Student Computer Ownership Committee


December 9, 1999


Members Present: Greg Abowd; Linda Cabot; Bryan Carr; Dan Morrison; Matthew J. Realff; Marc Miles; Kathy Tomajko


1. Library Mac Cluster

The committee received input from Jim Consuegra of OIT on the plans for the fourth campus cluster. The cluster is currently a Mac cluster and Jim presented data that showed it was under 50% utilized at peak, whereas the PC clusters were utilized closer to 80% at peak. The explanation for this was not known but the Macs are old and the cluster in need of rennovation. Maintaining a single Mac cluster is more expensive that switching the cluster to a PC platform and the committee was asked to consider the following questions:


a). Should the cluster be closed ? There is capacity for the cluster to be closed and still to stay under 100% utilization. This was strongly discouraged by the committee on the following grounds:

(1). The clusters are heavily utilized by classroom reservations. There has been pressure to make the student center cluster also capable of reservation. It was felt that the closure of the fourth cluster would put even greater pressure to allow classroom reservation of the student cluster. The committee stressed the need to keep the student center cluster unavailable for classroom reservation.

(2). We do not yet know the steady state usage of public seats since we have not completed a full cycle of student computer ownership, the system should be allowed more time to equilibrate.

b). Should the cluster be maintained as a Mac cluster ? This was not strongly recommended by the committee - which was divided on the issue of maintaining this type of diversity in the clusters. The committee did feel that economic concerns should be the primary driving force in the decision on switching the cluster machine type. It did recommend that in mailings to students that the distribution of cluster machines be made known.

c). Should we commit to being a single platform campus ? Despite strong incentives from particular hardware vendors for Georgia Tech to declare being only one platform, the committee was strongly against making a recommendation that we should become a single platform campus. The committee will continue to recommend minimum hardware requirements for both the PC and the Mac for the foreseeable future.

2. Information Items:

3. Agenda Items for Spring Semester: