February Newsletter: Returning to the office, Introducing Globus Box Connector, Legacy retirement updates, Helpful Tips
Hi, everybody! First up, apologies for no update newsletter in January. There’s a whole lot happening, and things got a bit hectic, meaning I let this slide long enough it’s now a February newsletter (and barely, at that). Let’s just dive right into the important bits of info I’m sure you’re curious about.
Returning to the office
As you no doubt are aware, starting Monday, Argonne is lifting the restrictions on working from on-site. This is a bit of a change from the past couple of years, so I wanted to highlight a few of the Systems-related issues and concerns some of you may have.
Getting help in person: To start with, we’re planning to have at least one Systems user support member to be on-site each weekday to help with issues requiring an on-site presence. If you encounter an issue that you think requires a physical visit, please either call us at extension 6813, or send an email to [email protected]. We don’t maintain a physical help desk, and I’m doing my best to make sure whoever is working on-site is able to do it from an office with a closed door to remove the requirement to be masked all day. So, a casual drop-by is not a good idea, as much as we’d love to see your smiling, masked faces. We’ve got people monitoring the ticket queues and phones, and if you don’t get an answer, your voicemail will generate an email to the entire team. Then we’ll have someone stop by to help you out. Please try to keep in mind there may be a backlog so we’ll do our best to handle things as quickly as we can, but it might be a longer response time than in the before-times.
Extra Equipment: We’re getting stocked up on equipment where we can, though some things may be late arriving due to supply chain issues. If you’ve got a need for port replicator/docking hubs or other peripherals due to a hybrid work arrangement, let us know what you think you’ll need. Depending on the equipment, it might be something we’ve got in stock, or something we can order for you, or we can provide recommendations on what you should get if it’s outside the scope of what we usually handle. It helps a lot if you keep the best equipment at your primary workspace (be that home or the lab), and use something perhaps not so fancy-schmancy in the second location, such as using full docking solution at home and a USB dongle with video and power at the lab.
There may be things you want that are stocked at the Argonne Service Desk in building 233 (formerly Credit Union). If they’ve got it, all you need is a cost code to pick it up.
Have you tried rebooting?: Some of you may not have been on-site since March of 2020. We’ve had more than one power outage at the building in that time. If things aren’t working right on your desktop computer, the best first option before opening a ticket is rebooting or power cycling the machine first to see if it comes up cleanly. If it doesn’t, you know how to reach us!
Globus Box Connector
We’re proud to announce a new Globus endpoint in GCE, the Globus Box connector. This lets you use Globus to transfer files into and out of Box. This is a nice supplemental service to our GCE Globus Endpoint we announced in November. Full docs on how to use both can be found at our Globus documentation page.
Legacy Retirement Update
As announced in December, our march towards turning off the Legacy environment continues. We’ve taken all the old Legacy compute nodes that were worth upgrading and brought them online in GCE. See the full list here. I also announced we’d be turning off the MCS login nodes on March 1, which would be the last way to access your legacy filesystems. Many of you have done a great job in getting your data out of legacy and into GCE, which is much appreciated! That being said, we’re pushing this date back a bit since we’ve discovered some other dependencies that are relying on those nodes existing. We absolutely do not want to break anything if we can avoid it, so we’ll keep those lights on for a bit longer and are working with the individual projects and teams to get things migrated over. Which means if you haven’t already migrated your data (including your web space), now’s a great time to do it.
A lot of people have been asking in our Slack channel about what’s going to happen with websites in Legacy. In the next newsletter I’m going to go over some of the finer points, but if you know you have a website or URL you need preserved, send us a ticket at [email protected] with the details so we get it into the queue.
I’ve rambled quite a bit here, so I’m going to wrap this up with a helpful tip that will point you to a plethora of helpful tips! If you’ve got a question related to the computing environment in CELS or Argonne in general, we’ve got a couple of knowledge bases you can search pretty easily.
- For CELS Systems, all you need to do is visit https://help.cels.anl.gov and right in the upper right side of the page we’ve got a “Search Documentation” box. If you’re more of a browsing than searching type, just hit https://help.cels.anl.gov/docs and see what’s there. It’s a living site, and we’re adding docs all the time!
- For Argonne in general, you can always search at https://my.anl.gov and get a decent set of results, but if you know it’s a computing question, there’s an ever-growing knowledge base at https://vector.anl.gov.
That wraps it up for February. Next month, we’ll do a deeper dive on the new web infrastructure.