Blog from March, 2014

Are you running out of space in your office?  Are you moving to a new office?  Is the size of your office being reduced?  Are you responsible for dealing with the records of retiring (or already retired) scientists?  Are you wondering what to do with all the files you are responsible for–which ones need to be kept, which can be archived, and which can be disposed of, all in compliance with Lab and DOE regulations?  This month as part of Records and Information Management Month (RIMM), you can get the answers to these and other questions by attending a 1.5 hour workshop being put on by the Archives and Records Office.  

The class is scheduled for Friday, April 25 from 10:00 AM-11:30 AM in 50B-4205.

Go here to register:

Select: ITD0508 | Archiving Files & Records


WINS (Windows Internet Name Service)  was a pre DNS method for associating a NetBIOS name with an IP address.  Older Windows PC and Samba Servers  used this to locate services on a windows network - but in the modern era, this is no longer needed.

The Lab has two WINS servers that we are in the process of retiring.  

  • On March 17 we removed WINS servers from DHCP leases.
  • On April 28 we will shutdown the WINS servers.

If an older system has a dependency,  workarounds  are easy to implement (add a DNS suffix of,  use a fully qualified domain name (fqdn) to refer to a server or use the local  lmhost file)  Please contact the IT help desk if you run into a situation where you need a workaround for WINS.

Conversion Completed

The conversion to the new Google Custom Search Engine was completed at noon, Wednesday May 7, 2014.

On April 20th, 2014, IT will be discontinuing the Google Search Appliance service offering in favor of new Google provided search offering called Google Custom Search.  This has implications for you if you:

  • Create or manage websites that make use of the current search infrastructure and/or

  • You currently have a custom “collection” on the Google Search Appliance that searches a particular subset of LBL pages for you.

Information for both of these scenarios is provided below.  In addition, all users should be aware that IP restricted content (content on LBL websites that has its visibility limited to users on LBL networks) will no longer be indexed by the new service.   Since most protected content is now authenticated instead of IP restricted, this should have little to no impact on most users.

For most purposes, the new service will provide substantially superior search results to users, since unlike the on premises search appliance, the new service will benefit from Google’s main product ranking algorithms and search data.  The new service also supports distributed administration of search engines, so divisional website managers will have substantially better access to maintain their search engines.  Global LBL search and custom divisional searches are both part of the Berkeley Lab Technology Toolkit and are provided at no recharge to the Laboratory community.  

Who will this impact?

You will be impacted If you create or manage websites which provide for the ability to search the google search appliance against the regular LBL collection (all LBL websites)

How this will impact our Google Search Engine Customers

  1. If you just provide a link (click here to search), no action is necessary.  All existing links will continue to work (,,, provided that it is a “bare link” to the search page (not a specially crafted link to a specific collection).
  2.  If you provide a search box that searches the regular LBL collection (all LBL websites), you will need to update the search code.  The new code will take the form    Please note that this is not available to test at this time, but we will notice you again when it is.  A preview of results is available here:   BUT DON’T LINK OR CODE TO THAT URL.
  3. Additional documentation will be available in late March

What you need to do

If you currently have a special collection that was created for you (list of these is below), you will need to take action to 1. Recreate/reclaim your search index and 2. Change your websites to correctly point to the new search.   We will try to reach out to known customers, but some of the collections in our google Search Appliance are old and contacts may not be accurate.  If you have not heard from us, Please open a helpdesk ticket at with the following information:

1. Desired Name of your Search Engine

2. URL patterns to include (example:,,   or which would include both of the above.   As an administrator, you’ll also have the ability to manage these yourself going forward.

3. URL patterns to exclude (optional)

4. Names of at least two administrators in your organization who will manage the search engine (must be LBL Google Account users).

Special GSA Collections

We are not sure all of the GSA collections are active - but this is the list we have as of 3/17/14


Search users in GSA



















LBL  (there are two - one upper case, one lower case in the list below)









Outage Details:

Date/Time: Saturday March 22, 2014   8:00am - Noon  (The upgrade was completeed on schedule)

Type: Scheduled

Impacted Services:  Commons - including many divisional/group home pages, including IT, Facilities, HR, Nuclear Sciences, and  Physics.


Our institutional wiki ( is due for an upgrade.  After some significant challenges with the migration process from our current version (Confluence 4.2.13) to the most recent (Confluence 5.4.3) - we are finally able to test the results. There are some layout changes that will impact all spaces on the wiki. Each space that uses the default Confluence Theme will now have a left sidebar for page navigation.  While it is adjustable (can be collapsed when users need more space for the page content), it is not an option.  As a example, the new look for our Google Help Site  ( will change to the image you see below.

There are also some minor changes to fonts and spacing - but nothing that impacts the utilization of the wiki from what we observe. Some spaces on commons use special themes using the themebuilder product.  We think that most of the migration problems have been solved and that spaces that use this theme will not have major impacts. The IT and Facilities division web sites are examples.

 Next Steps

We will be reaching out to space owners next week - but anyone can preview the results by going to a test site available only at the lab ( Note: you will have to approve web access to the site because we do not have a well known "certificate" on the test site - so your browser will give you a warning. (Chrome will let you bypass this warning, others may not without modification to security settings)

If we do not experience any show stoppers while we work with our customers, we plan to do the upgrade Saturday morning, March 22.  The outage window will be from 8am to noon.

HPC Services consultant Krishna Muriki and systems engineer Karen Fernsler will be presenting at GlobusWorld 2014 on April 15-17, 2014 at Argonne National Laboratory. The main theme of this year's conference is Setting Up a Campus Data Service since many campus IT professionals are charged with creating a flexible, highly-available service for moving data to, from, and within their campus. This year’s agenda includes tutorials, presentations, and opportunities to engage with the Globus team and our partners, to help service providers design and implement a solution that meets their institution’s needs.

Their talk "Globus for Big Data and Science Gateways at LBL" will highlight some of our projects, including the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III and the X-Ray Diffraction and Microtomography Beamlines at the Advanced Light Source user facility, which benefit from the implementation of Globus endpoints to construct Data Pipelines. They will also discuss how we chose to implement a Science Gateway for the LBNL Molecular Foundry Nanoscience Center.