Software Maintenance Support Scheme for Sun Machines

by John Chan

Over the years, the Unix machines, especially the Sun Solaris systems, have been widely accepted and deployed for various academic activities. However, with the increase of these Sun machines, system management, in particular security management, has become a major issue for a number of departments especially those that do not have technical staff for providing the support.

In this regard, the Information Services Advisory Committee (ISAC) has endorsed the Computing Services Centre (CSC) to provide a campus-wide solution to all departments. Towards the end of last November, the CSC was pleased to announce that an agreement had been made with the Sun Enterprise Services. The Software Maintenance Support Scheme was adopted and it commenced as from 1st December 2000.

Besides providing security assessments, security patches application, and the installation of security tools, which form the major theme of the above agreement, the scope of this scheme also covers the following: machine inventory and site configuration tracking, installation and upgrades of the Solaris operating system including the application of system patches, installation and upgrades of all Sun software, and the preventive maintenance of each Sun machine.

To enjoy the service,departments can ask the CSC to do an inventory check and registration on all their Sun machines. Once registered, all of the above services will be provided free to the owner of each of these machines. However, since there are many machines installed on campus, it might take some time before each of these can be attended. The CSC representative will contact each department beforehand to make the necessary arrangements. The cooperation of departments in this respect will be much appreciated. As new machines will be added over time, their owners are requested to notify the CSC by filling in a normal CSC Work Request Form and the same registration process will be conducted.

It is important to note that only registered Sun workstations and Workgroup servers installed in the departments will be covered by the above scheme. The software maintenance of Enterprise Class Level Sun servers will not be covered. Also hardware maintenance is outside the scope of this scheme, and departments are advised to join these services offered by Sun or Sun Solution Partners if they would like to have more comprehensive technical support coverage.

It is also important to note that all users are urged to use the CSC Work Request Form to request for any of the above services on any registered machines at any time during the year. All normal requests will be guaranteed to be entertained promptly on a first-come-first-served basis.