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Re: Report from DSA Team Sprint in Oslo

Thanks for this report Luca. Thanks to the whole DSA for having this meeting, and for your tremendous work in general.

Luca Filipozzi wrote:
Historically, Debian's hardware requirements have been met through the
generous donation of new and used equipment by individuals and
organizations.  This is no longer true and the consequence of this is
that we must find alternate means by which to refresh our
infrastructure.  This is becoming an acute issue as the majority of our
machines are now very old and long out of warranty; they are sometimes
quite constrained and/or are starting to fail.

We have developed a Five Year Plan [1] whereby all service-hosting
hardware should be under warranty at any given time.  As part of this,
we are planning a five year refresh cycle and the goal is then for no
hardware to be more than five years old.  Although our work on the Five
Year Plan has focussed on hardware hosting services such as ftp-master,
lists, wiki, etc., the Debian Project Leader has asked us to augment the
Plan to address buildd/porter hardware.

That said, an ongoing concern for DSA is our ability to source hardware
for our various architectures.  We will work with the various teams to
identify commercial sources for hardware and to define the
supportability of the various architectures.  The Debian System
Administration team is keen to ensure that we can maintain the Project's
ability to target our operating system for various architectures.  This
means understanding and mitigating the risk presented by "un-sourceable"

A clear outcome of our work on the Five Year Plan is an understanding
that hardware has now become one of the biggest expense categories for
Debian.  If we are to be successful in implementing a five-year refresh
cycle, we will need improve our philanthropic support.  We need to
revamp and probably merge our sponsorship and donations pages.  We need
to support both targeted campaigns addressing specific goals (a
particular piece of hardware, say) as well as "annual giving".  We need
to provide donors with visibility into how we have used funds donated to
date and with information regarding our future needs.  We propose that
Debian requires something like the FreeBSD Foundation's sponsorship page
[2] and we are prepared to take a significant role in addressing this

It is concerning that we no longer receive enough hardware donations to meet our needs. I can only encourage these improvements to donations pages. Specifically, if we lack any significant hardware, let's add it to http://www.debian.org/misc/hardware_wanted.en.html

I am curious about what share of our hardware needs come from the need to support specific architectures. Perhaps even how much money and time DSA spends on each architecture.

http://db.debian.org/machines.cgi is now huge. I'm enjoying very much the Status column's current discretion :-)

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