Concurrent presentation abstracts

100Gbps Across the Country, Across the Data Centre

Mr Tim Rayner, AARNET

The presentation will look at 100Gbps networking – as deployed across the AARNet4 backbone, but also the options for connecting clients at these speeds.  We will look at DWDM Trunk interfaces as well as 10-lane and 4-lane client interfaces and the range of different pluggable modules that can be used to connect campuses, telescopes, data centres and now even servers at this new benchmark speed.  We will look at Transmission of 100Gbps signals over multimode and singlemode dark fibres, as well as Passive, Active & Alien DWDM wavelengths.  We will discuss AARNet’s limited deployment of 200Gbps wavelengths, and look towards the technologies likely to be used at 400Gbps. The presentation will also touch on AARNet’s implementation of 100Gbps services to North Queensland and across the Pacific.

Biography:

Tim Rayner works in AARNet’s Operations Team, based in Canberra.  Tim is responsible for operating AARNet’s DWDM Optical Network, stretching from Townsville & Cairns to the SKA Telescope site in Western Australia.  Tim holds a B.E. and B.Sc. from UNSW and previously worked as Networks Team Leader at Charles Sturt University before joining AARNet 9 years ago.

Brisbane Universities moving Data Centres to Colo environments

Mr Don Caruana, University of Queensland, Mr Laurence Rietberg, Griffith University

The Brisbane Universities of Griffith, QUT and UQ deliver IT Services from infrastructure installed in University owned and operated data centres ie Enterprise data centres. Each University is moving some IT equipment into a colocation facility or “colo”. These are commercial data centres available for rental to retail customers that provide space, power, cooling and physical security for the customer’s server, storage, and networking equipment.

UQ made an initial move in March 2014, while Griffith and QUT are moving soon.

The IT departments of each institution have made similar statements that their organisations will no longer build enterprise data centres on premise, instead choosing to opt for commercially provided facilities.

In this presentation listen to representatives from each institution as they describe the early stages of their journey from enterprise data centre provisioning to the colo environment.

Biography:

Don works for the University of Queensland and leads a small team of Data Centre Engineers that monitor, maintain and operate seven enterprise data centres, one commercial data centre by agreement, and manages the organisation’s requirements for IT equipment installed in the colocation facility. He has been on a continuous improvement path since joining UQ four years ago. Don previously worked with QUT in a similar role where he project managed the construction of a new data centre in 2004 and upgrade to the second facility in 2010. His most recent achievements have been the deployment of a Data Centre Infrastructure Management tool that now monitors over 850 devices throughout the data centres, and the purchase and installation of a 1375kva generator.

Building a Datacentre architecture using Cisco’s SDN – the future?

Mr Thomas King, AusCERT, Dr David Stockdale, University of Queensland

The University of Queensland provides the bulk of its information systems from internal services on locally managed infrastructure in the way of compute, storage, networks and data centres.  With the advent of new technologies such as cloud services (IaaS, PaaS & SaaS) and the rapid growth of DevOps, many organisations are finding their infrastructure delivery strategy no longer meets the needs of the organisation; UQ is no different.  Driven by the immediate need to provide a new data centre infrastructure and informed by a recent Infrastructure Delivery Review, Information Technology Services (ITS) is conducting a programme of works to deliver the next generation data centre which will support applications that are of strategic importance to The University of Queensland.

ITS is leading the design for the Next Generation Data Centre (NGDC) based on the requirements of application teams and developers whilst looking to implement sustainable technologies and designs.  Deploying Cisco’s ACI (Application Centric Infrastructure) SDN (Software Defined Networks) is providing UQ with the opportunity to deliver a datacentre that will allow solutions architects to provision services quickly and efficiently with a flexibility previously unavailable.  The proposed design moves ITS data centres and the hosted infrastructure to a more “as-a-service” methodology and positions UQ effectively to maximise a cloud strategy in the future.

Biography:

Thomas King is Associate Director, University Networks and General Manager, AusCERT. David Stockdale is Associate Director, Enterprise Support, University of Queensland.

Computer Lab Innovations: Improving Learning Infrastructure and the Student Experience

Mr Jon Kloske, University of Queensland

The Faculty of EAIT at UQ faces many problems providing flexible, highly available computer labs: computers are often the objects of study rather than merely support tools, large collections of specialist software with very restrictive licensing, and supporting BYOD users.

Over the past 15 years, we have developed an innovative set of tools, such Pervade and the UQ Lab Status Monitor (UQLSM) to help deploy and manage lab computers, and Hypervade and Hadoop to provide virtualised desktop and compute infrastructure.

The UQ Lab Status Monitor (UQLSM) provides realtime computer availability data and floorplans for students, enabling them to find a free lab computer more quickly and efficiently. We have received dozens of requests for the system by other universities and schools in Australia and in the USA.

Pervade and Hypervade are Linux based baremetal image deployment systems utilising bittorrent for scalability and in the case of Hypervade, KVM for virtualisation (allowing a second virtual copy of the physical lab machine to be made available through an RDP proxy for laptop and tablet users). This enables rapid deployment of our 150GB+ software image across 750+ PCs, and provides full access to the software for BYOD users without additional hardware costs.

Biography:

Jon Kloske is a software engineer and systems programming manager at The University of Queensland. Jon has over 10 years experience working with and managing IT and software projects on diverse platforms in the higher education sector.

Coping with the Data Deluge

Mr Alan Hockings, University of Queensland

Scientific research can generate huge datasets. Combining this with innovative approaches, better computation and higher resolution instruments results in ever increasing demand for storage. This presentation will give an overview of how the Centre for Advanced Imaging at the University of Queensland deals with the data deluge. It will touch on compute as the two are tightly bound but concentrate on storage and backup / disaster recovery.

There is no one size fits all perfect solution. Success depends on toolbox approach where you understand the nature of each problem and select the right tools to build a solution. Compromises are often necessary and the key is being very clear on what you are valuing and why. The main sources of tension in storage are:

  1. Cost
  2. I/O performance
  3. Availability
  4. Backup window
  5. Recovery time objective
  6. Cross platform access and identity issues

In CAI’s case the toolbox includes RDSI, offsite and local storage arrays, Windows server for NFS, Linux based Gluster distributed file system, SSSD authentication, LDAP to windows UID/GID replication and in-house developed backup process.

Biography:

With 15 years experience in the University sector, Alan is the IT Manager at the Centre for Advanced Imaging. It is the only facility of its type in Australia, one of only a handful in the world. It brings together the skills of a critical mass of researchers and ‘state-of-the-art’ research imaging instruments like MRI, EPR and PET-CT. His team supports a diverse range of specialist requirements for cutting edge research academics generating huge datasets to curate. Given a tight budget environment and unusual user requirements they have to employ a creative range of technologies to solve research data challenges.

AusCERT Update

 


Mike Holm, AusCERT

AusCERT provides cyber security services to all sectors in including most of the universities in Australia and neighbouring countries. In this presentation we’ll briefly show you how our incident response and threat advisory services work, to help you maximise the effectiveness of your engagement with AusCERT. We’ll outline the types of incidents we typically handle, how to raise them with us and what outcomes can be expected.
The main feature of this presentation will be AusCERT’s plan for improving the security capability of the higher education sector as a whole. We’ve listened to your feedback at the AusCERT2016 Conference, formulated ideas and would like more feedback during this session to enable us to provide a leading solution to the sector. Significantly, university sector information security professionals have told us they wish to easily and rapidly share indicators of compromise with each other and outside the higher education industry. AusCERT is well placed to facilitate this information exchange and during this session we will share our plans with you.

Biography:

Mike is the Operations Manager at AusCERT, the premier CERT (Cyber Emergency Response Team) in Australia and a leading CERT in the Asia/Pacific region. Prior to joining AusCERT Mike spent ten years as an information security specialist and manager within the financial services industry, and five years in the IT service industry caring for small business and education customers.
Mike enjoys contributing to the information security community by coordinating AusCERT’s incident response and threat analysis services. He’s interested in improving awareness of information security issues to combat the range of modern threats facing every Internet user.
During those rare times when Mike’s laptop is shut, you might find him walking his beagle or perhaps sailing on Moreton Bay.

Digital Signage- Revolutionising the Noticeboard

Ms Carmel Brown, Queensland University of Technology

To enhance information sharing in the new Science and Engineering Precinct and to complement the static traditional signage, an enterprise cloud based digital signage solution was implemented in 2012.  The following is an outline of the key topics included in the presentation.

  1. Defining the Scope and Digital Signage functionality – implementation of a solution that would be an example for other institutions.
  2. Designing the Wayfinding – interactive maps showing routes to and from and look ups
  3. Developing the best support model – a shared support model between vendor and organisation. Differentiation between hardware and software support
  4. How is Digital Signage Used – Wayfinding, Critical Messaging, Timetabling, Lab Availability, Conference & Events, General Student & Staff Information, Live streaming, Information kiosks
  5. Managing 120 + users and a fleet of 170 + screens. Using a Federated model for the managing of fleet we have been able to share and develop a standard approach across all signage.
  6. Supporting the user base- In collaboration with the vendor the organisation has developed a sustainable user support model. A user community approach enables the ability to support many with minimal support staff in the organisation.
  7. What next…. other functionality options potential uses for future spaces

Biography:

A Manager for 20 plus years and an extensive background in service industries ranging from private businesses to non-profit and within the higher education sector. Current role includes managing an organisation wide service of a value of 1M plus investment. Carmel, applies her experience to her current role to support the alignments and maturation of service management processes and best practices using both formal and informal frameworks.  Carmel drives results through establishing and maintaining successful, energetic and rewarding relationships across all sectors of business and espouses her communication and networking skills as the ‘tools for success’.  As the Service and Contract Manager of the organisations Digital Signage solution, Carmel has successfully enhanced the functionality of the solution collaboration with stakeholders and the vendor as part of an ongoing continuous improvement program.

EDGE – Segmentation and Security in a Tertiary Education Network.

Mr Michael Harlow, University of Tasmania

The University of Tasmania manages a network of 200,000+ public IP addresses across 50 distinct sites. In response to significant IT auditing, changes in security policy and risk management practices, and changes in University business requirements,  the EDGE project was developed to deliver significantly improved cyber security and functional controls to the University.

EDGE is delivering a modern network topology that has granular security built in to its architecture. User based controls and application based controls form part of the design to deliver services to University users. The EDGE project combines next generation firewall technology and MPLS technology to deliver a series of security zones that provide granular segmentation and control over a large network. Presentation layer technologies are also applied to protect internet exposed assets from common threats and attacks, providing a more robust perimeter presence for incoming traffic.

The EDGE project is transforming the University of Tasmania network from a flat topology to a one more suitable for the needs of a modern institution. The project is allowing compliance with standards and recommendations, providing flexibility in accommodating research projects and corporate systems, and providing a more manageable network for the University of Tasmania.

Biography:

Michael Harlow has over twenty years’ experience in designing and managing large networks at the University of Tasmania. Michael is the University’s  Network Architect, managing the design and implementation of a geographically diverse data network, spread across Tasmania and with presence in several mainland states. Michael has carriage of the network strategy, new technology assessments, and network projects, as well as overseeing the day to day operations of the data network.

Emerging Technologies, Exciting Students, Engaging Educators, Empowering Learning? WTF??

Mrs Susan Brosnan, University of Southern Queenland

From using Avatars in teaching to visiting the Universities e-waste bins (and Bunnings) to create a rig to talk to students studying at a distance, USQ has been thinking, how can we explore and support the use of innovative technologies in teaching? How can we get students excited about learning? How can our educators wade through the never ending dizzying proliferation of technology options to create rich, immersive, authentic, timely activities for students?

This presentation will offer insight into how, via the Technology Demonstrator process, using Agile principles, staff and students are able to trial and test technologies of their choosing! What? Don’t ICT normally do that? Nope! The University of Southern Queensland has operationalised a platform for staff and students to tell us how the classroom of the future might look. The presentation will further discuss the first round of Technology Demonstrators, the wins and the gotcha’s and the cultural and personal disconnect with embracing technology in teaching.

Biography:

Susan Brosnan is the sub-Project lead for Technology Demonstrators (One University Experience Project) at the University of Southern Queensland. She has a keen interest in technologies that enhance learning and teaching and student engagement. Prior to this role Susan has been the Senior Project Officer within Learning Environments and Media, working on the roll-out of many core-supported University Technologies. Prior to that, Susan was the Executive Officer for the Australasian Council of Open, Distance and eLearning (ACODE) Learning Technologies Leadership Institute.

Engineering a Secure AARNET

Mr Warrick Mitchell, AARNet

Secure [ a dictionary definition ]

adjective

  1. fixed or fastened so as not to give way, become loose, or be lost.
  2. certain to remain safe and unthreatened.

But what does “secure” mean in the context of a network service? The answer, of course, is that is that it’s about layers …

AARNet prides itself on its ability to run a secure global network with an uptime of 99.95% or greater, and Warrick Mitchell will demonstrate and explain how AARNet achieves this by working through the layers:

  • Operational control – When is a good time to do maintenance work?
  • Physical links, and link diversity – Is two links enough? Is three better?
  • Operations and configuration – routing and forwarding protocols (including MPLS) and scripting
  • Detecting and managing faults – tools and scripting
  • Cyber-secure – DoS/DDoS identification and management.
  • AusCERT/CERT collaboration

Forgotten Architectures for Network/Cloud Security?

Emeritus Professor William Caelli, International Information Security Consultants

Almost 30 years ago (1987) the USA issued its “Trusted Network Interpretation (TNI)” or “Red Book” of the Trusted Computer Systems Evaluation Criteria (TCSEC) or “Orange Book”, ISO/IEC Released (1989) IS-7498-2 standard for overall OSI security functionality and relevant CCITT/ITU-T X.50x and related standards were formulated.  These efforts were essentially “drowned” out by the global opening of the USA originated Internet (1988) and its associated technologies, e.g. Government Open Systems Interconnection Profiles (GOSIP), such as the UK version of 1988 and the Australian/New Zealand versions of 1993 specifying mandatory adherence to such accepted standards in ICT procurement were totally abandoned. This presentation examines the simple question as to whether or not the IETF based Internet (ARPANet/DARPANet) security RFCs, including defined Internet “standards” meet the overall security parameters set out as being essential in those seminal network architecture and security documents. Against this background, the problem of political acceptance of internationally agreed and specified security technologies (ISO/IEC, CCITT/ITU-T, etc.) versus perceived lower cost and available (IETF) network/system products has to be assessed in the age of global Internet connection, “cloud” services and “cyber conflict”.

Biography:

Emeritus Professor (QUT) William J (Bill) Caelli, AO is a Director of International Information Security Consultants Pty Ltd and an Adjunct Professor at Griffith University.. He has over 50 years experience in research, development, business and education in ICT of which over 40 years have been in all aspects of cybersecurity. He founded ERACOM Pty Ltd in 1979 which became a major supplier of data encryption products systems and services to a worldwide market, particularly in Europe. He was the Founding Director of QUT’s “Information Security Research Centre (ISRC)” in 1988 and went on to become the Head of the School of Software Engineering and Data Communications. He has supervised many research students in all aspects of cybersecurity and published numerous research papers and 4 books in the area. His recent research work has been in policy matters related to so-called “cyber warfare”. He was made an Officer in the Order of Australia in 2003 as well as receiving the Pearcey Medal for his work in the ICT industry in Australia. He received the Kristian Beckman Medal for his work in the area in 2002 from Technical Committee 11 of the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) based in Austria.

High Impact Experience – Engaging students in lectures and tutorials

Ailsa Dickie, University of Queensland

To support the University of Queensland’s strategy to offer high value in-class experiences a range of in house developed UQ Active Learn tools have been deployed. These easy to use tools allow teaching staff to facilitate active learning activities in both lectures and tutorials. Student engagement and learning in large classes is improved through using the tools to incorporate concept questions, brainstorming activities and the sharing of feedback from small group discussions. This interactive presentation will allow participates to use the tools as ‘students’ and explore how these tools could be used in a range of disciplines

Higher Education – Four future models and their IT implications

Dr Simon Collyer, University of Queensland

Technology is raining down on higher education and increasingly the challenge is to keep pace, but in which direction do we run? By default many institutions are running towards fully flexible distance education, but is that right for everyone? This presentation will explain four valid models for the future of higher education institutions, outlining the implications for IT services for each one. The presentation will explain Gartner’s Predictions for the Higher Education ‘Business Model’ Landscape in 2025 and Beyond and Four ‘Business Model’ Scenarios for Higher Education.

Biography:

Dr. Simon Collyer is the author of Managing Amidst Rapid Change and conducts research into dynamic management across many industries, including higher education. He is currently interested in how higher education can keep pace with technology change, and is responsible for central eLearning systems and educator support at the University of Queensland in Australia.

HPC Ready – Building a storage platform for Research Datasets.

Mr Daniel Rodwell, NCI

The National Computational Infrastructure is Australia’s national high-performance research computing facility, managing the Southern Hemisphere’s most integrated supercomputer and filesystems, delivering high-quality computational and data services to researchers in three national science agencies, and nearly 30 of Australia’s universities.

NCI is home to Raijin, a 57,000 core Sandy-bridge Xeon system ranked at #24 in the HPC Top500 list on debut, with 30 petabytes of high performance storage hosting one of Australia’s largest data catalogues of nationally and internationally significant research data.

To meet the growing demand for additional capacity for multi-petabyte data collections, NCI commissioned an additional 8PB+ large-scale global persistent file storage platform known as gdata3. The gdata3 storage system is based on Intel’s Enterprise Edition Lustre, with scalable storage modules built on Netapp’s E-series arrays (E5660) and EF-series (EF-550) all flash technologies.

Building a persistent HPC-ready data storage platform with a capacity of over 8 Petabytes and throughput of over 140 Gigabytes per second presents many challenges, both from a design and operational perspective.

This presentation will discuss the design solution used to deliver the gdata3 storage platform that enables researchers using NCI’s facilities to access and collaborate on collections of 1-3PB in size from both the High Performance 1.2 Petaflop supercomputer and OpenStack Cloud systems.

Topics discussed during the presentation will include hardware selection and logical design, component performance validation and benchmarking, data migration, system resiliency through backup and recovery.

Biography:

Daniel Rodwell is the Manager of Data Storage Services at NCI, and is responsible for NCI’s High-speed filesystems. NCI is home to the largest and fastest filesystems in the Southern Hemisphere, with over 30 Petabytes of capacity and operating at up to 150 Gigabytes per second. Daniel is the primary architect of NCI’s high-performance persistent data storage platforms. Daniel has previously worked for the Australian National University’s Information Technology Services division in roles specialising in Enterprise and Educational Technologies; and at Apple as a Product Readiness and Response Engineer for the Asia Pacific region.

Information Security Metrics: Cases in Policy Enforcement and Incident Management

Ms Maria Corpuz, Queensland University of Technology

The assessment and reporting of cyber security risks provide the reference for deriving the strategic direction for the management and implementation of information security for any organisation. As the risk and threat analysis of the IT environment is usually based on historical data on security breaches, developing and adopting the right security metrics is imperative.  This session will first discuss the requirement for alignment between security policies and security technologies followed by the presentation of a goal-based metric development approach. Actual case examples of successful adoption the metric development approach will then be discussed including lessons learned during the implementation. Attendees will take away a concise criteria set of useful security metrics that can easily be adopted in any situation.

Biography:

Maria is the Information Security Manager of the Queensland University of Technology. She is in charge of policy development and strategic management of the university’s information and cyber security and IT security operations. Maria has over twenty years of IT experience performing strategic roles and delivering programs in the fields of information security, IT strategic planning and enterprise architecture in the government, telecommunications and higher education sectors. She has a Master of Science in Computer Science degree and is currently completing her PhD degree in the field of information and cyber security. Maria has published academic papers relating to cyber security policies, ICT risk management and business continuity management which she has presented in global conferences as a recognised industry expert.

Leveraging AARNet’s CloudStor to support better research outcomes

Jason Bell, CQUniversity

In a world of ever-increasing data, the demand for powerful, highly functional data storage services has never been greater. Within the university sector, this presents a range of challenges as researchers are producing more data than ever before. So how do we deal with this data in a secure way whilst ensuring it is readily accessible to researchers and easily shared with their colleagues and collaborators?

This presentation explores CQUniversity’s experiences with AARNet’s CloudStor service. In doing so, it highlights a range of practical ways to tackle significant data storage challenges within the university environment including:

  • The importance of a research storage strategy and where this fits in relation to the research storage services stack
  • User experiences with CloudStor, from early adopter to long term user including lessons learnt, what’s working well and what areas could be improved
  • Practical examples of how our users are applying the CloudStor service to facilitate greater collaboration and data sharing, with an emphasis on sharing data with non CQUniversity colleagues
  • Local adoption and the strategies we use to improve uptake of CloudStor over other data storage methods and
  • The value of this data storage service for users, when compared to other data storage providers such as dropbox and google drive, and how it might be useful to the wider academic community.

Biography:

Jason is the Senior Research Technologies Officer at CQUniversity Australia and eResearch Analyst for the Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation (QCIF). Jason’s primary focus is to assist CQUniversity researchers achieve better research outcomes through the use of technology. With more than 15 years dedicated to the research technology space, Jason has performed numerous roles within CQUniversity including network engineer, research assistant within the Non-Linear Intelligent Systems Group and Primary Video Collaboration Access Grid Facilitator.

Moving out of the computer room: Otago’s Virtual Desktop

Mr Emerson Pratt, University of Otago

Follow the journey of University of Otago as they use technology transform the teaching and learning environment to encapsulate the vision of “smart campus”.

The presentation, delivered by University of Otago’s IT Manager, Emerson Pratt, takes your through the steps they undertook to make the transformation. From their former state, the reasons they adopted change, the challenges, the numbers and their ultimate success.

This is your chance to hear a warts and all, start to finish, unbiased view of how one University undertook the “smart campus” technology transformation and did it to great success.

Biography:

Emerson Pratt is the Manager of Teaching and Learning Facilities (T&LF) within Information Technology Service (ITS) at the University of Otago. In this role he manages five sections,  providing teaching and research support to the university: Technical Services (providing student computing facilities and IT consultation services), Lecture Theatres, eLearning & eResearch, eConferencing, and Media Production. Emerson has been working for ITS since 1999 and has held his current role since 2008. During his time in the role Teaching and Learning Facilities has been recognised as an innovative ‘can do’ team, producing excellent results for staff and students.

Moving to Blackboard Managed Hosting – reflections after 1 year

Mr Leigh Stevenson, Griffith University

Griffith University made the decision to move to Blackboard Managed Hosting, and the migration was completed in June 2015. This presentation will offer reflections on what the experience has been like after one year.

Biography:

Leigh Stevenson led the migration of Blackboard Learn from internally hosted to a managed hosted solution with Blackboard Managed Hosting Services – responsible for the day to day service provision and user support for Learning@Griffith, which is the Griffith University enterprise LMS offering.

NAC and Network segmentation

 


The ability to control access to the network and across the network is vital for controlling network traffic and enforcing security policy.  Different methodologies and tools are used from access management tools such as  dot1X or fully fledged NAC, to segmentation tools such as firewall zoning, VRF lite and MPLS.  Even the humble ACL has a role to play.  What methods are your organisation using or looking at?  How do you balance ease of use with security enforcement.  Come along and join the discussion to find out what ideas others are implementing.

Navigating data driven health researchers through the IT privacy/security landscape

Dr Jeff Christiansen, Intersect Australia

Despite an increasing requirement for shared infrastructure to undertake collaborative ‘big data’ research projects, there is a perception by researchers that utilising national collaborative IT infrastructure for human-derived data is riskier than utilising internal institutional storage and compute.

Several factors contribute: a lack of clarity for researchers about how their ethical responsibilities as custodians of human-derived data can be fulfilled using national IT infrastructures; and because providers of national infrastructure are not security accredited (due to cost), it can be difficult to generate a sufficient level of trust between the researcher and infrastructure provider.

To provide up-to-date relevant research-specific legislative, ethical and security information to the community, and help to generate this trust relationship by demonstrating an expert level of awareness of these issues, the RDS-funded med.data.edu.au project has undertaken extensive research into the legislative and best practice landscape that impacts on data-driven human research in Australia. This includes: privacy legislation; protection of personal and sensitive information;  best practice frameworks that should be observed when conducting human research; trans-border data flows; national IT security controls required for storing and using health-related information; how RDS/NeCTAR nodes adhere to these controls; and the responsibilities of both data custodians and IT infrastructure providers in undertaking work of this type.

In order to make this complex information accessible to researchers, and understand how RDS/NeCTAR nodes fit in, we have built a navigator tool that directs users through a series of questions and presents specific relevant information along the way. This will be discussed.

Biography:

Dr Jeff Christiansen works at Intersect Australia and is the National Manager of the RDS-funded med.data.edu.au project. Jeff has a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Queensland, and started his career conducting research in the fields of cancer, molecular genetics and embryo development in both Australia and the UK, prior to moving into the management of large biological data assets (gene sequence, images, etc) through the establishment of a UK-based international database of gene expression and anatomy. Prior to joining Intersect, Jeff was employed at the Australian National Data Service (ANDS), primarily involved in biology/medicine-focused projects

Network systems automation on a shoestring budget

Mr Ayden Beeson, Charles Sturt University

A common problem faced by organisations today is administration, management and control over growing IP space utilisation, on both a planning and maintenance level. The usual solution is to use a purchased IP Address management system to alleviate pressure on (usually spreadsheet based) legacy systems and allow for IPv6, but most IPAM products are either incomplete, costly, or both.

Purchase of and use of these solutions often results in some level of compromise to the features required, or the software used. The closed ecosystem of most products also removes any ability to customise to suit specific requirements, leaving gaps in the resulting system that may cause further cascading changes to other platforms.

By using a mix of open source software, combined with some integration and automation scripting via puppet, a resilient and extendible system for IPAM, DNS and DHCP control can be set up and maintained with minimal user intervention, while still fitting an enterprise environment, with large IT divisions and diverse teams, with no capital costs.

With the system centrally provisioned and controlled by Puppet, additional or replacement servers can be spun up with ease, providing scale to allow staff to get on with more important work, whilst the open ecosystem allows customisation depending on an organisation’s specific requirements.

This presentation will focus on the implementation of this system, as well as the lessons learnt, with a goal of providing a potential alternative for others considering their options to allow for new technologies and requirements within their network.

Biography:

Ayden has worked at CSU for nearly 10 years, beginning his career there while still studying for his Bachelor of IT. Starting out as a PABX tech and local campus network patch monkey, these days he is working mostly on Network projects and strategy, though he still gets his hands dirty from time to time with cabling work and equipment installs.

Networked AV leveraging IT Infrastructure in Collaborative Learning Spaces

Mr Graham Barrett, AVT

Whilst teaching styles have changed over the years and academic staff do the best they could to facilitate that change, the physical layout and audio visual technology within the rooms became limiting factors to the success of their endeavours.

In this case study presentation we explore how the University of Southern Queensland, completed an extensive upgrade programme to many of

its key learning and teaching spaces on the Toowoomba campus. Apart from technical upgrades in the audio visual space, physical upgrades were also undertaken to better equip the rooms to support pedagogical flexibility. A particular priority placed on some rooms was the ability to cater for collaborative student POD style ‘learning and teaching’ supporting not only traditional didactic modes, but also active, discursive and reflective through the use of the student POD approach.

We will discover how USQ teaching spaces upgrade and how they implemented the emerging AV over IP technologies offerings flexible streaming and control solutions over standard enterprise grade network topologies to deliver a seamless and first class teaching spaces.

Biography:

In his role as Director for product management in Australia & New Zealand, Graham Barrett oversees AVT’s product development & management and training operations in the region and is also responsible for managing AVT’s local relationship with a number of Strategic Accounts in the corporate and education sector.  In addition, Graham has a secondary reporting line to the Chief Technology Officer at AMX by HARMAN in the USA and represents Australia and New Zealand in this global forum

Developing and implementing LaTrobe University’s cloud-ready Network Blueprint

Mr Jason Schimming, La Trobe University, Mr  Iupati Tumaalii, AARNet

La Trobe was the third university created for Victoria, and was established to provide an accessible alternative, to bring university education to the northern suburbs of Melbourne and to excel in a number of selected disciplines.  La Trobe’s university  campuses are spread across regional Victoria and as a result have faced some interesting challenges in the delivery of IT services and support.  The university has developed a range of new digital plans and IT Services have already adopted bold moves to make use of cloud services such as SAP HANA for example.  Building solutions for each service does not scale, as a result, La Trobe University partnered with AARNet to deliver AARNet4 and optical connectivity for throughput, diversity and differentiated services.  AARNet’s enterprise services team have helped facilitate the design of a new multi-campus network blueprint that will establish the university as a leader in accessing software defined data centre and cloud services in a scalable and manageable way.  This talk will explore the technical options and considerations from an enterprise network, data centre, security and carrier perspective addressing both the technical ingredients and also the faculty and shared service drivers that the proposed design will enable.  This is the start of La Trobe University’s IT transformation journey, we look forward to sharing and learning from the sector and vendors on how we can deliver those agile design solutions relevant to La Trobe university for enhanced student experiences and research excellence within a low touch analytics based administrative environment.

Biography:

Jason Schimming, is the Manager of La Trobe University’s Infrastructure, Facilities and Storage and is also Acting Manager of the Networks group. Jason joined the ICT team at La Trobe in 2005, since then he has been involved many and varied technological advances and changes within the university and IT infrastructure area. In his capacity as Network Manager, Jason is focused on delivering strategic and operational programs for the La Trobe data network that align with the university’s future ready and cloud based strategies. IuPati Tumaalii is AARNet’s Principal Consultant for Networks and Security, a member of AARNet’s Enterprise Services team.  He acts on customer’s behalf as an vendor agnostic advisor specialising in Network Architecture and Design, Advanced Network Security, Advanced routing and switching, Network analysis, capacity planning and High level problem solving and network troubleshooting services.  He has a wide variety of vendor related accreditation including Cisco: CCNP, CCSP, CCDP, CCNP-Wireless, Specialisation System Engineer Accreditation in ISE, IronPort and VPN; Microsoft : MCSE; Checkpoint : CCSE;  Trend Micro : TMSE; Juniper : JNCIA and RSA : RSA SecureID Administrator.

Phishing with Office 365

Mr Mark Laffan, Australian Catholic University

When ACU migrated to Office 365 from the on-prem exchange mail system it was decided to discontinue our spam and malware filtering once we had completed the migration and to use the Microsoft Office 365 protection.

All email systems around the world are constantly attacked with Spam, malware and phishing attempts. Most of these phishing attempts that get through will either trick or “social engineer” the user to give up their login credentials or infect them with ransomware such as cryptolocker. Phishing emails are now the primary way for attackers to get into the corporate network by tricking the user to visit a fake website.

This talk will go through the security challenges, headaches, and phishing attempts that Office 365 mail filtering didn’t prevent, some of the innovative and proactive actions that were taken to protect users and our eventual journey back to our previous anti-spam/malware filtering service: Symantec Cloud.

Biography:

Mark Laffan has been working at ACU since 1991 and has been involved in many infrastructure roles and changes from the initial connection to the Internet to the implementation of the campus wide network services to the desktop. Examples of such involvement include: file/print services, Cisco VOIP and other Microsoft technologies. Mark has qualifications and experience in Network Security, Windows system administration, ITIL change management and electronics engineering. Mark spends his spare time with his two kids and delving into electronics, hacking, gaming, 3D printing, computing and sci-fi.

QRIScloud: delivering cloud computing services for researchers

Dr Hoylen Sue, QRIS

QRIScloud is a set of cloud computing services for researchers in Queensland universities and the public sector, provided by the Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation (QCIF). QRIScloud provides a range of compute and storage services, including NeCTAR virtual machines and RDS data collection storage. And QCIF works closely with its member universities to provide valuable services to their researchers.

This presentation describes the challenges of creating a service delivery platform to support the operation of QRIScloud, and the solutions that were found. The service delivery platform allows the services to be ordered, provisioned and managed—with self-service as well as providing user support.

The service delivery platform brings together Australian Access Federation (AAF) for authentication, LDAP for integration and Zendesk for customer service management; as well as the heterogeneous set of services being offered. A range of different technologies has been integrated to provide a pragmatic solution. This presentation describes the design challenges and the solutions found.

It will be of interest to those facing their own integration challenges and those interested in using QRIScloud services.

Biography:

Dr Hoylen Sue is responsible for developing the service delivery portal for QRIScloud. He has developed eHealth standards with Standards Australia and Web specifications with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). He has worked in research and industry; in the areas of resource discovery and metadata, distributed computing and Internet technologies.

SCU Network Upgrade Project – Technical and Project Management Perspectives

Mr Michael Lymbery, Southern Cross University

Commencing in 2014, SCU engaged Huawei to modernize and refresh the University’s network end to end in order to reduce operational risks and provide the networking foundation necessary to cater for the University’s expanding bandwidth requirements in CCTV, VoIP and Video Conferencing, Research and Internet services.

Michael will describe the design goals and technical implementation details, while Gina will provide the background on project delivery.

Biography:

Michael is the network manager at Southern Cross University.  He has worked in the networking field at the University for 15 years and been involved in many a network upgrade, wireless deployment and security review.

Talk-Nerdy to me:  How we persuaded staff to voluntarily engage

Mrs Sandra Lammas, University of Southern Queensland

Just how do you get staff to find out about all the important IT stuff they need to know, when they keep deleting your emails?  In 2015 the division of ICT at the University of Southern Queensland took the challenge of information dissemination head on.

The radical decision was made to stop sending boring text emails to staff and swap them for short, sharp and entertaining video messages that relay important information in under 120 seconds.  A year down the track and we have changed the landscape of IT information dissemination for staff at our University and have positivity influenced how the division is viewed (some would even say we are now the ‘cool kids’).

This presentation will provide an overview of how we did it, how you can do it too and also provide a full year’s statistical data that has been collected along the way that shows what an impact this initiative has had.

Come along and find out how you can make a big impact with minimal resources and a little bit of fun.

Biography:

Sandra Lammas is the leader of the ICT Training Team at the University of Southern Queensland.  She has been involved in the every challenging world of getting the IT message across since 2009 and is particularly open to doing things a little bit differently to get results.

Technology convergence  and strategic directions in learning environment

Dr Gordon Howell, Queensland University of Technology

Over the past decade there has been a concerted effort to improve learning spaces throughout the sector.  This presentation builds of earlier work where QUT has transformed its learning spaces and includes QUT’s aspirations for the new Education Precinct, scheduled for completion for the commencement of semester 1, 2018.

These major developments are situated within a constructivist paradigm, to meet the student learning needs, now and into the future.

The underpinning technology is enabled  by the convergence of AV and IT and the use of the corporate data network for all devices.

The presenter aims to leave the participants with view of QUT’s strategic direction with a range of building blocks on which to construct a variety of flexible learning spaces.

Biography:

Dr Gordon Howell is Director Learning Environments and Technology Support at Queensland University of Technology. In this role he is responsible for  the management of QUT’s Managed Operating Environment covering 12,000 computers, and 50,000 students and staff, and the support and enhancement of the technology in the university’s 300 lecture theatres, lecture rooms, tute rooms, and video conference facilities.  Recently Gordon was responsible for the technology deployment in the $230M Science and Engineering Centre at QUT’s Gardens Point Campus, and is currently leading the technology design for the new Education Precinct due to open in 2018. He has in excess of 25 years experience within education and technology management; having worked as a Research Fellow at the University of Queensland; Associate Director Client Support Services and Director IT at Australian Catholic University.

The Elephant Flows in the Room – ScienceDMZ National Distribution

Mr Brett Rosolen, AARNet

To address the increasing movement of large datasets it seems only natural that we just need to build more bandwidth, right? After all, it’s often been said that “Big Data needs Big Networks”. Ok! So let’s just build multiple 100Gbps circuits both nationally and internationally and surely our research community can now simply move a full Petabyte in a single day? Happy days … or is it??

Apparently not!! Our ability to scale up our workflows to take full advantage of order of magnitude changes in network capacity is lagging behind significantly. Security at the campus edge is designed to cater for thousands of small flows rather than a few very big ones, end to end visibility of network capacity is poor for most users, and transfer tools typically used are simply incapable of leveraging the capacity when network latency heads north. It’s really no wonder that our research community generally has expectations well below what is achievable for moving big datasets, with some even resorting to sneakernet as the default workflow.

To leverage our collective investment in national and institutional research resources we require an overall approach to ensure that large flows are catered for between all sites. This requires us as a community to do more to accommodate delivery of large datasets, leading to more efficient delivery of research outcomes.

This talk will cover the Science DMZ architecture and demonstrate the use of benchmarking tools that are now available to both test the limits and increase overall expectations.

Biography:

Brett Rosolen is the Data Program Manager for AARNet’s eResearch team, assisting researchers to make full use of the national and international network and services capability for the delivery of research outcomes.

The University of Queensland Metropolitan Data Caching Infrastructure (MeDiCI)

Professor David Abramson, University of Queensland

Data is predicted to transform the 21st century, fuelled by an exponential growth in the amount of data captured, generated and archived, which presents researchers with unprecedented challenges. The University of Queensland has made significant progress in meeting these challenges by providing substantial computing and storage infrastructure.

Much of this investment is in the Queensland based RDSI and NeCTAR funded research cloud node, called QRIScloud, which is sited at the Polaris data centre some 30 km from the St Lucia campus. QRIScloud provides a robust platform for cloud computing and data storage to enable enhanced processing and sharing of research data. Polaris also houses a number of critical systems that support UQ research, including a data intensive supercomputer called FlashLite, and a new highly parallel cluster called Tinaroo. QRIScloud implements a highly scalable storage system with both spinning disk for rapid online access and tape for long term archive.

In centralising research data storage, and some computation, at Polaris, data is further from both the instruments that generate it, some of the computers that process it, and the researchers that interpret it. This in turn, makes some steps slower and more complex for researchers to access information.

MeDiCI solves this problem by supporting data collection and processing on campus, close to a range of scientific instruments, data sources and local expertise, and seamlessly connects this to the significant storage and processing capabilities in Polaris. A MeDiCI proof of concept implementation is built on IBM GPFS and SGI DMF.

Biography:

David has been involved in computer architecture and high performance computing research since 1979.  He has held appointments at Griffith University, CSIRO, RMIT and Monash University. Prior to joining UQ, he was the Director of the Monash e-Education Centre, Science Director of the Monash e-Research Centre, and a Professor of Computer Science in the Faculty of Information Technology at Monash.

UQ’s OMERO – Solving terascale imaging curation and processing challenges

Mr Jake Carroll, Queensland Brain Institute

Question: What do you do when you end up in that familiar situation of too much data to analyse in any humanly possible amount of time given current technology?

Answer: First, you panic, as you realise your experimental design didn’t factor any of this in. Next, you go and find technologies that can help you – and if they don’t exist yet, you go and dream of what you might build.

Things aren’t easy in the big scientific data space. Budgets aren’t growing, competitive funding and grants are getting less and less plentiful. It is time to get structured, get automated and get smart.

This is the story of the UQ OMERO platform and what the Queensland Brain Institute, in conjunction with the NeCTAR Cloud, QCIF and the RCC have been doing to meet the challenges of tera-scale confocal microscopy storage and processing in the biological sciences.

In this presentation, attendees will get a sneak peek into the unusual world of ultra high throughput microscopy imaging devices, super resolution microscopy and GPU-scale deconvolution by way of demonstrated real life use cases.

UQ’s OMERO platform is based upon a truly global initiative of passionate researchers, practitioners and engineering minds who want to achieve a template based, deployable, sustainable and fully featured microscopy storage and processing platform. The QBI is taking this a step further in making the technology cloud aware and is now pushing even further boundaries in bolting GPU deconvolution capabilities into the OMERO platform, also.

Biography:

Jake Carroll is the Senior ICT Manager, Research for one of the most intensive neuro-scientific research institutes in the world, the Queensland Brain Institute.  The corporate/enterprise IT sector never interested Jake much, so when he had the chance, he jumped! Jake is a global-scale technology guy, with projects, initiatives and collaborations spanning the Americas and the EU alike. His molecules are rarely in one timezone for more than a few minutes. Sometimes a technology leader, sometimes a backroom strategist, all the time impassioned and tech-obsessed, Jake just wants to be where the action is. Jake’s current technology obsessions include workflow engines, parallel filesystem design, GPU deconvolution acceleration and next generation flash technologies.

Using Containers to support Agile Development and Research

James Harper, University of Auckland

Docker allows developers and researchers to transparently move the work they do from their desktop, to the data centre, and to the cloud.

The University of Auckland has used Docker, and the Rancher management platform, to enable our Agile development teams to develop software in environments they’re comfortable with, and then reliably scale and deploy their work into production. Researchers have used Docker to exchange experiments with colleagues, and to provide fast access to sandbox environments. Our architects love Docker, since it allows them to set up standard application deployment patterns and microservices that users build on top of rather than re-invent.

In this presentation we will cover:

– a brief introduction to containers, including how they differ from and compliment virtualisation;

– an analysis and comparison of the tools, infrastructure, and support structure options used to deploy Docker as a platform for enterprise applications, including on-premise and cloud choices;

– a case study in how using containers supports rapid application development and Agile project management methodologies;

– why we’re including training on containers in our Software Carpentry courses; and

– how researchers are using containers to quickly gain access to a platform on which to run their experiments.

Biography:

Associate Director for Strategy & Design at The University of Auckland. Responsible for the architecture and design of infrastructure and platform services, and for security.

USQ’s IDM Implementation – Bumpy flight with a smooth landing

Mr Brian Stevens, University of Southern Queensland

How do you change the way user accounts are provisioned, the way staff and students perform password resets, automate distribution group and security group membership while maintaining all existing access without detrimental impact on users during the cutover process?

Well it isn’t easy let me tell you, but with the support a quality project team and an outstanding vendor partnership we succeeded and lived to tell the tale.

This presentation will take you on a journey through:

  • Product choice
  • Vendor selection
  • Managing a constantly changing scope
  • Managing user expectations
  • Switching vendors
  • The impact of data on business rules and the impact of business rules on data
  • Re-thinking password policy
  • Almost perfect implementation

Come along and learn from our mistakes, laugh at our expense and find out how you too could update your IDM system without impacting your staff and students.

Biography:

Brian Stevens is the ICT Project Officer at USQ and has been responsible for leading a team during the University’s IDM system upgrade.  A project that had the potential to impact the entire university either positively or negatively if not for the right team with the right attitude.

Web Application Firewall project

Mr Greg Vickers, Griffith University

Web applications are a lucrative target for malicious actors – a successful SQL injection attack or incorrectly configured web server can provide reams of valuable information to an attacker.  To provide service to clients, web applications must be available over HTTP and HTTPS – providing a pathway direct to the webserver, bypassing traditional IPS/IDS/firewall protection mechanisms.

Griffith University has chosen the F5 application firewall solution to provide protection for web based applications. Come along and find out why this solution was chosen and how it is being implemented.

Biography:

Greg has a decade of IT Security project management experience in the Higher Education sector in Queensland, which he compliments with a wide range of other successful IT based projects including networking, virtualization, Learning Management Systems, storage and Green IT. Recently, Greg has implemented a Security Information and Event Management solution and is completing the implementation of a Web Application Firewall solution for Griffith University. When not injured in some way, Greg does Parkour and tries to not hurt himself.

Lessons learnt, or the journey from Systems Administrator to IT Manager

Biography

Christian Unger has worked in the IT industry for over 15 years, during this time he has specialised in system administration of Linux systems, especially automated host deployment, centralised configuration management and SOE development, with strong background in firewall administration and SELinux. For the past three years, he has been the IT manager for the Translational Research Institute, which has added experiences in a greater range of IT issues, from migrating service to & in the cloud, management of HPC systems, administration of HSMs, to assembling height adjustable workstations and portable digital signage.


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