The group shares filespace with OE and ME. Mounted from NP-Nobelium the filespace is the user-visible partner in a Storage Area Network.
The two partners are constantly synching files between each other. The general idea is that if there was a catastrophic failure in one location we could easily make the other partner visible to our user base as troubled hardware is being repaired. Whilst not strictly "highly available" because an administrator need to make the change, (it cannot be automated) the system is designed nevertheless to keep disruption down to a minimum.
Storage is somewhat dynamic, our 10 year plan gives us some 16 Tb of which we currently expose only 8 Tb (July 2014).
Outgoing group members data is archived elsewhere after they have left for a year and this archive is backed up to tape which is stored off-site.
We think our system is robust and highly fault tolerant. This is because:
All the data is stored on a RAID array, if a disk fails the array keeps functioning whilst we replace the faulty disk.
The data is synched between two physical locations as outlined above.
The data is also backed up to tape weekly, the tapes stored off-site.
It is not economically viable for the group to install all the software needed on desktops and tablets. Some software is centrally installed on several virtual machines on the network. These are accessed by the Windows Remote Desktop application. Users are given a domain login of the form NOM\CRSID to use as a username in this instance.
The virtual machine fully qualified domain names (FQDN) are:
The group keeps track of its major assets by a MSSQL database. All group members are encouraged to use it by entering new equipment and changing locations of existing equipment when it is moved from its normal area. It is imperative that every group member "buys in" to this process so that we minimise inefficiencies associated with "lost" kit being searched for. A repository for the current Access project files can be found in:
The location above also has drivers and software for installing the driver and software for the label printer that the equipment database prints to.
There are three printers for general group use. Two black and white laser printers in the Bragg Annexe and Bragg 170, one colour laser printer also in the Bragg annex. Other printers are available for administrative staff only and will not be discussed here. NanoPhotonics is generally paperless, members should consider the necessity of all print jobs.
np-tungsten.np.phy.private.cam.ac.uk, 172.24.26.164, is located in Bragg 170 and is an HP LaserJet P2055dn black and white laser printer.
np-ytterbium.np.phy.private.cam.ac.uk, 172.24.26.177, is located in Bragg 170 and is an HP LaserJet P2055dn black and white laser printer.
np-canisminor.np.phy.private.cam.ac.uk, 172.24.26.235, is located in the Bragg annex and is an Kyocera / FS-C5350DN colour laser printer.
Printer drivers are located in R:\0-SHARED\Computing\HPP2055dnPrinterDriver