Univ-wide OIT divs:
Selected Services:

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Technical Director's Web Page

This page summarizes resources available for system administrators.  Some of these resources are useful for faculty and others who administer individual PC's and workstations, as well as staff who administer multiple systems. It is maintained by the Chief Technology Officer. Please contact hedrick@rutgers.edu if there is information you think should be here and isn't, or if you find errors.

The Guide for Departmental IT Planning has now been released in final form.

NOTE: to subscribe to ru_it or any of the other mailing lists, send mail to "LISTNAME-subscribe@email.rutgers.edu". Replace LISTNAME with ru_it or other mail list name. For more infomation, refer to the UCSToolKit. The address from which your message comes will be added to the mailing list after you respond to the confirmation message.


OIT maintains a good deal of infrastructure that may be of interest to departments. The references above point to the groups doing most of it. But since you may not have time to follow every link, this section outlines some major items that are likely to affect departments. You will find documentation on a number of infrastructure issues at the Telecommunications Documentation web page.

Most people at Rutgers will need to create OIT computer accounts. We're now using the term "NetID" for these. Historically OIT accounts were Unix login accounts. While most of our services are still being delivered by the central Unix machines, we're in the process of moving services to dedicated servers. Thus we're trying to separate Unix logins from the way we authenticate and authorize users for services.

Almost all of our services use the same username, which is now called the NetID. While these usernames are in Unix /etc/passwd files (or their NIS equivalent), the username/NetID is actually allocated by processes based on a central Oracle database. That database is the master source of information about the username/NetID.

Unix account creation is done by a web-based system called RATS. RATS is a big Perl application that runs on Unix servers. RATS talks to a central RATS server, which deals with the Oracle username database. All OIT Unix accounts should now use the NetID as their username. We encourage departments to do this as well. For Unix systems, you can run RATS yourself. Otherwise, you can ask users to create accounts on an OIT system first, and copy their username.

Departments can also access our user/NetID information using LDAP. See ldap.rutgers.edu for more information.

NetID's allow access to Unix accounts on rci, eden, and the equivalent at Newark and Camden (andromeda and pegasus at Newark, crab and clam at Camden). They also provide access to PC's in public labs and a variety of web-based applications.

The primary way a user gets a NetID is by going through the RATS-based account creation process on one of the 6 primary Unix systems. There is actually a 7th copy of RATS, running on http://netid.rutgers.edu. This will let you allocate a NetID without creating an account anywhere. We strongly urge you not to use this facility. Users expect that a NetID will entitle them to a full set of services, including email and other things. If they create an account on one of the 6 campus systems, they'll get that. If they do it using netid.rutgers.edu, they'll get a NetID and a password, but many services won't work. The only service that we actually guarantee will work in this way is RIAS.

Passwords are maintained in 2 Kerberos databases, one for faculty/staff and the other for students. Departmental applications can access these passwords via Radius or LDAP. For authenticated web services, we recommend using the Apache Radius module. (All web applications that take passwords should use SSL.) For access to Radius, contact radius-support@tdmx.rutgers.edu. For information about LDAP, see the ldap.rutgers.edu.

For services within OIT, three types of authentication are used: Kerberos, and one-time cards from Enigma logic (academic services) and SecurID (administrative services). For Solaris and Linux there are standard libraries that can be used to authenticate against the Kerberos and Enigma passwords. (Ask oss@nbcs.rutgers.edu for more information.) Departmental staff are asked to purchase one-time cards in order to use certain services. If staff have Enigma cards already, it would be possible to use them to authenticate services within a department. Because of the overhead of managing cards, we haven't encouraged widespread use throughout the University.

If you want to use the NetID for a departmental system, you can use the RATS account creation software. RATS allows people to create accounts for themselves, based on information in the People Database. It allocates common usernames. Another approach would be to ask people to create accounts on an OIT system first (e.g. point to the OIT account creation web page, http://oit.rutgers.edu/accounts), and use LDAP to find out what their username is. For information on RATS, see the RATS page. For information on LDAP see ldap.rutgers.edu.

Administrative computing services has recently started a service for departments that want to take payments via credit cards. They handle all the security and communications with the bank. I don't have a contact at the moment, so I would contact acshelp@acs.rutgers.edu.

Other services of interest to departments are documented on this page and the OIT web pages. Primary information about OIT is now distributed by the three campus divisions, Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick, although the services of most interest to departments are shown at the top of this page. For example, OIT runs a mailing list system, which can generate mailing lists based on administrative data (e.g. all students or all faculty in a given unit). Many departments use OIT systems for email for their staff, as well as to host web pages for their departments.

OIT has a number of services for people who are doing web pages. Most are documented in Web Support at Rutgers.

OIT provides help for staff who are in charge of Solaris, Linux, Windows and (to some extent) Macintosh systems. These include online information, particularly involving security, and consulting. Most of this page is information of this kind. The Open Systems Support group is the center for support of Solaris, and to some extent Linux. In addition to recommendations, they maintain a repository of software and tools for automating system administration. They are willing to work with departments to improve or automate their system administration. The Microcomputer Support Services Group performs similar functions for Windows and Novell, although their tools for helping to automate system administration are still in preparation.

OIT maintains the network. As part of this, they supervise allocation of IP addresses and hostnames. While many departments communicate with noc@rutgers.edu to allocate addresses and names, it is now possible for departmental staff to do allocation for themselves. See the hostmaster web page for information on procedures. (While the web tool has moved, hostmaster.rutgers.edu still appears to be the best documentation for the service.) The same group that manages IP addresses and hostnames runs DNS servers across campus. These servers are intended for use by departments. We currently recommend that departments use DHCP to distribute IP addresses to systems.

Site licenses

Site licenses are done on the basis of some combination of availability, terms, and interest among users. OIT is much more likely to pay for a site license if we can get a product for the whole University for a single flat fee. However this is increasingly rare: most recent site licenses involve some charge to the user. Where site licenses are simply discounts, they are typically arranged with Purchasing based on how many people at the University are buying the product. 

OIT will often initiate site licenses for software that we know is in wide use, when we know that there are terms for a site license that are much more attractive. However many existing site licenses, particularly for Unix, have been initiated by faculty or departmental staff. When you know that there is a piece of software that your department needs, and you believe that attractive terms would be available through a site license, please contact us. For PC-related software, you should contact Frank Reda, reda@nbcs.rutgers.edu, 445-1760. For Solaris software, you should contact Charles Hedrick, hedrick@rutgers.edu, 445-3088.  

For more information, contact oirt@rutgers.edu
Last updated: Wednesday, 05-Sep-2012 14:21:32 EDT

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