Common SUNY Support Center

Annual Report
July 1, 1991 - June 30, 1992

Prepared by: Ron Brown, SUNY College at Buffalo

Table of Contents

1 Introduction

2 Advisory Committee - Executive Board
2.1 Advisory Committee.
2.1 Executive Board

3 Staffing

4 Support Center Functions .
4.1 Objectives and Purpose
4.2 Improvements to services by CSSC support staff
4.3 Attainment of goals by Support Center staff
4.4 Volume of E-Mail (by subject) for SCACAD, SCSYS and SCADM

5 Hardware Configuration
5.2 VAX/Ultrix.
5.3 Training Center
5.4 VAX 4000

6 Software
6.2 Joiner
6.3 Oracle

7 Budget

8 Advisory Committee Members
8.1 Voting Members.
8.2 Ex Officio Non-voting Members

9 Executive Board Meeting Notes
9.1 February 24, 1992
9.2 May 20, 1992

10 Available Software
10.1 Digital Software
10.2 Oracle Products.
10.3 Joiner Products

1 Introduction

The purpose of this document is to provide the member institutions an update ofactivities their Common SUNY Support Center (a.k.a. CSSC or Support Center) hasaccomplished in the past year. The current staff and hardware configurations areoutlined in other sections of this document.

The Training Center performs a necessary function for the Support Center. Wehave noted that when staff at member institutions are properly trained, thequestions are of a more substantive nature. A few new members have not receivedthis training and many of their questions could have been eliminated by havingthe experience of the Training Center. It is assumed that training is now underway for these sites.

2 Advisory Committee - Executive Board

2.1 Advisory Committee

Due to travel restrictions the Advisory Committee only met once (at the Fall 1991 COA).

The Advisory Committee elected the Executive Board as follows:

Name; Campus; Term(s)
Paul Voninski, Chair; Oswego; 1/4/90 to 6/30/93(3)
Bob Hemmings; Morrisville; 1/4/90 to 6/30/91(1)
. . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7/1/91 to 6/30/94(3)
Carl Kellogg; Geneseo; 1/4/90 to 6/30/93(3)
Ruedi Lienhard; Syracuse HSC; 1/4/90 to 6/30/92(2)
Bob Wilbert; Farmingdale; 1/4/90 to 6/30/92(2)

Attached is a complete list of Advisory Committee members [Executive Board members are so noted].

2.1 Executive Board

The Executive Board will meet with Advisory Committee members during Fall 1992 and Spring 1993 COA meetings. Because of the budget situation we plan on meeting during these times to keep costs down for member institutions.

The Executive Board met on 2/24/92 and 5/20/92. Notes from these meetings are attached for reference.

3 Staffing

The staff allocated to Buffalo State College for the function of support tomember campuses are:

Jerry Craven Operations
Dave Massaro Systems/Communications
Betty Page Academic
Jerry Silverschatz Systems/Communications
Rob Smith Administrative

This staff is supervised and backed up by staff at Buffalo State College in therespective areas. In addition a Digital Consultant, providing assistance ingetting the Support Center started, was acquired using the procedures in theSUNY-DIGITAL Agreement (CM00224). We plan to continue to use the DigitalConsultant as long as the current contract provisions make it fiscally possible.

4 Support Center Functions

The functions of the Support Center are outlined in the CSSC's Bylaws. Any majorchanges to these functions would be addressed to Center's Executive Board foraction by the members as a whole or by the Board.

The following is taken from the Bylaws and comments as to the activities thathave been done in these areas:

4.1 Objectives and Purpose

The purposes for which the Common SUNY Support Center was formed are:

a. To provide a medium for sharing of knowledge among its member institutions for academic instruction and research and administrative information systems.

Comment: The SUNY Training Center has assisted with this task very well, and the training they have provided has been excellent. In addition the Electronic Mail (EM) and various listservers have assisted with this task. When the Support Center staff has been at various training sessions and meetings we have been able to share mutual concerns.

"The Complete VAX/VMS Training Center" library has been purchased by the Training Center for member campuses which includes 24 videotapes, 3 audio cassettes and a 2-volume workbook.

BBOARD continues to record various listservers in VAX Notes. Today, there are about thirty "mail" listservers being logged so that members do not have to store this in their own disk space. "BSINFO" is available on the system for information about facilities for users. They simply login to the Support Center system and type BSINFO. Directions are given at execution. Digital's CD-ROM documentation for VMS and Ultrix is available over SUNYnet. Directions were sent to each campus' software license manager for access capability.

User documentation resides in the DOC facility on the Support Center machine. If campuses have documentation they think might be beneficial to other campuses, it has been requested that this documentation be sent to SCACAD for review.

DECUS tapes have been made available through three CDROMs to all Support Center campuses. Each campus is required to access a special username which will permit access to these CDROMs.

Questions received by SCACAD and replies given have been compiled and stored in the SCACAD conference in VAX Notes on the Support Center machine (SBSCVA).

Some of the Support Center staff have participated in the Training Center's Wizard Seminars. In addition some CSSC staff have been instructors and made video tapes for the Training Center members and SICAS Center members.

The Training Center and Support Center are planning on using SUNYsat for updates and other information to be presented to their members.

b. To provide requested computer services and facilities including staff, software, equipment, and communications. Among the services include:

1. Copy (distribute) all agency or group licensed software to the member institutions in a timely manner.

Comment: There currently exists a DCL routine which allows campuses to retrieve software over SUNYnet (using DECnet) without intervention Support Center personnel. This routine, GETSOFTWARE, is started in a "captive account" (usercode) when each site's Software License Manager logs in to the Support Center's system with a special usercode assigned to them. GETSOFTWARE allows each License Manager to review what software is available for down loading, their site information, what jobs they have submitted for software down loading, etc.

This distribution method has been working very well. The SICAS Center (located at the College at Oneonta) has been using this for distribution of the SCT Banner software. The SUNY Library Support Center (SLSC) is planning on using this routine for distribution of the LAIP software.

SUNYnet has made the distribution and collection of information possible. Without SUNYnet additional support staff would definitely be needed in addition to more funds for long distance phone calls (including extra for phone tag).

2. Serve as software support liaison in accordance with agency or group maintenance agreements.

Comment: There are three main areas where member sites can submit questions - Academic Support (SCACAD@snybscva), Administrative Support (SCADM@snybscva), and Systems/Communications Support (SCSYS@snybscva). The following are the numbers of questions / problems by area received From July 1, 1991 to June 30, 1992:

Academic Support 155
Administrative Support 1,386
System/Communications Support 548

3. Serve as a networking hub for services such as DECnet, BITNET and Internet access and to provide alternate path connections to SUNY Central.

Comment: Currently we are the hub for about 25 campuses. When the Joiner software (JNET) is installed on member VAXs, additional systems will be added. The current plan is to have each site VAX "linked" to each other and to have the Support Center linked by the gateway to the non-SUNY BITNET mail traffic. If a campus feels they do not have a system of the size needed to support these links or prefer not to support same, they can have one connection to the CSSC and use this for all other mail connections.

4. House all on-line documentation and Self-Paced Instruction (SPI) courses for access by member institutions.

Comment: The SUNY Training Center and Support Center staff have looked into this during the past year. Training Center members have access to all of Digital's Computer Based Instructional (CBI) materials on the Support Center's system. In addition "DOC" and "BSINFO" are routines containing information and documentation available for member institutions.

5. Provide a small level of remote VAX computer services for conversion work, training, and access to all software for testing and demonstrations.

Comment: Each campus has assigned a Username manager to assign and monitor usernames on the Support Center system. A routine was developed to allow these managers to assign, change, and delete usernames on the Support Center system. This was one of the original goals to allow members to be independent on the Support Center facilities available to members.

Any member campus may request a usercode on the Support Center system for any person at their site. Since this is on the same cluster as Buffalo State College's system, users have access to any software which is on either system. Some campuses are using software available for this purpose.

The Support Center's system and Buffalo State College's VAX 3400 used for all VMS training at the SUNY Training Center. Currently there is a stat-mux supporting Digital VT 340 terminals for training. It is planned that, during the next year, we will be able to add PCs and VAXstations for training at this facility. This will allow for additional training in such products as Pathworks, Word- Perfect, dBASE, etc.

6. Serve as a disaster backup facility for the member institutions.

Comment: The Executive Board is looking into a plan where campuses will be assisted in the development of a disaster backup facility for their campus. This is headed by Ruedi Lienhard. We have a unique opportunity to work together to make disaster backup easier for all of us if we agree to some common system setups.

During the past year, Buffalo State College and the Support Center made plans for campuses which might not be able to get off their A10 in the time frame they planned. Facilities were tested so that a campus could go through their VAX and then to the Support Center VAX to the A10 at Buffalo State College. This was tested and could have been implemented if needed.

One member used Support Center facilities to work on their conversion prior to their system being available. The campus used these facilities for Banner training of their users and started their conversion. There were a few problems that were worked out; and this is a function that should be performed during a disaster at a member site.

7. Serve as a demonstration/test center for various Local Area Network (LAN) techniques.

Comment: Currently, Buffalo State College has running Pathworks.

8. Maintain all required records consistent with a Support Center and as required by vendor or agency contracts.

Comment: The CSSC is going to be re-working the way in which campuses provide information about which systems have what software running on them. We need more cooperation from most sites. We believe this new method will assist the campuses in providing the required information for vendors.

Most of the information is kept in electronic form and will be used as the basis for the reporting requirements. A complete description of the required information is in the CSLG / ESL plans distributed to member campuses at the Fall 1992 COA.

9. Annually publish, to the membership, a complete list of all distributed and supported products with current version numbers and the name of the support person for each product.

In addition to the above areas, the Support Center has assisted campuses inobtaining information on various topics such as terminal emulators, keyboardmapping, system configurations, SUNY-DIGITAL Agreement (CM00224) problems, campusnetworking questions, etc.

4.2 Improvements to services by CSSC support staff


Three DECUS CDROMs have been set up on the Support Center system accessible by special user accounts at each Support Center campus. The CDROMs cover Collection 6, Fall 1989; Collection 7, Spring 1990; and Collection 8, Fall 1990.

The DOC facility has been an ongoing process for the Support Center. Documentation for the VAX, third-party software, the DECUS tapes and networking have been maintained and continue to grow monthly. All Support Center campuses have been asked to send documentation that might benefit other campuses.

A SCACAD conference is kept in VAX Notes in which questions received by the SCACAD account and answers given are displayed for Support Center campuses.

Training has continued for the SCACAD support person. Pathworks training has been at the top of the list along with training at Cornell's Supercomputer Theory Center.

List server conferences have been included in VAX Notes through the bboard facility. This allows users to view discussion groups in another source besides their Mail directory. Any campus who wishes to include a Bitnet list discussion group into the Support Center's machine VAX Notes are welcomed to send in their suggestions. Many campuses have asked for the bboard program so they can put Bitnet discussion groups into their own VAX Notes. SCACAD has sent information on getting bboard and has offered help in getting it to run.


The GETSOFTWARE (Software Distribution) routines have been enhanced to make them more user-friendly. Several features have been added, and procedures have been streamlined to lower the amount of time spent on maintenance - and leave us more time for providing support.

Several INFOservers have been added to our network which has enabled us to further streamline maintenance in making new software available - and decreased the amount of time needed between receiving the CD's, and making the products on them available to member campuses.

The BOOKREADER on-line documentation project has reached maturity. Member campuses can install BOOKREADER locally, and access our BOOKREADER Server 3100 - and our BOOKREADER CDs.

Training has continued for our staff members - with ALL members attending at least one course in the past year.

Our LAN now extends to the Training Center in Syracuse, providing a higher level of support for the needs of that entity, while easing the burden of preparing machines to meet the needs of various classes held at the TC.


Since the Oracle component of the Common SUNY Support Center was organized in January, 1990 we have worked to achieve our primary two-pronged objective. That objective was to promptly reply via email to questions from campuses (i.e. within an hour if possible). However, at the same time, we strategically preempt questions by providing consulting, training, and documentation on ORACLE products distributed via GETSOFTWARE to our client schools. Several highlights are noted.

1. Completion of a SUNY ORACLE Installation Guide.

To preempt numerous installation questions it was apparent early on that an Installation Guide was needed which captured the "Do's" and "Don'ts" of ORACLE installation in the context of the campuses. Beginning with Version of ORACLE this guide has been maintained up to the currently distributed version,

2. Implementing Test Procedures for ORACLE Versions.

The introduction of new versions provide new features and functions. This may affect previously existing functions (i.e. upon which campus applications may depend). Therefore, version testing is performed by the Support Center before product is distributed to the campuses. In some cases, versions have been skipped until a later version corrects an identified problem.

3. Setting up a reporting system from email for campus questions by topics.

Several hundred questions are handled by the Support Center from about 20 campuses each year. The majority of calls come via email, although a number of telephone support calls also happen. At this time only email calls are tracked. By quarter, calls are filed by original campus, reply to campus, and technical topic.

4. Strategic Consulting and Training for Administrative Application Development.

From time to time CSSC provides presentations and training on selected topics to the Administrative Programming Staff or at periodic SUNY Wizard's Seminars. For example, a one-day class was given on RMSEDT, an editor.

5. Maintaining a high level of service by minimizing direct calls to ORACLE.

The Support Center has been able to handle about 90% of their incoming calls without a subsequent call to ORACLE. During 1991 only 38 Technical Assistance Requests (TAR'S) were posted. Since calls to ORACLE usually take one to three days to resolve, we have been able to maintain our service level by anticipating questions and distributing articles and technical papers (e.g. on Backup and Recovery Procedures) that prevent or reduce such problems. The vast majority of calls to ORACLE are for software upgrades or direct CSSC calls without a previous campus question.

6. Applied Research and Prototype Development.

The CSSC is currently evaluating ORACLE's CASE product set for SUNY application by developing a Support Center application to maintain an inventory of software products available and where they are installed within the SUNY system. A Phase One prototype has been developed. A CASE version is in progress. Oracle's latest database version, ORACLE7, is also being evaluated for impact on Buffalo State, BANNER applications, and SUNY in general.

7. Acceptance and Publishing of a technical paper in the International ORACLE User's Journal.

The Support Center was pleased to have a paper written by Rob Smith published by the International ORACLE User's Journal 3. The topic was Operating Systems Considerations for Performance Measurement of Large Releational Database Systems.

4.3 Attainment of goals by Support Center staff

1. The CSSC will respond to a request for assistance within one hour.

All Support Center staff try diligently to reply within an hour only if it is to inform the sender that the message has been received and further time is needed to look into the question.

2. If multiple electronic dialogues are required for a request/response, each dialogue exchange will be incorporated into the previousmessage sequence set.

All Support Center staff keep a log of all messages received and sent and send this along with the current message going out.

3. Where appropriate, the CSSC will indicate what reference sources were used in developing the response. Where possible, references sources are mentioned.

4. At the completion of request/response activity sequence, the content thereof will be placed in a VAX Notes file. This file will be made available to the member campuses and can be used as a reference resource.

SCACAD is, currently, the only Support Center account which includes messages and replies into the SCACAD conference. SCSYS and SCADM will implement this procedure this next fiscal year.

5. Severity levels included in assistance requests. Four levels of severity have been established and one of these levels should be applied in conjunction with requesting assistance from the CSSC. The CSSC will respond to requests for assistance on a first-in first-out basis within descending order of severity level: 1) system down 2) sub-system down 3) developmental 4) information.

Severity levels are seldom included in messages sent from member campuses. This issue may have to be discussed at the next Support Center committee meeting.

4.4 Volume of E-Mail (by subject) for SCACAD, SCSYS and SCADM

5 Hardware Configuration

The following is the equipment available in the Support Center.

     5.1  VAX/VMS            VAX 6000 model 410 128 MB            HSC 70            SA650            TA90     5.2  VAX/Ultrix            MVII 32mb            450MB disk            TK50
5.3 Training Center

In addition Buffalo State College has a VAX 3400 which has been used for training by the SUNY Training Center when course offerings are such that privileges are needed which may cause the cluster to go down. When in this mode the VAX 3400 does not affect the operation of the cluster. Buffalo State College originally acquired this machine to test their software prior to installation on the cluster. This arrangement appears to be sufficient for the functions described herein.

5.4 VAX 4000

A VAX 4000 will be installed during the Summer of 1991. The purpose of this system is to replace the VAX 3400 and to provide enhanced functionality. Note: that this system will only be used under the VMS operating system.

6 Software


A list of software available from Digital through the CSLG/ESL is attached for reference. Noted in this list is whether the product is available for both license (CSLG) and support (ESL) from DIGITAL. The CSLG consists of about 250 products and the ESL provides support for about 45 of these products from DIGITAL. Digital has reviewed proposed changes to The Education Initiative (TEI). One of the major changes deals with how the ESL is going to be handled. Rather than support for only 45 products it will include support for all products in the CSLG. More details will be available during the Fall DECUS meeting.

6.2 Joiner

The Joiner Agreement with SUNY has been going well. Currently the Support Center is a host site for about 25 BITNET campuses. The member campuses have had few or no problems with installation and on-going maintenance with BITNET "links" which the CSSC sends out whenever changes are needed.

6.3 Oracle

The Support Center currently supports and distributes all VMS Oracle software. Improvements have materialized during the past year of working with Oracle which enable us to obtain correct releases and updates in a timely manner. Also fewer installation problems have resulted.

The PC versions of Oracle are only distributed with the initial distribution. Campuses are to obtain PC Oracle support from Oracle directly. The Executive Board should investigate this question during the next year. The Oracle contract must be re-negotiated during the next few months due to a June 1992 expiration.

7 Budget

The following tables represent the financial plan for the years 89-90 through 91-92. Differences from the financial plan presented to the members in the Fall1989 are:

o    the number of campuses is now set at 19 State Operated and 3 Community     Colleges. o    the distribution of CCUP funds for the Center is changed from $250,000,     $250,000, and $100,000 to $250,000, $150,000, $100,000, and $100,000.      This is a better match for the fiscal needs of the Support Center.  [A     request to Chuck Blunt has been made through John Philippo to alter the     funding arrangement.]o    the actual staff costs are included.o    additional funds are allocated to the area of supplies, phone, travel,     etc. to reflect projected costs.o    Oracle maintenance is 200% of normal cost because Oracle went to a four     payments per year plan.  Previously we paid for maintenance at the end of     each year.  During the transition we must pay last year costs and the     current year's costs in the same fiscal year.  We are working with Oracle     to hopefully spread this out over two fiscal years.o    Hardware lease costs are actual costs. o    SUNY Training Center funds for the Support Center are $75,000 F/Y 91-92.    SUPPORT CENTER                     F/Y    F/Y    F/Y                                     89-90  90-91  91-92    INCOME FROM MEMBERSHIP    CAMPUSES - OTPS BASED    NUMBER OF FULL MEMBER CAMPUSES      16     16     17    COST FOR FULL MEMBERSHIP         27500  27500  27500    INCOME FROM FULL MEMBERSHIP          0 440000 467500    NUMBER OF LIMITED MEMBERSHIP         1      1      1    COST FOR LIMITED MEMBERSHIP      13750  13750  13750    INCOME FROM LIMITED MEMBERSHIP -     0  13750  13750    SUB-TOTAL INCOME FROM OTPS BASED     0 453750 481250    CAMPUSES - IFR BASED    NUMBER OF FULL MEMBER CAMPUSES       0      2      3    COST FOR FULL MEMBERSHIP         27500  27500  27500    INCOME FROM FULL MEMBERSHIP          0  55000  82500    NUMBER OF LIMITED MEMBERSHIP         1      0      0    COST FOR LIMITED MEMBERSHIP      13750  13750  13750    INCOME FROM LIMITED MEMBERSHIP -     0      0      0    SUB-TOTAL INCOME FROM IFR BASED      0  55000  82500    INCOME FROM MEMBERSHIP               0 508750 563750    INCOME    CCUP ORIGINAL PLAN               250000 150000 110000    CCUP ADDITIONAL                  50000    TRAINING CENTER                  50000      0  75000    ESTIMATED HARDWARE CREDIT               75000 125000    INCOME FROM MEMBERSHIP               0 508750 563750    SUB-TOTAL INCOME                350000 733750 873750    EXPENSES    STAFF 5 FTE                      70000 153400 164138    ADDITIONAL STAFF    DEC CONSULTANT                  100000 200000 200000    RESERVE FOR HARDWARE                           50000    HARDWARE-LEASE                    7310 131223 131223    HARDWARE-MAINTENANCE                 0  18222  36444    HARD.FREIGHT,INSUR,ETC.          10000    SUPPLIES,PHONE,TRAVEL,ETC.       20400  35000  35000    DEC SOFTWARE MAINTENANCE      ESL                            25000  15000  18000      NON-ESL                        60000  60000  60000    ORACLE SOFTWARE MAINTENANCE      DEC VAX VMS                        0  48282 193126      PC IBM AND MAC                     0   1500   1500    OTHER SOFTWARE      U-WIDE GRAPHICS                       50000    SUB-TOTAL EXPENSES              292710 712627 889431    INCOME LESS EXPENSE              57290  21124 -15681

8 Advisory Committee Members

8.1 Voting Members

Alfred          Robert B. Granger                Vice President, Administrative Affairs                     Voice607-587-4177                     FAX        607-587-3298                     EM         GrangeRB@snyalfvaBuffalo         Dave L. Cummings                Assistant Director, Computing Services                     Voice716-878-4206                     FAX        716-878-4235                     EM         ChambeRA@snybufvaCanton          Robert R. Hayden                University Database Administrator                     Voice315-386-7150                     FAX        315-386-7930                     EM         HaydenRR@snycanbaCentral         Robert G. Lunden                Director, Computer Center                     Voice518-443-5212                     FAX        518-443-5799                     EM         SRGL@snycenvmCobleskillDaniel Sidebottom                Manager, Computer Services                     Voice518-234-5337                     FAX        518-234-5333                     EM         SideboDR@snycobbaCorning CCBill ManualDelhi     Richard W. Nabinger                     Voice607-746-4354                     FAX        607-746-4208                     EM         NabingRW@snydelbaFarmingdale     Robert J. Wilbert                 Executive Board member                Director, Computer Center                     Voice516-420-2167                     FAX        516-420-2698                     EM         WilberRJ@snyfarbaFIT             Geneseo         Carl A. Kellogg                 Director, Computer Center                Executive Board Member                      Voice716-245-5581                     FAX        716-245-5005                     EM         Kellogg@geneseoMorrisville     Robert E. Hemmings                 Director, Computer Services                Executive Board Member                     Voice315-684-6053                     FAX        315-684-6116                     EM         HemminRE@snymorvaOld Westbury    Ronald C. Johnston                Director, Computer Center                     Voice516-876-3149                     FAX        516-876-3209                     EM         Johnston@snyoldbaOneonta         Eric H. Wilson                Director, Computing Services                     Voice607-431-2539                     FAX        607-431-2107                     EM         WilsonEH@snyonebaOswego          Paul Voninski                 Director, Academic Computing                Executive Board Member                Chair Executive Board                     Voice315-341-3055                     FAX        315-341-3143                     EM         Voninski.oswego.oswego.eduPlattsburgh     James Holland                Manager, Computer Center                     Voice518-564-3013                     FAX        518-564-7827                     EM         DUROCHEL@snyplavaPotsdam         Daniel P. Vining                Systems Programmer                     Voice315-267-2093                     FAX        315-267-2318                     EM         ViningDP@snypotbaSLSCSyracuse HSC    Ruedi Lienhard                 Executive Board Member                Director, Computer Center                     Voice315-464-5426                     FAX        315-473-5561                     EM         Lienhard@snysyrv1
8.2 Ex Officio Non-voting Members

17 Campus Vice Presidents Group                Bruce W. Ristow                Associate Vice President, Academic Affairs                SUNY College at Geneseo                     Voice716-245-5534                     FAX        716-245-5005                     EM         Ristow@geneseoAssociate Vice Chancellor for Information Technology                Charles R. Blunt                Associate Vice Chancellor, Information Technology                SUNY Central Administration                     Voice518-443-5550                     FAX        518-443-5799                     EM         Bluntcr@snycenvmSUNY Training Center                Sharon M. Gallagher                Coordinator, SUNY Training Center                     Voice315-464-5426                     FAX        315-464-5561                     EM         Gallagsm@snybufva                Dennis H. Kelsey                Director, Computing Services                Chair, SUNY Training Center                     Voice                     FAX                     EM         KelseyDH@snyalfvaSUNY Computing Officer Association (COA) Executive Council Member                To be addedHost Campus Representative                Ronald N. Brown Jr.                Associate Director, Computing Services                SUNY College at Buffalo                     Voice716-878-4611                     FAX        716-878-4235                     EM         BrownRN@snybufva

9 Executive Board Meeting Notes

9.1 February 24, 1992


In attendance: Paul Voninski , Glynn Evans, Sharon Gallagher, Chuck Blunt, Ruedi Lienhart, John Philippo, Bob Hemmings , Eric Wilson, Jack Pope, Ron Brown

Jack Pope and Ron Brown were late due to schedule conflicts and did notparticipate in the earlier discussions.

The minutes of the last meeting were approved.


a)There are performance problems with the first LAIP cluster to go on-line. A lot of attention is being paid to this matter.

b)SUNYNET itself is working well, and the NYSERNET gateway is working well. 3270 traffic is working well. GETSOFT is working okay. However, file transfers are having a negative affect on CTERM (SETHOST) traffic.

c)A survey will be sent to the computer services directors, with notification of the FY 92/93 charge of $3000 for the NYSERNET.

d) Timetable for 56Kbps: The backbone will be upgraded next year to 168k from 112k, and in 92/93 it will go to T1. Quotations are being received for the 56k links. Fractional T1 is not tariffed.

e)HESC is providing direct sign-on for TAP and GSL. They should allow file submission to and from VAXes through Central Administration via "RSCS over SUNYNET". To them this is not BITNET, although our campuses may called it that.

f)Chuck reported that there is an NYS task force for networking looking at a fiber based network to envelop all of the other networks. This would include fault tolerance and disaster engineering. A pilot project will be done at SUNY.

ORACLE Contract:

We are in the last stages of a contract amendment process with the ORACLE corporation. Two handouts relating to the amendment were distributed. It requires $500k for 5 years + technical support of $94K per year. $250k is available now, but the other $250k will be COPSed and campuses will be recharged. All CPUs are included (VMS, MVS, VM, AIX, UNIX, OS2, MSDOS, MAC, HP, AIX). All current ORACLE software, other than application software, is included. There is some ambiguity in the wording relative to new products, so Chuck will see that a cover letter make clear that we get versions seven and eight as part of the contract.

It is proposed that participating campuses be assessed $1k in 92/93, $3k in 93/94, and $5k in 94/95 and again in the two subsequent years, this money to go into an OIT IFR to replace the borrowing. These charges would be retroactive for any campuses coming in later and would involve a $25k charge for campuses not now contributing.


Bob Hemmings provided a handout that described new products. The disk fragmenter will be available upon contract renewal (end of June).

SUNY PC mailorder pricing is as published, less 9%, which includes a 1 year warranty.

SUNY-SUN contract:

No action yet on revisiting a single fee/ centralized licensing of layered software.

UNIX System V release 4.0 agreement:

The contract amendment was agreed to before the end of last year. Seven campuses participated for $20/CPU. Please note that's NOT $20k. Good job, Vince. The amendment is being processed prior to distribution.

DEC Field Service Amendment:

The new contract provides additional discounts that are advantageous to campuses. One campus notes a saving of about $19k. The contract is still in legal. It is to be effective September 1. Campuses will get credit after September for payments already made.

8MM Tape Drive Micro-Technology contract:

There is no contract yet, but it will be needed for the LAIP project. SUNY Legal Office has seen it.

LAIP Project Update by Glynn Evans:

The network is not working well enough yet. Plattsburgh is the node site supporting Cobleskill and Cayuga, later to include Monroe. The next group will be Geneseo, Alfred, Fingerlakes and the three Erie colleges.

Only OPAC is being tried, not circulation. The participants are also experiencing some other problems, which represent "learning experiences". However, in some ways the project is going well.

A grant request is being made to the Federal Dept of Education for a research and development project for an "on-line secure library". Someone would be hired for two years under the grant.

Two campuses protested on the cluster selection process. A group has been appointed to review the responses to the requests, but resolution of the protests is still outstanding.

The LAIP project is not restricted to SUNY campuses; the project can still grow. The cluster hosts must provide minute-to-minute service to many unknown faculty and service with adequate response time. The cluster hosts must be prepared to provide this service.

John explained that the performance problems were due to the character by character transmission and return, because MULTILIS does not support block mode over DECNET. Each character is enveloped in a 160 bit package that competes against other DECNET packets on a one to sixteen basis in heavy traffic. For possible solutions they are looking at:

a) changing MULTILIS for block mode (short term) (screen buffering by local VAX is years away)
b) increase bandwidth
c) fix DECNET, giving higher priority to CTERM
d) control FTP file transfers, ie. disallow GAAP FTP during the day
e) fix line errors
f) split CTERM and file transfers, eg. put interactive traffic on separate 56k


Spring COA is cancelled, except for a May 21 one-day business meeting. Some board representation should be in attendance at DECWORLD. Jack Davis is looking at providing buses to lower the cost to the SUNY's, but each campus requires its own approvals to send representatives.

LAIP Proposal:

LAIP would be made a full member of the CSSC, providing its own $27,500 payment. All LAIP sites must be CSSC members; some fees would be involved, but not the standard fees. Calls would first go to the LAIP Support Center with unresolved calls going to the CSSC. The members would get MAIL, JNET, PMDF, TELNET, VAXNOTES. The CSSC would trade in the VAX 6410 on a 6620 and split the use and cost with LAIP and other Support Center, adding disaster recovery support. Ron will develop a proposal with specific numbers to be reviewed by us and by LAIP.


To be held at COA business meeting, May 21. Two openings are subject to replacement.

Since the VP group no longer exists to participate on this Board, a letter will be sent to Mr. Spindler asking for his guidance on whether to ask for continuing participation of BOA member(s).

Liaison with Training Center:

Sharon gave a bried update on T.C. activities. Things are looking good overall. Some great new courses are coming up; see the new schedule.


Ron reported that Jamestown will be withdrawing from the CSSC, effective Sept 1, due to budget problems. No official word has been received yet from Empire State College. Genessee is still considering membership; nothing definitive as yet.

The CSSC Board will have to submit materials to the V.P. Recharge Committee in the near future for the FY 92/93 recharge. Chuck will find the name of the V.P. heading the committee and forward it on to Paul.

Ron mentioned that DEC will be having a special "SUNY white sale" with 35% off VAX 6000 500s and 600s.

Next Meeting:

The next CSSC Board meeting will be held in Syracuse on March 18th to finalize the budget sollowing conclusion of the ORACLE negotiations. The Board will have to make a GO/NO-GO decision on the graphics software deal with UB at this meeting. The annual report will also be reviewed.

Respectfully submitted: Eric Wilson

9.2 May 20, 1992


The meeting was convened at 8 p.m. on May 20, 1992 in the Sycamore room of theQuality Inn North, Syracuse, New York.

Attending: Ron Brown, Sharon Gallagher, Carl Kellogg, Dennis Kelsey, Jay Leavitt, Ruedi Lienhard, John Philippo, Paul Voninski, Chair, Robert Wilbert, Eric Wilson

The minutes from the CSSC Executive Board meeting of March 19, 1992 were approvedas revised. Item 8 of the minutes was corrected.


Computer Associates: As of July 1, 1992 there will be nine months remaining of the contract period for this software. The contract must be renegotiated for maintenance.

Precision Visuals: PV - Wave - used for the scientific visualization of datasets on UNIX and VMS platforms. Contract renewal negotiations in progress with a target date of 7/1/92. Current proposal provides for 50 SUNY licenses with graduated cost increases to 100 licenses. SUNY cost is capped at 100 licenses, average proposed cost is approximately $5,000/5 licenses. Software maintenance expense is $7,500 per year for an unlimited number of command language or point and click licenses.


Tom Mercadante, SUNY Plattsburgh, has requested clarification on Oracle support and CSSC software testing policy.

A. ORACLE SUPPORT: After considerable general discussion about Oracle support and specific comments relative to coordination of Oracle and Banner version levels, the following was acknowledged.

1.There are problems with Oracle responding to software problems. 2.Unfortunately, there is no defined response policy at Oracle. 3.If a campus requests a conference call (CSSC staff/campus staff/Oracle staff) with Oracle, the CSSC will comply with the request and initiate the conference call.


1. The CSSC makes all DEC CSLG software available on GETSOFTWARE within 3 to 5 days of arrival.

2. All CSSC supported software is installed on a VAX 4000 and each product is tested with included software IVPs.

3. After completion of VAX 4000 testing, the software is moved to the VAX 6000 cluster and made available for campus download.

4. The timing of Oracle and some third-party software being made available on GETSOFTWARE is generally longer than noted above.


Hudson Valley C.C. is requesting support from the CSSC for Oracle running on an IBM RS6000-560.

It was agreed that the CSSC will support the HVCC request. Membership cost for this support will be one half the full annual membership charge (currently $28,500/2=$14,250). HVCC must become a member of the Training Center or develop a training plan acceptable to the CSSC Executive Board. Other Oracle license and cost issues will be handled through SUNY Central.

John Philippo indicated there is some interest from community colleges in running Banner on an IBM RS6000.

The University Center at Buffalo is interested in running Oracle on the IBM/MVS and SUN/OS platforms. There will be no additional CSSC charge for this additional utilization.


A. The term of office of two Executive Board members will be expiring (Ruedi Lienhard and Bob Wilbert). Nomination for the two vacancies will be opened at the CSSC Advisory Committee meeting on 5/21/92. Both Ruedi and Bob agreed to have their names placed in nomination.

Additional nominations can be made by CSSC campus representatives via electronic mail. Nominations will remain open for two weeks. Balloting will ensue for a period of one week. Election results should be known on or about 6/15/92. Vince Kugler will receive and count ballots.

B. The method of electing the chair of the CSSC Executive Board was discussed. Current by-laws indicate this chair is elected by the CSSC Advisory Committee. There is a recommendation that the chair be elected from and by the CSSC Executive Board members. The by-laws would have to be amended to allow this change. This issue will be presented to the CSSC Advisory Committee on 5/21/92 for discussion and recommendation.

C. Bruce Ristow (Geneseo) is unable to continue representing the "VP Group" as a non-voting member of the CSSC Executive Board. Chuck Blunt will be requested to seek a replacement through Central Administration's management.

D. Membership was discussed with particular emphasis on attracting new members. It was recommended that the CSSC Executive Board develop an introductory document outlining the function and benefits of the CSSC. This document could be distributed to prospective members.

Mohawk C.C. and Genesee C.C. have expressed interest in joining the CSSC. Jamestown C.C. will drop their membership starting with the 92-93 fiscal year. Jamestown's withdrawal will inflate the CSSC budget deficit to $35,055.


A review of the agenda for the CSSC Advisory Committee meeting on 5/21/92 took place. Primary areas for meeting are:

A. Membership - elections, by-laws

B. CSSC budget and dues

C. ESL program changes - what CSLG software should the CSSC support. All the CSLG products cannot be supported. What supported products should be removed from support.

D. Member questions and comments


Geneseo recently experienced a problem with compatability between software versions of Oracle and Banner. The campus was running Oracle version 6.027 while the CSSC and SICAS Center were using Oracle 6.034. There is a very apparent need for closer coordination between the CSSC and SICAS Center relative to release of Oracle and Banner software versions. It was recommended that key personnel from the CSSC and SICAS Center collaborate on a policy proposal for software version release coordination. Ron Brown, Carl Kellogg and Ruedi Lienhard will meet with SICAS Center personnel to develop a policy proposal.

There was a general recommendation made that additional data fields be added to GETSOFTWARE to reflect the status of each software product relative to CSSC testing and support.

The meeting adjourned at 10:15 p.m. on May 20, 1992.

Respectfully submitted, Robert J. Wilbert

10 Available Software

10.1 Digital Software

For a complete list of software products available sign on the CSSC system(sbscva) and type:


Directions will then be given to get a list of all software products available.

10.2 Oracle Products


VAX/VMS PRODUCT; CURRENT RELEASERDBMS  on orderPL/SQL on orderSQL*Loader*Report*Net     Async  1.2.6     DECnet  1.2.13     TCP/IP  1.1.5SQL*Connect to RMS   NonePro*ADA  1.3.16Pro*C  1.3.16Pro*COBOL 1.3.16Pro*FORTRAN   1.3.16Pro*PASCAL   1.3.16Pro*PL/1   1.3.16SQL*Plus*Forms  2.3.31SQL*Calc 1.2.23SQL*Menu  4.1.15SQL*ReportWriter*QMX*Designer  Not AvailableCASE*Dictionary  Not AvailableCASE*Generator  NoneEasy*SQL    2.2.26SQL*Graph  1.1.13PC PRODUCTS; CURRENT RELEASERDBMS FOR OS/2   5.1BRDBMS FOR MS-DOS    5.1B(For Both OS/2 and MS-DOS)SQL*Plus   2.0SQL*Forms  2.3PRO C  1.2(For MS-DOS only)SQL*Menu    5.1BSQL*ReportWriter  1.0SQL*Design Dictionary  3.0.3 (for MS-DOS)PRO COBOL for OS/2  5.1BSQL*NET - DECNET,MS-DOS  5.1BSQL*NET - ASYNCHRONOUS, MS-DOS  5.1B
10.3 Joiner Products

The Joiner product is Jnet NJE. This runs under DECnet and has interfaces forVMSmail and ALL-in-1 mail. Vince Kugler has distributed forms to campuses tofill out and return before this software can be distributed.

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