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From "Gav..." <gmcdon...@apache.org>
Subject RE: Hosting Windows servers in Apache
Date Wed, 01 Jul 2009 11:47:00 GMT

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Kamaljit Bath [mailto:Kamaljit.Bath@microsoft.com]
> Sent: Wednesday, 1 July 2009 8:47 AM
> To: infrastructure-dev@apache.org
> Cc: Daniel Kulp; pzfreo@gmail.com; Kent Brown; Michael Champion
> Subject: Hosting Windows servers in Apache
> Hi,

Hi Kamaljit,

> I am a committer on the Apache Stonehenge incubator project [1] that
> Microsoft is participating in. We have had some discussions around hosting
> some Stonehenge related end-points on Apache servers within the Stonehenge
> mailing list [2] which will need hosting a Windows Server.
> Daniel Kulp, a mentor for Stonehenge, has discussed this with Joe and I
> want to follow-up with some questions around what will it take to host
> Windows servers. I understand from Daniel that this is on your future
> plans but would like to understand the prioritization better and discuss
> if there is anything we can do to help expedite it.
> At this point, I am simply trying to understand the issue from your point
> of view and based on the information, will discuss with my other Microsoft
> colleagues if and how we may be able to help and will get back to you with
> that thinking as soon as we have something to share. I do not know at this
> point if we will have the resources to help with it or not but if I can
> get an idea of what is involved, then I can lead those discussions within
> Microsoft.
> Can you share if this is indeed in your this year's fiscal plan and if you
> have an ETA for it? When does ASF's fiscal year end? What are the
> constraints that you are working against?

We have plans for utilising a few different versions of Windows on VMWare
somewhere, this might include existing machines but on quick initial
investigations today those would likely need RAM upgrades at least to be

I have been driving for a dedicated machine for a little while, mainly so
that Buildbot at Apache can utilise building different projects in different
Windows flavours in VMs. Apache Continuum and our Hudson instance would also
likely want to use them too.

There is talk of having at least one machine ordered for this purpose though
nothing has been sorted yet.

The ASF fiscal year is June 1st to May 31st I believe, so we've just entered
a new cycle.

> Here are some factors that Daniel thinks will play into your decision
> making. Can you shed some light on these?
> 1) Hardware - need a high end x86 box with lots of memory.   This is a
> budget
> matter.
> - what kind of machine are you looking for and will it help if we can fund
> this? Can we partially fund it to support you?

Well, I know of at least 4 projects waiting for us to get some kind of
Windows up and running, and now yourselves also. These projects I can see
needing to do a fair bit more than play Solitaire on :) -- I haven't looked
for a suitable model yet but will likely need to be fairly beefy with plenty
of RAM (at least 24GB).

As for funding, tricky question. The direct answer is no, we do not accept
targeted donations of hardware or software. IOW, we can not accept a machine
if you say 'here is a machine for Stonehenge'. However, if you were to say,
'here is a machine, please use it for whatever you wish, we think it would
ideal for use by many ASF projects utilising a Windows Environment, we know
Stonehenge for one would be glad of it'. That's my own opinion on ASF
policy, all I'm saying is look into the possibility from your end and see
what's do-able first.

Either way, Stonehenge will not get a machine all to itself.

> 2) Software - VMWare server license, Windows Licenses, etc....
> - we can certainly arrange for Windows and other Microsoft software
> licenses. Can we work with Microsoft Hyper-V environment instead of VMWare
> (easier for us to arrange budgets for that)? Can we build up a complete
> list of software requirements?

I think we are already ok for getting licenses. Unless there is an absolute
direct need for Hyper-V I don't think Infra should take on something else we
don't have much experience with.

> 3) Power - There was some discussions a while ago about the rack we have
> running low on power so adding machines may require another rack or
> something.
> - how much is the budget constraint for this and what kind of help can we
> provide?

I don't see how you can help in this case. I think we are probably ok for 1
or 2 more machines currently at our colo.

> 4) IP addresses - virtualization sucks up ip addresses.   :-)
> - can you please elaborate? Is there anything we can do to help?

As Tony says, I think were ok for a while yet.

> 5) Time/Knowledge - the INFRA team is busy working on the LDAP transition
> and
> getting that project done.     I'm not sure if anyone would have the time
> to
> learn how to get the windows stuff setup and manage it, let alone actually
> doing it.
> -    We can think about bringing some initial help to set everything up
> (remotely) and maintain it for some time. But what will be your long-term
> maintenance plans? Will this machine also be used for other Apache
> projects outside of Stonehenge? Who will maintain those environments?

I'd like to know more about exactly what it is Stonehenge needs. Can you
detail your hardware/software/OS requirements to get you up and running.

Yes, other projects will utilise the machine also. Possibly only via
Buildbot/Continuum/Hudson/whatever for build/test/deploy etc.

Having folks come in from MS and set it up etc is appreciated but probably
not a good idea. Infra I think would rather we get to set it all up and get
to know it and not have to rely on outside help to do this. If all you need
is a VM on a machine and handed to you to get on with Stonehenge on it then
that is easy once we have the machine in place. Once we have feedback onto
exactly what Stonehenge needs we'll know how close to easy it really is :)

Maintaining it short/medium/long term will always be done by Infra. There is
a couple or 3 that know Windows fairly well. I'll mention here as an aside
that Infra is always on the lookout for more dedicated folks to help out. If
one of them happens to be a committer working on a Windows type project then
who knows what they could end up helping to maintain ;) - like anything at
the ASF, consistency is key. Start by lurking on #asfinfra IRC is always a
good idea and introduce yourself whenever you feel like it.



> Thanks and regards,
> Kamaljit Bath
> Principal Program Manager
> Interoperability Strategy, Microsoft Corp.
> [1] http://incubator.apache.org/stonehenge/
> [2] http://www.mail-archive.com/stonehenge-
> dev@incubator.apache.org/msg01143.html
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