In January 2011, Texas A&M AgriLife initiated the deployment of centralized Enterprise Class IT services. Provided and managed by a central AgriLife IT group, the enterprise services provided are designed for state-wide use throughout all AgriLife locations.
Following is a listing of the service currently provided:
- Centralized Service Desk
- MicroSoft Exchange Email & Calendaring
- Microsoft Lync (Skype for Business)
- Directory Services and Identity Management
- Enterprise File Services (Backup, Archiving)
- Virtual Machine Services
- WordPress Web Hosting
- WebEx Web Conferencing Services
- Cloud Data Storage (AgDrive & Syncplicity)
- Network Infrastructure (Regional Centers)
- Data Protection – Sophos (Anti‐virus, Encryption)
- IT Compliance Oversight
Centralized Service Desk
Established in 2009, AgriLIfe deployed one of the first fully ITIL compliant service desk environments within the TAMU system. This environment is based on the AgiLoft service desk solution.
A centralized service desk, FirstCall, provides all enterprise IT services support for the state-wide operations within AgriLife. For more information please click here.
Unit IT resources are also recommended to utilize the centralized Service Desk solution provided by AgriLife IT.
MicroSoft Exchange Email & Calendaring
Deployed in a highly redundant, Tier IV Certified Data Center Location, Microsft Exchange Email, Calendaring and Contact management are provide to all state-wide and internationally based AgriLife employees.
Texas A&M AgriLife currently operates the largest TAMU system enterprise Exchange service with over 5000 active user accounts used state-wide and by internationally based AgriLife employees around the globe.
Offering 100% uptime sice October 2010, this services provides vital communications and directory services to all AgriLife employees.
Microsoft Lync (Skype for Business)
AgriLife is the first state agency in the state of Texas to deploy Microsoft Lync. Lync provides for HD quality point to point video conference and meetings between other AgriLife Lync users. Additionally chat, voice calling and desktop sharing are also features of Lync.
In 2012, AgriLife was the first state agency to federate with Microsoft allowing for 3rd party Skype users to contact AgriLife employees and join in conference meetings.
Lync is supported on both desktop and mobile phone devices.
Directory Services and Identity Management
Directory services will be provided by Microsoft Active Directory. A statewide deployment of redundant Active Directory servers will provide a single sign‐on environment, in which employees use one password and username for access to email and file services from your workstation.
Identity management for IT service on and off boarding is provided through Unit Account based managers (UAMs) via the AgriLife People Identity Management and web directory application.
Enterprise File Services (Backup, Archiving)
File services will be provided through the deployment of enterprise‐class storage servers in regional centers and locations on the Texas A&M University campus in College Station. Data from these storage servers will be securely replicated to certified tier IV data center where core storage servers provide offsite redundancy and disaster recovery capabilities. In addition, tape archiving will be provided for data requiring long‐term backup and storage.
Virtual Machine Services
AgriLife IT offers a virtual machine service to provide for hosting of general purpose web and application servers. To request a virtual machine or obtain a pricing assessment please fill out the following form: AgriLife Virtual Machine Request Form
WordPress Web Hosting
AgriLife currently hosts over 1000 web sites utilizing the WP Engine WordPress service provider. WP Engine provides for a global replicated content distribution network providing high accessibility and redundancy to all AgriLife web sites.
To migrate or create a new web site through this service please contact the AgriLife Communications department via the following request form link: Web Site Request Form
WebEx Web Conferencing Services
AgriLife provides a fully enterprise experience for conducting web conferencing through Cisco’s WebEx Conferencing solution. To get your account contact your Unit Account Manager and request yours today.
Cloud Data Storage
AgriLife offers two solutions for cloud storage and file sharing.
AgDrive: AgDrive allows you to access your Enterprise Storage P,S and W Network drives from any web browser or the AgDrive Mobile Application. In order to use the AgDrive service simply go to the AgDrive Information Page to get started.
SyncPlicity: Syncplicity provides for a separate cloud storage and file sharing service with unlimited data and versioning capabilities. This service is provided as a self-serve option and is connected with your AgNet ID for login purposes. Click on the Syncplicity Information Page to activate your account.
Network Infrastructure (Regional Centers)
Network infrastructure upgrades will consist of the application of firewalls, managed network switches, up‐to‐date secure wireless access points, and wide area network (Internet) bandwidth upgrades, where required. This effort will provide for more secure and robust networking environments in addition to more efficient and stable networking environments within the regional centers.
Data Protection (Anti‐virus, Encryption)
Sophos was selected as the AgriLife enterprise anti‐virus solution in 2009. Sophos anti‐virus software protects against computer viruses, malware, and spyware as well as accidental disclosure of confidential information, such as Social Security numbers.
Sophos is also used to protect all in and outbound email messages assuring the protection of confidential information.
IT Compliance Oversight
AgriLife IT is tasked with the management and oversight of all required IT rules, procedures and policies as they apply to AgriLife agency and College of Agriculture and Life Science operations.
Through a formalized Security Management Program AgriLife IT works jointly with unit based IT resources to assure that all rules, procedures and policies are maintained.