Campus Wide guidelines on use of Waterloo computing and network resources
Computing and network resources are important components of the University infrastructure. These Guidelines govern the appropriate and ethical use of these resources, inform users of expectations and responsibilities assumed in the use of Waterloo computing and network resources, and clarify the context.
Please refer to this link for more information.
Hardware specifications exist to ensure driver support, maximum return on investment and cost effectiveness. For example, it's not reasonable for an IT staff member to spend 4 hours fixing a 6 year old Dell computer that is a model we're unfamiliar with and that is worth $20.
- Newly purchased hardware to be supported by the IT staff must be purchased from the Departmental Computer Specification
- Existing hardware must be a maximum of 4 years old to be supported by IT staff. Older lab equipment driven systems are the only exception to this rule
A common practice of organizational IT is to implement "Rolling Policies". These are policies that minimize downtime by replacing hardware on schedule:
Rolling departmental server policy
- Mission critical systems must be replaced after 3 years of uptime
- Non-mission critical systems that can afford more than 3 days of downtime must be replaced after 5 years
Rolling administrative/technical staff workstation policy
These are mission critical systems used to run the Department. Replacement schedule is 3 years. Unlike Faculty and Researchers, staff members typically don't have laptops that would keep downtime more bearable.
Rolling undergraduate computing facilities policy
These are high usage machines used solely by our Undergraduate Students. They cannot afford downtime especially during peak periods when resources are at 100% usage. This is also an attractive feature to add to marketing our program to prospective students. Replacement schedule is 3 years.
Computer Resources IT Cost Recovery Policy
The Computer Resources (CEE) department does not have a mechanism for recovering technician time for research-related IT services. To sustain our rapidly growing and vibrant research computing environment while not limiting the services provided to researchers, staff, or students a mechanism needs to be established. The hope is that the CEE IT team's skills may continue to enhance and enrich our research environment. This document outlines a departmental policy designed to both ensure fairness of the use of IT staff time, and to recovery costs associated with the use of IT staff time for services provided for research computing resources.
Research services are here defined as any services provided by the CEE IT staff in explicit support of research activities which fall outside of their primary responsibilities (i.e., supporting undergraduate and administrative computing, and desktop and laptop support for researchers).
Research IT services subject to cost recovery include:
- Hardware server deployment and support
- Software server deployment and support
- Multi-functional copiers
- Programmatic solutions (i.e., scripting, programming, application development)
The following research-related services are not subject to cost recovery:
- Desktop/laptop computing support
- Integration into UW IT infrastructure (i.e., Quest, FORE, Nexus, Jobmine, ACE, etc.)
- Regular and ongoing service calls
These lists are non-comprehensive and other services not explicitly stated should be discussed with the CEE Information Technology Manager.
Cost recovery model
There are many different models in use across campus with the simplest of these being an hourly cost recovery rate.
- Cost recovery will not be used for every single service provided (service calls, daily support, troubleshooting, etc) for existing IT hardware that meets the minimum CEE specifications (Minimum supported hardware specification is described in the “State of Computing 2008” Report - hardware specifications exist to ensure driver support, maximum return on investment and cost effectiveness.).
- Cost-recovery will be applied on a per-project basis for major hardware or software services (e.g., server deployment). The cost will include support for the recommended support period of the server or service.
- A cost recovery rate of $60 per hour will be used.
- Infrastructure costs, including housing the equipment, and electrical and cooling costs (with the exception of massive multi-system deployments, such as high performance computing clusters) will not be subject to cost recovery.
Example 1. File server deployment
A typical fileserver deployment would be associated with a cost recovery of approximately $1200, based on:
- consultation, system specification, requests for quotation for system = 3 hours = $180
- receiving and installing hardware into rack = 1 hour = $60
- installing windows OS and software =3 hours = $180
- testing hardware = 1 hour = $60
- installing, configuring RAID array and testing array for failure =5 hours = $300
- customisation/training for user = 1 hour = $60
- live migration of an existing server= 6 hours = $360
- rack mount space for equipment = $0
- networking equipment to support server (gigabit connection, patch cables, etc) = $0
- cooling for equipment = $0
- use of existing electrical facilities = $0
- future on-site support of equipment (hardware failures, etc) = $0
Example 2. Existing file server
Existing server hardware that still meets the CEE minimum hardware specifications may:
- Opt-in at a half-price pro-rated service plan for the remainder of their warranty period.
- Commence hourly rate, half-priced for the remainder of the warranty period.
Services performed on existing research hardware that does not meet our minimum hardware specifications will commence cost-recovery on an hourly basis.
For a typical new fileserver (with 3 year warranty) with a deployment that would now cost $1200, but was deployed one year ago, the following cost recovery would apply:
- pro-rated cost is two-thirds of $1200 = $800
- half of pro-rated cost is $400
- cost to researcher is $400
For a server that is older than 4 years and is in need servicing:
- OS upgrade and user migration: 4 hours =$240
- Hard drive replacement: 1 hour=$60
- Data Migration: 2 hours=$120
- cost to researcher is $420