New Remote Access Service for University staff and postgraduate researchers

From 30th January, University staff and postgraduate researchers will be able to register for a new secure and simple to use Remote Access Service which will allow you to do your work and access your University data and applications from wherever you are.

Which services will I be able to access remotely?

The new Remote Access Service allows you to easily connect to either a client or a secure website which will provide everyone with access to a Remote Desktop (Microsoft Office and your network folders) and a range of other University applications.

How do I access the remote service?

You will be able to register for the Remote Access Service on the IT Service Desk website from 30th January. To register, just click on the ‘Make a Request’ menu option on the left hand side, select ‘Register for the Remote Access Service’ and then follow the on-screen instructions.

For additional security, we are making use of Two Factor Authentication. Whenever you log in from off campus, the new remote service will require a unique passcode in addition to your University username and password. This authentication code is generated by an application such as Google Authenticator which you will need to download to your smartphone.

If you already use the ISVPN (Virtual Private Network) to access your files and applications remotely you can register to use the new service instead.

What do I need to use the Remote Access Service?

You can access the service from your University laptop or from your own device running Windows, MacOS or Linux. However, please be aware that some applications may not be available for Linux users.

More information can be found on the IT Service Desk website: Remote Access Service: Introduction (KB13628) 

New WiFi Service: Piloted Over the Summer

Following on from feedback received about the WiFi on campus,  IT Services have been working over the Summer to improve your experience.  We have engaged a world leading WiFi supplier called Aruba, and have piloted our new solution in 3 major buildings:

  • Murray Learning Centre
  • New Main Library
  • Computer Science – with CTL (Collaborative Teaching Lab) Phase 1 due to complete by the start of the academic session.

Feedback so far has confirmed that the WiFi service has greatly improved in these areas and we are therefore continuing to rollout our new WiFi to all buildings across campus.

The next buildings on our plan are;

  • Alan Walters
  • Ashley
  • Harding Law Library
  • Metallurgy and Materials
  • Physics Poynting
  • Strathcona
  • Student Hub – C Block
  • University Centre

We are at the surveying stage with these buildings currently (mapping out the access point locations in order to maximise the strength of the WiFi signal) and are hoping to have our new wireless in these areas by the end of 2017.

Look out for further communications from IT Services.

MobileIron

“Helping you work from anywhere, anytime, on any device”

We are pleased to inform you that IT Services is now ready to launch MobileIron, the new generation Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) software. This new software will replace our current EEM, Good for Enterprise.

MobileIron brings together a combination of security and EMM tools, and is available for IOS and Android. This means we will be able to provide staff with secure and seamless access to University apps, email and Wi-Fi – from anywhere, anytime, and on any device. The following MobileIron apps will also be available for download:

  • Email+: An app that will provide Outlook functionality — replacing Good for Enterprise, which will no longer be available as of August 2017.
  • Mobile@Work: An app that will connect your device to the University network, providing you with easy access to your email and other work resources.
  • Docs@Work: An app that will enable you to easily access and edit email attachments. In a few months, you will also have access to University files and filestores.
  • Web@Work: An app that will provide a secure web browser, enabling you to access internal web resources quickly.
  • Apps@Work: An app that will give you access to all the MobileIron apps. In the future, you will also be able to access University apps.

How do I install MobileIron?
You can request MobileIron through the IT Service Desk Service Catalogue, selecting ‘Add Email to my mobile device’.

What if I need help?
You will be able to follow our ‘how-to’ guides. A set of Q&As is also available to ensure the process of installing the software is quick and easy. You can of course also contact the IT Service Desk by visiting www.itservicedesk.bham.ac.uk and on 0121 414 7171.

When will Good for Enterprise be switched off?
Good will be switched off in July 2017. To continue accessing your emails on your mobile device you will need to have moved to MobileIron before this point.

Questions?

For more information regarding MobileIron please read the IT Services knowledge base article: Introduction to MobileIron
If you have any questions, please contact the IT Service Desk on 0121 414 7171.

New BlueBEAR HPC Cluster

A new NeXtScale-based version of BlueBEAR is now live.

The new cluster has a number of notable features, including more cores and memory per node, larger ‘large’ memory nodes and a new automated workload manager along with some tweaks to the way the resource is shared.

The underlying principles remain the same but we are expecting to see benefits, particularly to the throughput of the high number of short running or single core jobs resulting from the removal of the limitation that only a single user can have access to a node.

For more information please see https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/it/teams/infrastructure/research/bear/bluebear/BlueBEAR3/index.aspx

If you do get issues then please log a call via the IT ServiceDesk.

Box Office

The Box Office system is used by the Bramall Music Building, Sport and Winterbourne for the sale of event tickets, admissions and merchandise. The project has been led by Hospitality & Accommodaiton Services. The Service features a fully fledged ticketing and events management package with functionality capable of managing events ranging from lectures to classical concerts and sports events to general admission and merchandise sale. Multiple sales channels (online, over the phone, physical point of sale) allow the Box Office to sell to customers in a way suited to the customer.

Our initial product launch on 27th July 2016 will see online and phone sales Go Live for The Bramall music building events. Phone sales for The Sport Centre and Winterbourne will also Go-Live with upcoming web development to enable web sales for these and other venues. Box Office sales points in local venues which use the new service will also be deployed in the leadup to the new academic year.

If you would like more information about this service please contact:

Matt Young

m.j.young(at)bham.ac.uk