Nevis Applications Server

The students and teachers at Nevis require the use of many common programs: ROOT, CERNLIB, Geant4, and so on. It would be a waste of disk space (not to mention manpower) to install and maintain all these software packages on each system of the cluster individually.

Instead, all such programs are kept on one system, the applications server. This system exports an applications directory (/usr/nevis) to all the other systems in the cluster via automount. Any changes made to the software on the applications server is rapidly available to the entire cluster.

The current applications server is karthur. For reliability, the contents of karthur:/usr/nevis are mirrored nightly to the backup applications servers: kolya and annex. The automount configuration has been set so that if karthur goes down, the copy on kolya is used instead (although this seems to work better in theory than in practice). The Annex systems are configured to use annex:/usr/local by default, for speed.

A general question: what programs, applications, or utilities should go on the applications server? The policy is this: If only one workgroup uses a software package, then that package should be installed on that workgroup's server and maintained by that group; for example, the D0 group maintains the D0 analysis software on their server, karthur. If a package is used by more than one working group, or is of general interest (such as ROOT), it's kept on the applications server and maintained by the Nevis research computer staff.

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Topic revision: r1 - 2010-05-21 - WilliamSeligman
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