[Ica-osgeo-labs] Proposal - University Mirrors of OSGeo

Alex Mandel aimandel at ucdavis.edu
Tue Oct 1 01:51:10 PDT 2013

On 10/01/2013 01:44 AM, Jorge Sanz wrote:
> 2013/10/1 Alex Mandel <aimandel at ucdavis.edu>:
>> All,
>> An idea came up in the System Administration Committee (for those that
>> don't know I'm the current Chair), and we'd like to gauge the interest
>> of this network.
>> There are 2 things we think ICA-OSGeo members could potentially help with:
>> 1. Provide mirrors for OSGeo Downloads, http://download.osgeo.org ,
>> current site is about 150-250 GB of data.
>> 2. There has been some discussion to restart an OSGeo build service,
>> where by people contribute build slaves that OSGeo projects can push
>> compiling requests to (It's all automated from recipes). This would help
>> Postgis, OSGeo4w, QGIS and a great many other projects to keep up with
>> regular builds for developers and help turn out releases for the general
>> users.
>> Reasons why I suggested Universities:
>> 1. The often have unconstrained bandwidth, so that allowing 1-4 TB of
>> downloads a month is no big deal.
>> 2. The often have good infrastructure and already own servers for all
>> sorts of other Academic pursuits (aka not in use all the time or even 100%)
>> 3. They directly benefit from a local mirror by which to provide OSGeo
>> software to the local community. Everyone gets a better download speed,
>> closer to them.
>> 4. Our lab network has a wide geographic distribution.
>> Notes, we haven't written up the instructions yet, but volunteering
>> services would be self service - labs can mirror anytime, then drop us a
>> note to put them into the load balance (similar to how
>> http://cran.r-project.org works), build services would likely be some
>> premade virtual machine to make it easy to deploy (you wouldn't have to
>> leave it on all the time, though it would be nice). You will always
>> remain in complete control over your server, and often would only need
>> to grant minimal access to process build jobs, download mirrors would
>> require 0 access by outsiders.
>> If you think your group may be willing to volunteer some server space
>> for a Download mirror or a Build slave please send me a message with
>> what kind of resources you have to offer and who the contact person
>> would be.
>> Thanks,
>> --
>> Alex Mandel
> I like a lot the idea Alex, is just like having a "campus license" of
> other vendors but better :-)
> It would be great to have this request on the website so we can point
> to it to local groups.

At this stage, I need to know if there are enough offers of machines for
use to make it worth figuring out the deployment strategy. At the point
we would put up instructions for people to implement and openly solicit
participants. If there aren't enough volunteers we'll probably explore
other options.

I'm well aware that many Universities not in North America or Europe
actually have severe bandwidth, power, price or other restrictions that
inhibit them from participating at this time. I'm only trying to find
those who know they currently have extra resources easily offered.

Don't get me wrong, people are always welcome to download a whole copy
of our download server, we just don't advertise or load balance them.

Alex Mandel

Geography Graduate Group
Information Center for the Environment (ICE)
University of California, Davis

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