Over the next several months OIT will be working to update how computers authenticate when connecting to the campus wireless network and the wired networks in the residence halls. The existing network registration system, which ties a computer’s MAC address to an Identikey, has been in place for many years. Due to performance and security concerns the system needs to be replaced. To minimize the impact to the campus community the new registration process will closely resemble the existing network registration process, and this change, once in place, will be largely transparent. One advantage to the new system is that customers will no longer need to reboot their computer after registration.
To minimize the impact to the campus and avoid the peak period of the start of the semester, OIT will start deploying the system at the beginning of October. Additionally, the new network authentication system will be deployed in phases rather than attempting to enable the solution for the whole campus. Exact schedules will passed along to the campus as soon as they are available, although again this change should be transparent to end-users.
OIT is also taking additional steps to address stability concerns due to increased load at the start of the semester. During the fall 2011 and spring 2012 semesters the older DHCP servers (these are the servers that process network registrations) were at times overwhelmed. So the DHCP servers are being upgraded to new hardware and will be deployed Monday, July 30. To avoid another period this fall of unstable network authentication, we will not require wireless network registration from July 30 thru October, when the new network authentication system is deployed. The IT Security Office will however still be able to place systems into quarantine due to security incidents or policy violations. If a computer is quarantined during this period, the person using the computer will see a web page indicating steps to take from the quarantine screen; that is, they will be asked to contact the OIT Service Center.
If you have questions about this change to network registration, please contact the IT Service Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303-735-4357 (5-HELP from a campus phone).