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From Joe Bohn <>
Subject Re: Geronimo request for ASF hosted machines
Date Sat, 24 May 2008 22:48:18 GMT
Kevan Miller wrote:
> On May 23, 2008, at 7:54 PM, Justin Erenkrantz wrote:
>> On Fri, May 23, 2008 at 11:08 AM, Joe Bohn < 
>> <>> wrote:
>>> The Geronimo PMC would like to make the following request of the ASF
>>> Infrastructure team.  The request is specifically for machines to be used
>>> for collaboration and support of our certification efforts.  This is an
>>> extremely extensive set of tests that require significant computing
>>> resources, often not available to most community members.
>>> Thank you for your consideration of this request.  We will gladly 
>>> answer any
>>> questions or provide additional information.
>>> Rationale:
>>> The Apache Geronimo community has a need to support the execution and
>>> sharing of results from Sun certification tests (cts) which are necessary
>>> gain JavaEE5 certification compliance.  This information is only 
>>> available
>>> to those Geronimo committers that have signed the Sun NDA and other 
>>> Apache
>>> committers that have signed an NDA and gained approval of the Apache
>>> Geronimo PMC.  This has allowed other Apache projects to test new
>>> products/releases by running JavaEE 5 TCK tests using the Apache Geronimo
>>> test infrastructure.
>>> In the past these resource intensive tests have been run on private 
>>> machines
>>> by individuals.  As more people become involved with Apache Geronimo and
>>> related projects, it is becoming obvious that we need a central system to
>>> run and share the results of these tests.  A centralized testing 
>>> environment
>>> allows the Geronimo community to more fully participate in the TCK 
>>> process.
>>> Some committers don't have access to the hardware resources needed to run
>>> the Java EE TCK tests in a timely manner. Although some ad-hoc sharing of
>>> private machines has occurred, this is not ideal from a community
>>> perspective. Community controlled systems allow us to equitably share 
>>> these
>>> resources.
>>> Request:
>>> To fulfill this requirement, the Apache Geronimo PMC is requesting 
>>> the ASF
>>> infrastructure team to provide and host machines that can be used for 
>>> this
>>> purpose.  Initially, we would like to request two (2) machines that 
>>> meet (as
>>> closely as possible) the specification below.  However, we can see 
>>> the need
>>> for 2 additional machines in the not too distant future.
>> To fill in others, Joe B. and I have talked about this before - so
>> this doesn't come as a surprise to me.  I've informed Joe that our
>> current data center does not have space for any new machines, so this
>> will require a build-out of a new data center.  (Joe S. has looked
>> into this and it's about $500/mo for the data center that he houses
>> his personal setup at; we also know that we'd have to build out the
>> new data center - which we'd have to gather the costs for as well.)
> I assume building out a new data center is something we will need to do, 
> regardless? These machines would put us over the tipping point?
>> Have we determined whether the machines would be donated, or do we
>> need to purchase them?
>> To give you an idea, to meet the specs you outlined for a Dell
>> PowerEdge 1950 III is about $4500/machine (and that's at 2.5GHz not
>> 3.0GHz - see below).  We may be able to negotiate a lower price with
>> our Dell sales rep, but that's the ballpark figure per machine.
> My assumption was that the machines would be purchased by the ASF.
> Community members have offered to donate some existing hardware. There 
> was also discussion about building out the hardware from scratch. 
> Finally, there has also been discussion of $ donations, but I think 
> that's a separate matter...
> IMO, the more inline we are with current Infra practices, the better off 
> we'll be. I don't think that the existing hardware would meet the 
> management requirements needed to properly host them. Building up the 
> machines might save money in the short-term, but we probably lose in the 
> long-term. We've suffered through some efforts (GBuild) with 
> non-standard hardware, cheap (i.e. free) hosting, etc. Too frequently 
> we've ended up with the equivalent of boat anchors as machines waited to 
> be rebooted/repaired, spotty network reliability, etc.

I agree and based on some earlier discussions I was under the impression 
that Infra preferred hardware purchased directly that was more standard 
and supported.  As Kevan pointed out we did have several discussions on 
alternatives and could resume those if it would be more feasible.  Just 
let us know.

>> Given that amount, I'd probably want to run authorization of these
>> machines by the Board once we settle upon a final proposal and cost.
>> So, it may take until the next Board meeting before I can get final
>> approval.
>>> Machine specs:
>>> - 8 core (two 3.0 GHz quad-core)
>> How set is the 3.0GHz specification?  The cost difference between,
>> say, the 2.5GHz (E5420) and 3.0GHz (E5450) is at least $1000/machine
>> extra.  IMO, I doubt it is worth the differential.
> IMO, 2.5 GHz is fine. 

I agree, 2.5 GHz is fine.

>>> - 16 GB memory
>>> - two 750GB 7200 - rpm SATA 3GB/s disks
>> In a RAID1 (mirrored config) or striped?
> I'd assumed striped, but others may have their own opinions.


>>> - DVD R/W (20x?)
>> Does it really need to have DVD R/W?  (Dell doesn't even sell a DVD RW
>> in their PowerEdge series.)
> Heh. No, not necessary.

This isn't necessary.  I just thought that was standard.

>>> - rack mountable specification to work with ASF infra requirements
>>> - LOM or other features as necessary for ASF infra support
>>> - to be developer managed and maintained by the Apache Geronimo Team
>>> - Apache Geronimo would assume all responsibility for:
>>>    - configuration
>>>    - backup/recovery
>>>    - secure access
>>>       - Strictly limited to those Apache Geronimo committers with NDAs on
>>> file or additional Apache committers with NDAs and approved by 
>>> Geronimo PMC.
>>> - full, admin access would be granted to ASF infra with reboot directions
>>> - At least 2 active Apache Geronimo committers (with NDA authorization)
>>> would identified to manage the machines.
>>> - Running Linux with something like Xen for 4 VM images per machine. 
>>>  We may
>>> increase the number of VM images if it is feasible.
>> Is Ubuntu 8.04 sufficient, or does something special need to happen
>> for Xen?  (I haven't looked into Xen lately.)
> I assume Ubuntu is the preferred Linux distribution for Infra? I don't 
> have any experience with it. I see that they choose KVM as their 
> virtualization technology. From a quick look, seems that Xen support is 
> not too great. My guess is that we can make Ubuntu/KVM work, but we 
> should do some investigating. I think G community members are more 
> familiar with Suse, Red Hat, and Xen.
>>> - We would require both ssh and VNC access to the VMs.
>> I don't know if or how Xen supports VNC, but I guess so...  =)
>>> - It is not yet decided if we would use NAT to access the VMs or 
>>> public IP
>>> addresses.  Is there are recommendation from ASF Infra?
>> It depends how secure the Xen instances are.
>> If we need to have a partitioned network, we may need to get an extra
>> switch and stuff.
>>> - Automation will most likely be added to run builds, execute tests, and
>>> produce reports.
>>> - Capability to manually run tests on demand would also be supported.
>> Thanks.  -- justin

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