MPU Meeting Tuesday 13th November 2012

Server Upgrades

The LCFG bugzilla service has now been moved to an SL6 machine named heda There were a few teething problems with iFriend support but they have all been resolved.

This leaves the lcfg web server, the packages master and one VMWare server.

Stephen will work on upgrading the lcfg web server fairly soon. The plan is to move the services from budapest to bakerloo so that we can replace the old hardware at the same time.

Now that perl-AFS version 2.6.3 is available we have the option of using it on an a 64bit machine. So we plan to upgrade the packages master, brendel, to SL6_64 and use the openafs 1.4.14 client. In the longer term we will have to rewrite the refreshpkgs code to the use the AFS::Command module but the priority now is to get away from SL5.

The remaining VMWare server, central, still has a few VMs running, we need to chase people about these. The service will be decommissioned on Friday 21st December, any VMs which are still running and stuck on SL5 will have to be moved to the KVM service.

Server Hardware

The scripts now report on firmware versions for the BMC and DRAC when present in a machine. Chris has added the various BMC firmware to the goodfirmware rfe map and develop machines needing upgrades will now show up in the web report. After the next stable release it will report on all servers needing BMC firmware upgrades.

Security Enhancements

Stephen has been working on completing the LCFG component for managing the aide software. Mostly it just needs some documentation adding now.


Nothing happened.

Absence Reporting

Chris has been chatting to Liz about the requirements. It appears that it is only sickness reporting that is required and that this could actually be as simple as having an authenticated web page where someone can click an "I'm off sick" button which will then send a message to their line manager who will enter the data into the Oracle database. There does seem to be a lack of information on line managers in many cases which would need to be fixed.

Miscellaneous Development

Rebuilding initrd
Alastair has added a rebuildinitrd method to the kernel component, this uses dracut to rebuild the initrd for the kernel. Calls to this method have been added to the lvm and multipath components. The lvm component patch needs the blessing of Matthew, the details are in bug #613.

conserver and KVM
Using conserver to provide console access for our KVM guests seems to work well. It has been successfully tested in the following situations: short suspend/resume, long suspend/resume, install, reboot of KVM server, poweroff and restart of guest, and migration.

T1 project planning
The planning for the T1 project period is now starting, we will meet on Wednesday at 2pm to discuss our proposals.


Updated installer kernel
The SL6 installer kernel (and initramfs) have been updated to the latest version. This incorporates the work to reduce the initramfs size so that we can boot the installer on the Dell T5600.

openid not-a-service
A date has been set for the decommissioning of the openid service. No-one has complained (so far) that they still want to use this facility.

SL6.3 desktop upgrades
The office desktops have been upgraded to SL6.3. The removal of the AMD Catalyst driver was forgotten so will have to be done separately, this affects 78 machines. A reboot will be required to remove the kernell module so we will have to work out the best way to prod the autoreboot component.

SL6.3 server upgrades
All MPU servers except the KVM machines - circle, hammersmith, jubilee, northern and piccadilly - have now been upgraded to SL6.3

circle VMs
Alastair has cleared out quite a few VMs on circle and reinstalled some of the "test" machines as 64bit.

metropolitan storage pool
When rebooting metropolitan we need to ensure the second SAN-based storage pool becomes available.

IS packages on DR machine
Chris has added the various IS package repositories to the mirror on the DR machine.

Backup locations page
Chris noticed that the MPU backups summary page was out-of-date. He will check through the backups and their current locations.

LCFG master move
Stephen has moved the LCFG master from tobermory to _schiff. It all went fairly smoothly other than the loading of the ordershost database dump.

T3 figures
Alastair needs the T3 figures (so far) by the end of next week.

HP 8300
Alastair has ordered an HP 8300 desktop machine for evaluation. We won't need to start buying them just yet since we still have some HP 8200 machines in the store.

This Week

  • Alastair
    • Try subscribing to more Dell models to see whether do get mail re firmware
    • Contact Matthew re rebuilddracut -> rebuildinitrd
    • Systems blog article on the KVM Service
    • do something about KVM server for end-users
    • Report libvirt empty LVM group issue to Redhat, unless fixed in 6.3
    • create an MPU KVM server header
    • Document ssh keys mgmt - home page and windows
    • Stargaze
    • What jobs can we give to our CSO?
    • T3 figures so far

  • Chris
    • Document conserver for KVMs
    • Implement conserver for all MPU KVMs
    • Add Stephen's thoughts to server hardware final report and to wee projects
    • Document ssh keys mgmt - macos
    • Stargaze
    • Absence Reporting project
    • What jobs can we give to our CSO?
    • T3 figures so far

  • Stephen
    • Update list of SL6.2 -> SL6.3 machines
    • Flesh out User Login logs project
    • Stargaze
    • Document ssh keys mgmt - linux
    • Security enhancements project
    • What jobs can we give to our CSO?
    • T3 figures so far

-- StephenQuinney - 14 Nov 2012

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Topic revision: r3 - 14 Nov 2012 - 15:57:13 - StephenQuinney
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