[Beowulf] User notification of new software on the cluster

John Hanks griznog at gmail.com
Tue Sep 27 16:55:34 PDT 2016

We take the approach that our cluster is "community managed" and discuss
all aspects of managing it, software installs, problems, usage, scheduling,
etc., in a dedicated slack.com instance for our center. Our group is 1
sysadmin (me), 1 applications person (my officemate) and about 200 users.
To date this has worked really well. People can easily choose to monitor
the relevant slack channels they are interested in, we get instant feedback
for changes and problems, we can easily poll users for potential
maintenance window scheduling and we've discovered that users are creating
private channels for coordinating projects and discussing stuff we never
imagined. As a bonus all our configs are checked into a subversion repo and
any changes have the changelogs sent to slack so that anyone interested can
instantly see any change to the clusters config and the comment associated
with it. At the risk of sounding like an advertisement for slack.com,
between the web and phone apps providing access from just about any device
or location where there is an internet connection and the level of adoption
we've had from users, I've never encountered a better system for managing a
community around a shared resource.


On Tue, Sep 27, 2016 at 6:43 PM Christopher Samuel <samuel at unimelb.edu.au>

> On 28/09/16 06:02, Rob Taylor wrote:
> > I wanted to ask how people announce new versions of software that has
> > been installed on their cluster to their user base.
> We're pretty lucky, most users know to use "module avail" to see what's
> there and given we tend to install a couple of new packages a day (yay
> bioinformatics) any active update mechanism would probably be overwhelming.
> We did used to have a list of software on our website but it was
> impossible to keep up to date.
> All the best,
> Chris
> --
>  Christopher Samuel        Senior Systems Administrator
>  VLSCI - Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative
>  Email: samuel at unimelb.edu.au Phone: +61 (0)3 903 55545
>  http://www.vlsci.org.au/      http://twitter.com/vlsci
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