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Self-managed server rooms space policy

This page sets out the School's policy regarding the allocation and use of space for machines in the self-managed server rooms.

All machines in the self-managed server rooms must have a member of the School's staff to act as adminstrative contact and "sponsor". This will normally be the PI for the project operating the machines. If this responsible person leaves the School, then the group or Institute whose machine it is must nominate a replacement. Machines without a member of staff to sponsor them may be turned off and removed from the SMSRs, even though they might still be within their time allocation (see below). Note that in any case machines without a sponsor would not be allowed to have any firewall holes open.

The responsible person may nominate one or more technical contacts. For day-to-day adminstrative and technical issues we will contact these nominated technical contacts. For all other issues, or where the technical contacts do not respond, we will contact the sponsoring member of staff. Communication will normally be through the Support RT system, to allow issues to be logged and tracked. Failure to respond may result in machines being turned off and removed from the rooms.

Space in the self-managed server rooms must be requested in advance, before machines are purchased. We may not be able to provide space for any machines which turn up unannounced. Required information will include:

  • physical size of machine(s);
  • expected power requirements;
  • expected network requirements;
  • expected lifetime of the machine(s) (if other than the default four years);
  • whether part of an existing or proposed cluster.

We will attempt to reserve space, but are not able to guarantee it. If necessary the Head of School or nominee will arbitrate. Priority will normally be given to machines obtained through active research grants.

The initial allocation of space in the SMSRs will normally be for this expected lifetime, or the warranty period of the machine, or four years, whichever is smallest. For existing machines in the SMSRs, this will be back-dated to their original purchase dates, as recorded in the School's equipment inventory.

Space allocation in the SMSRs will be reviewed at least annually. Machines which have passed their expected lifetime will be noted as potentially available for swapping out, though sponsors may make a case for an additional allowance to be granted. Should space for new machines be required, any of these machines (not necessarily the oldest) may then be turned off and removed.

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