26 March 2009

More on CHEP

Right I meant to write more about stuff that's going on here but the network is somewhat unreliable (authentication times out and reauthentication is not always possible). Anyway, I am making copious notes and will be making a full report at the next storage meeting - Wednesday 8 April.

If I shall summarise the workshop, from a high level data storage/mgmt perspective, I'd say it's about stability, scaling/performance, data access (specifically xrootd and http), long term support, catalogue synchronisation, interoperation, information systems, authorisation and ACLs, testing, configuration, complexity vs capabilities.

More details in the next meeting(s).

22 March 2009

WLCG workshop part I

Lots of presentations and talks at the WLCG workshop. As usual much of the work is done in the coffee breaks.
From the storage perspective, there was talk about "SRM changes" which was news to me (experiments require (a) stability, and (b) change, you see). Upon closer investigation, it turns out to be about implementing the rest of the SRM MoU. One outstanding question is how these changes are implemented without impacting users (in a bad way).
Fair bit of talk about xrootd support. xrootd is considered a Good Thing(tm), but the DPM implementation is rather old (2 years). It is possible it can benefit from the new CASTOR implementation for 2.1.8.
Some talk about SRM performance. The dCache folks as usual have good suggestions, Gerd from NDGF suggests using SSL instead of GSI. I believe srmPrepareToGet should be synchronous when files are on disk, this should lead to a large performance increase. Talking to other data management people, we believe the clients should do the Right Thing(tm), so no changes required. Of course the server should be free to treat any request asynchronously if it feels it needs to do this, eg to manage load.
Talked to Brian Bockelman from U Nebraska; they have good experiences with (recent versions of) Hadoop, using BeStMan as the SRM interface.
More later...

08 March 2009

GridPP DPM toolkit v2.3.0 released

I've added a new command line tool to the DPM toolkit: dpm-delreplica. This just just a wrapper round the dpm_delreplica call in the python API and does exactly what it says on the tin. It arose after the guys at Oxford noted that there wasn't an easy way using existing tools to delete a replica of a file - it was either all or nothing.

One thing to note is that the tool will let you delete the last replica of a file, which then leaves a dangling entry in the DPM namespace that you can successfully do e.g. dpns-ls on, but cannot actually retrieve. As with all of these tools, I try to make each one as simple and self contained as possible (the Unix way) so I've not added any special checking to make sure that a replica isn't the last one. You have been warned.

The tool has been tested in a couple of places and seems to work fine. As always, feedback is welcome.