Network Facility

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Dr. Lloyd Williams, Director
Office: 826B HN
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Phone: (212) 650-3872
Fax: (212) 650-3565

Faculty Oversight
Prof. Robert Dottin
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Prof. Thomas Schmidt Glenewinkle
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The Network Facility was established in 1990 to provide an enhanced electronic infrastructure, and trained staff, to the researchers of the Gene Center. The facility is spread over 4 floors of the north building of Hunter College. Essentially each floor is a subnet of the network with an additional subnet to host wireless clients. Data centers equipped with rack-mounted servers are located on the 9th and 3rd floors. Additional servers are located in the Bio-Imaging Facility on the 8th floor to provide domain services and data storage to that subnet.


On the 1st floor the Network Facility has an additional network device (Aruba Box) to host wireless clients and to provide authenticate network access, and VPN services. From its beginning of a single NovellTM mail/file server and, then state of the art, coaxial cabling, the network has grown to a complex facility with approximately 15 servers. This runs over a vastly expanded fiber optic/copper/wireless network that can host at any one time upwards of 500 connections.


Facility Instruments and Equipment


The Gene Center’s network is a structure of more than 14 servers in an MS Windows 2003 Active Directory forest.


Some of our servers include:

  • Email Servers: email systems and accounts; user authentication is required to access this site.
  • Biology Web-Server: Biology Departmental website host.
  • Project/SharePoint Server: data collaboration platform that provides submission and record-keeping of tasks, meeting, and announcements for Network Facility staff and the Gene Center; user authentication is required to access this site.
  • Storage Server: a server with over 4Terra Bytes of drive space available to researchers for data storage and for backing the most important server in the Center, e.g. email server, Footprints server.
  • Web-Server: a virtual site for minority researchers.  


Rules of Operation

All systems within the network should be up to date with patches and anti-virus protection.


All faculty, staff, and students are permitted to use any available equipment and to download work-related information and files while using the equipment.


Request for Technical Services
All requests for technical services should be submitted through Footprints, the online help-desk. Footprints can be accessed by visiting the following URL:


Activities Not Allowed

  • Downloading and/or using illegal software
  • Downloading and/or playing games
  • Downloading of music (Vuze, Bit Torrent, etc.)
  • Accessing inappropriate material over the Internet
  • Inappropriate Web-Hosting


Facility Service Policy

The Gene Center Local Area Network (LAN) provides access to the vast store of information on the Internet and wide-area connection. Furthermore, it provides easy access to databases of literature citations, bioinformatics, nucleotide sequences, protein sequences, protein structures, and electronic journals.


On the local level, the LAN provides easy access to the email system, which enables timely announcements of scheduled meetings, reminders, and tasks. The LAN facilitates collaborative writing of grant proposals, papers and books and it is increasingly used for instructional technology and bioinformatics. It also facilitates frequent communication among mentors and mentees through our Internet2 Videoconferencing Facility when personal meetings are not practical. We keep users up-to-date with the latest operating systems and technology.


Core Facilities’ Websites
The Network Facility maintains the core facilities’ websites:


Data Storage
The Network Facility uses a Windows Server 2003 to provide data transfer and storage for faculty and staff. The facility also uses Ghost/Acronis software to take back up data images. Data transfer is generally done through mapped network drives. Although the server infrastructure is PC-based, all servers are accessible by Apple-based computers.


Hunter College Registration
Terminal software allows faculty and staff direct access to the Hunter College registration and student records when advising.


The Department of Biological Sciences also creates MS Excel registration files every semester for its own record. These files are located on a shared folder on the biology web-server accessible only by biology faculty and staff.


Safety Precautions
The facility installs anti-virus and anti-spam software as well as Windows updates in all facility computers. The facility uses CA integrated threat management software for its anti-malware application. This system is centrally monitored through a web-based application stored on the Footprints server. This software is setup to automatically update the virus signature every hour; in this way the anti-virus status of the LAN is current. Computers, specifically laptops, brought into the facility by staff or students are first inspected to ensure they have anti-virus software and all Windows updates are installed. The use of peer-to-peer download software like LimeWire and Bit Torrent is totally prohibited.


Internet Access
Faculty, staff, and students access the Internet primarily through Internet Explorer (IE), Mozilla, and Safari.


Wide Area Access
VPN (Virtual Private Network) provides external connection to access the network. This connection allows users of the facility to access their email through Outlook, map network drives on their computers, and access to Hunter College Electronic Journals.


Wireless Access
Wireless access is facilitated through the Gene Center wireless network bio-wlan.


Services Not Available

  • The staff will not maintain your PC file system, i.e. delete your old files and/or move your files around to organize your hard drive.
  • The staff will not install personal programs, i.e.Games, Quicken, etc.
  • The staff does not provide training for basic business applications, i.e. Word Perfect, MS Excel, MS Word, etc.
  • The staff will not place orders for computer equipment for network users.
  • The staff will not lend out software for home or private use.





Last Updated ( Wednesday, 18 September 2019 12:06 )