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IT-GT User Support

GGUS-SNOW is now active since 19.10.2011


This twiki is aimed at IT-GT members who are giving 3rd line user support (in some cases, 2nd line user support) using GGUS. On 19.10.2011, IT-GT supporters will move to SNOW and will stop answering GGUS tickets directly. This will be transparent for the users.

Check the following sections to know what to do to be able to give support using SNOW and where to report problems with SNOW-GGUS.

Supporter in SNOW

In order to become a supporter in SNOW, you need to either:

  • belong to the e-group related to the functional element where you want to give support, OR
  • hold the AIS role SC 2nd line Support or SC 3rd line Support associated with the corresponding functional element (this is referred to Sc Functional Service in the AIS roles application).

Contact your section leader if this is not the case. Note that synchronisation between e-groups/AIS roles application and SNOW takes ~24h.

In the table below you can see the list of e-groups associated to IT-GT FEs:

Functional element e-group
D4ScienceII Technical Services None
DPM Development hep-service-dpm
FTS Development fts-support
lcg_util Development lcgutil-support
LFC Development hep-service-lfc
EMI QA emi-cern-qa
EMI Testbeds testbed-admins
ETICS project-eu-etics-support
gLite Release Pages and Repository man-install-grid-support
gLite UI man-install-grid-support
gLite VOBOX man-install-grid-support
gLite WN man-install-grid-support
GridMap sam-support
SAM Operations sam-support
SAM/Nagios sam-support
GridView/Availabilities gridview-2nd-line-support
GStat None
Information System Development None
Messaging it-dep-gt-tom-mig-devel

How to use SNOW

If you want to know how to use SNOW, please, follow this SNOW training. Contact in case of further questions.


Check this twiki to understand how the SNOW-GGUS link works for IT-GT, in particular the different workflows for the lifetime of a SNOW-GGUS ticket depending on whether the incident requires a change or not, or whether it involves external CERN supporters.

Existing GGUS tickets before the SNOW-GGUS activation

Existing GGUS tickets have been transferred into SNOW when the link between GGUS and SNOW has been activated in 19th October 2011. There are several ways to deal with those legacy tickets:

  • Use GGUS for tickets opened before 19.10.2011 and SNOW to deal with tickets opened after 19.10.2011 (both interfaces allow to perform this query).
  • Legacy GGUS tickets will produce both GGUS and SNOW notifications. Just use the GGUS notification to open the GGUS link and work with GGUS.
  • New SNOW tickets will produce SNOW notifications only. Just use the notification to open the SNOW link and work with SNOW.
  • Copy the comment history from the legacy tickets into SNOW and only use SNOW to deal with them. The list of affected tickets can be found here (not a long list though):

Please, discuss internally in your support units how you want to handle this situation.

Please, note that for any new ticket, supporters should ONLY use SNOW. Only SNOW notifications will be received.

SNOW notifications

SNOW notifications are received in the following circumstances to the following people:

Name Recipient Trigger
New ticket Assigned Group Ticket Creation
Group Transfer New assigned Group Change of assignment group
Return to Assignment Group Assignee Removal of assignee
User Update (ticket assigned) Assigned Group End-User Update
User Update (ticket in progress) Assignee End-User Update

Problems using SNOW-GGUS?

If you experience problems using SNOW (integrated with GGUS for IT-GT), please open a task in the GGUS shopping list tracker in Savannah. In this way, the problem will be investigated together with SNOW and GGUS developers and the necessary actions will be taken in the right tool.

Please, check the list of known issues below before openning a new ticket

SNOW-GGUS known Issues

Some issues have been detected so far in the SNOW-GGUS integration. Apply the workarounds below for the time being. Also check the User cases to know what to do and what to except in each possible scenario.

Ticket Number Description Status Comments Workaround
#124433 Enable GGUS notifications for IT-GT SUs None GGUS notifications are not sent any more. Only SNOW notifications are sent. This is bad for external supporters, that have stopped receiving any type of notifications. It's also bad when the GGUS-SNOW link stops working. Use the GGUS portal and add the corresponding e-group in CC.
#124395 Very urgent GGUS tickets automatically switched to Less urgent by SNOW None Known issue that will be fixed in the next release of GGUS scheduled in 30.11.2011. Work only with the GGUS ticket
RQF0032587 - #124316 Reopened GGUS ticket doesn't reopen SNOW ticket None It needs fixing in GGUS Work only with the GGUS ticket
RQF0037659 - #124450 Request to automatically close SNOW ticket when GGUS ticket assigned to TPM/DMSU or non CERN SU None Sometimes a ticket is not four our FE or any other CERN FE. In that case, the GGUS ticket should be manually updated and reassigned to TPM, DMSU or any other non CERN SU. The problem is that the link to the SNOW ticket remains. The SNOW ticket should be automatically closed by GGUS instead. It seems GGUS is sending the right information and SNOW is failing to close the SNOW ticket for some reason. Manually reassign the GGUS ticket to the appropriate SU and close the SNOW ticket. This will close the GGUS ticket as well that needs to be reopened.
#124524 Request to maintain GGUS-SNOW link active when ticket is reassigned to a CERN SU None Sometimes a ticket is not for our FE but it is for another CERN FE. In that case, the GGUS ticket should be manually updated and reassigned to the other CERN SU. The problem is that the link between GGUS and SNOW is closed (not from SNOW to GGUS though) and it should be left active instead. Work with GGUS and close the SNOW ticket once the GGUS ticket is closed.
RQF0007631 Allow submitters of a ticket to modify the Watch List at any time None This will be implemented in 2012. Use the CC field in GGUS
#120423 List of open SNOW tickets related to SNOW-GGUS problems Ongoing List maintained by Maria Dimou None

Status changes from GGUS to SNOW are blocked

In order to preserve the SNOW workflow and to avoid forbidden combinations of status-assignment in SNOW, SNOW blocks any status change coming from GGUS. This affects in particular tickets handled by external supporters. Those support units with external supporters must be aware of this. In those cases, it may be useful to check the GGUS ticket to see the real status of the ticket. Note that comments and final solved status are transferred to SNOW. The detailed workflow is available here.

Incidents and Requests in SNOW

SNOW differentiates from incidents and requests. According to ITIL:

  • Incident: An unplanned interruption to an IT Service or a reduction in the Quality of an IT Service.
  • Request: A service request is a request from a user for information, advice, a standard change, or access to a service.

On the other hand, GGUS doesn't make this difference. All GGUS tickets are mapped to SNOW incidents.

A ticket has been created so that we can convert some of the incoming GGUS tickets into requests when appropriate. For the time being, all our tickets will appear as incidents in SNOW. Ticket #120007 was also opened some time ago to try to implement in GGUS the difference between requests and incidents.


EMI has defined a set of SLAs affecting the middleware related support units in GGUS. On the other hand, SNOW also defines SLAs applicable to SNOW incidents (not for requests though). In order to better understand how they are defined and whether they can be synchronised with the ones defined by EMI, I have created this ticket.


  • I have a comment, suggestion or a question not included in this FAQ. Who can I contact? Please, send a mail to
  • I want to know more about ITIL in IT. Where can I find more information? Check the CERN Service Management web page with all the information you need to know about ITIL and how it has been implemented for IT and other groups at CERN.

If you are a supporter

  • I have received a notification from SNOW about an incident that has nothing to do with us. What should I do? Reassign the ticket to the Service Desk explaining the situation.
  • I have received a notification from SNOW about a valid incident. I thought we were not using SNOW yet! This is true but it can happen that another group at CERN reassigns an existing SNOW ticket to you. Since everybody in the group has followed the training, you should be able to use SNOW to handle the ticket. Take this as an opportunity to use the system and report any misbehaviour or any missing feature we can try to improve by the time we move completely to SNOW.

If you are a user who wants to report a problem

  • I need to report a problem about any CERN related issue (AFS problem, expired password, network, twiki, etc). What should I use? Please, use the CERN Service Portal to submit an incident or a request.
  • I have reported and incident or request in Service Now and I'm not happy with the workflow: As a normal SNOW user (not as a supporter here!) you would like to report about a bug, missing functionality or give feedback about SNOW. You can always submit a ticket to the Service Now Functional Element using the Service Portal. Please, put in the Watch List so we can track this type of tickets affecting IT-GT.

-- MariaALANDESPRADILLO - 26-Sep-2011

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Topic revision: r19 - 2011-11-15 - MariaALANDESPRADILLO
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