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Teaching and Public Access Library Clusters

The development, set up, and support of Teaching Cluster systems. These are configured with the University base build, plus Departmental specific applications. The build is locked down to prevent students from installing unauthorized software. Campus Information Technology Services (CITS) is responsible for ensuring all software is loaded and functions correctly from a technical viewpoint. The overall configuration is agreed with the Department which is responsible for licensing the software, testing and approving that it is functioning correctly.

Teaching PCs are replaced according to the University Desktop Renewal Policy. Departments may elect to provide more systems than the policy covers and enhance the specification of the machines.


CITS will:

Hardware Support

  • Procure and install desktop hardware and networking used for teaching.
  • Implement timely renewal of hardware under the University Desktop Renewal Scheme.
  • Register the machines in CITS's host database system.
  • Interface the systems with the appropriate file services and peripherals (e.g. Printers).


Software Support

  • Provide the latest University standard build (subject to compatibility with Departmental applications).


Based on:

Windows Based Systems:

  • Provide Windows operating system support, including installation and regular patching via Windows System Update Service (WSUS), as required by the University Security Policy.
  • Update regularly the approved Anti-Virus software via the Managed service as required by the University Security Policy.
  • Lock down the C: drive to prevent unauthorized addition of, deletion of and modification to software.
  • Provide protected file space for students.
  • Provide access to central or Departmental file systems.
  • Ensure on-going maintenance by using deepfreeze, where appropriate, to stop unauthorized changes to the standard setup, and clear on a nightly basis scratch space.
  • Provide a Power Saving service so that PCs can draw minimal power out of normal operating hours.
  • Deploy fixes for applications software to an agreed timescale.


Applications Software:

Common Software

  • Provide the latest versions of commonly used software as defined for the standard desktop.
  • Provide and manage license servers for such software, where needed.


Departmental Software

  • In partnership with each Department, provide an agreed set of applications software to support Departmental teaching on PCs used for teaching.
  • Help with sourcing software at optimum prices.
  • Provide and manage license servers for such software, where needed.


On an annual basis:

  • Meet with the Department to discuss teaching requirements.
  • Upgrade the base operating system (subject to compatibility with departmental software).
  • Package agreed Departmental applications software.
  • Provide an unattended installation of above software.
  • Set up a test system within the Department with above software image, to allow the Department staff to test software is functioning correctly.
  • Correct faults found.
  • In agreement with the Department, deploy the image to all teaching systems in a cluster.


During the Academic year:

  • Install and configure new packages in agreement with the Department. CITS prefers not to add to the image during term time, however, it will do so if needed by a Department.
  • Ensure changes to license files on central license servers are logged.
  • Ensure changes to license files on central license servers which impact teaching are made during term.


On a daily basis:

  • Ensure cluster systems are in good working order respond to requests for help at high priority



Customers/Deparment will:

  • Ensure all software used for teaching is properly licensed.
  • Appoint a custodian for teaching machines, as required by the University Security Policy.
  • Meet with CITS to discuss teaching requirements for the following academic year.
  • Obtain licensed copies of software in good time to meet the upgrade schedule.
  • Provide media (or access), installation and configuration information in good time to meet the upgrade schedule.
  • Provide CITS with reasonable notice (ideally 3 weeks) for additions or changes to the teaching build during the academic year.
    • Whilst CITS will endeavor to install software provided with less notice, this cannot be guaranteed.
  • Provide CITS with 5 days notice of change of license information on a centrally provided license server, to allow CITS to schedule the change.
  • Test all software is functioning correctly.
  • Formally sign off the installation and configuration of all software provide consumables (paper etc) for teaching rooms.
  • Report faults with use of the teaching cluster to the CITS service desk.

Note: faults which affect multiple systems or students should be reported as priority 1 calls by phone and using the Service Desk line.

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