Desktop Support

Departments at Rensselaer that have arranged for desktop, network sharing, and printing support with IACS Desktop Support Services will receive support based on the following guidelines:

Desktop Support Liaison

Each IACS-supported department must designate a Desktop Support Liaison. This person will serve as the main point of contact between the IACS Desktop and Server Support group and their department for all aspects of installations and upgrades, both hardware and software. IACS will communicate with the Desktop Support Liaison before applying upgrades, patches or any changes to the computing environment.

End-User Computer Operation Statement

Computer, Computer Hardware, Computer Software and Computer-related infrastructure are provided to portfolios and individuals ONLY to conduct business on behalf of Rensselaer.  Such equipment is the exclusive property of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and should be handled with respect, caution, and under the guidelines of Rensselaer’s Electronic Citizenship Statement.  Users should report any malfunctions and system problems as soon as they occur to help ensure prompt resolution and usability as well as prolonged life of these business computers.

Purchasing Computer and Computer-related Infrastructure

Integrated Administrative Computing Solutions Desktop and Server Support (IACS DSS) will coordinate with the Desktop Support Liaison regarding all computing purchases. All attempts should be made by department leadership and the Desktop Support Liaison to plan, budget, and consult with IACS DSS for any computer infrastructure needs. Such planning should occur every year on or before budgetary reviews. Budgetary considerations should include additional licenses, new software licensing, additional client hardware, and servers. IACS DSS will provide guidance with regard to the need for upgrades or additional software purchases. Purchases must be approved and requested by department leadership or the Desktop Support Liaison. IACS DSS will provide recommendations for computer and peripheral purchases and will facilitate the purchases through the Campus Computer Store or outside vendors when necessary.

Non-standard Hardware and Software

IACS DSS is by no means obliged to install, support or maintain any equipment (hardware, software or otherwise) that is NOT considered by IACS management as “standard” and/or was not purchased by following the IACS support procedures. IACS has the right to deny installation, support and use of software, hardware and computer-related items that are deemed unnecessary, counter-productive to Rensselaer priorities or are used exclusively for personal use on Rensselaer-owned computers.

Submitting Support Requests

All support requests for malfunctioning or broken computer equipment, software errors, software installation, equipment moves or equipment installation should be sent to iacs-pc-sup@lists.rpi.edu. All members of IACS DSS monitor these requests so it is the most effective way to obtain assistance, while allowing IACS to track and capture issues and resolutions.  IACS DSS will make every reasonable effort to respond to support requests within 8-16 business hours with consideration to availability of staff. Requests of high severity (equipment or services not working, urgent need on the road, etc.) will be responded to in the same day whenever possible. IACS does not support hardware or software that has not been purchased with Rensselaer funds without management approval.

Malfunctioning or broken computer equipment

Every effort will be made to repair or replace malfunctioning or broken equipment in a reasonable amount of time with consideration to availability of staff, spare equipment, and replacement parts.  Loaners will be made available from existing stock when available.

Software issues

Software issues will be addressed in the order in which they are received.  IACS provides Desktop support for many portfolios on campus and addresses all their needs equally.

Software installation and inventories

IACS DSS will work with designated Desktop Support Liaisons to compile software inventories and ensure adequate software licenses are on file. 

IACS DSS should be consulted on any departmental software purchase.  IACS DSS will provide recommendations and installation.  New software installs must be requested with two weeks of lead time so that IACS can test and deploy software in a manner which will continue to provide a stable and secure computing platform.  Installation of software already owned by a portfolio will be installed on an employee’s computer only after approval has been provided by his/her manager and valid licenses are on file.

Hardware Life Cycle Inventory, Installation, and Purchases

Life cycle upgrades will be coordinated by Desktop and Server Support twice a year.  Exceptions will be made only for new hires and existing desktops that stop functioning, and in these cases the Desktop Support Liaison must consult with IACS DSS on these purchases.  Desktop and Server Support will work through designated campus Desktop Support Liaisons for annual life cycle purchases and installations.  Hardware inventories will be reviewed one month prior to life cycle upgrades to make recommendations on what hardware should be replaced.  Once purchases have been made, IACS DSS will coordinate with the Desktop Support Liaison regarding the installation schedule.

Equipment installation and moves

Equipment installations and moves must be requested two weeks prior to the move date.  This will allow IACS staff adequate time to schedule moves, and for any services not supplied by IACS DSS to be requested and completed in conjunction with the move (e.g., transferring of telephone numbers).

Equipment Disposal

IACS DSS will electronically "wipe clean" old hard drives after new equipment has been installed.  No operating system will be installed.  Individual departments will have discretion over desktop disposal following Institute guidelines for exiting employees.  IACS will not support desktops after disposal or sale.

New Employee Procedures

  1. The department must notify IACS DSS with any desktop requirements for the new employee two weeks prior to start date.  Employee must visit Human Resources to fill out new hire paperwork on or before their start date.  This will start the process for generating an RCS ID. (IACS can not do any user setup without this).  Contact Human Resources, or the VCC Help Desk at ext. 7777 with any questions.  Send an email to iacs-pc-sup@lists.rpi.edu with the following information:
    1. Desktop requirements
    2. The name of the employee
    3. Starting date
    4. Office location
    5. A list of applications that this person will need over and above what is included in the standard image. (See the desktop support section below regarding the IACS standard image.)
    6. A list of folders on the network drives the employee will need to access, or a current employee whose security we can copy.
    7. Employee's RCS userID (not RIN)
       
  2. IACS DSS will set up Windows logons, prepare the RCS ID to work with Outlook and the Blackberry Enterprise Server (if necessary) and assign appropriate security rights in the WIN domain.  Employees should change their RCS ID password and forward their email as soon as possible. 
     
  3. Each user is given a home directory with one (1) Gigabyte of space.  Please delete unneeded files in order to conserve space.  Requests for additional space should be made to iacs-pc-sup@lists.rpi.edu and will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Note: IACS DSS cannot setup an Outlook account or give an employee access to IACS computing resources until a person receives an RCS ID.  Therefore, it is recommended that you request an RCS ID for the individual before his/her start date.  These same procedures should be followed when hiring a temporary employee.

Exiting Employee Procedures

It is the responsibility of the exiting employee’s supervisor or director to request access to email (if needed) before the employee leaves. The supervisor or director will be required by Human Resources to designate a separation delegate as part of the submission of the final Employee Transaction Form (ETF). Once approval has been provided, IACS will work with the Exchange Administrator to provide access to the delegate as outlined in the campus separation guidelines. Per the guidelines data will be accessible for up to 30 days unless the data needs to be retained for regulatory reasons. Data will be provided on a DVD and/or network share at IACS discretion.

IACS Hardware and Software Standards and Standard Image

In order for IACS DSS to provide consistent service levels, the following are requirements for a standardized environment.

Desktop Hardware Standards:

  • Dell Optiplex desktops
    Current model year and four years prior, minimum memory requirement will be 2 gigabytes
  • Lenovo ThinkPad laptops
    Current model year and four years prior, minimum memory requirement will be 2 gigabytes
  • Handheld Devices
    Configuration for email only, on supported devices as outlined in the Mobile Exchange service documentation.

Software Standards

Departments must be on the campus Microsoft license agreement; IACS DSS will coordinate this with the Desktop Support Liaison from each department.

IACS DSS will install Operating System, Virus, Spyware, and the Microsoft Office suite of applications, and will manage Operating System, Office, virus, and spyware updates for departments.

A standard image consisting of the following will be installed:

Current Windows operating system, Microsoft Office Suite, Symantec Endpoint Protection, Oracle/ODBC drivers, Java client (for Banner, UC4, etc.), Citrix client, AFS client, Cisco VPN client (on laptops), Visio Viewer, Adobe Reader, and DWF Viewer.  Additional departmental licensed software can be installed per request.

IACS DSS will map appropriate network drives based upon department need.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 is the currently supported browser. Google Chrome is also supported as an alternative.

Email Standards

The Institute administration email standard is Microsoft Exchange. IACS DSS adheres to all Exchange mailbox policies set forth by DotCIO governing the appropriate use of email.

Server Support

IACS DSS will maintain shared disk drive space for departments, users' home directories, network print services, remote desktop (Citrix desktop), operating system upgrades, and backups.  Departments requiring application servers, operating systems and backups will be maintained by IACS.  The department Desktop Support Liaison will consult with IACS DSS on the configuration, purchase and application requirements.  Applications will be supported by the department or vendor with additional support from IACS.

Backup Policies

Servers are backed up nightly to TSM with the following retention policies:

  • Retain 14 versions of a file for up to 28 days
  • Retain seven versions of a file for 60 days after it has been deleted
  • Deleted files are removed from the backup after 90 days

IACS DSS is responsible for restoring files from backup upon request by users.

Training

IACS DSS will supply “basic” training on the usage of standard desktop software. More advanced training is supplied by Human Resources or through external resources and vendors. Purchasing has a preferred agreement in place with Computer Vision for campus technology training at reduced rates .