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MDL System Administration Mission Statement

System Administration is a necessary part to making a successful AWIPS build and release. They are responsible for the maintenance, monitoring, and general upkeep of the computer and system resources necessary to support and test a build.

To support the successful and timely development of AWIPS builds, the administration staff maintains a network of Linux and UNIX computers that are available with the following services:

  • Development Environment

     - The administration staff installs, configure and upgrades the compilers that are in use by the project. MDL currently uses HP, Intel FORTRAN, Portland Group FORTRAN and the GCC development suite with varied versions.

      Configuration Management Support
     - The development effort is managed by the configuration management staff that maintains candidate builds the AWIPS and NDFD projects. The CM tools rely on various compilers and build tools. One server currently manages configuration management via the PVCS software tool.

  • Storage

      NFS Servers
     - The staff currently maintains several network file system servers that are shared across the build machines to provide a common staging area that the workstations all access.

      CD Authoring capability
     - During the release cycle of IFPS, MDL is required to create the master CD which is sent to NGIT for duplication, implying the facility to create CD_R media from the configuration management system.

  • Backup

    The development staging areas, configuration and developer home directories are backed up to various systems depending on the availability of hardware media.

      Daily Mirrors
     - Certain file systems, such as staging, are aggressively mirrored each night to an online area for fast retrieval in case of a file system loss.

     - The primary backup system is run by a software package called Amanda. Amanda was designed for large heterogeneous networks. Our Amanda installation relies on a central tape server that contacts each system nightly over the network and automatically performs incremental and full backups to LTO tape.

  • Accounting

      Access control
     - The system administration staff maintains computer accounts for developers and collaborators that require close access. Access control lists limit access to certain parts of the system to increase the security of a project.

     - By maintaining multiple network information system servers the system administrators install an account on the NIS server, which synchronizes the authentication information to the whole UNIX cluster.

      Mail delivery
     - Users can send can receive UNIX at their workstations using a variety of mailers. The system administrators maintain mail accounts and mail boxes, on the mail server

  • Connectivity

      LAN access
     - The development LAN is a switched ethernet with Gigabit backbone trunks and 100-megabit edge connectivity. The network routing is maintained by the NOAA NOC but the layer two and physical cabling is constructed and managed by the system administration staff.

     - A Linux firewall currently provides IP filter type security.

      Web page publication
     - The admin. staff maintains an Apache web server. AWIPS manuals and internal development documentation are served to NOAA destinations as well as the world at large.

  • Server/Workstation Configurations

      Test Environment
     - The Staff builds, upgrades and configures three AWIPS test platforms; each contains HP servers, Linux workstations and .px. processors sufficient to perform limited testing of software

     - ten (10) workstations for AWIPS are available for developers who wish to use the machine room in the 7th floor as a work area.

     - The main build servers for AWIPS are HP and Intel-based servers. These are the primary development compiler machines that are configured with all the libraries, compilers and configuration management tools.

      Administrative Servers
     - Special servers are available for tasks such as configuration management, web service, mail delivery and accounting.

  •   National Weather Service
    Office of Science and Technology
    Meteorological Development Laboratory
    Last Modified : August 11, 2006
    Page Author: Steve Olson
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