Today, computers are integral to the work of most faculty, staff and students. While personal computers are located in individual offices and department servers are distributed around campus, they all are connected to the campus network, and use standard software to access local and remote computing resources. All university approved and owned computers are supported by UNIT and users can obtain support from UNIT staff when needed. In collaboration with the colleges and departments, UNIT has developed several PC software images that were tested for optimal performance and reliability. When a new PC is deployed, it will come with one of the standard software images installed.
In a distributed computing environment, central support is difficult at best. Where UNIT staff has incorrect information regarding personal computer hardware and software configurations, time and effort is wasted both by the person looking for help and by the one trying to solve a problem.
Maintaining Consistent Computer Configurations
To provide effective and efficient support, UNIT maintains a PC inventory that includes the hardware configuration, attached peripherals and installed software. When a user calls for assistance, this configuration can be reviewed online by help desk staff to ensure the most expedient and correct resolution to a problem. Where users upgrade computers on their own or change the software setup, it will not only take longer to diagnose a problem but the resolution provided by the help desk may not be the right one. In addition, since all computers are installed with a common interface for network access, some seemingly trivial changes to one application or file may cause unexpected results or errors in other programs.
To provide the best support possible, changes planned to a PC configurations, computer moves, installation of new software, or modification of existing applications should be coordinated with the local IT support staff or UNIT. Independently upgraded or modified PCs that require more than a reasonable time to troubleshoot, may be subject to a complete reinstall with one of the University's standard PC software images.