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Invitation to ITS Project Update Sessions in November 2013 (October 30, 2013)

Dear Colleagues,

Invitation to ITS Project Update Sessions in November 2013

We have recently initiated a number of projects, some of which, in our opinion, will have impact on most departments and/or staff members.   These projects include -

- Launching of enhanced private cloud services;

- Enforcement of technical standards for connecting equipment to the campus network;

- University-wide smart card systems upgrade;

- Learning environment surveys;

- High Performance Computing facilities for cutting-edge scientific research;

- Strengthening of Information Security protection; and

- Feasibility study on outsourcing of staff email services.

The project outlines are at the end of the email. 

I would like to invite you and your staff members concerned to one of the following two repeated two-hour sessions when the projects will be presented and discussed -         

Session 1: 7 November 2013 (Thursday) 14:30 - 16:30
  Theatre A, Chow Yei Ching Building  
Session 2: 13 November 2013 (Wednesday) 09:30 - 11:30
  P2, Chong Yuet Ming Physics Building  

We hope to solicit your initial views on each of the projects during the two sessions. Depending on your interests and feedback, we may arrange separate discussion sessions on specific projects afterwards.   

I look forward to discussing the projects with you.   Please register your attendance through the following links:

Session 1 (7 November 2013):


Session 2 (13 November 2013):



Danny Tang


Project Outlines (Presentation files are available for access by University staff through the following links)

Launching of enhanced private cloud services

Initially launched in 2009, ITS Cloud is a secure, resilient, cost effective and green computing platform for central services and departmental projects. The service is gaining popularity with a growing user base.  New features and pricing will be introduced in the briefing.

Enforcement of technical standards for connecting equipment to the campus network

Our campus network is an important infrastructure of the University supporting data and voice communication, and therefore it must be available at all time as one would expect from a utility service.   We will present our plan to ensure all equipment, particularly servers, connected to the campus network satisfy a set of prescribed technical standards.

University-wide smart card systems upgrade

The University Smartcard System, initially deployed in 1998, was implemented using the 4-byte Mifare Classic standard.   Three types of smartcards are deployed; they are Student, Staff and Facility Access Cards.  The current system limitation and the latest technology development call for an upgrade of the University Smartcard systems.  There would be extensive impact to the University, as all access control and identification systems implemented in Central as well as Departmental facilities need to be upgraded/replaced before the issuance of the new HKU Smartcards.   

Learning environment surveys

ITS will be conducting two learning environment surveys in November.   The Learning Space Utilization survey will give the University data on how well the central classrooms are being utilized, which is essential for the planning of new classrooms and revamping of existing ones.  The Learning Environment Experience survey will study how students find the learning environment, particularly the Learning Commons.   In the briefing, we are going to outline the two surveys; and introduce the new learning spaces on the first and second floor of the KKL Building, which will be put into operation starting from the 2nd semester.

High Performance Computing facilities for cutting-edge scientific research

Advanced modeling and simulation by means of High Performance Computing (HPC) are essential tools in modern research. In the briefing session, our plan on (a) upgrading the central HPC facilities; and (b) introducing High Throughput Computing (HTC) services, to support cutting-edge scientific research projects will be discussed.

Strengthening Information Security protection

ITS has been trying extremely hard to provide a secure and healthy IT environment for the University through (a) guarding against intrusions at network borders; (b) responding quickly to isolate security breaches; (c) avoiding security vulnerabilities in servers; and (d) promoting information security (IS) awareness among users and facilitating their good IS practices.  This briefing session will give an overview on the projects being undertaken for each of these measures for IS protection.

Feasibility study on outsourcing of staff email services

The IT world is moving to cloud services. Many universities have successfully outsourced their staff and student email services to cloud service providers like Google Apps and Office 365. With the successful experience of outsourcing the University’s student email services to Google, we wish to gather initial views from staff for carrying out a feasibility study on outsourcing the staff email services as well.