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Emerging Technologies in Higher Education:  Big School Solutions to Small School Problems. John O’Keefe Director, Academic Technology and Network Services Lafayette College. 1. What are “Small School Problems?”. Funding ERP Security Teaching and Learning w/Tech

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Emerging Technologies in Higher Education:  Big School Solutions to Small School Problems

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Emerging technologies in higher education big school solutions to small school problems l.jpg

Emerging Technologies in Higher Education:  Big School Solutions to Small School Problems

  • John O’Keefe

  • Director, Academic Technology and Network Services

  • Lafayette College


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What are “Small School Problems?”

  • Funding

  • ERP

  • Security

  • Teaching and Learning w/Tech

  • Infrastructure/Cyberinfrastructure

  • Agility/Adaptibility/Responsiveness

  • Governance, Organization, Leadership

  • Identity Management

  • Disaster Recovery

  • Strategic Planning

  • Web Systems

  • Information/Content management

Source: 2009 EDUCAUSE Current Issues Survey


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What are “Big School Solutions?”

  • Internet2/NLR

  • Shibboleth

  • iTunesU

  • MPLS

  • IPv6

  • Cloud Computing


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How Does This Fit Together?

  • The problems aren’t necessarily different or unique to smaller schools

  • Small schools can be more agile and able to implement solutions campus-wide

  • Resources are available to help (Large developer community, conferences, CAMPs, etc)


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The Details Behind the Technologies


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  • High-Speed research networks

  • Internet2 - A not-for-profit advanced networking consortium that leverages its high-performance network and worldwide partnerships to support and enhance the educational and research missions of its members.

  • NLR - Ultra high-performance network infrastructure that makes possible many of the world’s most demanding research projects.

  • I2 Only Applications (Remote instrumentation, Videoconferencing)

  • NLR for Telepresence


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  • Shibboleth - A standards based, open source software package for web single sign-on across or within organizational boundaries.

  • Federated Identity Management (FIdM) - Arrangements made among multiple organizations that lets subscribers use their institutional identification credentials to obtain access to applications outside their institution but within the Federation (InCommon, eAuth)


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  • iTunesU - A section of Apple’s iTunes Store designed for higher education where institutional content, course work, or other multimedia materials may be stored and disseminated within the framework of iTunes.

  • Can use Shibboleth

  • Can be used to compliment Course Management System


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  • MPLS - Multi-Protocol Label Switching

  • Layer 3 Virtualization creates highly secure virtual networks within one physical infrastructure

  • Easier to manage than Layer 2 Virtualization (VLANs)

  • Scales better (smaller broadcast domains)

  • Cost savings

  • VoIP


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  • IPv6 - Next-generation Internet Protocol version designed as the successor to IPv4.

  • New IP addressing scheme

  • Expanded allocation blocks (more addresses available)

  • More secure (IPSec)

  • Multicast

  • Jumbograms


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Cloud Computing

  • Cloud Computing - Environment where dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources are provided as a service over the Internet

  • Obscures technology and infrastructure that supports the cloud, enabling end users to focus on applications

  • Not just for CS any more


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Putting It All Together


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  • MPLS for network virtualization

    • Separation of devices and users

    • Network Admission Control

    • Regulatory Compliance (PCI, HIPPA, CALEA, etc)

  • Shibboleth

    • Access to third party apps using institutional credentials

    • Single Sign-On


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Teaching and Learning

  • Internet2/NLR

    • Access to resources/applications

  • iTunesU

    • Bowdoin, Penn State

    • Offload multimedia content from CMS


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  • Cloud Computing

    • Virtualization lowers cooling demands, power requirements

    • Provisioning new services easier

    • Saves money

  • IPv6

    • It is coming, I promise!

    • v6-only services, no more v4?


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Identity Management

  • Shibboleth

    • Policies and Procedures

    • InCommon and eAuth LoA (Level of Assurance)

    • Providing services to other schools (collaboration)


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Disaster Recovery

  • Clustering and Cloud Computing

    • Automatic failover

    • Hardware independence

  • MPLS

    • Network failures converge faster (BGP)

    • Broadcast domains limited


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Web Systems

  • Cloud Computing

    • Cloud platform very effective to deliver web applications

  • Shibboleth

    • Tailor made for web application authentication

  • Internet2/NLR

    • Applications may only be accessible via Internet2/NLR


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What Can You Do Now to Prepare?


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  • Cost of entry lower

  • Membership has its privileges

  • Find a GigaPOP near you


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  • How does your current IdM stack up?

  • Look at LoA and policies required for InCommon

  • Examine institutional practices


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  • Sign up for an account

  • Look at schools who have nice sites to get ideas

  • Do you have Shibb?


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  • Review your current infrastructure

  • BGP talent on staff

  • Cost to prepare infrastructure


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  • Get an allocation

  • Begin to familiarize yourself with it

  • Know the problems

  • Plan your budgets


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Cloud Computing

  • Explore virtualization options (VMWare, Redhat, others)

  • Insource or Outsource


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So What Has Lafayette Done?


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  • Internet2 Connectivity 2005

    • German Collaborative 2005

    • Pasteur Institute and Bird Flu 2006

  • Implemented iTunesU 2006

    • Integrated with Moodle, used for coursework

    • Commencement readings

    • Communications multimedia content


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  • Implemented Shibboleth 2007 (Library resources, Spaces, online ticketing)

  • Implemented MPLS 2007

  • IPv6 Allocation 2009

  • Developed Web Cloud 2009


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Why Does This Matter?


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Set Apart From Other Small Schools

  • Faculty and Staff recruitment

  • Research incentives

  • Competing for students


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Set Apart From Larger Schools

  • Small school, big resources

  • New market conditions put smaller schools in non-traditional competition from larger schools


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  • John O’Keefe

  • email: okeefej@lafayette.edu

  • web: http://its.lafayette.edu

  • twitter: okeefej_62


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