General Research Information Technology policies.


A well-functioning network is the result of cooperation among all participants to meet security baselines, to use the network responsibly, and to prepare for disruption and provide appropriate responses to incidents as they arise. Summaries of our policies are outlined below. See the links in the sidebar for the official UCOP and UCSB Electronic Communications Policies.

 Help Request

Technical support and general inquiries.

See your current or past tickets.

 Related  Policy Links

Emergencies & Urgent Requests


Normally all help requests are handled in first-in, first-out order among requests with similar impact and priority as determined by our staff. Emergency issues take priority over other requests, and are generally those that affect multiple users or that will impact an imminent event or deadline. The following is a rough, non-exhaustive list of Emergencies:

  1. Outage or degradation of GRIT-provided service impacting multiple disparate users.
  2. Outage or degradation of GRIT-provided service impacting users with imminent externally-imposed deadlines or imminent events relying on said service.
  3. Problems with personal or group systems for users with imminent externally-imposed deadlines or imminent events relying on said systems for which no work around is readily available.
  4. Physical emergencies such as Fire, Flood, Earthquake, Power Interruption, etc.

Urgent Requests

Some requests do not rise to the level of emergencies, but will result in an emergency if left unattended. Due to the time-sensitive nature of these requests, they may be given elevated priority and addressed outside the normal first-in, first-out process.

Data Backups & Retention

In order to protect mission critical information, the technical support group maintains a system of data backups. The data stored on various servers within GRIT is copied to various backup servers on a routine basis. Additionally there are centralized backup options for desktop systems. Retrieval and restoration of data from backup due to user request, user error or negligence is done on a recharge basis.

Data Retention

In general, overall data retention is about a year.  Snapshots are done at routine intervals that vary by storage classification.  There is more detail on that at (NEED TO PROVIDE A LINK TO STORAGE INFORMATION).

Data Restoration

Data recovery from centrally managed storage is performed by GRIT staff. Desktop backups and restorations can be performed by end users using either BackupPC or Duplicati.

Disaster Recovery (DR)

GRIT tries to keep copies of critical data on servers in disparate locations to minimize the chance of losing data due to both the source and backup copies being lost to a single event (fire, earthquake, flood, etc...).

Network Acceptable Use Policy

Primary Electronic Community Policies

Observe UCOP and UCSB policies

Desktop Operating System Support Guidelines

Ongoing Vendor Support

One of the requirements for a device to have an unrestricted access to the department network is that someone be responsible for installing security software patches as needed. Modern desktop and laptop computers typically run operating systems that can be configured to download and install these patches automatically. The table below lists the desktop operating systems allowed full access to the GRIT network and the date at which they can no longer be connected to said network. In general, operating systems are considered supported if security updates are available from the original vendor to all users. When a vendor stops supplying updates, we allow for a transition period of a few months to allow our users time to migrate to a new operating system. Instrument control computers and other systems that cannot be upgraded can remain on the GRIT network behind a firewall that prevents outside access.

 Apple Mac

 Microsoft Windows

 Linux Distributions

When considering installing Linux on a desktop computer, the first question to arise is what distribution to choose. Complicating the decision is the fact that there are at least a couple hundred distributions from which to choose. Of these, there are only a few that have corporate backing or a large enough following to provide timely patches for all distributed components: Debian, Red Hat (both “Red Hat Enterprise Linux” and “Fedora”), and Ubuntu. While any of these will provide a reasonable working environment, the GRIT support unit has standardized on Ubuntu Desktop as our primary recommended distribution, with Debian, CentOS, Scientific Linux, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux as our secondary recommended distributions. We strongly advise that Linux systems run one of these recommended distributions.

Support Levels & Guidelines

The GRIT support provides a wide range of Information Technology Services. These services are provided under the following general guidelines:

  • GRIT serves the ERI, Geography, ISBER and MSI communities. Network and Server support is provided to staff and users with a current affiliation with the one of the above departments or groups are eligible to receive support for systems they primarily use. GRIT does not provide support for family, commercial or other systems.
  • Full service is provided from 8am-5pm on normal University Business days.
  • Limited services (Emergency and Scheduled Outages) are available between the hours of 7am-8am & 5pm-11pm Weekdays and 7am-11pm Weekends and Holidays.
  • Between 11pm-7am services are monitored and repairs completed on a Best-Effort basis.
  • When outages or other problems occur during Limited and Best Effort hours, every effort is made to start repairs early enough to allow for repair or work-around by the beginning of the next Full Service day.
  • Services are provided at the UC Santa Barbara campus only. Technicians will visit GRIT offices and labs to provide support when necessary.
  • Hardware support for desktop systems will vary by unit/department based on hardware support policies for that unit/department. Application support is provided until vendor support ends or security patches are no longer available. Instrument control and other specialty systems will be supported past these dates on a best-effort basis and subject to labor recharge. Network access may be limited for specialty systems running software for which security patches are not available.
  • Data migration and recovery support is available for all systems, even systems otherwise ineligible for support. GRIT will assist in migrating business or research data from an unsupported system to a supported one. While simple data migration is generally included in the process of connecting a new system to the network, data recovery is generally performed on a recharge basis.
System Management Software

In order to maintain the security of the GRIT Network and the machines accessible through it, GRIT normally installs device management and anti-malware software on all desktop and server systems with full, unfettered access to our network. This software is provided for Mac, Windows and Linux systems, and ensures that devices are compliant with campus and GRIT policies regarding passwords, system security, updates, and other settings. Primary users can retain Administrative rights on their systems or equivalent, but we ask that the management software not be disabled or adjusted. Exceptions can be made for devices or software that have an incompatibility with these tools, on an as-needed basis. Users with personally-owned machines that wish to decline this software can do so, but they will not have unfettered access to our departmental networks.

If you have any questions about this software, or need to request an exception, please contact our helpdesk at help@grit.ucsb.edu, and we will work with you to find a solution that meets your needs.