[R-wiki] Site down?

Martin Maechler maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch
Tue Nov 7 12:18:16 CET 2006

Thanks a lot, Philippe,

>>>>> "PhGr" == Philippe Grosjean <Philippe.Grosjean at umh.ac.be>
>>>>>     on Tue, 07 Nov 2006 10:53:51 +0100 writes:

    PhGr> Hello,

    PhGr> Indeed, the R Wiki server is down. I am away from my
    PhGr> office (meetings), but I just phone to the computer
    PhGr> department in charge of the servers at the
    PhGr> University. They are currently looking at the problem.

    PhGr> To answer to legitimate Martin's questions:
    >> - What happens if you are in vacation, sick,...

    PhGr> As I said, it is the computer staff of the University
    PhGr> that is in charge of the servers. But, they have to be
    PhGr> warned of the problem before they can do something
    PhGr> about it. Perhaps should we install a system that pols
    PhGr> the Wiki server regularly and issues a warning
    PhGr> automatically when something happens? I cannot do this
    PhGr> without discussion and acceptation of the computer
    PhGr> staff and authorities... which is a long and
    PhGr> administrative process!

ouch!  Yes, such polling systems are quite standard and a must
for reliable server maintenance.  Of course they will not be
100% fool proof either.

    >> -  Who is your "substitute"?

    PhGr> Johan Debergues, Philippe Lievens, or the people in charge of the 
    PhGr> servers at the University at the time the problem occurs (emails of 
    PhGr> people is simply Name.FamilyName at umh.ac.be).

    >> - Is there a phone number for urgencies?

    PhGr> +, which is the phone in my office, currently.

    >> - What are the emergency measures (and who is responsible) if
    >> the machine crashes?  Backup / Substitute machine / ... ?

    PhGr> Regular (daily) backups of the Wiki content are made on another machine. 
    PhGr> I am in charge of that backup, and of restoring the machine in case it 
    PhGr> crashes. We currently have no other emergency measures. In particular, 
    PhGr> we have no substitute machine installed currently.

That sounds all reasonable. Thanks a lot!

A substitute machine *installed* may be asking too much. 
However, having easy access to a spare machine which has the OS
pre-installed and on which you can restore the full the
wiki-backup, maybe something to look at.

    PhGr> We certainly could secure the R Wiki much better. I am open to any 
    PhGr> suggestion on this point.

    PhGr> Best,

    PhGr> Philippe Grosjean

    PhGr> P.S.: Please, do warn me in case of problems: I am not
    PhGr> working 24h/day and 7d/week on the R Wiki. So, do not
    PhGr> assume that I am aware of the problem at the time you
    PhGr> notice it! In particular, yesterday and today, I am in
    PhGr> meetings, which makes me less prone to notice the
    PhGr> problem rapidly!

Indeed!  I hope you weren't stressed unnecessarily by my e-mail,
and I hope this is now just clear to the audience:

In case of severe problems with the R-Wiki do contact Philippe
Grosjean by "personal" e-mail (i.e. not just assuming he reads
mailing lists).

With (a 2nd round of) thanks to Philippe,

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