MPU Meeting Friday 21st November 2008

Buildtools Project

Stephen has been converting more components to using the new build tools. He has added support for automatically finding and installing the LCFG nagios translator Perl modules for a component.

Power Management Project

Chris is working on getting the sleep component to run a set of tests, which are specified in the component resources, to check whether a machine is ready to go to sleep. In particular, he has been learning how to manipulate the LCFG tag-lists within Perl scripts.

LCFG Component Testing Project

No progress.

Miscellaneous Development

Alastair has been doing more research into the various virtualisation solutions available. He has put together a wiki page of notes on how they compare. In particular, he has been investigating whether the various systems can handle using multiple VLANs and dual-channel ethernet. This is mainly for the RAT unit who want to use virtual machines for webots.

Alongside this we have brought into service an LCFG slave server, district, which is a virtual machine running on baker, the Dell PE R805 server. It is noticeably a lot slower to process profile changes than mousa, we need to investigate the possible reasons for the slowness.


RT Config
Chris has created an LCFG header for RT machines. He started by combining everything which is obviously duplicated, he will now move onto the more complex parts of the various configurations.

New PXE service
This is almost complete, all DICE profiles are now using the pxeclient component and we have bigfan running as a test server. Currently no VLANs are actually setup to use the test server. For testing purposes Stephen plans to switch over the Forum DICE wire for an afternoon, if everything is working the intention is to switch the netinf machines over to the pxeserver component in the stable release on Thursday 4th December.

installbase package list
Stephen noted that using lcfg_sl5_lcfg.rpms with both lcfg_sl5_base.rpms and lcfg_sl5_installbase.rpms leads to some dependency problems. This is because the installbase list is (intentionally) much smaller than the normal base. The small package list helps spot problems very early on in the install process rather than having to wait up to 2 hours for it to install all the packages and then fail. It also allows the running of software, like the stubweb component, during the main part of the install process. After some discussion it was agreed that there are almost certainly packages which should not be in the lcfg list but rather should be included through options headers. Stephen will have a look at what can be safely removed without losing any functionality. We should always aim to have all dependencies of core LCFG components satisfied in the installbase list as well as the main base list.

New inventory
Stephen has removed the location, allocated and sno resource mutations from all the LCFG profiles so that the values in the inventory database are used instead.

installroot NFS
This has now moved onto the Linux machine tummy and it seems to be working fine.

LCFG package lists
Chris and Stephen have documented the LCFG package lists - see MPULCFGPackageLists for details

Apple keyboard
Stephen responded to the user who wanted help with an Apple keyboard under DICE.

Forum server moves
All the MPU machines in the Forum server room which needed to be moved after the rack rotation have been done.

Server reboots
All MPU machines have been rebooted to get the latest kernel.

DIY DICE and inv resources
Stephen reckons that only RAT still need to modify their DIY DICE profiles to remove the inv resources. Any other remaining profiles have not been used for a long time and should probably be deleted.

Chris looked at bugzilla3 and has come to the conclusion that the best way to provide an LCFG bugzilla instance would be to have it on a separate machine and transfer the bugs from the DICE bugzilla instance. He will look into creating an LCFG-specific template for the LCFG bugzilla.

trondra dead
It looks like trondra died when the temperature in JCMB-2501 hit 40C. It is still under warranty so we need to bring it down to the Forum and arrange for a Dell engineer to take a look. Stephen will ask Richard to collect it next week.

IPMI modules
We still need to respond to Ian Durkacz about how to load the IPMI kernel modules, Alastair will take a look.

webots on HP machines
There is some sort of graphics problem with running webots on HP machines. Chris will look into whether the problem can be fixed by switching from the "intel" to "i810" driver.

This Week

Alastair will:

  • Order R805s
  • Dual-path fibre-channel support
  • Look at Chris's DIY DICE comments
  • Look at IPMI module loading
  • LCFG Users Day talk

Chris will:

  • Power management project
  • LCFG template for bugzilla
  • webots on the HP machines

Stephen will:

  • LCFG Users Day talk
  • Test the new PXE service
  • Look at the installbase/lcfg package lists
  • MPU RT duty

-- StephenQuinney - 24 Nov 2008

Topic revision: r4 - 03 Dec 2008 - 12:52:46 - AlastairScobie
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