ITS UNIX Systems
UNIX Systems Support
ITS’s UNIX Systems group provides basic free support for
- IBM AIX (4.3.3 and later releases) on IBM P-series and RS/6000 systems, and
- RedHat Fedora Linux releases supported by the Fedora project on Intel and Intel-compatible processor systems.
Basic support includes
- Question–and–answer consultation on UNIX systems configuration and administration.
- Network–downloadable operating system software upgrades for AIX and Linux for system owners who wish to install the upgrades themselves.
Note: Limited assistance may be available for older architectures for which some software is still available, but which is no longer being updated, such as older Linux distributions.
For-Fee UNIX Support
ITS UNIX Systems provides 3 types of for-fee support services:
- Departmental UNIX support for servers or workstations
- Linux high-performance computing cluster administration
- Hourly system administration
Departmental UNIX Support for Servers or Workstations
The ITS departmental UNIX systems support program provides operating systems support, filesystem backups, and operational support on an annual fee basis for IBM AIX and Intel Linux (Fedora or RedHat Enterprise) systems owned by departments other than ITS. Machines approved for support must be on Grounds and be a part of the University's TCP/IP network.
System support services covered by this agreement:
- ITS will install and maintain running systems, identify hardware problems, and interface with the appropriate maintenance vendor for repair of any failing hardware. Actual cost of repair, whether maintenance contract or time-and-materials, must be paid by the owning department.
- ITS will install and maintain up-to-date system and networking software.
- ITS will perform appropriate system software upgrades at the owning department’s request.
- ITS will install departmentally-purchased software packages.
- ITS will provide these services from 8 AM until 5 PM Monday through Friday unless special arrangements are made for additional hours. After hours coverage on a regular basis is available at an additional cost.
Optional Filesystem Backups
In the event of system unavailability, network outage, or other technical problems preventing access to the department’s system(s), ITS will perform regularly scheduled (usually daily) filesystem backups on covered UNIX systems. Filesystems that should be included or excluded from the regular backups will be mutually determined by ITS and the owning department. Support service coverage is required for ITS to perform backups.
ITS is currently in the process of revising its pricing structure; please see the Infrastructure Pricing Menu for details. If you need assistance with pricing needs for Systems Administrative Contract Service, please email us.
Linux High Performance Computing Cluster Administration
- Linux High Performance Computing Cluster administration services are available for a contracted fee.
- Charges for cluster administration and backups are $1,000 (the annual backup charge for up to 200 GB) plus hourly charges for the amount of time necessary to do the cluster administration over the course of the year.
- The amount of time necessary to manage a cluster varies with size, the type and age of the hardware used, and the amount of customization and specialized software required by the owner. From year to year, as the hardware ages, the time required for ongoing management will probably increase as the number of hardware failures increases. Because the time necessary for cluster management depends on numerous factors, we cannot set a fixed price to manage your cluster.
- ITS uses Rocks for cluster management, and will install and maintain an Intel– or Intel–compatible cluster for departments, using the same or similar distribution of Rocks used to maintain our own ITS-Linux clusters.
- We estimate that an eight node cluster with an internal Ethernet cluster interconnect and no customization different from the ITS Linux HPCC environment may require 16 to 40 hours to install and configure, and an additional 40 to 60 hours to manage in the first year. In subsequent years, as the hardware ages, we estimate that an additional 10 hours per year may be necessary.
- Contact ITS Unix systems if you want to have us look at your cluster or proposed cluster configuration and provide an estimate of what we think it will require to manage your specific configuration.
Cluster administration services includes:
- Configuration of 100 MB or GB ethernet cluster interconnect. Optionally, ITS may be able to configure other interconnect hardware (e.g., Infiniband); this will necessarily add to the amount of time needed to install and manage the cluster,
- Filesystem backup, up to 200 GB, for the head node,
- Installation and configuration of Rocks cluster management suite,
- ITS root access. A departmental support person may be given limited root access for specific tasks, such as account administration, but will not have general root access.
- ITS-provided hardware installation, cabling, software installation and configuration, problem diagnosis, and interface with the vendor for hardware repair (including doing needed parts replacement). The department is responsible for paying for the hardware, warranty and/or ongoing hardware maintenance service from the vendor, or any required parts purchased.
System Administration Services Available at An Hourly Rate
- Initial installation of new UNIX workstation hardware and operating system software.
- Diagnosis of system hardware or software problems, and interface with vendors to obtain repair service. Any costs other than ITS labor incurred to accomplish the repair (e.g., hardware) is the responsibility of the owning user or department.
- Installation of operating system upgrades.
- Installation and maintenance of customer-purchased applications software.