Ubuntu Education Summit 2007 : BOF Discussion Topic

[ purpose of this page ]

This page provides an overview of the discussion topic for the Ubuntu Education Summit in Seville, Spain.

Making Edubuntu More Fault Tolerant / Recoverable

[ submitted by ]

[ description ]

If an experienced sysadmin is asked to set up Edubuntu, I presume one of the things they think about is what happens in the event of failures. If a more novice admin (eg a teacher) does it, it probably never occurs to them. Then one day a disk fails in their thin client server, 30 desktops go down and all their data is lost. The down side of centralisation (ie single point of failure) suddenly hits them.

There is little treatment of this currently in edubuntu. Only an experienced admin will realise that they need to put in lots of extra measures to prepare for inevitable failures.

A few questions which I would ask of the edubuntu designers:

1. Should software RAID be available in the edubuntu install? Should it be suggested for servers in the docs?

2. Should there (by default) be some notification system for alerting the sysadmin of problems. Something like logcheck (which would admittedly need postfix configured and an admin email address).

3. Should SMART be enabled by default?

4. Could we have a facilitated, easy to use, server backup/restore program which can deal simply with tapes, backup to remote server, dvdrw. This could allow a novice admin to select simple objects for backup:

  • "system"
  • "user data"

It should then be possible to create a fresh install of edubuntu, start the recovery program and point it at the backup media from which all user accounts, data and configs (printers, extra packages, apt sources, ...) can be automatically restored.

5. Is there some way to easily package up something like Nagios & Munin or Zabbix or Zenoss?

6. Would it be possible to knit thin client servers into a fault-tolerant cluster.

[ comments ]

  • Please add comments here that you feel may be useful.
  • Please remember to add your name to your comments.

UES-Sevilla/BOF/FaultTolerantEdubuntu (last edited 2008-08-06 16:24:40 by localhost)