[AG-TECH] Meeting notes - AG Continuation of Services Meeting

Jason Bell j.bell at cqu.edu.au
Fri May 11 10:32:12 CDT 2012


I am sending out a draft copy of the meeting notes, from the "AG Continuation of Services Meeting" which was held on the 8/9 of May 2012.

I recognise that the notes are very "rough" and apologise in advance for any errors, but I want to get some information out to the public as soon as possible, especially to those who were unable to attend.

Please feel free to comment on the notes and advise on any aspects of the content or errors within the draft notes.

>From a personal note, I was very happy to see the number of participants for the meeting and look forward to the next meeting (which I will advertise shortly).

Many regards,


AG Continuation of Services Meeting

8/9 of May 2012

Attendees (apologises if I missed anyone)

·         CQ University - Australia

·         University of Newcastle - Australia

·         University of Queensland - Australia

·         University Technology Sydney - Australia

·         University of British Columbia - Canada

·         Massey University - New Zealand

·         Victoria University of Wellington - New Zealand

·         University of Otago - New Zealand

·         University of Canterbury - New Zealand

·         University of Auckland - New Zealand

·         Universidad de VIGO - Spain

·         University of Manchester - UK

·         Argonne National Laboratory - United States

·         University of California, San Francisco - United States

·         Rochester Institute of Technology<http://www.rit.edu/> - United States

Topics discussed

·         Cut over date is 1st of June - therefore need to begin migration ASAP.

·         Current release of Access Grid Toolkit has many instances of "mcs.anl.gov" (45 occurrences was mention).

o   Code will need to be modified and new packages released (main priority?)

o    DNS redirected was discussed, though it was decided that this should be implemented as a backup strategy

§  There are a number of services (Jabber, Venue Server, etc) that are based on mcs.anl.gov addresses;

§  Issuing of certificates is one of the primary services that use the mac.anl.gov address;

§  Questions were asked whether DNS redirection is possible (ANL will have to implement this) and whether all services will still work;

§  Discussions indicated that it would be preferable to modify source code and produce new packages.  DNS redirections would be a backup strategy to "catch" the current users who don't upgrade initially;

·         New Access Grid packages

o   Linux releases (which are done by Chris Willing and Doug Kosovic) is relatively simple to create and can be produced any time.

o   Mac and Windows releases are currently created by the ANL development Team (mostly Tom Uram) and moving forward, other groups will need to provide assistance in producing these packages in the future.

o   Windows bundler installer - Nathan Gardiner currently grabs the windows AGTK version and includes additional packages to produce a bundle installer.

§  Bundle is dependent on existing Access Grid Package

§  Nathan would be happy to make the bundler installer code available on a repository and/or to update the script to include any new packages that are built;

o   ANL (Most Tom) cannot guarantee to provide the effort required to produce new packages;

§  Though, a computer is still configured to produce new packages and Tom (ANL) would be happy to assist in transferring the knowledge and configuration required to produce windows packages;

§  Mac system setup to produce packages is simpler than system to produce windows AGTK packages;

§  ANL will assist in providing documentation on how to configure a system to build new Windows and Mac AGTK Packages

§  Andrew (University Newcastle) and Fraser (University of Otago) will investigate the requirements for building Windows Packages - but no guarantees were provided

§  No interest was given to provide Mac/s packaging support

§  New windows packages should be able to be produced easily, but will require testing.

§  ANL is not sure about Mac environment, but will have to check if environment still exists.

·         If you build on Leopard and explicitly set python to 2.5, it should work on all new MAC OSX (latest 3 releases) platforms

o   In regards to the Windows Package, the multicast beacon needs to be disabled to ensure it works for windows 7 users.

o   A possible way to overcome the need to produce new packages, would be to produce a script which users would run, which manually changes the mac.anl.gov addresses to new destinations;

o   It was suggested and recommended that vic and rat be decoupled from the AGTK installation, which would simplify the building of the AGTK package

·         Access Grid Services

o   Hosting services, single location, services split out amongst different groups;

§  Long Term View - Would be great to have failover, but it will take a while to support and implement

§  Short Term View - Just need a few services hosted somewhere to ensure continuation of AG services.

o   Issuing of Certificates

§  Certificates are required for running and "Server" on a Clients entering an Access Controlled Venue;

§  There are a couple of options, these being: Central cert authority; or self-signed.  But, these will need to be further investigated;

§  Initially - any new certificate that is signed will last for two years, thereby, it is recommended that new certificates are requested, which will work as a transition mechanism, until a final solution is determined and implemented;

o   Unicast Bridge Registry

§  An option could be to run a number of regional bridge registries, in which the code would need to be modified to point to these systems.

o   Default Venue Server

§  Questions were raised whether the default venue server should point to an existing server, a new "basic" default server (which someone implements) or replicate the ANL Venue Server.

§  Issues were raised that using a "basic" default server cannot point to other Venue Servers (code bug) after the Venue Server is rebooted

§  Chris Willing offered to host a combined Jabber and Venue Server instance which will act as the default service.

·         The Default Venue Server will be based on the ANL Venue Server, therefore all the current venues will remain the same.

o   Jabber Server

§  Chris Willing offered to host a combined Jabber and Venue Server instance which will act as the default service.

o   Access Grid website

§  This will need to be migrated and hosted

§  Todd (UBC) was recommended to be contacted to see if he could assist with the migration and hosting of the server.

o   Mailing Lists

§  AG-Tech and AG-Dev should be continued

§  Source forge mailing list are somewhat problematic and difficult to use

§  It was recommend that someone should host our own Mailing list - request volunteers

§  Currently using mailman

§  A suggestion was to use google groups

o   Accessgrid.org

§  ANL would be happy to transfer the domain;

§  People are comfortable that this is should be the generic domain and name of future and transitioning services;

§  Note sure of current hosting costs, but it was mentioned that generally, hosting a domain name costs around $35us.

§  Domains do a 5 year subscription and costs around $300nz

§  Whois enquiry produces:

·         Domain Name:ACCESSGRID.ORG

·         Created On:16-Sep-1999 16:24:54 UTC

·         Last Updated On:10-Sep-2008 20:14:29 UTC

·         Expiration Date:16-Sep-2013 16:24:54 UTC

§  David (University of Newcastle) offered to take ownership and of the domain name (for a couple of years) until long term planning and the AG organisation can be implemented.

§  Services to initially use this domain name would be

·         "Global/Default" Venue Server

·         Bridge Registry

·         Jabber Server

o   Specialised Jabber version and long term solutions need to be considered, ie, use different product etc.

·         Code repository

o   Where do we keep the code?  Overwhelming support for source forge to host the code.

o   Source Forge was recommended and it was suggested to continue to use SVN, which will provide easy transferal for code hosting;

o   Two pronged approach

§  Short term approach - apply redirect or patch to code

§  Long term approach (correct solution) - Update code and create packages

o   Begin the source code migration straight away and with any updates, apply to both repositories (to assist ANL to potential produce one last package for windows and Mac/s)

·         Organisation Group

o   It was suggested that there should be an Access Grid Organisation, with a charter and administration group.  Thought, this is considered more of a long term project.

·         Development resources

o   To ensure long term jevity, Access Grid will need more / new developers to cater for new operating system dependencies and resources are limiting current AG users/operators to contribute.

o   ULC (Piers) is no longer actively developing "vic" or "rat"

§  Should the vic and rat repository be moved (or at least) hosted under the new repository as well?

o   Need to find new developers;

o   It is hoped that moving the code to source forge may assist to encouraging new developers, as previous road blocks with development contribution may be removed

o   Other scenarios that might encourage future developers

§  FFMPEG is a very active community, they have some relevance with AG, can we leverage (build a bridge) off that or look how they operate?

·         Multicast address allocation

o   Will there be any issues?

o   There is currently no way to coordinate Multicast addresses between Venue Servers (without using static addresses)

o   There is this notion of GLOP space, in which institutions "own" their own space, but the AG addresses used are not part of the ANL space.

§  AG currently by default uses the 224.2.*.* space

o   There is a possibility of conflicts, but general experience indicates that conflicts general occur at present

o   IPv6 multicast will be more complicated

·         Multicast Beacon

o   DBeacon the only viable multicast beacon.

§  Allows users to produce webpage that shows multicast matrix

o   Need someone to nominate webpages to view this information

o   Could be easily hosted on www.accessgrid.org<http://www.accessgrid.org>

·         AG bugzilla

o   Source forge might be used to track bugs / issues

o   Issue with automated bug tracking - may have to disable "submit bug" feature on Venue Client.

Action Items

·         Tom Uram (ANL) to ask whether DNS redirection is possible, but expects it not to be a problem.

·         Tom needs to check Mac build environment (to see if environment still exists.)

o   Suggest building on Leopard and explicitly set python to 2.5, it should work on all new MAC OSX (latest 3 releases) platforms

·         Package testing will need to be conducted by many groups;

·         Jason Bell - Will draft and send an email to various mailings list - recommending that all AG Venue Server operators/managers and anyone using identity certificates to enter Access Controlled Venue to request new certificate before cut-off date.

·         Jason Bell - Obtain a list of regional Unicast Bridge Registries

·         Chris Willing - to setup and host a combined Jabber and Venue Server instance which will act as the default service.

o   As a side note: Chris - maybe you could run a Bridge Registry as well on this system

·         David (University of Newcastle) to investigate taking ownership of the accessgrid.org domain name

·         Jason Bell, to contact Todd (UBC) to see if he could assist with migration and hosting of the www.accessgrid.org<http://www.accessgrid.org> website.

·         Jason Bell, find volunteer to host mailing lists (AG-Tech and AG-Dev)

·         Need to follow up long term support and management of AG Scheduler

·         Need to follow up on bugzilla - source forge might be able to be used

·         Jason Bell, to send out meeting outcomes and actions

·         Jason Bell, to send out notification of next meeting (which will be in less than two week's time)

Code Action Items

·         Find instances of anl.gov and replace with new address (most likely accessgrid.org equivalents)

·         Update default Venue Server Address (example: venueserver.accessgrid.org)

·         The multicast beacon needs to be disabled by default, to ensure it works for windows 7 users.

·         Disable "submit bug" feature on Venue Client.


Jason Bell, B.I.T. (Honours)

Video Collaboration Champion
Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation

ARCS eResearch Collaborative Services

Senior Research Technologies Officer
Information Technology Directorate
CQ University Australia

E-mail :                 j.bell at cqu.edu.au<mailto:j.bell at cqu.edu.au>
                                j.bell at qcif.edu.au<mailto:j.bell at qcif.edu.au>
                                jason.bell at arcs.org.au<mailto:jason.bell at arcs.org.au>
Work   :                 +61 7 4930 9229
Mobile :               0409 630897
Postal :                 Building 19, Room 1.55
                                Central Queensland University
                                Bruce Highway
                                Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, 4702
Patience is a virtue.

But if I wanted Patience,
I would have become a Doctor.

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