When I submitted that JIRA issue to request this feature, Josh suggested a 
method of locking down the web interface that proved very helpful.

We basically added a notice about the upcoming maintenance on the logon page to 
warn users about it. We saved a copy of the HTML generated by visiting the main 
page, then stripped the logon menu from it and added a notice about being down 
for maintenance. When maintenance time came, we renamed the index.php to 
index.php.save and put in place the modified HTML as index.html.

This obviously won't prevent users from making reservations to occur during the 
scheduled maintenance, but we figured they had fair warning of the pending 
outage and were told any reservations during this time would be lost, and this 
effectively locked anybody out from logging on and connecting to reservations 
or making new reservations during the maintenance. After the maintenance we 
just put the original index.php back in place.


Mike Waldron
Systems Specialist
ITS Research Computing
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
CB #3420, ITS Manning, Rm 2509
Office: 919-962-9778

-----Original Message-----
From: Josh Thompson [mailto:josh_thomp...@ncsu.edu] 
Sent: Friday, February 05, 2010 10:00 AM
To: vcl-dev@incubator.apache.org
Subject: Re: Maintenance Windows

Hash: SHA1


What David explains is what we have done in the past as well.

However, it would be useful to be able to schedule things further in advance 
as well as having a more simplified way of putting the whole site into a 
maintenance state.

I was going to mention the JIRA issue (208) that Mike Waldron already created, 
but I see you've already commented on it.

If adding this feature in is something you'd like to work on, let us know, and 
we'll suggest a good way to add it in.

Otherwise, I have it scheduled to be included in the 2.2 release, which means 
I'd be adding it in within the next few months.


On Fri February 5 2010 9:47:51 am Creech, David wrote:
> I actually went through this same scenario about a week ago here at ECU
> during a planned power outage for our datacenter.  The process you need to
> follow is:
> Go to Manage Schedules
> Under Schedules, create a name for your "offline" time and click Add.
> Once you are at the Edit Schedule page you will need to setup the times
> when VCL will be AVAILABLE.  Take note of the statement about the start/end
> times being Sunday 12:00 am.
> So, for example, if you needed to have your downtime this weekend from
> Saturday at 8:00 pm - Sunday at 12:00 pm then you would want to create the
> following schedule:
> Start Time:  Sunday 12:00 pm                        End Time:  Saturday
> 8:00 pm
> This means that VCL will be available from Sunday 12:00 pm till Saturday
> evening at 8:00 pm (which in our example is when the downtime would begin).
>  The schedule would then repeat itself again which means it would be
> available beginning at 12:00 pm on Sunday (which is when downtime would
> end).
> The next step is to go to Manage Computers and then Computer Utilities. 
> You will want to choose "Check All" (or just check whichever vm's/blades
> you want to make unavailable) and at the bottom you will want to change the
> schedule to the new schedule you just created.
> You can test to make sure your schedule worked correctly by creating a
> reservation during the time when VCL should not be available.  Please note
> that when you choose the future time for the reservation (when testing your
> schedule) that you have to click submit on the reservation page before it
> shows you that the computers are not available during that time (it will
> actually show the end user a big grid of when VCL is available and when it
> is not so they should be able to see when the "downtime" is scheduled to be
> over).
> One thing to remember is to change your schedule back to the normal
> schedule (which for ECU is 24x7) or else it will repeat itself each week.
> Thanks to Andy at NCSU for taking the time to explain this process to me!
> Please let us know if you have any other questions or problems with this
> process.
> David Creech
> East Carolina University
> On 2/5/10 9:23 AM, "Liz Wendland" <l...@duke.edu> wrote:
> Hi,
> I am wondering if maybe VCL can already do this...  Sometimes we need to
> take our VCL system offline for maintenance of some aspect.  Generally
> we know about these times well in advance.  We'd like to be able to
> block out all our nodes so they can't be reserved during that future
> maintenance window.  I was imagining I could create a web-form where
> someone could set the start and end times and even enter a message that
> would be posted within the VCL web applications for our users so they
> know about the upcoming downtime.
> I've looked at block allocations and they don't see quite right because
> they want to install an image on the VMs and we don't want that - we
> would like the distribution of images to stay the same.  I have also
> looked at the Maintenance state, but there currently isn't a way to set
> those for the future and again, the system wants to re-image the nodes
> when it later becomes 'available'.
> I am considering creating a new state and altering vcld to understand
> it, but I thought I should check with you guys first - you must run into
> the same situation occasionally.  How do you handle it?
> Thanks for all your hard work!
> --
> Liz Wendland
> Duke University Office of Information Technology
> David Creech
> Technology Support Analyst
> ACE Student Support Center Coordinator
> Academic Technologies
> Rawl Building - 108
> East Carolina University
> 252-328-9544
> cree...@ecu.edu
- -- 
- -------------------------------
Josh Thompson
Systems Programmer
Virtual Computing Lab (VCL)
North Carolina State University


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