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The Dice Project


(Inf logo) Operational Meeting Infrastructure Unit Report -- 8th August 2018

  1. Bayes network reminder

    Patching in of the Bayes network is proceeding. Most of how we look after our part will be familiar to everyone. Specific things to know about:

  2. Our responsiveness

    As a result of Bayes and the EdLAN procurement project we're likely to be a bit less responsive than usual during August. Specifically, we need to get the Bayes network up and running as soon as possible; and the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of the next three weeks look likely to be EdLAN technical sessions, to be followed by the first three Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in September.

  3. New racks in the Forum server room IF-B.02

    Largely in response to the avalanche of new 5U GPU servers, we are currently installing three new server racks in the Forum server room IF-B.02. Pressure on everybody's time means that, so far, only two of the three racks have been installed (namely Rack 15 and Rack 16) and even those are still not quite complete. However please feel free to install and then use machines in those two racks: we would very much like to get rid of the boxes of uninstalled servers cluttering up IF-B.02.

    Taking account of the unfinished nature of the racks, some installation notes are as follows:

    1. Associated power bars s30.pdu, s31.pdu, s32.pdu, and s33.pdu are not yet configured with either networking or fpdu/*.outlets maps, but all of their power outlets are turned on. Please use these power bars in the normal way, and we will tidy up their configurations in due course.
    2. In IF-B.02, each power bar is nominally 32A, but is limited by a 20A circuit breaker at the distribution board. So it is possible that completely filling the new racks with GPU servers might overload the power bars. Please be aware of that; monitor the power usage (via the LCD displays on each PDU); and please distribute GPU servers evenly between banks 1 and 2 on each power bar (which also implies physically distributing GPU servers evenly between the top and bottom halves of each rack.)
    3. We don't yet have active network switches in the new racks, so:
      • Please fully configure all new servers for network bonding, but only make one network connection per machine for now, using switch sr09 in neighbouring Rack 14.
      • In order to silence resulting Nagios alerts related to faulty bonding, please define DICE_OPTIONS_NETWORK_NAGIOS_DISABLE in the profiles of all associated machines.
      We'll tidy all this up when new switches are finally fully installed in Racks 15 and 17, but doing things this way will mean minimal disruption when cabling changes are made at the time when work on the racks is finally complete.
  4. Furniture in the AT Level 7 open area

    To repeat something already sent by email to the 'cos' list: my (ID's) general suggestion for laying out the AT Level 7 open area is to use the same type of new furniture which has been provided in the open area on AT L9, immediately to your right as you enter L9 via its eastern entrance. The advantage of that furniture over the stuff we currently have in AT L7 is that it's comfortable, usable, and all (easily-enough) moveable.

    My specific suggestions are as follows:

    1. Get rid of all existing furniture from the AT L7 open area, apart from the circular table, and the two bookcases adjacent to the windows.
    2. Arrange to buy:
      • 6x chairs (same as in ATL9) to go around the circular table
      • 11x individual 'sofa' style chairs with backs (same as in ATL9)
    3. Arrange all this - at least to start with - as per the attached hand-drawn diagram (in which I have done my best to make the scaling correct.)
    4. I don't see any point in retaining the third bookcase we currently have in the AT L7 open area; that padded bench thing just outside the AT L7 open area might as well stay though: it's doing no harm.

    Tim has subsequently suggested that we also need a 'WePresent' screen mounted on the wall. That will work: mount it on the eastern wall of the room, having removed the whiteboard currently located there.

  5. New student accounts

    It's new student account creation time again - approximately 422 have been created since 1st August. The main issue this year was students losing module-* roles which are used to allocate additional quota. This is under investigation for future years.

  6. AT server room UPS

    "The sub-conytractors (sic) did not show up to carry out all the work, so an additional date has been added to the alert to complete the work on the main UPSes in AT Datacentre." That additional date is this afternoon! IS alert


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