EECS Instructional Support, University of California at Berkeley
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                        College of Engineering
                   EECS Instructional Support Group



								Oct 12, 2005

              EECS Instructional Computing - Review and Plans
	      -----------------------------------------------
		                 Fall 2005


CONTENTS:
	Recent Improvements
	Budget Priorities
	Email and WEB Services
	Current Initiatives
	Notable Events



Recent Improvements
-------------------

    1) Intel grant: new workstations for 119 Cory (High Performance Computing)
    2) Renovations to 119 Cory: new lab tables and chairs
       (http://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~kevinm/119Cory/)

    3) Intel grant: new workstations for 125 Cory (Mixed Signal System Lab)

    4) SUN grant: new workstations for 330 Soda (Upper Division Computing Lab)
       (http://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~kevinm/330Soda/)

    5) Class WEB sites organized to manage archiving of old sites
       (http://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/setup.html#class_page)



Budget Priorities
-----------------

  In anticipation of budget cuts in FY 2004-2005, ISG cut its part-time 
  student staff from 3 to 2 students, and one career staff member signed
  up for the START program (voluntary work reduction) that reduced his 
  time by 4 hours a week.  This loss of staffing impacted our ability to
  maintain the CS Lower Division software (including the InstCD) and to
  provide new software services such as a 'subversion' server.

  In FY 2005-2006, our budget and grant priorities will be:
  
  - re-hire the third student staff, to support CS Lower Division 
    software and the UCWise courseware computing server ($12000)
  - new lab tables for 119 and 199 Cory  ($20000)
  - new chairs for labs ($8000)
  - 1 new multi-processor CPU server for CAD applications ($45000)
  - larger lab with UNIX workstations for CS61B to run Eclipse
  
                  

Email and WEB Services
----------------------

	Here is a report about computer accounts and course WEB sites:
	https://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~inst/reports/?file=pdf/ISG-Review-Sp05.pdf

	Summary:
	
	1) student accounts and email:

	ISG and ESG create computer accounts for students in EECS classes.
	All EECS majors get computer accounts, email accounts and a WEB site 
	on the Instructional computers until 6 months after they graduate.
	All students have CalMail accounts and no longer need an email 
	account from us, so we plan to retire the Instructional email 
	service by Jan 2006.

	2) course WEB sites:

	Instructors can manage their course WEB content on the EECS 
	Instuctional server.  Other servers on campus offer other services 
	including the course schedule and description, student enrollment 
	and email lists, the submission of grades and a course management 
	system.  EECS ISG plans to integrate these resources for instructors
	using new WEB "portal" technology.



Current Initiatives
-------------------

    1) Compliance with new regulations:

	The Instructional computers, along with all other computers at 
	UCB, must be brought into compliance with these new regulations 
	this year:
	
	Data Management and Use Policy ("DMUP")
	http://dataintegration.vcbf.berkeley.edu/
	http://datasteward.berkeley.edu/documents/ProvisionalDMUP1.1.pdf
	Requires identification, classification and ownership of all user 
	data stored on UCB computers, as well as the administrators' 
	contingency plan if that data goes offline.

	Senate Bill 1386 ("SB1386")
	http://socrates.berkeley.edu:2002/CISC/SB1386/
	Identify computers that store "personal" and "protected" data, 
	describe security of that data and contingency plan to notify 
	people if that data is compromised.

	UCB Minimum Security Standards for Networked Devices
	http://security.berkeley.edu:2002/MinStds/
	Requires firewalls on all computers, strong authentication to all 
	networked services that transmit private data (email, file systems).
	Email servers must not allow unauthenticated relays of outgoing
	email, so users will have to login to the Instructional mail server 
	before being allowed to send email.

    2) Grant Requests

	Under the guidance of the CNIL committee, we are drafting proposals
	to vendors that invite them to make a long-term commitment to support
	a specific lab or class.  This would establish greater continuity of 
	resources for the students and a more visible presence for the vendor.

	Our students have become increasingly mobile; they want to run course
	software from home or from laptops over broadband and wireless networks.
	To meet this demand, we have increased the number and power of our 
	application servers (UNIX 'ssh' servers and Windows Terminal Services 
	servers).  So we are also seeking blade servers, which would improve
	these servers by providing cluster configurations that can be adjusted
	to accommodate the changing demands of classes at different times.

    3) New Collabarative Lab for CS4

	CS4 (Prof Garcia) needs a lab that is suitable for group interaction 
	and code development.  Ideas are being discussed for rearranging an
	existing lab (http://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~kevinm/277Soda/).
	
	CS4 will be taught in Spring 2006.  It will be the second course 
	(after E777R) for non-EECS majors.

    4) Revision control server for classes

	A number of classes use the CVS revision control utility for source
	code development.  CVS is somewhat difficult to master, it is UNIX-
	centric and we are using ssh1 (old) as an authenticion mechanism.  
	So we intend to improve this by maintaining a central revision 
	control server that can be accessed more easily from Windows as well
	as from UNIX.  We are likely to use a more up-to-date utility called
	"subversion" rather than CVS.  We have not implemented the Microsoft
	Visual Source Safe because it is does not work well on our multi-user
	workstations and it does not work with UNIX.

    5) Improve Instructional WEB-based services for instructors.
        
	Currently, the development of EECS course WEB sites is inconsistent.
	Some classes have WEB sites that are well-maintained by the teaching
	staff, while other sites are left with old or inconsistent data.
	ISG provides a WEB server (inst.eecs), disk storage and technical
	assistance about the WEB sites.  The teaching staff maintain the 
	content.  ISG will provide newer tools to help the teaching staff 
	obtain, edit and archive the content of their sites.  This will
	integrate information from other campus WEB resources to facilitate
	course administration.  This may include WEB site publishing, access
	to students by email and newsgroups and access to the new campus 
	GradeBook service.

    6) Vodaphone Wireless Lab

       111 and 117 Cory are being converted into a new lab for courses in 
       wireless techlologies.   EECS has received a large grant for this new 
       curriculum.  The classes will include: EECS117, EECS217, EECS221A, 
       EECS226A, EECS224, EECS225x, EECS229, EECS290, EECS298, CS294.   The
       lab is managed by Ferenc Kovac and may be shared with research groups.
   
    7) NetApp fileserver and Overland AIT-3 Tape Library

       IDSG and NetApp donated an older NetApp file server to Instruction.  
       Instruction purchased new Overland AIT-3 Tape Library ($11,900).
       Instruction has arranged a new, low-cost service contract on the 
       NeteApp with Berkeley Communications.

       The NetApp has these features that are new for us:

	- 100MB disk quotas for our long-term 'named' accounts (up from 60MB)
	- a single "tmp" file system on UNIX and Windows systems
	- "undelete" using the hidden ~/.snapshot directory
	- disk mirroring to a redundant backup server
	- (the Solaris "ACL" extended file permissions are no longer valid)

       The NetApp has 1.5-TB of active disk space.
       The Overland PowerLoader has 3.8-TB storage capacity.

       Dual tape drives raise the transfer rate to 86-GB/hour and permit tape 
       duplication for off-site storage.  Based upon our current rate of use, 
       we need a tape capacity that is about 3 times that of the disk capacity 
       to archive daily dumps for an entire semester.  So we will use some of
       the NetApp disk space for storing the incremental dumps.




Notable Events
--------------
  
  Dec 16 - Instructional Windows home directories (Fileservice) are all back

	At about 2pm on Dec 13, the RAID disk array on Fileservice was 
	corrupted following the installation of a standard Microsoft 
	Windows patch.  We had to restore the files from tape.  

	Dec 16, 9am update:

	The home dirs of all Instructional  Windows named accounts and class 
	accounts  have been restored.   Please notify inst@eecs.berkeley.edu
	if you find any problems.

	We regret the terrible timing of this loss of service, when students
	are trying to submit final projects and prepare for exams.  We
	appreciate the patience everyone showed us.
  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Nov 30 - UNIX home directory disk was full from about 1am-8am

	At about 1am, the disk that contains all Instructional UNIX home
	directories filled up.  That disk also contains /home/tmp.  This
	was not an indication that you exceeded your personal disk quota.

	Symptoms included error messages like these:

		IO error writing file: No space left on device
		write: No space left on device
		*WARNING* file CDS.log Malformed Lock-Stake file.
		Failed to lock log file: /home/aa/users/foobar/CDS.log.9

	Space was made available again by 8am.

	Recent copies of your files are available in UNIX sub-directories
	called .snapshot.   There is a .snapshot sub-directory in each of
	your directories.  The .snapshot sub-directory does not appear in
	a general "ls" command, but you can access it if you name it 
	explicitly, ie
	
		% cd .snapshot
		% ls 
		hourly.1/   hourly.2/   hourly.3/   hourly.4/   
		nightly.0/  nightly.1/
  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Nov 14 - logins were blocked to cory.eecs from 7pm Sunday - noon Monday

	From 6:50pm on Sunday until about noon on Monday, attempts to login to 
	cory.eecs.berkeley.edu using ssh generated errors such as 

		The host 'cory.eecs.berkeley.edu' is unreachable
		warning: Connecting to cory failed: Connection Refused

	This was because cory.eecs reached its maximum number of processes
	and would not allow any new ones.  We suspect that a runaway homework
	assignment caused this.

	During this time, our users could still login into one of our identical 
	servers, such as

		c199.eecs.berkeley.edu
		quasar.eecs.berkeley.edu
		pulsar.eecs.berkeley.edu
	
	You can list all of our computers from
	http://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/labs.html
  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Nov 04 - This WEB server will be down today from 5:30-6pm

	inst.eecs.berkleey.edu will be down during this time for upgrades to 
	web based tools and patching. Please plan accordingly.
  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Oct 13 - cardkey readers won't work - 4:30-5am Mon Oct 17

	Due to planned maintenance, cardkeys won't work from 4:30-5am on
	Monday Oct 17.   The doors will all be locked.

	From the UC Police Dept to Card Key Access Administrators:

	"As part of our continuous effort to improve the integrity of our 
	campus card key network, UCPD has scheduled a system maintenance 
	for Monday, October 17, 2005 at 4:30 a.m.  This process is expected 
	to last approximately 30 minutes, during which time card key entry 
	points will be switched to a locked position and will not grant 
	access to users. We have selected this early morning time to minimize 
	the impact to our users."
  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Sep 14 - UNIX logins were frozen due to /usr/sww crash

	From about 5pm-5:30pm, login sessions froze on all EECS UNIX systems 
	because of a disk failure on the department /usr/sww filesystem.   
	All UNIX systems in EECS share this filesystem.

	Instructional staff will check the labs and log out any users whose
	sessions were frozen.

	Some symptoms of this event are described in 
	http://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/notices.html#downtime_symptoms.
  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Sep 13 - newsgroup problems?

	We have received several reports since Friday Sep 9 about 
	problems newsgroups, including

	- authnews.berkeley.edu was not being updated
	- http://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/webnews displays a "server error" message

	We have reported the first problem to the staff at authnews, and we
	are investigating the second problem.  We suspect that they are 
	related, since both services ultimately get the news articles from
	the campus news.berkeley.edu (aka agate.berkeley.edu) server.

	1:30pm:  We are told that the authnews problem has been fixed
	("server process died, was restarted").  We aren't sure if this
	will also fix the webnews problems.

	We will post new information here when we have it.

	Please see http://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/connecting.html#news for
	general information about accessing newsgroups.
  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------


For additional information, please contact me:
  
  Kevin Mullally, ISG Manager
  EECS Instructional Support Group
  378 Cory Hall, (510) 643-6141
  kevinm@eecs.berkeley.edu
  http://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/


source: ~inst/public_html/reports/managers/Fall_2005