Blog from Nov 03, 2010

The IT Division has over 100 virtual machines running on an enterprise VMware based environment. The Infrastructure Group within the Lab’s IT Division has been deploying virtual machines using VMWare in a pilot mode since January 2007

Three primary reasons why we think this makes sense: Energy Savings, space optimization, and increased efficiencies in deployment of new applications.

  • Energy savings accrue due the reduced use of physical servers for testing and development environments, which typically have much lower duty cycles, yet consume a significant amount of energy while powered up.
  • Increased Efficiency: much quicker response in setting up test and production environments, ability to have virtual machines for product and service evaluations-to perform ‘what if’ scenarios without buying a physical server. It will also reduce costs in acquisition of underutilized single purpose physical servers.
  • Space is a critical resource at the lab. By consolidation of physical machines into institutionally provided computer room space using virtualization technology, office space can be reclaimed to support the significant growth in lab employee count.

We have extended use of the VM environment to experienced system administrators who work in the IT Division on behalf of a customer.  Because we can restrict the scope to experienced staff, the costs for providing the service can be reduced.

The Smartsheet road map can be found here.   For those of you who would like more granular permission assignment, it looks like some improvements will surface before the end of this calendar year. (the ability to lock down editing of a particular column, for example.

We would like to confirm the scheduling of a production outage for the evening of 11/9 from 6pm - 10pm.

We have identified several bug fix/enhancement requests to Google.

1.  Calendar Loading issues: from time to time a resource or personal calendar fails to load.  We have created tickets for a number of these occurrences, as they are reported to the Help Desk. 

2.  The ability to save a meeting which requires an already booked resource has been reported to Google as our number one issue.  At the least, we expect to see a warning come up prior to saving the meeting.

3. When a meeting is scheduled that involves a number of different attendees and a conference room at a time that is available to all, we find that subsequent views of this same meeting show confusing results. Some attendees will have nothing in the time slot (in the "Find a Time" tab) and others will have a single bar labeled "busy").  What you see depends on the permissions you have on the person or resource calendar.  See this FAQ for more info.

Commons will be upgraded to version 3.4 by December 1.   A development site is being set up to insure our third party macros and plugins will work with this version.  This development site is expected to be ready by November 15 and will be made available to frequent users of Commons.  Julie Petersen is the project manager.

Release notes and a short video on new features is here

A longer 30 minute video on the Atlassian blog site can be found here .