Departments at Rensselaer that have arranged for desktop, network sharing, and printing support with MCS Desktop Support Services will receive support based on the following guidelines:
Desktop Support Liaison
Each MCS-supported department must designate a Desktop Support Liaison. This person will serve as the main point of contact between the MCS Desktop and Server Support group and their department for all aspects of installations and upgrades, both hardware and software. MCS 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
MCS 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 MCS 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. MCS 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. MCS 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
MCS is by no means obliged to install, support or maintain any equipment (hardware, software or otherwise) that is NOT considered by MCS management as “standard” and/or was not purchased by following the MCS support procedures. MCS 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 Submit a request. All members of MCS monitor these requests so it is the most effective way to obtain assistance, while allowing MCS to track and capture issues and resolutions. MCS 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. MCS 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 will be addressed in the order in which they are received.
Software installation and inventories
MCS will work with designated Desktop Support Liaisons to compile software inventories and ensure adequate software licenses are on file.
MCS should be consulted on any departmental software purchase. MCS will provide recommendations and installation. New software installs must be requested with two weeks of lead time so that MCS 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 MCS 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 MCS on these purchases. MCS 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, MCS 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 MCS staff adequate time to schedule moves, and for any services not supplied by MCS to be requested and completed in conjunction with the move (e.g., transferring of telephone numbers).
MCS 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. MCS will not support desktops after disposal or sale.
New Employee Procedures
- The department must notify MCS 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. (MCS can not do any user setup without this). Contact Human Resources, or the Help Desk at ext. 7777 with any questions. Submit a request with the following information:
- Desktop requirements
- The name of the employee
- Starting date
- Office location
- 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 MCS standard image.)
- A list of folders on the network drives the employee will need to access, or a current employee whose security we can copy.
- Employee's RCS userID (not RIN)
- MCS will set up Windows logons, prepare the RCS ID to work with Outlook and assign appropriate security rights in the WIN domain. Employees should change their RCS ID password as soon as possible.
- Each client is given a home directory with one (1) Gigabyte of space. Please delete unneeded files in order to conserve space. Submit a request to request additional space and will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
Note: MCS cannot setup an Outlook account or give an employee access to MCS 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, MCS 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 MCS discretion.
IACS Hardware and Software Standards and Standard Image
In order for MCS 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.
Departments must be on the campus Microsoft license agreement; MCS will coordinate this with the Desktop Support Liaison from each department.
MCS 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.
MCS will map appropriate network drives based upon department need.
The Institute administration email standard is Microsoft Exchange. MCS adheres to all Exchange mailbox policies set forth by DotCIO governing the appropriate use of email.
MCS 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 MCS. The department Desktop Support Liaison will consult with MCS on the configuration, purchase and application requirements. Applications will be supported by the department or vendor with additional support from MCS.
Servers are backed up nightly 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
MCS is responsible for restoring files from backup upon request by users.
MCS 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.