From Chief Information Officer Liz Sexton-Kennedy: OCIO’s top five

Liz Sexton-Kennedy

The joint CIO/CRO all-hands meeting took place on Apr. 30. Jon Bakken, Jim Amundson and I presented on behalf of Computing. Here are our top five takeaways:

  1. Staff are either directly working on or providing support for our colleagues in each of the lab director’s top five including networking, web hosting, database hosting, project management, business systems, data storage, HEPCloud job submission, data analysis and debugging, DAQ support and many more. Furthermore, we are committed to doing our work safely.
  2. A joint task force comprised of computing leaders at Fermilab, Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago has been established and has determined several priorities. From a business perspective, these include developing a cybersecurity threat sharing model to identify and respond to threats and to identify areas of purchasing opportunities and explore volume purchasing, cost savings and improved terms. On the scientific side, the task force recommended creating a rotating joint seminar series to highlight research opportunities and increase collaboration.
  3. The International Computing Advisory Committee (ICAC) has been formed. Its purpose is to review and advise the laboratory on computing operations, cybersecurity, R&D and other matters and to monitor progress on laboratory objectives such as Fermilab involvement in software and computing for experiments, pursuit of common software solutions and collaboration with our national and international partners. Initial recommendations include facilitating the adoption of federated identity, preparing Fermilab for the needs of DUNE as an international host laboratory and continuing to explore common software solutions across experiments.
  4. In an era in which funding is diminishing while needs are growing, we use our Scientific Computing Portfolio Management Team (SCPMT) to help guide us on how best to align scientific computing support for the current and future experimental program with the lab and P5 priorities. The team has recently made several recommendations for the coming year.
  5. New cybersecurity threats require us to expand our use of multifactor authentication at the lab. To this end, by July 30, all VPN users will be required to use a Yubikey or RSA token (hard or soft) to access the VPN system. VPN users should watch for email regarding obtaining tokens.