Infomration Technology Services
ITS' electronic newsletter highlighting technology services & initiatives

Welcome Message from the Technology Support Center

Welcome to both new and returning members of the UIS community. The ITS Technology Support Center stands ready to assist you with technology issues and questions. We serve as the first point of contact for technology issues regardless of platform or operating system. We can assist you in solving problems with supported services or in finding the right campus organization to answer your question.

The Technology Support Center is located on the first floor of the Health and Sciences Building (HSB 110) and we have a walk-up service counter available to you during our business hours.

Live Chat
It's easy to use, just click on the Live Help box in the upper right-hand corner of our Tech Support webpage and follow the instructions that display.

Online Service Desk
Any current employee or student can login directly to our helpdesk client application and do any of the following:

  • Create a new request

  • Check on the status of your previously submitted requests

  • Update your existing requests with further information

  • Close your existing requests

Log on to the Online Service Desk with your current enterprise NetID and password.

Frustrated with problems getting to your important files? Want the peace of mind of backing up your most important data? Going off campus or out of the country and still want quick and easy access to your files through an Internet connection? eDocs can help!

eDocs provides a flexible and dependable file storage solution to UIS faculty, staff and students.

Don't risk losing your important data! For more information, visit our eDocs webpage.

Atomic Learning
Atomic Learning provides on-demand web-based software training in the form of short, just-in-time videos that focus on answering common questions about a variety of popular software packages. You can easily embed any video file from Atomic Learning into your Blackboard course or course website.

For more information, visit the Atomic Learning webpage.



UIS Information Technology Services is pleased to announce support of the eduroam wireless network authentication system on the UIS campus wireless network. eduroam (education roaming) is the secure, world-wide roaming access service developed for the international research and education community. eduroam allows students, researchers, and staff from participating institutions to obtain Internet connectivity across campus and when visiting other participating institutions. Additional information is available on the eduroam project webpage.

UIS joins the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and other US educational institutions in the adoption of this international service. Faculty, staff, and students can move between the UIS and UIUC campuses or travel to other participating institutions the world over and be able to authenticate to the local wireless networks using their home campus credentials.

For help configuring eduroam access on your wireless device, please see our wireless network information page. A map of other US institutions participating in the eduroam project is also available.


ECAR Availability


ITS is pleased to announce the availability of ECAR (EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research). ECAR fosters better decision making by conducting and disseminating research and analysis about the role and implication of information technology in higher education. ECAR assembles leading scholars, practitioners, researchers, and analysts to focus on issues of critical importance to higher education, many of which carry increasingly complicated and consequential implications. UIS faculty and staff now have full access to all ECAR research studies, research bulletins, case studies, and other resources.

If you don't already have an EDUCAUSE Profile:
Visit and complete the profile form using your UIS email address.

Once registered, simply log in to your EDUCAUSE Profile, go to the ECAR Web site, then select Research Publications from the left-hand menu.

Next Generation Data Center Project

In the fall of 2010, UIS Information Technology Services undertook an initiative to reassess its current datacenter design with an eye on finding ways to both improve services and accommodate growth while keeping ongoing costs and management requirements as low as possible. This initiative was motivated by several driving forces including the Administrative Review and Restructuring (ARR) report which states (in part), "An ideal expenditure reduction strategy for the University would (1) reduce operational spending in ways that have no negative impact on mission, (2) protect strategic IT investment, and (3) improve the yield from tactical IT investment," and the UIS Strategic Plan, which conveys our campus mission to use technology to enhance and extend the learning environment through the investment in the campus technology infrastructure.

As part of this reassessment, ITS engaged a third-party firm to evaluate the effects of incorporating server virtualization technologies into our environment. This evaluation included performing an inventory of our current datacenter and monitoring usage patterns for about a month. The results from that assessment confirmed that server consolidation through virtualization technologies could provide several important benefits including:

  • Lower operational costs without impact

  • Improved recovery time from failure

  • Reduction of the environmental and operational footprint

  • Improved responsiveness of IT to the business and academic needs

  • Improving the efficiency / effectiveness of limited IT staff

After much research and discussion, ITS staff decided to pursue a restructuring of its datacenter, dubbing this initiative the Next Generation Data Center (NGDC) project. An RFP process was executed in the winter of 2011, with the award going to Dell, Inc., for new high performance, energy efficient servers, 20 terabytes of high-performance disk storage on a storage area network (SAN), and the VMware VSphere virtualization platform.

The system is now undergoing final internal testing in preparation for 'going live' within the next week or two. Starting in September, ITS will begin the process of migrating existing physical servers to this new platform. Also, virtually all new application needs requiring new servers will be provided using the virtual server environment. This new environment will also form the platform for enabling other new, advanced technologies, including virtualization for the desktop, aka "VDI" (this will be the subject of another ITS Newsletter article--stay tuned).

Going forward, each new or existing server that is moved into this new virtual infrastructure will be an incremental step toward fully realizing the many benefits that we mentioned above, and will help UIS fulfill several important goals and objectives of the ARR and Strategic Plan.


Lab Showcase
Several computer labs across campus have been updated with new equipment.  We encourage you to visit them!

UHB 2030 - The largest of our teaching labs, UHB2030 has 50 All-in-One stations which provide students with increased desk space and a less cluttered desk.

VPA 54 - This lab has been upgraded with new Macs, scanners, and improved large-scale printing capabilities.

HSB 108 - Now arranged in a U-shape, HSB 108 provides the flexibility of individual work at the computer or group discussions at the center table.

New Projectors in UHB

The Learning Spaces and Support team has been busy this summer with many upgrades to classrooms. One of the bigger projects was the replacement of classroom projectors in UHB. The new projectors have a much more powerful light that allows the image displayed on the screen to be easily viewed in almost any lighting situation. The new projectors have many great features that we are taking advantage of and many more that we can use as we upgrade the classroom technologies in the coming years.

UIS on iTunes U Update

UIS on iTunes U provides access to a variety of content – including course content, statehouse news and local programming, noted speakers, sports updates, and more. The UIS on iTunes U project includes two sites:

  • UIS iTunes U Public Site-
    A public site which includes event highlights, campus news, public course content, and more – all of which benefit the entire campus community.

  • UIS Course/Login for iTunes U-
    An access-restricted site which hosts course-based materials. Access is granted based on enrollment in the designated courses.

For more information, visit the UIS on iTunes U webpage.

Mobile Devices at UIS
ITS has recognized the ever increasing demand for mobile computing capability from both employees and students. Below is a guide to our customers on the different types of mobile devices and our current recommendations.

Mobile devices and smartphones are evolving at a fast pace. ITS has tested a few different devices and made some recommendations for supported configurations; however, we are unable to perform exhaustive testing on all available platforms. Other undocumented configurations may work; however, support will be limited.

Types of Mobile Devices

Tablet (Apple iPad, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab)
A mobile device that provides access to web, email, video, and photos through a wireless or WiFi connection. These devices are sometimes also capable of using a 3G connection, which requires a data plan from a cellphone provider like AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint. UIS support has the most experience with the iPad and we have found that it interfaces well with our network.

Smartphones (BlackBerry, Android, iPhone)
A mobile device that provides advanced capabilities beyond a typical cellphone and uses its own system software, such as RIM (BlackBerry), Windows Mobile, or Apple iOS. Unlike traditional phones, smartphones typically provide connection to the Internet over a cellular infrastructure or WiFi. Many offer extended capabilities through applications designed for them. The UIS wireless network works well with both android and iPhone devices and we recommend those devices to our campus community. As a general guideline, devices that support ActiveSync work well with the campus email and calendaring system.

Note on Blackberry Devices:
For full and secure integration with the campus email system, Blackberry devices require a Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES). UIS does not run a BES server so consequently support for Blackberry devices is limited.

Cell Phones (LG, Motorola, etc.)
A mobile phone that is not a smart phone. Typically, cell phones are used for their calling features and not for retrieval of data. They are considered feature phones with proprietary operating system (OS) firmware. If they support third-party software, it is only via a limited interface. While UIS makes no specific recommendations for cell phones, there are significant discounts available from some providers for campus faculty and staff. Information about those discount plans and how to take advantage of them are available on our webpage.

eBook Readers (Kindle, Nook)
An eBook reader is a digital reader that allows for the reading of books, newspapers, and journals in a digital format. Currently WiFi-only readers are not capable of connecting to the UIS wireless network for downloading ebooks and journals. Our wireless network requires WPA2 Enterprise for authentication and no current readers support this. As readers are an emerging technology, we expect manufacturers to provide better connection methods in the future.

Contact Us:  Technology Support Center | 217/206-6000 |
Media Lab | 217/206-6550
UHB 2000 Lab | 217/206-7100