Another year has come and gone, and thanks to the dedication and hard work of our Information Technology Services (ITS) staff, we have accomplished a lot. One of the accomplishments we are proud of is getting closer to the customer. We did this by first updating our website to a more modern, customer–focused site where one can easily find what one is looking for with just a few clicks. Here you will find the latest news about ITS, a service catalog that can be perused to find what we offer as services and, of course, opportunity to provide feedback. I strongly encourage you to visit the site its.wsu.edu and send us your feedback.
We have also now successfully migrated all the centrally managed mailboxes into the cloud called Office365. This is significant in that now we offer our customers an order of magnitude more storage. This change made it unnecessary for WSU to spend the $500k required to update the on premise servers which supported our (prior) local email implementation. Earlier, we offered OneDrive, a basic storage in the cloud which allows for our faculty, staff, and students to store and access information remotely from any device, at any time, securely.
IT Security must always remain in the forefront inn all that WSU does. Early detection and mitigation goes a long way to limit the spread of viruses and identify compromised accounts. This is done in the integrated Security and Network Operations Cen-ter, which commenced operations in the IT Building in May of this year. Working collaboratively with the other campuses, we architected the internet access points so that these connections can be centrally monitored. This in turn has helped reduce threats and minimize compromises. The idea is to identify issues and degradation of services before they become catastrophic. Better yet, we want to make sure users are neither aware of or affected by these issues.
Working in collaboration with the Office of the Provost, we deployed Guide, a mobile application that connects students with resources they need in a timely manner. We expect tools such as this to help increase student retention and graduation rates.
Kamiak, the high performance computing cluster that we deployed last year, has become a runaway success. Thanks to the excellent collaboration among ITS, Office of Research, the Center for Institutional Research Computing, and the offices of the President and the Provost, this facility has grown to 110 nodes and is poised to go even further. The growth of this cluster has outpaced our projections and we are making changes to support its continued expansion. Proposals worth over $50M have been submitted by WSU researchers to leverage the use of this cluster.
These are just a few of the highlights of the year. This report further expands on additional accomplishments. As always, we are very interested in your ideas and comments on how we can serve you and the WSU community even better.
Sasi K. Pillay