Division news

The FCC 3 Computer Room was powered up on Monday, Jan. 24, and is now in production operations. More work still needs to be done, but it is almost entirely outside the computer room. Look for the upcoming Fermilab Today article.

Computer Security Reminder: During the holidays, a few users were tricked into giving up their SERVICES credentials via phishing emails and their accounts were used to send spam. Please be careful of suspicious emails. See today's Fermilab Today for more information.

The InDiCo conference application will be upgraded to the latest version, v0.97, in February. An exact date has not yet been determined. The upgrade should be transparent to you. There is nothing you need to do to start using the new version once the upgrade has occurred. For information about new features, see the CERN Courier article. You may test the new version at https://indicovm1.fnal.gov. Remember to read the news announcements on this page first, as they contain information about the test version. Feedback and questions about the upgrade may be sent to Penelope Constanta.

Supervisor Reminders: First, please create a delegation in the FTL system before you are on vacation. If you need assistance, contact Carla Lloyd. Second, when contractors leave the laboratory, notify Griselda Lopez.

GlideinWMS subproject update

The CMS Grid Services group has been busy contributing to various subprojects involving glideinWMS. This Fermilab-created workload management system, built on top of Condor, creates a virtual pool of dedicated resources using the grid. Here we highlight two of these subprojects.

In September of 2009, we reported on a joint Fermilab-UCSD-Information Sciences Institute project, part of which was to develop an integrated grid resource provisioning system built on glideinWMS, used by many Open Science Grid sites, and Corral, used by TeraGrid. Krista Larson is contributing to the CorralWMS effort by enabling Corral to act as a frontend service in the glideinWMS system. 

CorralWMS is being developed because the OSG and TeraGrid are different in both organization and in use. OSG groups users by a Virtual Organization that manages users and provides access to the grid, concealing many details about the infrastructure and the process of getting resources from the user. In contrast, TeraGrid has no organizational grouping; users interact directly with the grid and must provide additional information to properly track requests for resources.

In order to accommodate Corral, Larson and her group modified the glideinWMS protocols to accommodate new constraints and to allow additional information to be passed through to the sites when needed. Essentially, Corral users can access either OSG or TeraGrid resources. Users have been successful submitting and running jobs on both OSG and TeraGrid sites.

Another subproject, though not part of the Fermilab-UCSD-ISI initiative, is integrating glideinWMS with the cloud. Led by Anthony Tiradani, the group has performed a proof of concept analysis integrating Amazon EC2 and Magellan with glideinWMS.  One component of this analysis was running CMS analysis jobs on demand through glideinWMS on Amazon EC2.

[See more information about glideinWMS

~Krista Larson

Service Desk news
Tip of the Month

The Service Desk is offering a new loaner laptop service to Fermilab employees and contractors. Requesters can borrow these laptops from the Service Desk for up to two weeks when their own desktop or laptop systems are under repair, when they are waiting for a new computer system, when they attend trainings or workshops, or when they need a laptop for business travel.

Fill out the online Loaner Laptop Request Form when you make a request. Loaner laptop check-out and return procedures can be found at the Loaner Laptop Service web site. If you have any questions, please submit a Service Desk ticket or call the Service Desk at 630-840-2345.


New Employees:

Adam Talesky (Web, Messaging and Collaboration Apps & Internal Groupware, Workflow, Tracking)

Melissa Tanner (Project Management)

Nathan Weed (Web, Messaging and Collaboration Apps & Internal Groupware, Workflow, Tracking)

We'll Miss You!

Margaret Greaney (Scientific Workstation Support)

Job Anniversaries this Month
(5, 10, 15 & 20+ years)

Gerry Bellendir - 42 years
Mark Leininger - 35 years
Frank Nagy - 31 years
Hank Connor - 28 years
Mike Behnke - 27 years
Rich Thompson - 27 years
Steve Wolbers - 26 years
Liz Sexton-Kennedy -23 years
Margaret Votava - 23 years
Terrance Jones - 22 years
Ron Rechenmacher - 22 years
Orlando Colon - 21 years
Randy Herber - 21 years
Paul Russo - 20 years
Kevin Conway - 10 years

It's in my budget. Why can't I spend it?
Spending Money

As in years past, Congress voted on a Continuing Resolution (CR) for the FY11 budget, a decision that leaves us working within a budget we think we might get. Until Congress approves an official budget, DOE will allocate money to the laboratory in installments and we will not know how much money we will actually have to spend this fiscal year.

Even though we don't pay the bills until later, we work on an obligation basis, explained Valena Sibley, head of the Financial Management group. “When your PO is approved, the funds are committed for that particular expense. We can't commit more than what we receive from DOE.”

Let's say we've received twenty percent of our total submitted budget for the year. This is the money we have available to spend. It includes salary, maintenance, and other things we need to keep the division operational. Other things will have to be deferred. We can't spend more funds until the money comes in.

In addition, certain money must be spent on certain things. ”Say you have a gift card for JCPenney, a gift card for Macy's, and you have a checking account,” said Sibley. ”You can't pay your mortgage using the JC Penney gift card, even if you have enough to cover the cost of the mortgage.”

What, specifically, does this mean for your purchases? Sibley asks that you prioritize and postpone when you can. Don't submit requisitions earlier than necessary. “It doesn't make sense to buy equipment if you know you can't put it into service for six months,” she said. This is the purpose of the Plan and Justification statement you must now submit with purchase requisitions—to understand your plans and thought process to help determine whether this is something you need now or something that can wait.

~ Marcia Teckenbrock

Approval deadlines: Change and Release Management

For those of you who are governed by Change Management, when you submit your Request for Change (RFC), it is important to allow the Change and Release Managers and Change Advisory Board (CAB) members time to review it. Risk analysis and research are required, particularly for the Release Manager. Rushing through changes negates the purpose of Change Management.

Following the deadlines outlined below is imperative. Failure to do so may result in the delay of your change approval. Expedited procedures do exist, but they are reserved for crisis operations and will require the approval of a quadrant leader.

Major Changes (Risk Level 5)

•  RFC must be submitted to the Change Manager by 4:30 p.m. on Monday in order for Approval to Build to be considered at Wednesday's 9:00 a.m. CAB meeting.

•  RFC and release checklists must be submitted to the Release Manager by 4:30 p.m. the Friday before the Wednesday CAB meeting for Approval to Go Live to be considered.


Minor Changes (Risk Level 4)

•  At least 24 hours is needed for the Release Manager to review changes.

•  RFC must be submitted to the Change Manager before 4:30 p.m. on Monday through Friday. The Change and Release Managers approve Minor Changes throughout the day.

Standard Changes (Risk Level 2) or Proposed Standard Changes (Risk Level 3):

•  Standard changes do not require Release or Change Manager approval. Proposed Standard Changes are considered Standard once an RFC has gone through the Change Management process successfully at least once and has been approved as a Standard Change.

Work (Unmanaged Change)

•  Is not governed by the Change or Release processes, but must be tracked as an Incident or Service Request in Remedy.

In addition, submitting the proper documentation and clearly demonstrating need and risks will increase the likelihood of your change being approved. Frequent causes of change rejection are:

  • Lack of Business Justification or inability to demonstrate the need for the change.
  • Lack of Comparable Changes Statement, which helps the Change Manager and the CAB understand the experience level the implementer has and the associated risk of the change.
  • Lack of Risk Statement, which confirms the level of risk associated with a change.
  • Lack of a High Level Plan (tasks, milestones)
  • Lack of an Installation Plan
  • Lack of a Back-Out Plan
  • Lack of Testing Results

~ Mike Kaiser, Change Manager & Alden Clifford, Release Manager

OS meeting notes

Mac Users Meetings

Kirk Skaar, Waylon Meadows and Alan LivshinMore have been added to the Deskside Services group (reporting to Jason Ormes) to do Mac support. Ben Segbawu, from the Engineering Services group also supports Mac services.

Office 2011 is not currently licensed for home use.

Mac OS 10.6.6 update is now approved for installs. All software purchases and procurement rules of the laboratory must be followed.

The mac-announce mailing list, which includes all users in the Mac users group, has been created. It will not be interactive; it will only be used for sending out announcements and status updates.

The Mac Users Meeting will now be held quarterly on the 3rd Wednesday of
the 4th month (Apr. 20, July 20, Oct. 19) at 2:15 in WH 8X (Hornets' Nest)

That dreaded familiar feeling
police car

You know what I'm referring to: You're happily driving along, when you look in the rear-view mirror and see red and blue lights flashing. Your stomach moves up to your throat as you pull over.

If you haven't noticed, the lab is serious about moving and parking violations. Along with expectations of how to properly operate a motor vehicle, a list of disciplinary steps are listed in FESHM 9010.

The site-wide speed limit is 40 mph, unless otherwise noted, but many motorists travel at a much greater speed. Watch for the speed limit signs! . Did you know that the speed limit on Road B is only 30 mph, whereas, the Village speed limit is 25 mph? The Main Ring is posted at 20 mph.

In the past five years, there have been 48 accidents per year on Fermilab's site, including a rollover (due to speeding), a two-car collision, and a car crashing into a guard house. Luckily no one was killed in any of these incidents.

If you have any questions about on-site traffic safety, an FAQ has been compiled that address common topics of on-site driving.

~ Amy Pavnica