[Board] 2009 budget

Frank Warmerdam warmerdam at pobox.com
Sat Nov 15 16:36:11 PST 2008

Howard Butler wrote:
> Where I'm going with this is in my (biased) opinion, SAC is hurting for 
> resources.  We are starting to approach the exhaustion point for 
> volunteer administration for a number of tasks (as witnessed by tickets 
> sent to SAC that are never acted upon), and we are starting to approach 
> the saturation point for hardware resources like the heavily-overloaded 
> download.osgeo.org (the "server" item in the budget plans to address 
> this).


It is relatively tangential to the point, but xblade12 is the machine
that has been suffering problems and it mostly due to to many activities
on one modest machines.  Moving most build slaves off to the buildtest
blade should help in this regard - though here we really start to
see the volunteer fatigue issue.

 >  Our Peer1 resources need to be balanced out to provide better
> utilization, and that will require quite a bit of effort.  I personally 
> would like to see us investing some experimental efforts into virtual 
> (cloud-like) operations similar to AWS, whether via OSL, or 
> virtualization at TelaScience, or other.  Hardware management is a 
> headache, and if it can be avoided all the better.    I would like SAC 
> to be able to draw upon some paid manpower to help with some of the 
> stickier tasks that have continued to be pushed off, like fixing up our 
> single-signon/LDAP.  As time approaches infinity, tasks like these will 
> get done voluntarily, but paid manpower would shrink down that timeline 
> and allow us to provide better service.

I would like to see a more specific proposal for what funded manpower for
SAC might look like.  In the past I've pursued this haphazardly with
the Indictrans folks but my general concern is that "first world"
rates for an experienced system administrator are going to eat through
money pretty quickly.  At the very least we would need some clear
prioritization on what should and shouldn't be done.

So generally, I'm keen on improving SAC's service, and additional
funding does not seem unreasonable.  I just think we need to have
a better idea of what that would like like.  I'd love to see a proposed
budget from SAC.

> SAC is a major service wing of OSGeo.  If we provide bad service, 
> projects will walk, and we'll loose one of the great collective benefits 
> that OSGeo provides.  No amount of marketing gets us out of that 
> predicament.  For the board, the questions to ask are where to invest 
> our limited resources and when.  SAC will continue to limp along, but 
> the more we do that the more we risk having projects leave or not simply 
> not participate.  With a flat budget, SAC will continue to limp.

Well run SAC services would indeed be a tangible benefit to the projects.

I also think marketing is important for a number of reasons, but given
a stated need, and plan I think we can find some balance of resources.

Best regards,
I set the clouds in motion - turn up   | Frank Warmerdam, warmerdam at pobox.com
light and sound - activate the windows | http://pobox.com/~warmerdam
and watch the world go round - Rush    | Geospatial Programmer for Rent

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