Support for Computers connected to Data Collection Devices

Policy Statement
As the number of computers utilized for collecting data from high-end , vendor-supplied, specialized or even custom made scientific equipment increase, CAS Computing has found the need to establish guidelines for their setup, use and administration. In order for CAS Computing Services to provide timely support, owners of these specialized systems need to follow the procedures outlined below.

Reason for Policy
This policy is designed to stabilize the sensitive configuration of these systems while balancing the need of researchers with the limited resources of CAS Computing.

Procedure

  • CAS Computing needs to be involved in the configuration of the computer.
  • Computers must either be disconnected from the network or on the private subnet. If they are on the private subnet, they must be joined to the CAS Windows domain.
  • Using these systems for Internet access is highly discouraged. If the research function of the computer absolutely requires Internet access, the computer can be configured to use the University proxy server.
  • CAS Computing must either set or be told the local administrator’s password.
  • Login to the computer must be authenticated through the network as much as possible. The local administrator account should be used only when absolutely necessary.
  • Vendors must provide information on how to collect data for users without administrator access to the computer. Vendors should be very familiar with this as most research computers outside academia are locked down to prevent tampering.
  • Administrative rights shall be given to as few members of a research group as possible, preferably only to the “owner” of the lab.
    No student shall be given administrative rights or the password for an account with administrative rights on a computer.
  • If the computer in not under vendor contract, CAS Computing will take a drive image of a stable, working setup for disaster recovery purposes. If the configuration changes, CAS Computing should be contacted so the image can be updated. If the computer is under vendor contract, CAS Computing still highly recommends taking a drive image of a freshly configured machine.

Policy last updated: 2008/09/15