TCE powered by a SAN, NAS and itanium machines — #1

A great unforgettable weekend pased by. From Friday morning to Monday evening, we had a beautiful, tech-packed weekend. As per the schedule, Joe and Sen came to the college on Friday for a 4 day visit. The first day had 2 sessions on FOSS to inspire the juniors at TCE. Then, for the remaining three days, it was all in the server rooms of TCE, upgrading, configuring and giving life to the servers.

On Friday, Joe hadled the morning session and gave a beautiful and motivating talk on Free Open Source Software and why it is important. He explained with his traditional spoon example and then the bike example. He told about the wealth of software available in the software and the qualoty it has. He also spoke about mailing lists, and other open source software development .He also answered questions from the audience on various issues like the licenses to open source business to software patant infringements. Then in the afternoon, Sen spoke on the opportunities available in the industries for open spurce people. He spoke about companies like Spikesource, SUN, Collabnet and Google. where open source only exists. Then he also spoke the importance of Internet presence.Later that day, we began the work for which they had come. In the meantime, R* Subramani joined us. We went to the PP Lab and had a talk. Various issues regarding the TCENet were discussed. Sen spoke to the second years so as to bring them in to the development team. After that, we started up with cleaning up and reinstalling a machine in the lab. Then we took a ML110 hp machine, added a 80GB hard disk to it and made it the repository server. Configuring and moving the data from various server took time.

Then we moved over to Itanium. From now on, we just helped Joe and Sen rather than doing serious work. Previously, connecting to the itanium was a tedious task. We used to connect to the serial port of SAN, then connect a VDU to SAN and then use hyper terminal to conect to it. Now, working on Itanium for the first tiem in Joe’s presence, we saw minicom being used. Though we had problems initially, Joe configured it to work for Itanium and so we directly connected Itanium to a VDU. Debian etch ia64 was installed in it. We have al the databases running in this powerful beast now.

Next we moved over to the files server. Sai krishna previously moved all the contents of it to the repos. The contents were mainly iso dumps of variuos GNU/Linux distros. For the first time, we used ILO (Integrated Lighs Out port). The greate advantage of using ILO is that, we can do everything remotely using the software that come along with that. It is enough if the machine is on. I saw for the first time, the use of virtual media, where CD is poped into one system but he installation is done in another system using Virtual Media. TCE has 8 such powerful machines, providing various features like shell access, centralised authentication(single sign on), Roaming profile etc. After installing etch on it, it was renamed web.tcenet and now it hosts all the websites except the intranet site.

Next, we moved to the SAN configuration for Itanium and then mailserver installation and SAN configuration for the Mailbox etc. All that will be put in my next post

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