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Sites Pilot



below is from September. The pilot period is over so it's time to review it. Who should work on this for me? Mull it over as a group [add to agenda on 26th?] and let me have two or three names next week (by end-of-day Friday 29th). Then I'll work with the selected team to close on this quickly ... Gavin
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From: Kitty Bridges <bridges@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 5 Sep 2004 08:56:39 -0400

The UMCE statistics Solaris machines currently located in the Sites were decomissioned over the winter/spring. Not only was the hardware outdated to the point of being unusable, but the OS couldn't be maintained securely and usage has dropped dramatically over the last year. This is in part due to a shift away from solaris and in part because the hardware isn't particularly powerful.

The plan is to eventually replace them with Intel hardware running linux. This will provide better support for statistical applications. We plan to use Sites provided hardware, and consolidate purchasing/support costs. We plan to test this environment with the existing UMCE linux distribution. Sites folks would provide a loadset based on this distribution without extensive effort. It's an estimated 1-2 weeks to develop the initial loadset (mostly Sites time with assistances from GPCC folks) and 1-2 weeks to build overloads for statistical packages and test them. An open source windowing application would be deployed with linux, without additional development.

We hope to have 4 machines to a Fall pilot (2 Angell, 1 Ugli, 1 CSCAR). At the end of this Fall term pilot, we would evaluate:

 = how well this environment (hardware, OS, application
   software) works for statistical applications, and

= the level of support needed for this environment.

After this evaluation, ITCS will decide whether or not to expand the pilot in its current state, or to make changes (in hardware or OS) to better support statistical applications users. We will explicitly review the cost and benefit of using UMCE linux in the Sites setting. There are also additional collaborative opportunities that should be investigated relating to this, with CSCAR, Natural Resources and other departments with statistical labs and intensive usage. This should be further explored in the Fall.