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Re: Please give a summary (Was: Debian services and Debian infrastructure)


Thank you for summarizing it so well.  I've been struggling with this
and getting probably unnecessarily angry about it, so you have done a
much more balanced job than I was likely to.

Don't you have enough flamewars to be in the middle of :)


This one time, at band camp, Ian Jackson said:
> Andreas Tille writes ("Please give a summary (Was: Debian services and Debian infrastructure)"):
> > as a random reader I have the feeling that this thread is about a
> > conflict between DSA members and DPL.  For me all these mails do not
> > make the slightest sense and it would help if someone could give a
> > summary what you are talking about and if possible give some example
> > what you think is OK and what not.
> AFAICT the DPL (and perhaps some other people) have been offered the
> opportunity to obtain donated "cloud hosting".  That is, VMs which
> would be hosted by the cloud provider for free but administered by
> Debian folk.
> That's nice and a thing we might want to take advantage of.  (In my
> day job with the Xen Project, we make extensive use of VM hosting
> graciously donated by Rackspace, for example.)
> Lucas seems to be intending to mediate these offers to interested DDs
> (who have Debian-related uses for a VM) directly, with the apparent
> expectation that those DDs would end up administering those VMs
> directly in an ad hoc manner.  DSA haven't been involved or informed
> (until now).
> I can see at least three problems with this, which have been mentioned
> in this and previous threads:
> Firstly, there is the prospect that "bad things" would happen to these
> VMs.  For example, they might get compromised; or access to them could
> be lost when the invididual DDs who had been running them leave or go
> on vacation.  This would be bad for the project, and of course it's
> bad for DSA because in such a situation DSA would be asked about these
> VMs and expected to fix it but have no access to or knowledge about
> them.
> Secondly, there is the risk that there would be no coherent way to
> retire these VMs when they are no longer needed.  When we take on
> ongoing donated resources like that, there should be a mechanism for
> ensuring that the project knows about them, can periodically check
> that they're still being used and needed, etc.
> Thirdly, it increases the risk of services being developed in a way
> that would make them hard to deploy on DSA-managed infrastructure.
> Developers of services would benefit from early contact with DSA to
> understand at least in general terms how to make a readily deployable
> and maintainable online service.
> Fourthly, it appears to be inconsistent with the DPL's DSA delegation,
> which specifically delegates to DSA the sysadmin responsibility for
> all of Debian's systems (which clearly ought to include these VMs).
> This whole affair is a nontrivial social problem because it gives the
> impression that the DPL lacks confidence in DSA, and vice versa.
|   ,''`.                                            Stephen Gran |
|  : :' :                                        sgran@debian.org |
|  `. `'                        Debian user, admin, and developer |
|    `-                                     http://www.debian.org |

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