Project Development Meeting (Buccleuch Place Seminar Room)- Minutes 2007-06-06

Present: Paul Anderson, Toby Blake, Neil Brown, Tim Colles, Chris Cooke, Ken Dawson (convener and minutes), Ian Durkacz, Bill Hewitt, Stephen Quinney, Gordon Reid, George Ross, Alastair Scobie, Craig Strachan, Simon Wilkinson

Apologies: There were no apologies.

1. Minutes of last meeting

These were accepted.

2. Matters Arising

  • Improved LCFG Distribution - Alastair explained that the milestone for supporting MacOSX would need to be delayed considerably (probably several months) and that the milestone for support of Solaris would need to be delayed till the end of May. The project should be placed in the Stalled state once the Solaris milestone has been achieved and restored to Implementation stage once work can continue on support for MacOSX.

This is still waiting on the completion of the Solaris milestone (writing of Solaris web page) [Action Alastair/Stephen]

  • OpenLDAP Upgrade - Toby should change the proposed date for the upgrade to May 17th.

Toby had still to do this. [Action Toby]

  • IGS Database Work - Tim reported that this work had in fact been completed and that the project database had not been updated. He will be moving it to the Sign Off stage after the meeting.

Tim had still to do this. [Action Tim/Rosemary]

Seventeen out of the twenty seven computing staff had now moved their mail service to staffmail. [Action the remaining 10 staff]

All other actions from the last meeting have been completed.

3. Approved Projects

  • Inventory system Ken apologised for not taking this forward. He will set new milestones and switch the status to implementation. [Action Ken]

  • 802.1X and RADIUS This had slipped slightly; George will mail revised milestone dates to CEG. [Action George]

  • Review of Backup Technology A paper detailing the fundamental issues with the way backups are done has been written. Craig will publish it. An interim solution however is needed which doesn't commit us to any particular more-reasoned long-term solution. IS is about to put out a consultation paper on an archival service. [Action Craig]

  • OpenLDAP Upgrade Toby should postpone the remaining milestones to more realistic dates. [Action Toby]

  • System Monitoring The current milestone (sysmon-jabber) had in fact been done. The current milestone should be updated and the next milestone (sysmon-codecomp) postponed by two weeks. Craig should set a realistic date for the milestone after that (sysmon-afscomp). [Action Craig, Simon]

  • Inf FC6 desktop Stephen reported that this milestone had been completed but the devproj database had not been updated. He will update the information and add a new milestone about documentation. [Action Stephen]

It was agreed by the CEG members (all were present) that the following projects could be moved to the Completed stage:

4. New project proposals

Simon had circulated a formal proposal for this project to Informatics computing staff on 30th May requesting comments.

The proposed central eVisitor service was not suitable for use by us. The reasons have been given in the ITPF and in Simon's email message to Informatics staff.

Simon proposed that we adopt the first option in his email message for performing account creation, essentially replicating the same mechanism as eVisitor to prove that the account requestor has read and agreed to the Edinburgh University Computing Regulations (the second option had been to piggy-back on the eVisitor account creation process, but this would imply a created but unused eVisitor account for every iFriends account created).

It was agreed that this project should move straight to the implementation phase. It was dependent on the Cosign service being rolled out for at least computing staff.

5. Change to procedures

The change to the development project procedures, to do with evaluating equivalent facilities provided centrally (by IS) or by another school, was noted.

6. Proposal to change the renewing of AFS kerberos tickets

Craig started off the discussion by explaining that what was being proposed was in response to the need for long-running jobs to have access to AFS file space.

It was agreed after some discussion that:

  • The Infrastructure Unit should modify our kerberos infrastructure so that it is possible to renew tickets up to a maximum of a month (this will then be the kind of ticket issued by default for Windows and MacOS machines; DICE machines by default will not be issued with renewable tickets). This will also require changes so that principals are set up to allow renewal of tickets.

  • Once this change has been made it will be possible to request a renewable ticket via kinit.

  • A wrapper script, krenew, will be provided that will allow one to specify that an arbitrary program be run which can be supplied with access to AFS for up to a month. Each time the AFS ticket is about to expire the program forks a child process that renews the ticket for a further 18 hours, repeating this until the program terminates naturally. A separate credentials cacahe is used (since the standard credentials cache is destroyed on logout). This other credentials cache is destroyed once the program terminates.

  • Users should have the option of using NFS file space for long-running jobs as an alternative to extending the life of their AFS tickets.

The above is a usable short term solution to the problem of access to AFS file space by long-running processes. George and Simon should register a new pending project to design a replacement system for user accounts under which a person can have multiple kerberos principles, which would then allow a more sophisticated solution to the problem of extended access to AFS filespace. [Action George and Simon]

7. Technical presentation and discussion of projects

It was agreed that this project should now progress straight to the implementation stage. George will fork a separate project to further investigate a future IPMI solution to the console server problem. [Action George]

8. AOB

The next meeting will be on July 4th in JCMB 2511.

-- KenDawson - 06 Jun 2007

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Topic revision: r2 - 06 Jun 2007 - 12:10:44 - KenDawson
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