The School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences had a choice to make: keep up with the latest technology, or fall behind fast. They had a growing demand for cloud-based file sharing and storage options, without hassles or security risks.
“Our students, faculty, and staff wanted file access that
was easy to use from their Web browser,” said Ray
Dannenhoffer, Associate Dean for Support Services, Pathology and
Anatomical Sciences, “They didn’t want to have to
install anything or deal with overhead, like Citrix.”
Another challenge emerged as more students started using iPads and tablets for their course materials. “iPads are typically great for retrieving files, not for editing them,” Ray continued. “We needed more robust access.” Students needed the ability to download, edit, and re-upload their files easily.
EMC IOMEGA provided one solution, which was implemented for UB School of Medicine use by Eric Warner, Assistant Director of Medical Computing. In the summer of 2011, CloudDoc.Med.Buffalo.edu was launched, allowing students easy online access to editable files. The best part…no user ID or password is required, but files aren’t accessible by just anyone.
“If a professor makes an annotation to their class notes, they can send their students an email notification with a direct link for access,” Ray added. “Files can be edited and saved right from the link, based on permissions.”
Another tool launched by the school during Summer 2011 is CloudMed.Med.Buffalo.edu, which was provided by Element IT. While User ID and password protected, CloudMed offers a secure space to share and save files. “It’s very similar to Google Drive,” Ray stated, “But it’s hosted on the university’s secure servers, and has some additional features.”
One feature is the ability to email files directly from CloudMed. Each person can set up their individual viewing/editing permissions and generate encrypted links for file sharing. File access can even be given to those outside of UB, even the country, which is particularly helpful for faculty and researchers. Medical students, faculty, and staff can set expiration dates on each file’s access to another person, as well as determine the number of times someone else can download their file.
CloudMed is comprised of three main drives- a P drive, which is private to each individual, an S drive, comprised of shared network folders by class and department, and an all-person, “world” accessible W drive.
“I like to think of the W drive as the Wild Wild West,” Ray added, “Everyone in the school of medicine has read and write access to the W drive, and it’s unlimited in size. We use it only for temporary space, though. Everyone can upload or delete files and it’s completely wiped once a month. It’s good when you need to share a file quickly, but don’t need it long-term.”
CloudMed has been very helpful to researchers working on grants
and is also widely used for reviewing resumes during job searches.
Both CloudMed and CloudDoc are mobile accessible. For more
information, email Ray
VITEC Solutions services both personal and department-owned computers and iProduct devices; visit their drop-off depot in the Lockwood 2nd Floor Cybrary or call 800-333-1075. You can also request office pick-up for UB-owned equipment. Track your repair status.
UB’s top-level website, Buffalo.edu, was recently given the gold award in the 2012 Circle of Excellence competition sponsored by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. CIT was a key partner in the development of the underlying CMS system.
Computing and Information Technology at UB is more than 40 years
old. Here’s a look back at the Interface
newsletter from June 1970. (Please note: this PDF file includes
perturbations natural to the duplication process at the