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About updating and maintenance of large Skolelinux operations

tirsdag 27 juli 2004, 12:17, skrev Andreas Schuldei:
> what is kind of information is missing?

* Background

From March 2004 we have done a lot of work helping a large private 
Application Service Provider to set up a day-to-day operation center of 
operating many Skolelinux-installations at schools in different 
municipalities. Schools has already signed on a agreement over 3 years 
with day-to-day operation of Skolelinux. The hardware will be of good 
quality. The servers are with SCSI-disks (hot-swap) and so on. 

To ensure that all the good experiences from this effort can be used by 
the other organizations that uses Skolelinux, the agreement is that 
changes and improvements to the Skolelinux architecture and day-to-day 
operation environment shall be transfered back to Debian-Edu. 

It's almost the same thing thats been done with Samson 3. Samson 3 is a 
project where UNINETT AS serving and operates the scientific IP-network 
for University Colleges and Universities in Norway. They use Skolelinux 
as a platform for this effort. 


* Three small challenges

1. Security patches
2. broken SCSI-disks and disk enlargements
3. How to get good practices back to Skolelinux-cvs

I know this question may seem stupid, but they should be documented, and 
enforced in an contract, so the routines has to be written down :-)

1. Security patches DESA

Some of the security patches need a reboot to take affect. Mainly this 
affects kernel-upgrades. A Skolelinux-server can be configured to do 
the patching almost automaticly. The question is how to do the restart 
of lots servers automaticly when they are at different schools, and 
ensure that the servers are coming up with as little work as possible.  
After a long talk with Petter i know they have really good routines for 


The question: 
-- When does we restart the server?
-- How should we do it?

2. broken SCSI-s and disk enlargements

The other situation is when a schools needs more disk-space, or when a 
disk is broken. Change the server entirely when something is broken was 
my advice before. Then the ICT-staff could take a ready installed 
Skolelinux-server from a storage, and replace the broken one at the 
schools, and then restore the backup from the backup-server. Then send 
the failed server to service. This routine is made for teachers with no 
prior experience with real servers. 

When we build up a day-to-day operation center, we have people with the 
necessary skills to handle this more smoothly. When a SCSI-disk breaks, 
it can be replaced and rebuilt at the school. When the school need more 
disk space, they just call the operation centers, and this is done in a 
suitable way. 

There is an divide in work when doing disk replacement. The divide is 
between hardware supplier, and a skilled person that starts the rebuild 
process for an broken SCSI, or an enlargement process on a server that 
got new disks in addition to the old ones. 

The question:
-- How should this be done most efficient when doing a 
server-replacement is unnecessary extra work. We got the skills :-)

3. How to get good practices back to Skolelinux-cvs

We have some experiences with getting source code from good solutions 
back from people that does day-to-day maintenance of a 
Skolelinux-network. Now this will be regulated by contracts between SLX 
Debian Labs and ASPs to ensure that the adaption of Skolelinux in an  
industrial fashion. 

The question: 
-- What is the process that ensures this in an easy way?
-- How should the contract text express this process?

The questions applies to maintenance of WLUS, the Skolelinux 
architecture, and the Debian maintenance and process with security 
fixes. It also regulates good new solution to get it even more easy to 
adapt and run Skolelinux/Debian-Edu in a large scale for ASPs, 
municipalities and universities. 

Knut Yrvin
Project manager (cel: +47 908 95 765) Skolelinux Norway and OpenOffice
translation to Norwegian. Office 1: SLX Debian Labs Forskningsparken,
Gaustadalle 21, 0349 OSLO, NORWAY. Office 2: IT-Staff Akershus County
Council, Schweigaards gate 4, 0185 OSLO, NORWAY

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