Iain, Stephen, Tim
George pointed out that there had in fact been a report from CEG at the last meeting.
Report from Computing Executive Group
Reports from units.
Toby hopes to install the remaining certificates next week.
Simon pointed out that when servers using globally signed certificates are reinstalled, it isn't possible to reinstall these certificates automatically. Toby agreed to produce a wiki page detailing how to do this manually.
Neil described the behavior we have been seeing with mirrors on ATAbeast1. Alastair believes that this may be due to a kernel bug rather than an issue with the ATAbeast hardware. We should repeat Neil's experiments using Evo disk space to see if the problem persists.
Alastair asked whether it would be practicable to stop using AMD on most servers once the AFS based RPM mechanism is available. All to consider.
Simon expressed the opinion that the main reason users have for using Unison is to have a local copy of their files on their laptop for when they are without a network connection. The main problem with using Unison with AFS is use of ssh public keys.Two possible solutions are to install an AFS client and use that to create a local copy of files or to install kerberos on the laptop and use Unison via kerberised ssh Neil agreed to produce guidelines on how to work around public key problems.
Simon suggested that we should consider ending support for ssh public keys. This will be brought back as a topic for discussion at the next operational meeting.
Toby offered to collate the information on how to use kerberised ssh on the various operating systems and add it to the user support FAQ.
Topics for discussion
"How much of an issue is a server being in warranty? When franklin's disk died, it being under warranty was of no use whatsoever, as the actions required by Dell were completely impractical for an in-service server (i.e. running diagnostics over the phone with Dell so they would agree to send us a new disk - we ended up just buying one)."
After some discussion, the following conclusions were reached
Simon asked whether it was "greener" to run servers for 6 years or longer. Alastair replied that this wasn't immediately clear since more modern hardware may be more efficient and economical.
Following a discussion on the cos chat room, Simon pointed out that there is a lack of channels for social communication within the School. Should we be offering something to remedy this? Perhaps web forums? Gordon mentioned the test version of Elgg which we currently are running within the school and also pointed out that approximately 200 Informatics people are on Facebook.
There have been requests in the past for a more sociable School mailing list, inf-general. Neil said that the creation of this list has been delayed until mailman can be cosigned to avoid support being inundated with subscribe/unsubscribe requests.
It was agreed that one thing we could do with little effort is set up a group chatroom on Jabber for the School. Before we do this however, we should make sure that documentation is available on how to install a Jabber client on all the operating systems we support. Simon agreed to chase this up. Alastair said that he would prefer to consult with Perdita and Dave R. before bringing any further services into operation.
The next Operational meeting will be on Wednesday 8th July in IF-4.31.
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