Onboarding: IT information for those new to JHU / WSE


Welcome!

It can be frustrating coming to a new place, especially one as complex and decentralized as Johns Hopkins.  Whiting IT, who wrote this document, is separate from central IT support at Johns Hopkins (known as IT@JH).  We work out of the WSE dean’s office to expedite any IT-related problems you may have.  Whiting IT attempts to simplify things.  Please feel free to ask us any question, even when you’re fairly certain it’s outside our control.  We’ll help you get an answer.  To give the best service we take all requests via email to wsehelp@jhu.edu.  We will assign your request to the person with the best match of skills and availability to resolve your question most quickly.

For staff, the dean’s office has a general interest “New to Whiting” document available here, with information about things like parking and HR policies. It requires a JHED login for access.  A document focusing on new faculty is under development.

Here are some common IT onboarding questions, broken into sections of likely importance to you:

A Few Words about Security

The Most Important Things — Should be investigated before the first day

Things to Investigate Next

Other Topics

Department-specific Information

A Few Words about Security

IT security has to be a priority for everyone at Johns Hopkins.  First, we handle a variety of sensitive data about students, colleagues, alumni, donors, research, and finances.  Disclosure of this information harms the reputation of the University and can cause financial damage as well.  Use common sense and be responsible with the IT resources of the institution.  Hopkins has a website about IT security here.

If you will be handling sensitive information WSE IT can provide you with disk encryption tools.  These are non-invasive (they won’t affect your workflow) and will ensure if your machine is lost or stolen no useful data can be taken from it.  Please ask us about it.

The Most Important Things

How do I get help?

All IT related questions for WSE faculty and staff should be emailed to wsehelp@jhu.edu.  Even though many of the services you will use are provided by central IT (IT@JH) we can facilitate your communications with them.  They’re large and complex and it takes time to know who to talk to over there — let us help you get the fastest answer.

How do I get a computer?

The model computer you’ll need is something that should be worked through with your hiring department.  They’ll be most familiar with what your peers are using and any special requirements there might be for your position.  To try to make sure the right questions are asked, we have a list of things you might consider when discussing a new computer.

How do I get a Johns Hopkins Enterprise Directory (JHED) account?

JHED accounts are the key to all online services at Johns Hopkins. They are created as a part of the department adding you to the HR systems and can be set up before your start date.  A JHED is the username and password you use for services like email, WiFi, HR systems, departmental file servers, and Blackboard course management.  Most all websites that use the JHED have a common login page and single sign-on access.

People new to the University can configure their JHED for first use at https://my.jh.edu/portal/web/jhupub/login-firsttimejheduser.

The JHED web login page looks like this:

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What is MyJH?

MyJH (https://my.jhu.edu) is the web portal where many online campus services are found, and there are references to it throughout this document.  It is definitely worth spending a little time exploring the options it has.  These include:

  • Updating your profile information (preferred nicknames, phone numbers, personal URLs, etc.)
  • Searching for information about people at JHU.
  • Setting up your JHED for first-time use, and resetting your password when needed (a forced password rotation is made every 180 days).
  • Accessing web email (also can be accessed directly at https://mobile.johnshopkins.edu)
  • Setting email aliases and forwarding addresses (described below)
  • Accessing JHBox (Hopkins’ implementation of Box.com, described below)
  • Accessing Blackboard and Digital Measures
  • Completing HR documents like time sheets and W2 information
  • Completing travel forms
  • Accessing software downloads (described below)
  • Accessing the virtual private network (VPN) software (described below)

How do I get a JHU email account?

Once a JHED has been assigned an email account can be created.

Usually, though not always, a request will be made by the departmental administrator before you arrive to get the email mailbox created.  If there’s any question if you already have an email account you can ask us, or check for yourself. To check, go to the MyJH web portal, log in with your JHED, and see if you have a link to Outlook webmail under the Messaging menu. Faculty and staff who don’t yet have a JHU email account can one by writing to wsehelp@jhu.edu.

outlook_webmail_link

Things to Investigate Next

Setting an email alias

By default, your email address will be @jhu.edu.  Most people prefer to use something friendlier or more memorable for their address. You can set up an alias yourself.

To get started, go to my.jhu.edu. Once you are logged in, go to the JHED -> Email Alias link.

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In this example, the user’s JHED is esoffro1, so the default email address is esoffro1@jhu.edu.  He prefers the alias ernie.s@jhu.edu instead.  The pre-defined routing address would be the mailbox you got from campus (in step two above) or could be another system (for example, computer science runs their own email services, or this could even be a Gmail account).

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At the bottom of this page, just above the submit button, is where you can set which address people will see as your default in various campus directories.

Configuring Mail Clients

The Hopkins email servers are compatible with most any email client available.  Clients that use the Exchange protocol (even those that aren’t Microsoft Outlook, like Apple’s Mail.app for MacOS) are generally the most reliable, though IMAP and SMTP are available as well.  The details for configuring clients are on their own page on our site.  Please refer to it here.

Wireless network (WiFi) access, including Eduroam for other institutions

Johns Hopkins has WiFi coverage inside all buildings and in many outdoor areas as well.  (If you find an area not well covered please let us know!)  The primary wireless network used here is called hopkins.  Clients on Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android should all automatically configure themselves when connected to the network.  When prompted, use your JHED username and password to connect.  When connected to hopkins you should have full access to resources limited to the Hopkins network, like the software license servers and file servers.

NOTE: The first time you connect a device to the wired or wireless Hopkins networks you will have to register that device with the IT@JH networking team.  It’s easy to do — just open a web browser and you will be directed to an enrollment page where you can use your JHED credentials to register the device.  Until you register on the web page, though, other network tools like Email clients won’t be allowed to work, so don’t forget to open a web browser when using a device for the first time.

Also important is the eduroam network.  It allows you to use your home institution’s login to get network access at many higher education locations. Before you travel you should definitely configure this for your devices.  We have a page with more information here.

You will also see the JHGuestNet network, which can be used by visitors.  Speed is throttled down on that network, however, and access to protected Hopkins resources is not allowed, so all Hopkins faculty and staff should stick to the hopkins network.

Getting started with Multi-Factor Authentication

By now many people have encountered multi-factor authentication (MFA) somewhere on the internet.  MFA addresses some problems inherent in using passwords on the internet by adding a second non-password identifier for use to authenticate you are not an imposter.  Sometimes these will be questions about things only you should know (for example, the street you grew up on), and sometimes they’ll be a specially generated time-sensitive numerical token.  MFA is used increasingly in the Hopkins infrastructure, particularly in areas where data is most sensitive (for example, payroll information and the VPN tool) or when behavior for an account is unusual (for example, when accessing webmail from a foreign country).

The Hopkins documentation about MFA can be hard to find or confusing.  We created our own page to try to make it easier on you.  You can find it here.

Using the JHU Virtual Private Network (VPN) tool

Johns Hopkins offers a Virtual Private Networking (VPN) tool to provide secure access to systems normally only accessible when directly connected to the Hopkins network.  The VPN is required (for example) when connecting to file servers on campus and to connect to the software license servers that let you run applications like Creo or COMSOL.  Some notes about the VPN:

  • As of Fall 2016, the VPN client has been overhauled.  There are now two options:
    • For people who just need to access web content, perform remote desktop sessions to Windows machines, grab a file from a file server share, or make SSH sessions to remote servers you can use a web version of the VPN that does not need an installed client — it runs entirely in HTML on the browser on Mac, Windows, and Linux.  This type of VPN is enabled by default.  It’s called the Web VPN and is in https://my.jhu.edu.
    • For those who need to connect to software license servers, to map network drives, use SAP, or other services not specified above you’ll need the full VPN client.  Access to the full client needs to be enabled for new users and is done so by request in https://my.jhu.edu.  Clients are available for Mac, Windows, Linux (tested on CentOS and Ubuntu), iOS, and Android.

vpn1

After hitting the Request VPN link you’ll need to fill out a form as seen below.  Good justification language would be things like “Need to contact license servers when off-campus” or “Need to access SAP when off campus.”

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After submitting the form you’ll get an email (usually within 5-20 minutes) that says that VPN access is ready for you.  You’ll need to close your browser and re-open it to see the new VPN links.

Where to get licensed software

There are two main repositories of software for WSE faculty and staff (students have a third).

The first is the primary JHU software library.  It’s found in MyJH under Technology -> MySoftware.

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There you will find links to free licenses for Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, Windows, Matlab, Mathematica, and many other software packages.  In some cases, you’ll be given instructions on how to download the software from the vendor (Matlab, for example); in others (primarily Microsoft software, and Acrobat) you’ll have to “buy” a copy of the software for $0.00 and a download link will be put in your MyJH page in about a half an hour.

The second site is the WSE software library.  It tends to have packages that are licensed by WSE, like Solidworks and Creo.  It can be accessed when on campus or via VPN at https://software.wse.jhu.edu.

The third site, used primarily for distribution of Microsoft software to students, is OnTheHub.  It can be accessed here.

Network file storage – Traditional fileservers and JHBox

As with most things at Hopkins, there are multiple options available for file storage.

  • Most departments and research centers use traditional mapped drives to maintain their administrative (non-research) files.  In most areas, this means one network share for files shared among the department and a separate share for private files, though all departments tend to use this space a little differently.  If you hear you hear people talking about files on the “P” or “S” drives this is probably what they are talking about.  If your department didn’t already ask for you to have access to these files, you can send an email to wsehelp@jhu.edu and we will help you get connected.  NOTE: access to these file shares requires a connection to the private Hopkins network, so to connect you will need to be on campus (wired or wireless networks) or be connected via the VPN.
  • A newer option is to have space on JHBox.  JHBox is a private version of the Box.net service, and has the features it provides (like allowing files to be synced from the server to your local drive, and allowing web links to be set for files so they can be accessed by collaborators — it does many of the same things as Dropbox, but has better security).  JHBox can be used for administrative and research data.  Individual users get private space, and shared space can be created for departments, research labs, or other teams that need shared file storage.  Information on JHBox can be found here.  If you need help getting it configured for your own needs, please let us know and we can work with you and the JHBox team to get it configured and sized correctly.

Other Topics

Remote access to a desktop or file server

How you will need to be configured for remote access depends largely on what you will be connecting to.  For many web-based tools, you will just need your JHED account and a browser.  For more sensitive systems (HR system, financial systems, software license servers) you will need to have the VPN software configured on your remote machine to get inside the Hopkins network.  If you will be connecting to a shared directory, you might need the address and path for the remote file server.  Finally, if you are connecting to an office desktop, it will need a static network address and to have the power settings configured so the machine won’t be “asleep” when you try to connect.

We encourage you to contact us about your remote access needs well in advance of when you might need to connect so we can help you get configured.  We have support tools that can do remote sessions to your machine at a remote location, but it’s less stressful if we can do it before you are up against a deadline.

Connecting a wired device to the campus network

To get a wired device (computer, science instrument, printer, robot, etc.) connected to the Hopkins network requires a few steps.  We will be happy to do this for you, but if you want to give it a try yourself:

  • Make sure the jack is activated.  Most jacks that aren’t already in use are not connected.  If you need one connected please contact us, giving us the building, room number, and jack number that needs to be turned on.  We’ll get the IT@JH network team to connect the port.
  • The device needs to be registered on the network.  This is the same process as for wireless devices — when connected, start a web browser and you will be taken to the registration page.  You can then log in and register the device with the network.  if you have a special need, like for a static IP address, it can be done on that page.
  • Devices that don’t have web browsers (printers, instruments, etc.) can be registered from another computer.  Go to the registration website at https://jhars.nts.jhu.edu, log in, and register for a reserved address.  You will need to know the hardware network address of the device being configured (a number formatted something like d6:e1:e7:4c:5a:84).

SIS and Blackboard

These are systems that WSE IT doesn’t support, but we want you to be aware of them.

  • SIS (formerly ISIS) is the student information system.  Faculty can use this system to see class rosters, email their classes, and enter grades online.  Advisors can review students’ records and release registration holds.  The SIS login is here, and SIS help is available here.
  • Blackboard is Hopkins’ course management system, where instructors can post course documents and other course communication tasks.  The Blackboard login is here, and the Center for Educational Resources (CER) has documentation and tips available here.  CER is a great resource — you should check them out.

Classroom and Lab A/V technology – what to know

Homewood classroom A/V is supported by a group called KIT-CATS that is run out of Krieger IT.  It’s not a WSE IT group, but we have a good relationship with them and can help you interface with them if you have some sort of special need.  Here’s what you should know:

  • Regular support hours are 8-8 M-F and 8-noon Saturday. To get help ASAP call 410-516-6699 — if you get voicemail you should still leave a message for the quickest response because it will be turned into an email; you don’t need to wait for someone to check a voicemail box to get a notification that you need help.  Email for questions is kitcatshelp@jhu.edu.
  • It is MOST STRONGLY recommended that you check in advance what equipment is in the room you will be using.  If at all possible, it is suggested you try out the in-room setup to ensure you will have a good experience when presenting. To see what A/V is available in a room check http://classrooms.johnshopkins.edu/technologyclassrooms/, and check the Supported Classrooms list for details about your particular room of interest.
  • Generally, if you’re bringing your own equipment you will need to have the appropriate adapter to make it output VGA.  If your computer doesn’t have a VGA port (which is increasingly common on newer laptops) you will be responsible for bringing the appropriate converter cable.  The JHU Tech Store in the basement of Garland usually has these in stock for quick purchase, or your department’s admin might have a cache of them.
  • KIT-CATS’ how-to page is at http://classrooms.johnshopkins.edu/technologyclassrooms/howto.html.
  • If you need to have some software installed on instructor PCs and/or in a computer lab it is important to make that request well in advance of the start of the semester.  Once classes have started it’s very difficult to schedule maintenance time on the instructional PCs, so please review the lead time requirements.  To request that software be installed in the computer labs please use this form: http://classrooms.johnshopkins.edu/softwarerequest.html.

Forwarding Mail to/from a JHU Mailbox

The campus email system is very good — it has large quotas (25GB), integrated calendaring and instant messaging, a nice webmail interface, and can interoperate with any client you may prefer to use (via the IMAP / SMTP protocols, Exchange protocols, etc.).  The campus email servers work very well with Mac Mail / Calendar, iOS email and calendars, Android email and calendars, and Mozilla Thunderbird, in addition to the Microsoft Exchange clients.  The campus email system is extensively protected by multiple tools that allow us to secure sensitive information and prevent outbreaks of malware/ransomware.  We strongly encourage you to use the campus email servers.  Not doing so puts you at risk of leaking the University’s sensitive data.

Despite this warning, people often ask is how to configure forwarding from their mailboxes to another email system.  Though discouraged, this is possible for users who will never handle any sensitive student or healthcare information. The easiest way to configure this is through the webmail client, setting up a mail redirect rule.  Go to myJH -> Messaging -> Outlook.  Click on the gear icon in the upper right corner of the webmail page and pick Options.  In options, click Organize Mail and hit the Plus to create a new rule for arriving messages.

Inbox_Rule_and_inbox_rules_-_Outlook_Web_App_and_untitled_text

In the rule, you want to make it redirect messages rather than forward them.  Redirecting messages will leave the original sender intact when it arrives at the other mailbox, while forwarding would make all the messages from your JHU account.

Department-specific Information

Center for Educational Outreach (CEO)

CEO uses WSE IT’s WordPress site for its online content.  If you need access to edit the CEO sites contact us.

Engineering Innovation uses a custom version of Apply Yourself which is integrated loosely with SIS.

CEO also has some data stored on a Filemaker server.

Computer Science

Computer Science has their own IT staff outside of WSE IT and offers many services unique to that department.  Steve Rifkin is the IT director for CS.  Contact the IT people for Computer Science at support@cs.jhu.edu.  Their support documentation is at https://support.cs.jhu.edu.

Development and Alumni Relations (DAR)

DAR is one of the departments that both often handles particularly sensitive data and frequently takes that data on the road.  If you will be traveling with donor information it is important we configure your machine with our encryption software.  If you fall into this sensitive data category and your machine isn’t encrypted (or if you don’t know if it is encrypted) please let WSE IT know so we can get you protected.

DAR uses software called Aladin.  WSE IT doesn’t know much about how the software operates, but we can help you if the software is crashing or isn’t operating like it should.  Here is some documentation on how Aladin is used:

New User Guide – Aladin – Java 7-55 Galaxy 9.2.2015

New User Guide – Aladin – Java 8-25 Galaxy 9.2.2015

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering makes a large number of software packages available.  Check https://software.wse.jhu.edu for downloads and licensing information.