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About Active Directory

As of July 1, 2006, the University-wide Active Directory service has been implemented and is ready for collegiate units and departments to begin using. The service includes departmental and individual file storage at no cost to the unit. The basic service includes OIT-Security approved policies, management distribution to departmental administrators, Kerberos authentication using UofMN Central servers, 20-30 day Shadow Copy backups where users can restore their data if accidentally deleted or edited, 45-day disaster backup, and 24x7x52 infrastructure monitoring. Additional services, including software distribution via SMS is available. Roaming profiles and folder redirection is also possible.

Active Directory Team

The services for Active Directory are a joint effort coming from various units within OIT. Currently services are being provided for the Morris campus by the following units:

  • Design, implementations, and support: OIT/Academic Computing (AC)
  • Server maintenance and monitoring: OIT/Operations and Infrastructure Architecture (OIA)
  • SAN file storage: OIT/University Data Management Services (UDMS)
  • Morris campus implementation, design, and support: UMM Computing Services
  • Morris campus user support: Instructional & Media Technologies

Structure

A unit (a coordinate campus such as Morris) that wants to use Active Directory will be organized into what is called an “Organizational Unit.” Local IT staff administrators will be responsible for managing the unit’s resources in Active Directory. They are known as “Organizational Unit Administrators” or OUAs. Support is available to the OUA through UMNAD, a group within OIT/AC.

End users on the Morris campus will receive support through the Instructional & Media Technologies helpdesk and Computing Services.

The Road Ahead

Looking forward, the Active Directory team intends to offer the following advanced services:

  • Application Virtualization;
  • Full “Windows-like” integration for clients running Mac OS X, Linux, and other Unix variants;
  • Software deployment and patching to Mac OS X, Linux, and other Unix variants;
  • Advanced management and reporting tools; and
  • Greater load balancing, high availability, failover capacity spread over all University of Minnesota campuses.



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