The policies that appear on this page are the product of coordinated work by the College of Science Information Network (COSINe) team, the COSINe Advisory Committee for the college, as well as existing University wide computing policies. Computing resources are a critical tool that all of us depend on in the College of Science. Your understanding and cooperation with regard to these policies, as well as your constructive input, is necessary for maintaining efficient and reliable network resources.

Any questions or suggestions you have regarding these policies should be directed to the Director of COSINe or to your department's COSINe Advisory Committee member.

Policy/Procedure Index 

Core Services
Core Services Backup
Online Storage
Standard Backup Schedule
Wired Network Connectivity Standards
Printer Support
Wireless Network Support
PC Hardware Support
Used Equipment Support
Disposal of IT Equipment
IP Address Management
Acceptable Use Policy
Rogue Network Devices
Offsite and Personally Owned PC Support
Departing Employee Procedure
PC Local Administrator Rights
Supported Operating Systems
Application/Software Support
Teaching Lab Support
COSINe Infrastructure Maintenance Schedule
Management of Licensed Software
Guest Accounts
COSINe Advisory Group
Moving Computers

Core IT Services

Core IT Services are the default services provided by COSINe to faculty, staff and grad students in the College of Science and external customers. Core services include:


  • IT Helpdesk
  • Email services and storage
  • Personal network storage (10 GB per user account) and backup
  • Departmental share network storage (5 GB per user account, moving to 10 GB shortly) and backup
  • Print serving
  • Hosting of College of Science web sites
  • Technology consultation and ordering
  • Network management, including management of IP space and connectivity
  • A COSINe local administrator account on every core services machine

Core IT Services Backup

Data included in the Standard Backup Schedule include:

  • user Email
  • File server home directories (see Online Storage and Backup)
  • Departmental directories (usually mapped to T:)
  • web sites and MySQL databases

Online Storage

All departments fully supported by COSINe are allocated 10 GB of online server storage space per supported user account. The count of the number of user accounts is calculated during the fall term. The server space is backed up according to the standard COSINe backup schedule.

The intended use of this server space is as a repository for user data files, not as space to save full desktop/notebook backups, or large quantities of research data.

Storage capacity beyond the 3 GB per user limit is described here: Expanded Online Storage

Users are also given personal storage space in their home directory.

* Users also have access to 1TB of temporary storage on T:\Scratch (also accessible via /mnt/scratch on the linux command line). This space will be monitored and anything older than 30 days will be removed.

Standard Backup Schedule

Core IT services data, managed servers and other managed network hosts (see Network Host Backup below) are backed up according to the following schedule on a monthly cycle:


Monthly Full All user files are backed up
Weekly Differential All user files changed since the last full backup are saved
Daily Incremental All user files changed since the last backup are saved


Effectively, this means that user data can be restored to the state it was in at the end-of-day, for any of the previous 30 days.

Wired Network Connectivity Standards

Computers connected to the wired network must meet the following minimum standards:

  • A legally licensed operating system currently supported by COSINe (see Supported Operating Systems)
  • Operating system options must be configured to allow automatic download and installation of updates*
  • For Windows machines, current OSU-provided virus protection must be installed and configured to receive automatic updates
  • COSINe must have an administrator account on any machine connected to the wired network (Why?)
  • Personally owned computers that are neither supported by, nor purchased through, COSINe, and are self-registered by the user and connect through OSU_SECURE exclusively, are considered self-supported and are not required to have a COSINE administrator account
  • Users who choose to bring personally owned computers to use on campus are strongly encouraged to use wireless connectivity through OSU_SECURE. If -- contingent upon sound technical reasons and approval by the COSINe Director -- a personally owned computer requires connectivity through the wired network, the computer must meet the network connectivity standards as outlined above and the user must provide installation media for their operating system in the event the machine must be rebuilt. Such computers will be included in the count of hosts receiving Core Services.

*Exceptions may be granted only by the COSINe Director in instances where there are sound technical reasons that justify a static system; e.g. instrumentation software requirements preclude operating system updates

Wireless Network Support

The preferred method of wireless access is through the OSU_Secure wireless network, which is delivered by OSU-IS to many areas on campus. There are situations or conditions in which OSU_Secure is not suitable. In such cases, COSINe will install and manage wireless routers providing the following are met:

  • A live, wired drop is not available
  • OSU_Secure signal is not available, or a substantial COS need cannot be met by OSU_Secure
  • The requester agrees to purchase/provide a wireless router deemed suitable by COSINe
  • A COS network port is available in a suitable location
  • The router is managed only by COSINe
  • Access to the wireless signal is restricted by MAC address
  • WPA encryption is enforced for all traffic<

Printer Support

Because of the diverse array of printer hardware and associated repair skills, COSINe provides only limited support for printers. Printer services are limited to:

  • Working with users regarding specifications
  • Ordering
  • Delivery and setup
  • Network configuration

Diagnosis of problems and recommending actions that might resolve hardware issues can be provided at users' request. But requesting service--either from the Campus repair service, or from the printer hardware vendor--is the responsibility of the department to which the printer belongs

PC Hardware Support

Modern PCs, even those from established manufacturers, are typically a hodgepodge of parts from various sources. Not surprisingly, there are occasions when the quality assurance processes of major vendors fail to find an incompatibility or outright failure prior to shipping. In these cases, where a user has purchased a machine or upgrade from a recommended vendor, COSINe will work to resolve hardware issue(s) that arise through direct troubleshooting, or by working with the vendor.

More challenging are the cases where a PC has been specified and ordered piecemeal by a user in an effort to either save money or to obtain some unique set of features. While COSINe is happy to order the parts and provide up to 3 hours troubleshooting hardware issues for such machines, beyond that time limit users must provide an index against which time can be billed at the current technical services rate. Users are responsible for assembly and configuration of a piecemeal machine, and are ultimately responsible for resolution of hardware issues.

Users should be aware that in today's market, with the exception of high-end or uniquely specialized PCs, little can be gained by building a machine from "scratch." In fact, when hardware specification, assembly and configuration are factored in, the cost of a piecemeal machine will far exceed a preassembled machine from a major vendor. Piecemeal machines also come with no warranty for the assembled unit.

Used Equipment Support

All used equipment must be evaluated and approved by COSINe staff as to suitability for its intended use prior to installation. Such equipment must comply with the Network Connectivity Standards.

Disposal of IT Equipment

The COSINe Helpdesk is happy to facilitate the disposal of IT equipment to OSU surplus, providing:

  • users check-in with Helpdesk before "dumping" equipment in the Helpdesk area
  • the equipment will be accepted by OSU Surplus
  • users provide in index for any equipment for which OSU Surplus will charge a fee for disposal(e.g. CRT monitors)

To avoid the disposal fee for CRT monitors (currently $8 ea) users may take the monitors to the recycling center on Walnut Blvd. There is a bin clearly marked for IT equipment where monitors, and other such equipment, may be deposited at no charge.

IP Address Management

College of Science IP address space is managed by COSINe in cooperation with OSU Network Engineering. OSU has strict policies and procedures regarding assignment of IP addresses. Users may not independently assign OSU IP addresses. Violators of this policy will have their network port and account permanently disabled.

Acceptable Use Policy

COSINe follows the OSU Network Engineering Acceptable Use Policy. Please consult this link if you have questions.

Rogue Network Devices

Rogue devices will be denied access to the network as they are discovered. A Rogue network device is defined as a device on the Campus network which meets either of the following criteria:

  • has been assigned an IP address outside of COSINe address management practices
  • is generating or passing anomalous network traffic.

Note: mitigation of rogue network devices will be pursued at the finest level of granularity possible. There are cases where multiple machines may be denied network access so that a single device can be taken offline; e.g. a user-installed router masking multiple machines may be taken offline if one of the machines it masks has been compromised or is generating anomalous traffic. This will result in all machines behind the device being denied network access until the problem can be addressed.

Users who purposely implement rogue devices will have their user accounts and network access revoked.

Offsite and\or Personally Owned PC Support

  • All PCs administered by COSINe must comply with Network Connectivity Standards.
  • Each PC will be delivered with a standard operating system and application "image" appropriate for the hardware capabilities and the particular model of the PC.
  • COSINe will not administer software not owned by the College of Science and not installed by COSINe personnel. The primary strategy for resolving problems or conflicts will be to format and re-image the PCs hard drive. It is the users responsibility to backup and restore any user files that may be lost in this process.
  • Except under extraordinary circumstances, PCs must be brought into the COSINe office to obtain technical support. Off-campus support must be approved by the COSINe Director, and $30 per off-campus visit, plus mileage at the standard OUS rate, will be charged to an index provided by the individuals department.
  • COSINe does not provide support for computers or software not owned by CoS and installed by COSINe personnel. If a CoS-owned software license allows a user to install the respective software on their personally owned PC, Helpdesk may, with the approval of the COSINe Director, loan installation media to the user in order for them to self-install the software. However, no support, other than pre-installation advice, will be provided by COSINe.

Departing Employee Procedure

COSINe must be notified of a users impending departure by the respective department(s) prior to the departure date.

In the event the departing employee's personal computer is configured as part of the science domain, it is critical--and the employee's responsibility--to bring the machine to the COSINe Helpdesk so that it can be removed from the domain prior to departure.

Unless notified to the contrary by the respective department, accounts of users leaving the College of Science will be held open for a period of 6 months following the user's official departure date. This provides departed users with access to their Email account--or to forward Email delivered to their science account--and access to files stored on the COS file server. Beyond this period, unless special arrangements have been made with approval from the department chair to hold the account open for a period of up to a year, the account will be closed and all Email and stored files purged.

Emeritus faculty who are no longer actively participating in research or teaching activities, may, with departmental approval, retain their email address, but only as a forwarding address to another, external email account for as long as they wish. This will allow them to continue to receive email sent to their science address.

PC Local Administrator Rights

Users are provided local administrator rights to their COSINe supported PC. This allows users to install software and generally manage their own machine.

Supported Operating Systems

Operating systems supported by COSINe include those supported by Microsoft, Apple, Redhat (CentOS) or Ubuntu with regularly released security patches and updates.

Application/Software Support

Users are responsible for learning and understanding the operation and features of the applications they use. COSINe does not provide support for applications (e.g. MS Word or other MS Office products, Photoshop, web applications, etc.) beyond installation for any software other than Operating System Support as outlined above.

Teaching Lab Support

Installation and configuration of software on teaching lab PCs is performed between August 1 and September 15 of each year.

COSINe Helpdesk will email a request for specifications to Lab Managers in early summer, and are encouraged to submit their final specification early as scheduling of lab PC builds is on a first come, first served basis.

COSINe Infrastructure Maintenance Schedule

Maintenance on COSINe managed infrastructure is scheduled for Friday evenings between 7 PM and 12 AM. Notification of a scheduled maintenance period will be Emailed to the affected population no less than 24 hours in advance, and will be announced on the COSINe general announcement page.

Management of Licensed Software

COSINe strictly follows software license agreements. License agreements typically restrict on which machines respective software can be installed, and how copies of the software are managed. Because of software license restrictions, note that:

  • Licenses typically limit installation of software on more than one machine.
  • COSINe does not provide OSU licensed software media (e.g. software CDs). If, for whatever reason, users require software media, OSU employees can borrow backup copies of Campus licensed software from OSU-TSS.

Note: OSUWare, a collection of free and site licensed software for use by OSU employees and students, is described here:

Guest Accounts

To accommodate the basic connectivity needs of visitors to COS a  generic departmental "guest" account can be setup which can be used to log on to a PC. Following are the attributes of these accounts:


  • Restricted to network access only.
  • No access to files shares, printers or science Email  will be provided.
  • The guest account will be deactivated after 30 days. The department should contact COSINe Helpdesk to have an account reactivated.

COSINe Advisory Group

The mission of the COSINe Advisory Group is to act as the interface between COSINe supported units and COSINe management to assure ongoing, 2-way communication regarding IT directions and strategies.


  • The CAG meets quarterly for one hour, or as the agenda requires
  • Each unit assigns one representative
  • CAG representatives serve for a minimum of 1 year
  • The purpose of the group is to discuss broad strategies and directions that broadly impact the COSINe user base; specific problems or issues should be dealt with through the COSINe director

Moving Computers

COSINe is happy to assist with the tear-down and setup of computers for moving. However, we cannot provide moving services. If time allows, and as a courtesy, we will assist with moving a single computer within the same floor of a building. Multiple moves, moves between floors,  or moves between buildings on campus will need to be coordinated with the the rest of the furniture being moved. Facilites can assist with moves, or a user can choose to move the equipment themselves. While COSINe does have equipment capable of moving computers, we rely on this equipment to provide service to our customers daily, and only loan it out when it is not otherwise required.