Yes, the block allocation is assigned to a user group, so the students must 
belong to that group. In order for the students to be assigned to the group, 
their accounts must already exist in the database.

Rather than wait for the students to login to the VCL, what I do is have the 
faculty member send me a list of student ids for the class. I'll run a quick 
check to see if any are not already in the database. For ones that aren't, I 
run a script that inserts them into the database.

I create a file of the format:
userid firstname lastname emailaddress

Then I feed this to a script which runs the insert:
echo "insert into user (unityid, affiliationid, firstname, lastname, email, 
  lastupdated) values ('$1', 2, '$2', '$3', '$4', 1, now());" | mysql vcl

To easily add the users to a group for the block allocation, I use a neat 
script called provided on the VCL site at

Again, this can take a file as input, with the format:

So I run a command like: addUsersToGroup -n myclassgroup -a Local -f myclasslist

The Block Allocation menu is a recently added feature which I think makes it a 
lot easier now for faculty to request block allocations. They can fill in the 
form which provides all the necessary information to setup the request, and by 
simply clicking accept, the block request is actually created, I no longer have 
to do that separately. There are also nice statistics for the admin both on the 
Block Allocations page and the Dashboard to view whether there were any 
failures in provisioning the machines for the request, and how many are 
actually being used.

I hope this helps.

Mike Waldron
Systems Specialist
ITS Research Computing
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
CB #3420, ITS Manning, Rm 2509
From: Kelly Patrice Robinson []
Sent: Friday, August 19, 2011 9:55 AM
Subject: Block Allocation

Is there documentation on how the Block Allocation works?  I've been searching 
the Apache site and haven't been able to find anything that describes the 
process.  If a faculty member (or any user) wants to use block allocation will 
they need to create a user group and assign their students to that particular 
group in order to allow access to the images that are part of the reservation?  
If this is the case, does this mean that the students will need to login first, 
before the faculty member can assign them to their group?

Georgia State University

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