Service Records - The "Component" Field

The "component" field is a technology-oriented categorization of our work intended to facilitate presentation and planning. It describes which technologies/processes/procedures are used or affected by the work being categorized. It is intended primarily for planning our work, although it could be used for presentation to technical staff.

The name "building block" or "implementation detail" might be better, however for lack of a better single word to describe it, it's called "component".

A service is usually implemented with multiple components, or building blocks, typically computing technologies. Specific applications qualify, as do general areas, e.g. the technology used to support the WWW. Thus component implies "used in the creation/provision of" one or more services.

Clients often identify a service with a specific technology (and hence service component) because there is often a single technology that dominates. E.g. the "Mac Labs". Thus we can expect significant duplication with service names. However a specific service usually has multiple components. E.g. the "Mac Labs" involve Mac hardware, MacOS, multiple directory services, additional software, networking, and classroom infrastructure.

We want to chose components to be able to answer questions such as

Name Description
Accounts Anything involving accounts creation/deletion software. This is usually the "accounts" package, but doesn't have to be. It can also involve creation/deletion/manipulation of accounts, and default accounts setup. Whether there should be a separate category for the latter is unclear.
Assignments Technology involving the creation, submission, and marking of assignments.
    Marmoset Marmoset is a specific non-trivial technology being used for assignment submission and marking.
    Markus Markus is a specific non-trivial technology being used for marking assignments.
Authentication Technology involved in authentication. It can range from simple password files to Kerberos.
Authorization The authorization part of a service. Can be a technology, or changes to authorization data.
Backups General backup technologies.
    Legato The Legato Networker that we use for most backups.
Billing Research support is in part funded by faculty subscribers. This is about the non-trivial time required to prepare and process the necessary bills.
CAD As in "Computer Aided Design" or "Computer Aided Drafting". It's often done with AutoCAD, however not always. It's used for planning new facilities and documenting existing facilities.
    Networks A visual understanding of what's connected to what can be useful.
    Room Design CAD is very handy when planning room creation/changes.
Classrooms The physical aspects of classrooms, not otherwise categorized, e.g. chairs, desks, carpet, heating/cooling/lighting.
Database Any database technology.
Desktop The hardware used for desktop computing. See "Software" for the related software.
    Display, keyboard, mouse, KVM Mostly about displays, although it can include keyboards, mice, basic KVM's, and speakers.
    Laptop Laptops, as opposed to workstations.
    Thin Client Anything about "thin client" technology.
    Workstation About workstations in general. That includes the standard "grad pc". The specification of a specific OS, or just Software can help distinguish between hardware and software problems.
Directory Service About directory services, which currently means Microsoft Active Directory.
    CS Active Directory There is a domain ("cs-teaching") for teaching systems, and a domain ("cs-general") for the general computing environment, various staff and grad student workstations, and for some research systems.
    Nexus The campus Microsoft Active Directory used for most teaching systems (workstations) on campus, which CS being perhaps the only exception. We provide a Nexus authenticated fileserver for Nexus workstations across campus when used by CS students.
Disk Disk drives, e.g. configuration, updates, and failures.
Electrical - Power Needs The provisioning of sufficient power to a device. It's usually but not always done in machine rooms.
    Outlets We find ourselves asking for power outlets to be installed.
    Power Supplies Power supplies are a common failure point in computing systems; both workstations and servers; we often do the replacements.
    UPS Uninterruptable Power Supplies.
External Any external service provided needed to meet (client) expectations. Whether the client (if there is one) knows that an external provided is being used is irrelevant. Some examples are:
    IST Using services provided by IST.
    Plant Operations Using services provided by Plant Operations
Fileserver File servers, typically it's about our Netapps, although it can be almost anything when research systems are involved.
Hiring About the significant effort required to hire, primarily co-op and temporary labour.
Identification About identifying people. This includes the assignment of consistent ids to people, including UIDs and GIDs.
    WatIAM The use of WatIAM administrative access, and the use of its data to identify people.
Information About information related to Services and their provision.
        Publications Obtaining publications useful for work.
        Training Training (of CSCF staff) needed to provide a service. It has a real cost in both time and money, and in practice has been known to result in work items.
        Consulting Consulting as a component of a service. Think of it as interactive documentation.
        Documentation Documentation as a component of a service. Think of it as static consulting.
Inventory Inventory system maintenance and development.
Licensing About the license for something, or the technology used to track/impose licensing. This includes maintenance/support contracts.
Load Balancing About any approach to load balancing. DBS round-robin is often used as the "poor man"s version, however it has been seen to balance the teaching environment well enough. Its biggest flaw is when a system in the round-robin is down.
Machine Rooms Includes wiring closets (TR's), although we're largely uninvolved in those now.
    Consoles Anything involved with providing access to a device console. Includes LOM, and any other form of remote access to achieve the effect of being in a machine room.
Mail About mail, when not covered by the following:
    Client The mail UI to read and send mail.
    Delivery, Filtering Software to filter and deliver mail. It includes forwarding.
    Lists About providing, maintaining, and using mailing lists. This includes both local lists, and those maintained on the campus email service.
    Protocols The system software that implements the various mail related protocols (primarily IMAP and SMTP).
    Server About the server itself, usually load/failure reports.
Mobile Devices Some CS courses now involve a variety of mobile phones, tablets, etc. Purchase, inventory, basic configuration and repair, and arrangement with the Library for loaning to students are (so far) the typical involvement.
Monitoring Monitoring technology itself, rather than the act of monitoring, which is currently /advancement/inherent/monitoring.
Moving We spend enough time shuffling equipment around that it gets a category.
    Connections What it takes for a typical network connection. Usually that's labelling and installing patch cables, switch configuration and DNS entry creation/update.
    Layer 1 The electrical and physical aspects of networking.
    Firewall This refers to separate firewalls, not the so-called firewall on workstations.
    Routing For some specialized server arrangements, specific routes matter. There can be an overlap with "Topology" below.
    Services About the network services needed to make a network connection work in practice, e.g. BOOTP, DHCP, DNS.
        DHCP We currently run our own DHCP service, however that will eventually cease (ST #88122).
        DNS We currently run our own DNS service, however that will eventually cease (ST #88123).
    Switches This is about network switches, which is work handled mostly by IST. We occasionally have to diagnose switch problems (e.g. ST #98503). Research environments can have "hidden" networks, with their own network infrastructure, and hence switches that we have to handle.
    Telecom Room This is largely historical, as the TR's are IST's responsibility now.
    Tools Typically diagnostic tools, e.g. a Fluke.
    Topology The includes both paths between switches, and choice of subnet/vlan. A common example is moving things to private subnets, or to specific subnets for firewalling. This work is often the result of IP address space conventions.
    Wireless This usually involves reporting problems to IST.
Online Instruction Technologies involved in the presentation of online courses, that aren't otherwise categorized.
    Adobe Connect Adobe Connect, when used for online instruction.
    Cluster Technology for clustering machines.
    Cloud Technology for a "cloud"; virtualization in aid of remote provision of computing resources.
    Unix Work caused by the use of some Unix variant. That includes Linux's. Whether it should include Mac OS X is debatable.
        FreeBSD This isn't the norm for us, although we've had to use it for SMB servers, as Ubuntu failed to handle the load.
        Irix This is historical.
        Linux This includes Ubuntu, our currently (2015) preferred Unix based OS.
        Solaris This is historical, referrring to Solaris 8 and earlier.
        Solaris 10 There is one reasearch workstation that uses this. MFCF also uses it, and we provide ST to them, which has resulted in significant work, as Solaris 10 doesn't have the broad range of software, easily installed, that Ubuntu does.
    Virtual This is the implementation detail for "Cloud" above. There are multiple virtualization technologies of interest. We use (as of 2015) VMWare, Linux containers, and Parallels.
    Windows This refers to an version of Windows, both server and workstation.
        Terminal Server We provide both a cs-teaching and cs-general Windows Terminal Server environment.
Presentation Aids Typically used in classrooms, meeting rooms, and labs.
    Projectors There are projectors in teaching labs, research labs, and presentation rooms. Even in some offices. We engage in specing and buying projectors and parts. Installation is usually handle by Plant Ops. Non-trivial repair is outsourced.
    Podium The podiums found in campus classrooms. Typical problems are with logins.
Printers/Scanners This can include all of the functions of modern printers, including scanning.
Printing About printing, when it's not as simple as being client or server specific.
    Client This is about client side problems with printing. Device driver and configuration problems are common. As such, it overlaps with the Desktop category.
    Server This is about print servers. I.e. that part of the printing environment that's neither the client nor the printers themselves.
Purchasing About the work required to buy anything. E.g. quotes/RFP's and P-card processing can require significant time.
Racks Equipment racks are found mostly in machine rooms and labs. We've seen them in both teaching and research labs.
Renovations This involves the renovation of SCS space, e.g. machine rooms, teaching labs, research labs. This is also a Service, as it often involves more than CSCF space.
Security Any aspect of security not covered by other categories. Combining this with another technology is reasonable.
    Certificates Obtaining, understanding, and renewing security certificates.
    Compromise Investigation and resolution of system compromises.
    Keys SSL host keys, typically used by `ssh`. Often related to distributing/updating public host keys.
    Physical Ranges from securing monitors to door locking and alarms.
    Two-Factor The two-factor authentication service involves both servers, and the tokens used by people.
Server About servers, as opposed to workstations. It's usually about buying, replacing, and maintaining hardware. It can also be about server downtime when there's no other obvious category to use.
SMB About the SMB protocol, and its provision.
Software About software, typically that people want installed in a computing environment.
    Application What people think of as optional software used directly by them. This doesn't include standard windowing systems. Some examples are:
        Openoffice This can refers to any Microsoft Office replacement, e.g. LibreOffice.
    System About parts of the "system", including tools used for system maintenance. This includes standard windowing systems. If it inherently requires system privileges to work at all, then it's usually system software. Privileges to allow safely sharing among multiple users doesn't usually qualify. Some examples are:
        SSH About `ssh`, other than distributing/updating public host keys. That's "Security -- Keys".
        X11 A windowing system.
Software Deployment Technology used to deploy software, not the act of deployment itself.
    Configuration Management Configuration management systems impose (computed) configuration on a set of systems.
    Imaging Software deployment via complete disk images of an operating system. E.g. cs-appserv.cscf is an imaging deployment tool.
    Packaging Work that's the result of our packaging software, not specifically via xhier. Software deployment by individual software packages.
    Xhier About xhier itself, as well as work caused by the use of xhier rather than some other system.
        Man Command About the customized `man` command that can find man pages within xhier'd packages.
Space (storage/staging/...) This is about the organization and maintenance of multiple storage and staging areas that we use.
Surplus We spend enough time surplusing equipment that it gets a category.
Teaching Data Data about the teaching of students. Much of it is student registration data; we put IST supplied data into a form useful to those involved in the teaching programs. In addition, we record various data about students, e.g. grade revision forms, and teaching, e.g. teaching assignments. This applies to both undergraduate and graduate students.
Work Tracking About technology used to track our work. Currently that's "ST", and the RSG subscription system.
    ST ST (a.k.a. Service Tracker), is the primary tool used to organize and report on the work of CSCF.
    Subscriptions The CSCF research support group subscription system organizes and tracks subscriptions to the group's services.
WWW To do with basic WWW services, not applications that happen to use a WWW interface.
    Browser While we prefer a single WWW browser, currently Firefox, as it's available on all platforms, the reality is that we have to deal with multiple versions. It's usually not a problem, however some browsers don't follow standards well, so being aware of such vagaries can be useful.
    Content Manipulating and sometimes updating content for others. We don't expect to be doing this often, however there are times when it's more practical than available alternatives. This is often the result of requests to change the URL for something, which is best done en masse. It can also include changing a site URL. In either case, it's often the case the server configuration will change as well (to map the old URL to the new URL).
    Editor Tools for creating and editing content.
    Publishing A broad area, as it includes both tools for the creation and maintenance of content (other than content editors), as well as the creation of CGI to produce content. Content management systems and related tools are included. Standard style sheets are regarded as tools (by content maintainers) as well.
        Drupal Much of the CS WWW site is implemented via Drupal. As of W2015, that was using the Math Drupal server. That is expected to migrate to the campus server.
        Sharepoint Provision of basic advice, and permission updates as needed, for the CS Sharepoint site.
        Wikis A TWiki is used for various faculty pages, as well as for much of CSCF internal documentation. As of W2015, a MediaWiki is used for CS100.
    Server Changes to the WWW server, or its configuration, if not covered by other categories. In particular, URL changes often require changes to content as well as to server configuration.

When specifying this field in a customized sort or display, use the name "component". The values to use for components in custom queries are part of the database schema.