This FAQ is here to answer questions VO Managers could have, or some questions VO users could ask VO Managers.

This page is under construction !!

This page is under construction !!

VO registration and procedures
Q: What procedures ? And What policies ?
A : As a member of EGEE, and moreover as a VO manager, there are a number of procedures and policies you must be aware of.

There are procedures and policies your VO as a whole as to abide by. There are also the same kind of procedures and policies your users have to abide by, and YOU, the VO Manager, will be accounted for any misbehavior. So please take time to read the following documents, and make sure your users know them too.

Q: Why create my own VO ?

This is not mandatory. But if you don't create one, you'll have to use one that exists...

If you're a user, it's OK to signup in a VO for which you already work, but when it comes to resources, things become more complicated. Let's first explain why. VOs in EGEE do not own resources (physical machines, maybe except at CERN or few other places)), they own a right to use these. This is different, and highly ambiguous. Sites effectively receive fundings for their users who participate in VOs, and these sites therefore do allocate to these VOs a share of their ressources depending on the funding they receive. But since VOs sign agreements with sites concerning their usage of the resources (they are allowed to consume XXX hours of an amount of SPECINT 2000 (or SPECINT 2006) - say 2 million si2k*hours each month) , they tend to make sure they effectively did have access to these ressources. This is what makes ressource allocation to new VOs quite complex.

So, to come back to our story : a VO somehow has to provide the GRID with resources, in order to be able to use the grid : this is somehow logical, not everything can be free. Only then comes the grid spirit, where everyone their resources, and this is only valid as long as these resources aren't really needed.

As a conclusion, it is unlikely that a user who has no affiliation with a VO will be allowed to use this VO, since he (or his institute) has to pay one way or another for resources he will use. And even if this user is doing research on a biomedicine matter, even if there is already a biomed VO, this user won't probably be allowed to use the biomed resources.

Q: What name can I give my VO?

It is requested for now that any newly created VO is created using a DNS-style naming. And it is required that the VO owns rights for using that DNS name. An example VO name is : my_cool_name.example.org

Q: Someone stole my VO name !

That's not possible anymore, since you are asked to own the domain name you are using. But if you're referring to short-named VOs, please read on.

Q: Why I must name my VO like it is a networked host and I can't use a cool VO name like some others do?

Short answer would be : because.

Long answer is : because short named VOs existed since the start of the EGEE grid (and some of them even before), and at that time this kind of naming was not requested. But there were once or twice conflicts about VO name, and it resulted that the easiest thing to do would be to force people to own a domain name, and make usage of this domain name. Short named VOs were not asked to migrate to dns-style name, because of all this implied (moving data in SRM namespace, renaming catalogs, re-registering all users, and so on). This is why there are still short named VOs.

Q: How can I get sites support my VO ?

There are several ways. First and easy way is to pay a site to provide you with resources. We have already run a tender in EGEE in which sites were proposing ressources in exchange of an amount of money, and would be happy to do this again if it would help you get resources hosted in EGEE.

Another way is to "sell yourselves" . This means that in order to support a VO, sites must get something in exchange. It can be fame, pride of serving a great cause, pride of helping find a cure to cancer... anything that would fit the needs of the said sites. If you have something to offer, sites will probably consider opening their resources to your VO.

Q: What I must do to keep sites happy and don't get my VO and its members banned?


Help and guidance
Tip : before asking for help

Before asking for help, please make sure you help yourself by gathering as much information as possible. GRID messages sometimes are not very straightforward, and supporters are very busy people, so sending messages that just state "grid does not work", "this site does not work with my jobs" is only going to delay the real answer you would like, which is : how to solve your problem.

So, please make sure gather at least the following, and if not possible, try to explain why :

  • first, your VO

  • the type of problem (did your job fail because of a software problem, or did your job fail because the grid did not succeed in running this job ?)
  • obviously, the FULL error message, if any
  • if possible, the output of the command that failed, with debugging turned on
  • the job logging info. If using a WMS for submission, this is done running the following command :
    • glite-wms-job-logging-info -v 2
  • if you are facing a timeout
    • the contents of the LCG_GFAL_INFOSYS environment variable
    • the version of lcg_utils you are using (output of command : lcg-cp --version)
    • the source of data if any
    • the destination, if any

Only then, you are well prepared to submit your support request.

Q: why would I ask for help ?

So you're having a problem, and can't find the solution... and you decide to go see the local sysadmin to see if he can help...

Maybe he can, but maybe he won't be available, or maybe he won't know. You'll try to send an email, he'll tell you he'll look at it... and if problem is really complicated, he'll forget after a few days he has your request to fullfill. This is why you should use an helpdesk whenever possible. You may say helpdesks sometimes are overkill, but they have the advantage of allowing problem follow up. Another advantage is that when a sysadmin leaves for vacation, he can easily pass the ticket to another, who'll then have instant access to your previous discussions : this will save everybody's time after all, yours included.

Q: who to ask for help on grids ?

Answer is easy : there is a dedicated help portal, which you can use when you need help. This portal, GGUS , is designed to allow you to submit help requests either by email or online. Once you submit a request, your message will be handled through different help units, and will end up either in a support unit dedicated to your VO if any, or in another more generic support unit. But in anyway, your request won't be lost and you will be able to point people at it whenever this is needed.

Q: what is the expected response time ?

You submitted a support request... and don't have any answer yet. We know this is frustrating, but you have to understand there are lots of people who require help, and that there are people spending their time to support each of these. Unfortunately, manpower is limited, and it can happen that your request is not handled very quickly... In that case, please try to remember to stay gentle with supporters.

Q: who else can help me ?

It is often a good idea to consul the VO manager when a user is facing a problem with a VO : since it is the VO managers who are for instance in charge of installing the VO software, they might have ideas about why your specific job is running out of memory, why it is not finding the correct software version, or why it drops a core.

There are VOs who have their dedicated support line in GGUS : in that case, there's no need to contact the VO manager, the GGUS support unit is right there to answer user requests.

-- FredericSchaer - 13 Mar 2009

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