Apologies for absence
Minutes of the last meeting.
This item was skipped
Alastair congratulated all present on the manner in which the Forum move was conducted. Numerous people have commented on how well the move was managed.
BBL now admit that there is a problem with ventilation in the forum and that the current state of affairs is unacceptable. There seems little prospect of a fix in the short term however. Alastair suggested that if people can work effectively from home and would feel more comfortable there, then they should consider that as a possibility.
Now that we are all co-located in the Forum, we should revisit our meeting schedule. This will be raised by Alastair as a topic for discussion at a future ops meeting.
Alastair mentioned that he would like to set up more informal meetings where we can get together and chat about topics that interest us. Suggestions on the form these meetings could take would be welcome.
There still seems to be an issue with cooling in the main server room. Alastair experienced a definite spike in temperature there recently despite the builders' assurances that the problem had been identified and corrected. They have been informed.
The question of the fire suppression system was raised. There was general unhappiness at the prospect of a passer-by pushing the manual release button in the corridor leaving anyone in the server room with 30 seconds to make their escape. It is not the case that the manual release button is interlocked with the fire sensors in manual mode, pressing the button on its own is sufficient to release the gas.
It was suggested that a suitable solution might be to have a cancel button in the server room which could be used to cancel the gas release should there be no sign of fire. Alastair will investigate this possibility.
Alastair stated that unless it is required by the Universities' insurers, there are no plans to put the fire suppression system in automatic mode.
Alison reported that the Appleton Tower support office has relocated to 5.02.
Reports from units.
Alastair asked if there were any plans to deploy further wireless access points within the Forum. Ian replied that we was not aware of any concrete plans but saw no reason why further access points could not be installed at short notice. It was suggested that the CalMac lounge (AKA mini-forum 2) might be a suitable location.
Stephen noted that the recent clutch of security related patches will require SL5 servers to be rebooted. Unit managers take note.
All Units should test this release with the services they are responsible for ASAP. In reply to a question from Archie, Stephen stated that we can expect to see these point releases at roughly 6 monthly intervals.
It was agreed that keeping track of the inventory is not made any easier by the habit of users of swapping machines around without informing us. MAC locking is a very effective way of preventing this and has certainly proved worthwhile in AT. Alastair's feeling was that this was an issue which we would have to take to CSG and that it would receive a rough ride there. He suggested that we should first address the issue of moving machines through other mechanisms such as user education and monitoring of reports generated from the switches and only suggest sterner measures such as port locking should these prove ineffective. This was agreed by the meeting.
It was agreed by the meeting that it was confusing having two naming conventions and that they should be unified. Rather than relabel every floorbox port, the switches should be renamed in line with the wiring labelling ('A', 'B' and 'C' rather than 'w', 'm' and 'e').
It was agreed that this had been covered in the report by the Head of Computing.
Bill raised the issue of recent power and security issues in the BP server area caused by ongoing building work. Chris suggested Nagios as a suitable means of keeping track of what was happening in remote server rooms.
The next meeting will be on the 13th of August in IF-4.31 at 11 o'clock and chaired by George Ross.
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