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Minutes of The JDCMG Meeting

November 08, 2007

JDCMG UCB Onsite Minutes – Scriber Kirk Grier

Attending (likely incomplete)

UCB – Walt Hagmaier, Steve Aguirre, Mike Blasingame
UCR – Thomas S.
UCSB – Kirk Grier, Mark McGilvray
UCOP – Fernan Gabato, Steve Cavalli, Michael Yuan
UCLA – Jack Ewart, Rudy, Karen Melick
UCD – Dave Z., Morna Mellor, Dana Drennan
UCSF – Kevin Barney
UCI – Allen Schiano, Paul Crump

Shel – UCB CIO comments / discussion

UCLA has identified some products that may fit the requirements. However, before proceeding guidance in needed from ITLC as to how the UC will respond to the audit findings driving the requirement. The effort and cost to comply is non trivial. Why should one campus, i.e. UCLA, move to comply if compliance by all will not be mandated?  If compliance by all is mandated, what is the opportunity for common solutions and central funding? Kirk agreed to summarize and forward question to ITLC. 

Monitor Group report discussions. Possibility of HVAC costs being low hanging fruit to “do something”, shared / Regional Data Centers.  What is appropriate to house in a Regional DC vs a Campus DC? What should a future strategy be? Future requests for campus specific DC funding will likely be looked at very closely at the Regents level. ITGC Report is also being reviewed by Monitor Group & feeding into recommendations.

Inquired how ITLC could better interact with JDCMG and campuses. Better sharing of guidance, information, minutes?

Roundtable (convo interrupted / interspersed in meeting due to scheduling)

UCLA – looking at new tape library with encryption. Acting on BIA results. IBM ISS penetrations testing and apps scanning contract.

UCSB – first ever CIO Tom Putnam on board. IBM Security Health check finalized. Ongoing Identity migration from Oracle CoreID to Sun IdM. Mainframe VPS printing services to UCOP.

UCB – exploring moving test and Q&A services to another site and having the site available as DR infrastructure.

Audits and DB Access Logging

UCLA – Initially dinged by audit on DBA access. Have located tools that can help remediate that also turn out to be tools the the DBA's would like to use for their tasks.

UCOP – Michael Yuan reported that the “Event Action” (?) product can monitor libraries for changes so that will cover monitoring for the system programmers on the mainframe.

VMware Status

The current agreement has worked out well for both UC and VMware. Tracy at UCOP indicates that the UC has spent just over $500k so far, realizing about $250k in savings. There are two more orders  this year, so projected savings is over $300k.

The present proposal by VMware Corporation assumes that the growth experienced under this year's agreement will substantially continue. It also restricts the discounts to a select named set of products, primarily VI 3 ESX, whereas the current agreement applies to all products.

The general consensus is that the large per-server license purchases have been made by the current participants. It is more cost-effective to increase our processor cores per server, than buy additional servers and associated licenses and maintenance. At this point a 2-socket Dual core server (4 processor cores) licenses for the same cost as a 2-socket Quad core server (8 processor cores). Further, the exclusion of VDI and other VMware technologies, and the limit on Workstation licenses limit usefulness outside the Data Center. Finally, we are mid-FY and budgets are already allocated.

JDCMG members will be pleased if the current agreement's terms are extended into a new agreement, even though one might argue that UC should be entitled to even greater savings based on the volume already generated.

UCOP has asked VMware to extend the present agreement into next calendar year to allow future negotiation w/o a lapse in agreement. Dec 20 update - Tracy confirms that present agreement has been extended to June 2008.

Combined UC Data Center Discussion – Paul Weiss

Paul reported on his investigations to date. The days of cheap power on the Columbia River are long gone. Growing expertise in the HVAC areas can yield can up to 80% of presently used energy. For instance the new NERSC facility will use ambient air for cooling (outside air economizers).  Best estimate on UC present UC spend on energy is $250M, with about 10% of that going to IT. In the Sustainability area UC has committed to return to the 1990 (date?) level of energy consumption by 2012.

Vendor Presentation

IBM / Maximo CMDB

IBMer's – Kevin Munoz, Bill Largent, Meaghan Mulligan Kraft, Jay Suaro

Maximo is build on ITIL standards, provides Configuration Management, Asset Management,  Service Desk and supporting applications. Connectors to a variety and platforms and 3rd party applications. Web and J2EE based. Part of ELA, $15-20k for 5-10 concurrent users. Requires (3) servers: db, as and reporting.


ASG / Mobius


Reviewed ASG product line and motivations for present ELA proposal to the UC.

Single Sign-On Discussion

UCSB – proceeding with migration to Sun JES / IdM platform.

UCB – postponed JES to later date, using CAS for now.


Vtape / Backup Solution for Distributed Systems Discussion

UCB – (5) AIX TSM Servers, backs up 1 TB a night, 500TB storage on floor, 240TB in TSM library

UCD – backs up 5-6TB a night with Veristas Net Backup on Sun servers. 8 tape LTO4 drives, generally 2 idle. Evaluating going to 4 backup servers each with 3-5 TB DASD for staging, then stream to tape.

Monitoring Solutions Mentioned

ITCAM – Tivioli Response time monitor

Load Runner – for web apps – several site have licenses, perhaps opportunity for consolidation

Zenoss - http://www.zenoss.com/

Staffing Issues Discussion

In general vacancies are a problem for all, esp in high cost of living areas and University salaries lagging the market.

UCB has found that unless they pay Oracle DBA's within 20% of market they cannot retain staff. Recent hire in the “teens”,  i.e. $113-119k.  Of course this creates non-trivial internal equity problems. Unix admin salaries in the $80-100k range.

Discussion about creation of function specific classifications and  levels, i.e. DBA 1-5, SA 1-5, MGR 1-5, rather the generalist ProgrammerAnalyst classifications.

UCSB has Computer & Network Technologist series with levels 1-6. Two basic tracks: System Admin and Software Developer. Within IS&C extremely difficult to find qualified applicants for open positions.

UCLA has been successful in using “head hunters” for technical positions. Campus agreement with 3 preferred placement firms, fee is @10% of 1st year salary.

Quick poll on mainframe sysprog staffing:

UCSB:             3 + MGR, 1 retirement imminent
UCLA:             4 + MGR, 1 vacant
UCB:               3 + MGR
UCOP:             3 + MGR

A quick review of UC entities with MF platforms yields about 10 shops. Perhaps there is an opportunity for creation of a UC MF “Service Bureau” with centralization of workload and staffing resources, the proverbial “economy of scale.” At the least there is opportunity for areas of expertise to develop.

Admin / Wrap Up

Walt agrees to replace Kirk as co-chair of JDCMG.


Copyright © 2007 The Regents of the University of California, All Rights Reserved. UC Joint Data Center Management Group (JDCMG)
Updated: January 26, 2010