MPU Meeting Wednesday 11th September 2013


A meeting was held for all interested COs, this help identify several extra issues we would like to be able to handle. For example, things with multiple serial numbers or things which change serial number. There was also the question of how to handle systems being made of multiple items, a proposal was made to merge the system and item database tables. The table would be self-referencing so that, where appropriate, it is possible to lookup the "parent" of an item or the "children" of an item. Alastair is going to work up a new schema based on this model and circulate it for comments. There will then be another round of prototyping and testing.

Virtual DICE

Stephen noted that USB support was enabled which means that the non-Free extension pack must be installed. This can be a problem for users on Debian, if we don't need the USB support can it be disabled? Stephen also noted that, at least on Debian, the virtualbox file chooser dialog only looks for .ovf files not .ova files, this isn't a big problem as double-clicking on the icon (via something like the nautilus file browser) works just fine. Maybe we just need to document this minor issue.

There was a suggestion that we should create an "upgrade virtual dice" script. Even if this doesn't do much right now we can add it to the documentation and it gives us the option of altering and extending the upgrade process in the future if necessary.

Chris noted that it would be good to have a different background image for the login screen. We also need a license text for the initial startup screen, it needs to note that some of the software may not be distributable so the image must not be shared.

We should add the yum configuration so that users can install packages from our public repositories (lcfg and world). That way they can install any extra RAT software which isn't included in the initial image. This will probably still require edlan or VPN access but that's better that nothing. We should configure yum to get the SL distribution and epel packages from the main upstream repositories so that they can be downloaded from anywhere.

We are unlikely to be able to use updaterpms to manage the software on the VM since users are going to want to use yum to install extra stuff. Running updaterpms would remove any packages installed using yum.

LCFG Client Refactoring

Nothing happened this week.

Miscellaneous Development

freenx service
A new freenx service is running on bakerloo, it's nearly ready for deployment but there are few issues still to resolve. We need to be able to monitor failed logins with fail2ban and we also need a log of successful logins which can be imported into buzzsaw and displayed in the log cabin reports. Currently aiming to announce this to users on Monday 16th, we'll label it as a "beta" service to begin with whilst we see how it handles the load.


KVM server reboots
The current management strategy for the KVM servers is resulting in a lot of operational work. We need a policy on when we can reboot KVM servers, Alastair will raise the issue at the next CEG meeting.

Roger has finished sorting out the configuration of the pkgsearch machine. Chris will now add the MPU bits so it is managed the same way as all our other machines.

This Week

  • Alastair
    • Start Inventory project diary
    • Inventory project
      • Talk to CSOs - principally to ensure have covered every possible state and transition. Also to ensure not overly complicated to use
      • Submit bug/enh to App::Cmd author wrt option to die on unspecified options
      • Pester George about location API
      • Prototype merged system and item table
    • Order a spare 600GB disk for waterloo.
    • Ask George - what does the TXretransmit value mean for switch connections?
    • Consider how to make metropolitan usable by users
      • ISOs
      • minimal docs (mostly manual)
      • they'll use virt-manager, but not create machines or change config
    • circulate table of LCFG bugs
    • Take VM policy to CEG - rebooting hosts 2 -3 times a year. No fuss over guests
    • Pandemic documentation - identify what is whose
    • Think about spending plan
    • T2 report

  • Chris
    • Virtualised DICE image
      • Add a "update-image" user script that can update the profile and installed packages
      • Add yum configuration for our public buckets (so that people can install extra packages using yum, rather than updaterpms)
      • Some more documentation - eg FAQ
    • MPU-ify the package search config and machine
    • Pandemic documentation - identify what is whose
    • Think about spending plan

  • Stephen
    • discuss release testing variants with Richardand then document.
    • Continue looking at freenx
    • Server shutdown script
    • Pandemic documentation - identify what is whose
    • Think about spending plan

  • Carol

-- AlastairScobie - 11 Sep 2013

Topic revision: r7 - 24 Sep 2013 - 15:24:25 - StephenQuinney
DICE.MPunitMeeting20130911 moved from DICE.MPunitMeeting20130311 on 23 Sep 2013 - 14:09 by ChrisCooke - put it back
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