levels:

  1. Full Support

    This level of support applies to desktop and laptop computers that meet the following requirements:
    • Computer must be purchased through IT Services.
    • Computer must have warranty.

    Level of support

    IT Services, working together with the Vendor and/or the customer, will ensure that the computer’s connections will all work as intended, network resources can be accessed, and the IT Services supported programs all work. IT Services will work along with the Vendor, and/or the customer, until the computer works as intended. This may require the customer give up the computer for a length of time and it may require that the operating system be re-installed. (See the "Warranty" section in Appendix 1)

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    Software Support

    IT Services will support the operating system and CSU Standard Applications (see list below) of your computer provided it meets the following conditions:

    • Software must be supported by the vendor.
    • Computer must be less than 5 years old.
    • Software must be CSU approved and purchased using college funds.

    Notes

    • All the factors listed below will affect IT Services’s ability to support non-Vendor computers, and Vendor computers without the correct warranty. As the factors are impacted, the support level will drop towards “minimum” support. It will never be “full” support.
    •  Any MS Windows platform that no longer has hardware warranty can continue to use the appropriate network resources it is already configured to use. However, if the computer ceases to work properly then IT Services will only invest enough effort to help the customer migrate the data to a new supportable machine.

    Factors determining level of standard support

    • Hardware – Any computer that does not have a hardware warranty. The customer will be responsible for ensuring they are running the latest version of CSU’s anti-virus program before they can use the active network wall jack.
    •  Any deviation from being able to use an existing IT Services image will decrease our level of support. Some vendors will not support their laptop if an image has been installed that it was not shipped with.
    • Drivers – Access to certain hardware drivers, and the understanding of how they work (known issues, etc.), may be more difficult with vendors. If this is the case, then that reduces our ability to provide support.
    •  Vendor’s hardware support for PC – If the correct warranty is purchased, IT Services has an agreement with the Vendor for support of hardware issues. This includes a direct line to their engineers/techs. And, next day delivery of parts (including, if necessary, a tech to install those parts). Other Vendors that do not offer IT Services that service will directly reduce our support level. Customers that have not purchased IT Services’ recommended warranty will have to contact the vendor when they have hardware issues.
      • Customers that do not have warranty coverage on their computers can take them to the Help Desk - Technical Support center in the CSU Morgan Library for advice and/or to have the computer worked on. See http://lib.colostate.edu/helpdesk/technical-support
      • Experience with the vendor’s computer –. Supporting the Vendor PC allows us to not waste any time on problem resolution. We don't have that experience with other computer vendors. That reduces our ability to support the computer.

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  2. Minimum Support

    This level of support applies to all computers and network-attached devices, regardless of Operating System (OS) or hardware. This is also the default level of support for computers which were NOT purchased through IT Services after January 1, 2013

    • An active network wall jack will be provided to appropriate, business-related devices. Your device must support the CVMBS DHCP service.
    • No other support, troubleshooting, software installation, etc., is available from IT Services for these devices. (IT Services will provide access to media for the applications that CVMBS has licenses for. This would include the Microsoft Office Suite.)
    • IT Services-approved virus protection must be installed, properly maintained and always in use.
    • CVMBS funded enterprise class computers need to join the CVMBS domain.
    • CVMBS funded enterprise class computers need management software agents installed and IT Services local admin access for the support of that software.
    • Computers that at one time were provided full or standard support, but whose hardware has fallen below the minimum requirements, will be supported until the computer reaches a point that it needs to be rebuilt. At that time, the customer has two options. They can surplus the computer, or they can take the computer to someone other than IT Services to be repaired (at the owner’s expense). An option for this would be Ramtech, who will install new hardware and the operating system if required. Once that has been done, IT Services will make sure that it has the latest version of Symantec Anti-virus running and will help the customer get the computer reconnected to the CVMBS network. The computer will fall into the minimum support category from then on.
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Mac Computer Support

IT Services will provide support for Mac that includes Mac computers that are currently in use and new Macs purchased. There will be two levels of support offered, standard support and minimal support. The difference between the two is dependent on the Mac hardware and the operating system on the Mac.

We request that the user go through IT Services for the initial order, in order to get standard support. The ability of IT Services to provide the standard support for Macs will be enhanced if the customer will confer with IT Services on the purchase and then allow IT Services to order the Mac for the customer. After getting approval from the customer, IT Services will then order the computer using the customer’s account number. The computer will be shipped to IT Services who will set it up and then deliver it to the customer.

Standard Support

Requirements

Hardware: Intel Processor
Operating system: Lion (OS X 10.7) or higher
IT Services Admin Account: This account is needed for management software and to allow local access for that software. It is also needed to allow remote assistance to the customer.
Symantec AntiVirus

Support offered

Operating system installation: Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8), Lion (OSX 10.7) or Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) if a business requirement

Application Software installation:

  • Microsoft Office for the Mac 2011. Includes the connection of Outlook to the Exchange server and the import of local Outlook files (*.pst) from a PC.
  • Symantec AntiVirus for the Mac
  • Parallels Desktop for Mac (additional cost for the customer). Installation of Parallels Desktop for Mac also includes the installation of Windows 7 as a virtual machine under Parallels Desktop for Mac. Other standard CVMBS applications and utilities can also be installed in the Windows 7 virtual machine (VM). The Windows 7 VM will be connected to the CVMBS domain and additional CVMBS standard image applications and utilities can also be installed. Note that both Parallels and a Windows 7 license will be required to be purchased by the customer. These items can be purchased at RAMtech in the Lory Student Center.
  • Adobe Flash
  • Citrix
  • Time Machine setup. Time Machine is an Apple included backup application. The customer will need to have an external hard drive available for use. This can be a “repurposed” one that was originally used for a PC, or a new one purchased by the customer.
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Connections

  • Network connections: Wired or CSU-Net wireless to the CSU network on campus
  • VPN setup for CSU network access from off campus
  • Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP): remote desktop connection to another computer. Note RDP connections to a Mac cannot be made secure unless the target Mac is running Lion.
  • Network Printer connections: Connection to a CVMBS managed network printers
  • Citrix client to access VetPoint at South Campus
  • Email: The only email client that IT Services will be able to support is the Outlook client found in Microsoft Office 2011 for the Mac. IT Services will work with the customer to get the client connected to the CSU Exchange server. IT Services will also help in migrating any current local email folders (*.pst in Outlook) from a Windows computer to the Mac.

Other services provided

  • PC to Mac migrations
  • Help with the migration of the data from a PC to a Mac.
  • Help in the recovery of a Mac hardware failure. IT Services will work with the Apple Certified tech located in the Morgan Library to facilitate the most complete recovery of a customer’s data possible. If the data has been regularly backed up to an external hard drive using Time Machine, recovery of the applications, desktop, and documents should be close to 100% once the hardware has been repaired.

Services not offered

  • Warranty work: All warranty work on a Mac must be performed by Apple or, an Apple Certified repair person such as the one at the Morgan Library. Here is a link to the CSU’s Central I.T. Technical Support Helpdesk and Computer Repair Center at the Morgan Library http://lib.colostate.edu/services/computers/technical-support/.
  • Hardware repair: Any hardware repair outside of warranty work must be performed by another party. The CSU Central I.T. Technical Support Helpdesk and Computer Repair would be an option for getting work done that is not covered by warranty.

Minimal Support

Requirements

Any Mac not meeting both of the hardware and operating system requirements listed above will be offered minimal support.

Support offered
  • An active network wall jack will be provided to appropriate, business-related devices. Your device must support the CVMBS DHCP service.
  • While not a requirement, we do recommend that any computer on the CSU network should be running the CSU antivirus/antispyware programs that are available for your operating system if they wish to be connected to the CSU network.
  • IT Services will help the customer with connections to the CSU wireless service.
  • IT Services will help with questions concerning attaching to network resources, and advise the customer on other support options.
  • IT Services will provide the media for the installation of Microsoft Office 2011 for the Mac to the customer.
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Printer Support

  • Local printers (directly connected to computer): most printers are supported if necessary drivers are readily available.
    • Support means that IT Services will ensure that the printer and computer are correctly connected and communicating with each other and that the correct printer driver has been installed.
    • If you experience a printer issue with any CVMBS purchased printer, please call the Helpdesk 297-HELP (4357).
  • Network printers (directly connected to network or a print server): only HP and Xerox natively networkable printers are supported. Network-class printers must be intended for five or more users and a minimum duty cycle of 50k pages per month. Examples: HP 24xx or greater; color laser HP 2600n or greater; DeskJet HP 3000 or greater. Expect prices to be greater than $800. This policy will affect the academic departments, not the VTH downstairs area. There can be specific exemptions made by the network manager.
    • Support means that IT Services will ensure that an active network port is made available and an IP address reserved for the printer. IT Services will help people connect their computer to the network printer and ensure the correct driver is installed.
    • If you experience a printer issue with any CVMBS purchased printer, please call the Helpdesk 297-HELP (4357)
    • Network printer queues will be created upon demand.
    • Printer configurations on a computer will not be supported unless IT Services has locked the configuration on the printer.
    • Peer to peer printing is NOT supported.
    • For further help on specific printer models to purchase, contact the Network administrator at Main Campus or at VTH. You can call the IT Services Helpdesk at 297-HELP (297-4357) if you are unsure who to contact.
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Network Support

  • The attachment, whether by wire or wireless, and operation of any device, whether privately- or CSU-owned, on the network is subject to the advice and consent of IT Services managers. Misbehaving devices, whether caused by hardware, software, or user, may be disconnected from the network at the discretion of IT Services managers.
  • No server services, including but not limited to, web server (personal or otherwise), mail server, FTP server, DHCP server, or wireless hub, are allowed without IT Services manager advice and consent.
  • The following network resources are supported.
    File sharing – central servers(3)(6) X: - Read-only executables
    S: - Public 10 day-temporary (300MB/user)
    U: - Personal private (10.0GB/user)
    T: - Group private (100GB/group)
    W: - Web authoring
    File sharing – peer-to-peer (4) Not supported
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PDA/Smart Phone Support

IT Services will attempt to provide a standard level of support to help owners of the PDA/Smart Phone connect to the CSU Exchange email/calendaring solution. The PDA/Smart Phone must come with the ability to connect to the Exchange service. This may mean that the customer will need to upgrade their software/firmware on the device. For iPhones they must be running version 2 (or, later) of the iPhone software.

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Tablets Support

IT Services will attempt to provide standard level support for tablets. This includes, but is not limited to iPads and Android tablets. Limited support is defined as the following:

  • Wireless settings for connecting to CSU-NET.
  • Setting up CSU Exchange email and calendaring. The tablet must come with the ability to connect to the Exchange service. This may mean that the customer will need to upgrade their software/firmware on the device, or purchase third party software.
  • Help in choosing applications needed to perform job functions. The list for supported apps can be found here on the Self-Help for iPads page.

Customer Data

Purpose:

IT Services wishes to acquaint CVMBS users with the responsibility users have to maximize the safety of the data they acquire and create. Data means anything from individual Word documents and Excel spreadsheets, research data files, to files/folders in which daily email is kept, perhaps largely unknown to the user.

The safety of this data is a collaboration between the user and the IT Services, using various available resources. The amount of data that is vulnerable to loss or corruption far exceeds the network resources that CVMBS is able to provide to guard against such contingency. Therefore, users must make choices about the criticality of their data and execute their own backup procedures.

Resources:

U Drive
Each user has access to a private network drive, U:, on which they may store any data they wish. The advantages are that this drive is automatically backed nightly without any user action, and that the content of this drive is only available to the user (and network administrators, upon authorized departmental, college or university request). The disadvantage is U is quota-limited in the amount that can be stored, and is not always or easily accessible from a roving laptop.

T Drive
Very similar to the U drive, except meant as a group-private drive which is backed up nightly. It is also quota-limited.

S Drive
This is a public scratch drive; don’t store private data here; anyone can read it or change it. Files unmodified after a small length of time are deleted. This drive does not really count as backup or safety.

User laptop and/or desktop computer
Because of constraints on network space, and the plentitude and ease of use of local space, this computer is where most of a user’s data resides. However, THIS IS THE COMPUTER MOST VULNERABLE TO LOSING USER DATA, unless the user and IT Services have implemented an ad-hoc backup procedure (see below).

Responsibilities:

IT Services has no online service, functionality, application or hardware in place that is backing up user individual desktops or laptops. If the hard disk in an individual computer fails, the only option for recovering the data from the disk is to pay for a very expensive attempt by a 3rd party service to recover it.

IT Services is happy to collaborate with any user to provide advice and consultation for a workstation backup solution. But, the safety of data files on a user desktop or laptop are the user’s responsibility.

IT Services will help the user ensure that backup hardware is correctly connected to the PC, but any hardware problems should be resolved by the user and the hardware manufacturer.

IT Services will offer advice on the backup software, scheduling options, and determining if the backups are valid. The user is responsible for contacting the software provider for application questions and related problems.

The user is responsible for ongoing execution of their backup solution, and monitoring the results to ensure data is actually being backed up and is recoverable.

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Appendix

The following is included in full support.

Supported O/S (1) Windows
Mail (9) -CSU MAPI (Exchange) mailboxes only
-Outlook 2003/2007/2010 on Campus
-ACNSMail or Outlook Web Access (OWA) (students and off-Campus)
Standard software (2) MSOffice 2010/2007/2003, Encrypted Telnet, FTP, Internet Explorer, Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition (including SEP) – ‘managed’, Browser plug-ins (Acrobat Reader, Shockwave, Flash, QuickTime), unzipping s/w, Cyberlink ‘PowerDVD’
Software training & usage (5) CAT (Computer Applications Training), built-in On-line Help and manuals. See http://lib.colostate.edu/cat
Specialized software (7) Acrobat Writer, Photoshop, Authorware, Flash Animation, Dreamweaver, EndNote if current version (campus license)
Non-supported software (8) Everything else (particularly 3rd party screen-savers and IM clients)
Specialized software in Teaching Complabs (7) Additional software designated by instructors will be installed, if
  1. IT Services has 4 weeks to install/test it before it is needed for teaching
  2. The software can run as a normal (not-privileged) user and presents no network security issues
Remote Access Broadband using VPN

Footnotes

  1. Within constraints imposed by hardware/software capabilities and compatibility, the Target O/S is the robust choice. Computers will be migrated to the Target O/S as warranted and after full discussion and understanding with individual owners. In all cases, it is the dept/owner’s responsibility to purchase a Windows operating system with a new computer. In some cases the owner may have to purchase hardware upgrades to qualify for upgrade to the target OS.

    CVMBS’s default operating system is Windows 7 Enterprise. Specifically, this applies to:
    • All new computers
    • All computers that need to be reimaged mustt be under Hardware or Software support.

    The only time that XP will be installed and supported outside of the above situations is the following:
    • If the person using the computer has a business reason to run an application that is not supported by Windows 7.
    • Migration of the Lab environments (including the large classroom labs with computers) to Windows 7 will be done after consultation with the lab owners and IT Services.
  2. CVMBS’s default office suite is MS Office 2010 for all new computers and for all computers that need to be re-imaged. Office 2010 will be installed on the computers no matter what the operating system (so, either Windows 7 or XP). The only times that Office 2003 will be installed is if there is a business reason (as an example, a business macro in Excel 2003 has not been migrated to Excel 2010).

    There are a very few remaining computers in CVMBS that do not have the hardware required to run Office 2007. An exception will be made in those circumstances.

    Warranty –

    IT Services recommends that the customer purchase as long a warranty as seems reasonable for the computer purchased. This would normally be 3 years for both desktops and laptops. Some desktops or laptops may be best serviced with a 4 or 5 year warranty. This decision is up to the user and/or IT Services.

    Once the warranty period is over, IT Services will continue to support the computer until it fails to meet software support specifications. That said, the following constraints apply after the warranty period is over:

    1. The customer will be liable for the cost of any replacement hardware.
    2. Acquiring, or locating, the hardware may take longer than what would be the case if the computer was under warranty.
    3. It is the customer’s responsibility to find and purchase the replacement hardware. Within reason, IT Services may install the new hardware. However, depending on the hardware to be installed, IT Services may request the customer have another party install the hardware at additional cost.
    4. Once the computer hardware is fully functional, IT Services will install the standard CVMBS image (the operating system, SEP, MS Office, and various utilities (see another part of the Appendix for a full list).
  3. Files stored on these services will be backed up every day, starting at 6:00 PM; backups are kept for 30 days. The ability to use both Windows and Macintosh platforms to access the same file on these services cannot be guaranteed.
  4. Peer-to-peer file sharing is discouraged: it presents a security risk, possibly to the entire network; it may be bandwidth inefficient; there is no file backup; the ability of users to connect depends on network protocol and router characteristics that may not be maintained.
  5. Listed software will be made operable (launch-able). Where version number of software is listed, support is available only for listed versions. Since IT Services provides no training, we strongly recommend that all departmental administrative personnel attend at least 2 CAT courses per year to improve their knowledge and skills with computers and standard software. For computer applications training, please go to: http://lib.colostate.edu/cat/.
  6. Quota allowances (as indicated in the parentheses in the Network Support table) can be altered for special circumstances, if space is available. Please contact your IT Services technician.
  7. Software will be launch-able, may entail a cost to user, and IT Services provides no training.
  8. In the case where user-added software breaks Supported functionality or software, the owner will be given the choice of discarding the user-added software, or reverting to Minimum Support. In the case where unreasonable effort by IT Services personnel would be required to correct a problem, wiping and re-installing just the standard set of software may be the only offered option. It is the owner’s responsibility to backup ALL files they wish to preserve in such an event.
  9. Outlook Express is not supported. ACNS and CAT may provide some setup and configuration assistance. Training for Outlook is provided by CAT. See http://lib.colostate.edu/cat.
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