Friday, October 2, 2009

More lab improvements!

We have recently made a number of improvements to our subnet. After getting single-sign-on to work for our Linux machines, Macs, and servers, we have started to work on improving off-campus access for our students. With that in mind, we have installed OpenVPN to give our student virtual private network access to our machines. This means that, even when they are at home, it can feel like they are on our floor (behind the campus firewall). We've even made that work with our single-sign-on configuration so that credentials are automatically retrieved.

Even on our floor, VPN access can be beneficial. The wireless points on our floor are connected to the campus network - not our subnet. This means that access to our servers isn't direct and you run into firewall issues. Using the VPN access bypasses those problems. Therefore, my Mac laptop always has TunnelBlk (the mac Open VPN client) on. And, as a great side benefit, that makes my wireless connection a secure connection even though we don't have secure wireless access points.

Students can read more about how to take advantage of these features by reading about them on the "Equipment Support" website on the accounts.

We are working hard to continue to improve our infrastructure. If you have ideas for other changes we should make, please let us know!

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