Friday, 4 March 2011

ADMIRAL Sprint 17

We have recently completed our review of Sprint 17.

This review was somewhat overdue, as we've been very busy with follow-ups to ADMIRAL deployment with two additional research groups (making a total of three deployments now).  Main acheivements over the past month have been:

  • Two new ADMIRAL deployments; Silk group storage upgraded to use departmental iSCSI facility
  • Resolved awkward technical Apache+LDAP issue
  • Started construction of stand-alone demonstration environment
  • Deployment and management improvements
  • Bug-fixing and usability improvements
  • Documentation of technical problem areas
  • Benefits case study write-up
  • ADMIRAL packaging adopted for 1st protoype of Wf4Ever project

One of the recent lessons is that the general level of requirement for data storage has increased dramatically since our initial user surveys.  Where most groups were originally content with 200-400Gb storage, they are now asking for Terabytes (due to increased use of high definition video for observations).  So the ability to connect to a departmental iSCSI network storage facility has turned out to be a crucial development for us, especially for new research proposals that are required to include data management and sharing plans.

Resolving the Apache+LDAP problems has been a most satisfying advance for us; the awkwardness of the Apache web server configuration had been a long-standing difficulty for us, and we will now be able to simplify the overall ADMIRAL configuration and monitoring.

Looking forward, as we enter the final stages of this project, we intend to change our approach to sprint planning.  Instead of preparing a separate plan, we intend to be more reactive, responding to issues in the project issue list (, as these most closely reflect user feedback and other issues that need to be addressed.  We will still undertake periodic reviews to help us ensure that efforts are sensibly focused.  In addition to dealing with the issue list, two other developments are planned:
  • Web interface for user management
  • Investigation of Debian installation package for ADMIRAL deployment
The rationale for choosing these is that they appear to be key features for facilitating continued management and new deployment of ADMIRAL systems within the department.

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