CSCF Objectives and Milestones Fall 2017

Previous Term: TermGoalsSpring2017

Meeting 2017-08-16

Discussion of potential goals for Fall 2017

Infrastructure

https://cs.uwaterloo.ca/cscf/internal/infrastructure/goals/2017-2018/fall.shtml

plus:

  • Flash I/O disk devices - Guoxiang evaluate / benchmarking? w/Lori
  • Adrian - understanding new production Server
  • Deploy the new SQL hardware - install MySQL and PostGres (but not in production) * Moving databases will be in the Winter
  • NextCloud - best practices for dealing with encrypted data - Adrian

TOP

  • Nick - consolidate ISG software that currently exists across course accounts onto git.uwaterloo.ca * may take into the Winter * Dave has a book on Git for Groups
  • Steve - Printing - evaluate new Xerox fleet printers and educate users
  • Fraser - spend Thinking Ape funding to replace mobile devices
  • Devon - refresh of the second floor labs (needs to roll from Spring) - RT#593725
  • Edward - (working with Guoxiang) update (some?) teaching compilers on linux.student.cs
    • possible concerns - Peter Buhr and default GCC compiler
    • includes gcc, haskell
    • need a written request from Ondrej to clarify the needs
  • Omar - FileMaker - investigate the purchase of (a lot!) more license(s)?
    • users - cs200
    • how many licenses do we have now? how many students in the course? how much does it cost?
    • Martin will take to Exec to determine whether it will be in this year, or next budget year?
    • also being used for Grad database (same license)
  • Devon - JAMF - investigate adding the WebStore functionality
  • Devon - work on improving temperature monitoring (re-visit plan from three years ago)
  • W18: Devon - evaluate High Sierra MacOS for potential Spring deployment in MC Mac Labs
  • W18: Steve - investigate Raspberry Pi-based meeting room console - provide a report?

RSG

  • DFS - further investigation of DFS to replace NetApp (Lori/Guoxiang)
    • wear-levelling on SSDs - investigate? w/Guoxiang
    • NextCloud - Mark - cs-operations on Nextcloud w/Omar & Lori & Nathan
  • NextCloud (vault) - actually go live for all of CS
  • CSCF WCMS
  • EMS - front-line support to be handled by IST/RO
  • investigating re-tooling grad database / school system - Lawrence - /RT#672674
  • Lori - WatITis talk - DFS (maybe for SCS as well?)
  • Daniel - Inventory improvements (DNS)
    • rewrite inventory connection to infoblox to use api version 2, which will restore DNS functionality that recently became unreliable, and enable feature improvements. (In scope for F2017: setting DHCP values from inventory; and gathering requirements and starting additional improvements such as handling DNS records other than A-records.)
  • Gordon/Lori - auto-shutdown under high temperature conditions

Hardware Acquisition, Deployment, and Lifecycle Management

Plan, purchase, configure, deploy and manage lifecycle of equipment for offices, labs, and server rooms.
  • Objective: timely deployment of desktop/laptop equipment to incoming graduate students
    • S17 (INF): acquire desktop equipment for incoming F17 students based on graduate enrollment estimates and historical equipment type distribution (Phil - RT#606391, RT#614198)
    • S17 (INF/RSG): image, assign, and deploy equipment for incoming F17 students by 31 August, for equipment choice/locations identified by the grad office before 1 August. (Phil - RT#604357)
    • W17 (INF): desktop equipment prepared for assignment to incoming S17 grads by April 15th, based on March 1 best estimate of requirements (done)
    • F16 (INF/RSG): acquire and deploy equipment for incoming W17 grads before the holiday break, for equipment choices/locations identified by the grad office before 2 December (not done - we did not have info from the grad office by 2 December)
    • F16 (INF): purchase grad equipment for W17 in mid-October, based on best estimates of requirements available at that time, so that all equipment is here by end of November (done)
  • Objective: CSCF-standard equipment configurations and images, updated on an annual cycle
    • S17 (INF/RSG/TOP): eliminate use of roaming profiles for staff/grad desktop machines RT#604813 (Clayton)
    • W17 (INF): new (Fall 2017) Win10/Ubuntu image ready for use on May desktop deployments (done)
    • F16 (INF): patch the current (Win10/14.04) image for W17 deployments (done)
    • F16 (INF): tentative 2017 hardware configuration (done)

Machine Rooms and Server Infrastructure

Machine rooms and infrastructure for School and research equipment.
  • Objective: redundant machine rooms to host CS on-line services
  • Objective: rationalize CS networks
    • F16 (INF): server vlans routed on server room switches, client vlans routed on building aggregation switches (not done, not a priority for W17)
  • Objective: flexible, up-to-date server infrastructure
    • S17 (INF) no SCS servers running end-of-life ubuntu 12.04 (Dave, Guoxiang, Fraser, Nathan - ST#108308)
    • W17 (INF/TOP) no SCS servers running end-of-life ubuntu 12.04 (not done)
    • F16 (TOP/INF) migrate/update fms12.cs from Vmware4 to Vmware5 (done)
  • Objective: load balancing and failover for critical CS on-line services
    • F16: (INF): deploy redundant load balancing service (done)

Teaching Labs

Management of teaching labs in support of academic programs.
  • Objective: usage statistics for all teaching labs
    • S17 (TOP/INF): Director-accessible tabular usage data (room, time, count) for all MC labs, with on-going updates and no discard of old data (Devon ST#108777)
    • W17 (TOP/INF): Director-accessible tabular usage data (room, time, count) for all MC labs, with on-going updates and no discard of old data (partially done – only for Mac labs)
  • Objective: evergreen Lab computing equipment
    • S17 (TOP/INF): refresh computers in MC2062 and MC2063 RT#593672 (Dan and Devon)
    • S17 (TOP/INF): evergreen MC3003 ST# 108594 (Dan) also: RT#594066
    • W17 (INF/TOP): acquire/install new desks in MC3027 (done)
    • W17 (INF/TOP) – prepare project plan for evergreening MC3003 in August (done)
  • Objective: ensure that lab equipment is functional and secure
    • S17 (TOP): configure sound support in graphics lab (Fraser - RT#590835)
    • W17 (TOP): investigate alternatives to punch key code access to (real time and graphics) labs, to simplify code management (done – don’t need alternative)
    • F16 (TOP): docs for external users explaining what’s available in the teaching labs (not done, cancel)
    • F16 (TOP): incorporate monitoring systems (Nagios) into Caspar admin interface (done??)
  • Objective: simple access to programming contest server from any general purpose lab
    • S17 (TOP/INF) evaluate approaches to dual-boot Macs in MC3005 for CEMC-type events, propose one, and implement if agreed (Devon - RT#598960)
    • F16 (INF): system for providing remote contest server desktops available for use in Mac labs for F16 contests (mostly done, some unresolved issues with Mac xserver hanging)
  • Objective: lab for use by CS coursework Mmath students
    • S17 (TOP/INF) plan log-in environment for shared-use machines (Mac/Linux/Windows), and implement on Macs and dual-boot machines in the coursework MMath lab (Devon RT#598412)
    • S17 (TOP) simple, clear help signs in coursework MMath lab (Devon - 598415)
    • W17 (TOP/INF) update work-sites in DC3335 coursework MMath lab - 1/3 Mac, 1/3 dual-boot PC, 1/3 power/networking only. (done)
    • F16: (INF/TOP) plan for refurbish of coursework Mmath lab, and move to new space once identified (new space not known yet)

Meeting Room and Public Space Management

Management of A/V in CS meeting rooms.
  • Objective: A/V for grad classrooms and meeting rooms
    • S17 (TOP): develop plan for improving A/V in DC2585 (Dan RT#591375)
    • W17 (TOP/INF): install podium monitor in DC2585 (done)
    • W17 (INF/TOP): plan, get approval for, and deploy video upgrade in DC2568 grad classroom (done – problems resolved without upgrade)
    • F16 (TOP): plan, get approval for, and deploy video upgrade in DC2568 grad classroom (not done)
  • Objective: Manage and maintain SCS public display boards
  • F16 (TOP) – plan and obtain approval for third SCS public display, in Great Hall (cancelled)

On-Line Services: Database Management

Backend database services to support other on-line services and School operations.
  • Objective: Highly available MySQL cluster to serve non-teaching applications, including ST, inventory.
    • W17 (TOP): implement auto-restart for HA-MySQL (done)
  • Objective: Highly available Postgres service to support OAT and other CS applications
    • S17 (TOP/RSG/INF): migrate remaining apps and databases from postgres.cs, shutdown service, and decommission/repurpose hardware (Daniel, Isaac, Nick - RT#593821)
  • Objective: DB2 for teaching
    • S17 (TOP): upgrade DB2 server from ubuntu12.04

On-Line Services: Linux Computing Environments

Linux computing environment(s) for teaching and for faculty/staff/grad general use.
  • Objective: track Ubuntu LTS releases in teaching and general environments
    • W17 (INF/TOP): linux.cs and linux.student.cs refer to ubuntu 16.04 servers (done)

On-Line Services: Teaching Systems

Systems for marking, assignment submission, and other teaching-related tasks.
  • Objective: manage on-going operation of Seashell service
  • Objective: manage and maintain Markus
    • W17 (TOP/INF): update assignments.student.cs container to 16.04 (done)
    • F16 (TOP): upgrade Markus to version 1.2 (done, upgraded to 1.4)
    • F16 (INF/TOP): update assignments.student.cs container (12.04 to 16.04) (deferred to April 2017)
    • F16 (INF/TOP): saltify markus and marmoset deployment onto assignment.student.cs (deferred to April 2017)
  • Objective: manage and maintain Marmoset
    • S17 (TOP): replace or repackage pswatcher for Ubuntu systems (RT#592743) Nick
    • F16 (TOP): configuration improvements to Marmoset to improve reliability (progress)
  • Objective: ISG server for CS200
    • F16 (TOP) decommission and shut down Oscar, old ISG server for CS200 (done)
  • Objective: support phones for CS446 and other courses
    • W17 (TOP): acquire ThinkingApe-funded phones, and develop plan for managing them beyond W17. (done)

On-Line Services: File Storage

File storage for students, staff, and faculty.
  • Objective: highly-available network file service (NetApp) with limited capacity (4GB/undergrad, 20GB/ grad, 50GB/faculty)
  • Objective: highly-available, performant, high-capacity file service (DFS) for SCS faculty, staff, grads
    • S17 (INF): migrate non-home-directory network mounts to DFS
    • S17 (RSG/INF): handover of on-ongoing management of the DFS to the INF group
    • W17 (RSG/INF/TOP): Director-accessible downtime records (start time, duration, planned/unplanned,reason) for DFS and FSS services, regularly updated and not discarded (not done: FSS only, data link not accessible)
    • W17 (RSG/INF): DFS in production under FSS (done)
    • F16 (INF/RSG): DFS in production under FSS (not done, progress)
  • Objective: file syncing/sharing (FSS) service for SCS faculty, staff, grads
    • S17 (RSG/INF): official launch of FSS service to SCS (Lawrence, Nathan - ST#108871)
    • W17 (RSG/INF): soft roll-out of FSS service to SCS (done)
    • F16 (INF/RSG): roll-out of FSS service to SCS (not done, progress)
  • Objective: reliable Samba service
    • F16: (INF): Redundant samba service for both teaching and general environments (done)

On-Line Services: Email

Supplemental e-mail services to support of SCS-specific requirements.
  • Objective: SCS mail exchange service supporting local mail scripting and SCS-specific aliases.
    • S17 (INF/TOP): review, re-design and re-deploy existing (MX) exchange service, modernizing and avoiding current spam-forwarding problem. (Adrian - RT#103315)
    • S17 (INF): review and update existing IMAP service, updating service configuration to use IST’s services where possible
    • W17 (INF/TOP): review, re-design and re-deploy existing (MX) exchange service, modernizing and avoiding current spam-forwarding problem. (not done)
    • F16 (INF): re-design and re-deploy existing (MX) exchange service, modernizing and avoiding current spam-forwarding problem. (not done)

On-Line Services: WWW

Web presence for SCS and CSCF
  • Objective: refresh/upgrade CSCF web presence
    • F16 (TOP/RSG) - plan content of revised site (not done)
    • F16 (TOP/RSG) - decision about moving CSCF web to WCMS (not done)
    • F16 (TOP/RSG) - WCMS training for at least one staff (not done)
  • Objective: support CS web presence
    • S17 (RSG) – all SCS web-based applications work with new clustered web server (Isaac, Nathan and Daniel)
    • S17 (TOP/RSG) – support migration of CS WCMS content from Math to UW, update CS WWW proxy (Daniel, Isaac)
    • S17 (INF/RSG) – deploy Ubuntu-16.04 Apache 3-node cluster
    • W17 (INF/RSG) – deploy Ubuntu-16.04 Apache 3-node cluster (not done)
    • W17 (TOP/RSG) – migration of CS WCMS content from Math to UW (not done – external delay)
    • F16 (TOP/RSG) – migration of CS WCMS content from Math to UW (not done)

Teaching/Administrative Services

Custom services in support of teaching and School administration.
  • S17 (TOP): deploy Xerox fleet printer in DC2320

Research Services

Custom services in support of research activities.
  • Objective: “Paper” cluster – research infrastructure from surplus equipment, operated on a cost-recovery basis.
  • Objective: SCS research computing systems and grad/faculty desktops behind UW-mandated firewall
    • F16 (RSG): get remaining research nets behind the firewall (done)

SCS Software Projects: Exam Management System (EMS)

System to support exam seating, printing, and marking.
  • Objective: migrate support and operational responsibility for EMS to RO and IST
    • S17 (RSG): migrate operational instance of EMS to IST server in time for S17 exams
    • W17 (RSG): PoC for EMS for other Depts: Accounting & Financial Mgmt, Chemistry, Engineering, Stats, Distance – posted on the Odyssey EMS help page. (not done)
    • F16 (RSG): PoC for EMS for other Depts: Accounting & Financial Mgmt, Chemistry, Engineering, Stats, Distance – posted on the Odyssey EMS help page. (not done - there is a page of contacts, but it is not linked and some are confirmed)
  • Objective: on-going feature development
    • W17 (RSG): revamped EMS UI is live (done)
    • F16 (RSG): revamp EMS UI (supervised by Daniel) (not done, progress. Beta is live.)

SCS Software Projects: Grad Visit Day System

System to support annual Grad Visit Day, including scheduling
  • Objective: ensure reliable system operation, customization and enhancements

SCS Software Projects: TA Evaluation System

Proposed system to support TA Evaluation workflow for the Grad Office.
  • Objective: design, develop, deploy, maintain
    • F16 (RSG): solicit feedback on TA evaluation system, propose any Phase 2 changes (Isaac) (not done, not a priority for W17)

SCS Software Project: Teaching Preference System

System to collect faculty teaching preferences.
  • Objective: ensure reliable system operation, refine and enhance as needed

SCS Software Projects: OAT

Backend database supporting advising tools, UW Portal, EMS, and other applications.
  • Objective: ensure reliable system operation, enhance functionality
    • W17(RSG): all raw data inputs made available in the OAT DB for querying (progress, not done – external delays)

SCS Software Projects: OGSAS

System to support graduate admissions workflow.
  • Objective: ensure reliable system operation, on-going feature enhancement
    • F16 (RSG): solicit feedback, propose new features if needed (not done, not a priority for W17)
  • Objective: port OGSAS to OAT backend

CSCF-Internal Systems: Accounts Management

Manage and utilize accounts data for CS students, faculty, and staff
  • Objective: exploit OAT database for accounts data
  • F16 (INF/RSG): get course enrollment (group) data in Directory Service from OAT DB (not done, some progress)

CSCF-Internal Systems: Inventory

System to track equipment inventory.
  • Objective: ensure reliable operation, feature enhancements
    • S17 (RSG/INF) inventory-driven tftpboot and salt configuration for server provisioning (RT#609744 Nathan, Justin, Daniel)

CSCF-Internal Systems: Research Subscription System

System to manage research support subscriptions, track time, generate bills
  • Objective: ensure reliable operation, feature enhancements
    • W17 (RSG): prepare subscription system to support annual billing (not done, required changes not determined)
    • F16 (RSG): modify subscription system as necessary for revised billing model (unnecessary)

CSCF-Internal Systems: Request Tracking

System to track research support requests.
  • Objective: CSCF request tracking via campus RT system
    • S17 (RSG): integration of RT time tracking with existing tools
    • W17 (RSG/TOP/INF): RT goes live (all new requests and updates in RT) on 1 May. (done)
    • W17 (RSG/TOP/INF): fewer than 50 open requests per staff member by term's end, and none assigned to non-staff (progress)
    • F16 (RSG/TOP/INF): RT replacement for ST system in test, with sample queues and staff dashboards (not done)

Strategic Planning

Review and long-term planning of CSCF services.
  • S17 (INF/TOP/RSG) develop plan for home directory file services for linux.student.cs and linux.cs beyond end-of-life of current NetApp file server, including transition timeline
  • S17 (INF/TOP/RSG) develop plan for printing services for SCS faculty, staff, grads – usage tracking not necessary
  • W17: (INF/RSG) develop plan for SCS PostgreSQL servers (done)
  • F16: (INF/TOP) develop printing support plan (not done)
  • F16 (TOP) investigate and possible deploy/migrate on campus Slack alternative (done)

Financials

Manage CSCF spending on staff, equipment, and services.
  • Objective: Produce annual equipment budget proposal for SCS.
    • W17(INF/RSG/TOP): final FY17 budgets to SCS (done)
    • F16 (INF): draft FY17 budget (not done)
  • Objective: Timely and well-managed spending – avoid last minute spending.
    • S17 (INF/TOP/RSG): complete S17 spending according to budget targets - RT#604822 (Dave/Lawrence/Omar)
    • W17 (INF/TOP/RSG): complete FY16 equipment spending (done)
    • W17 (TOP/INF/RSG): develop a process for managing staff budget (done)
    • F16 (INF): At least 85% of CSCF budget spent by 31 December (not done, progress – about 70% spent through November)
  • Objective: timely billing of researchers for research services
    • S17 (RSG): establish FY17 RSG unit billing rate and distribute single annual bill for each support account
    • W17 (RSG): combined F16/W17 bills distributed in Jan 2017 (done)
    • F16 (RSG): F16 billing under new billing model by end of October (not done, progress)
Topic revision: r4 - 2018-01-17 - DanielAllen
 
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