Our Last Blog Post

This post will be our last blog post.  Since starting this blog in 2015, we've published each week of the school year on various IT topics.  We'd like to thank the readers, as well as those who helped to create the blog content, for sticking with the blog these last 3 years.  It has been a pleasure serving you with this blog over the years, and we hope you have enjoyed reading it.

Instead of this blog, we will be shifting our attention to our public wiki pages at

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Cloud Computing Options

Cloud computing services are a hot topic right now.  While there are many options available to the UT-Austin community, in this blog I want to highlight three services offered by the University.

First, UT offers a virtual machine infrastructure housed in UDC called UT-VMG (UT Virtual Machine Gateway).  This service is based on the VMware vSphere Virtual Infrastructure suite and vRealize Automation. You can quickly provision your own virtual machines, even modify them on the fly1.  The cost is fairly modest for virtual machines.

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Microsoft Teams

One of the most highly anticipated parts of the Microsoft Office 365 suite has been the new Microsoft Teams application, a chat and collaboration platform designed to simplify group work.  UT is now rolling it out to early adopters on campus, and so far it is getting great reviews.

Microsoft Teams' core feature is a persistent and searchable voice, video and text chat app ideally suited for teams or projects. The strength of the service comes from its ability to connect and interact with other Office 365 applications, as well as third-party applications like Box

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Microsoft To-Do

If you are at all like me, you need a to-do list to track everything you need to do.  Enter the newest piece of the Office 365 suite, Microsoft To-Do.  Currently available in Preview, Microsoft To-Do is a simple cross-platform to-do list tool that lets you manage all your to-dos in one place.  Microsoft To-Do is available for free, and syncs across iPhone, Android, Windows 10, and web browsers.  It will even automatically sync your to-do lists into Outlook tasks.

To-Do helps you manage, prioritize, and complete the things you do each day, aided by

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Skype for Business

Skype for Business (sometimes known as Microsoft Lync, and not to be confused with the commercial version of Skype) is a feature-rich instant messaging and video chat client that is available to faculty and staff at no extra cost as part of our Office 365 service.  Skype for Business features instant messaging, voice or video calling, online meetings with video conferencing for up to six concurrent users1, screen sharing, whiteboard, and more.

Skype for Business is available for Windows, Mac, and most mobile devices.  If you

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Spring Break

Spring Break is almost upon us! While many of you will be on vacation for Spring Break, others of us will be busy working to further improve your Information Technology resources here on campus.  CNS planned work can always be found at  (you can subscribe to alerts here to make sure you are always informed about both schedule maintenance and unscheduled incidents).

If you will be on vacation for Spring Break, and haven't been told otherwise,  please consider turning off

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OneDrive for Business

Microsoft’s OneDrive for Business is now available for faculty and staff, providing the UT community yet another cloud-based storage service option that allows easy access to files from anywhere on any device. OneDrive users get 1TB of available storage space.

With OneDrive for Business, you can select which files you wish to sync. You can then access synced files on your device from anywhere, and unsynced files from anywhere with an Internet connection. (Synced files will automatically reconcile your changes with copies in cloud storage once your device has an

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UT Box on Mobile Devices

Box has support for Apple iOS, Android, and Windows mobile devices1.  While you could just open Box in a web browser on your mobile device, using the mobile app gives you easy access to the power and simplicity of Box, laid out in a format conducive to the small touch screens of today's mobile devices. Using these apps, you can create, view, edit, and share content using your mobile device.

You can install the mobile apps from your device's app store, just like any other app.  Information on using them is available at: 

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UT Box Edit

Previously we've discussed using Box Sync and Box Drive, both of which help remove or reduce one's dependency on browsers when using UT Box.  But if you are happy using the web interface to UT Box, there is another tool that can help make editing documents easier for Windows and Mac OS X users.

Box Edit is a web browser add-on feature (or plugin) that allows you to directly edit files stored in

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UT Box Drive

Last week we talked about using Box Sync1 with UT Box.  This week we will look at Box Drive. While Box Drive is still in Public Beta, we have seen good results with it.

Box Drive lets you access (stream) all of your UT Box content on your laptop or desktop computer without having to “sync” all of the data down to your computer. Box Drive delivers an experience similar to a traditional network file share, but with quick access to Box’s advanced search, sharing, and collaboration

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