User support

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Structure and tools

ARC user support aims to cover:

  • End-users
  • Application developers
  • System administrators

With the help of EGI and EMI, support is organised in three basic levels:

  • 1st level: via GGUS (Global Grid User Support)
  • 2nd level: via GGUS and NorduGrid support (hosted by SNIC)
  • 3rd level: via Bugzilla - ARC bug and feature request tracking system


1st level support: GGUS

1st level support is the main entry point for user requests. It is provided by National Grid Initiatives and EGI through the Global Grid User Support (GGUS) system.

1st level support is primarily geared towards general users not familiar with details of middleware, therefore, it is not structured according to middleware components. The task flow is as follows:

  1. A user enters a support request via GGUS interface, indicating that the request is relevant to ARC.
  2. EGI support team analyses the request and assigns it to the ARC Support Unit in GGUS.
  3. Experts in the ARC Support Unit analyse the request and either provide immediate help, or submit the request to the 2nd (if it is a site issue) or 3rd (if it is a bug or feature request) support level, making note of the action in GGUS.
  4. When the issue is solved and fix validated (at either of the support levels), ARC Support Unit experts provide the summary of the solution in GGUS and close the ticket.

In order to join ARC Support Unit, one must register as a user in GGUS and request membership in the Support Unit by contacting EMI User Support Task Leader (Task SA1.5).


2nd level support: GGUS and nordugrid-support

2nd level support is normally dedicated to site-specific issues, which are also handled via GGUS. ARC experts can be indirectly involved when a site supporter escalates the issue to the 3rd level.

In addition, for historical reasons, and for non-EGI-affiliated users, there is a NorduGrid Support system hosted by Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing (SNIC).

NorduGrid Support, similarly to GGUS, is not explicitly split per ARC components or sites, although the support team consists of experts in both site and middleware issues. The task flow is as follows:

  1. A user submits a request by sending an e-mail to nordugrid-support@nordugrid.org (the system places the request in the NorduGrid queue).
  2. The request is taken by one of the ARC experts.
  3. The ARC expert either provides immediate help, or, in case there are reasons to believe it is a bug report or a feature request, submits a report to the 3rd level support, making the appropriate record in the support system.
  4. When the issue is solved and fix validated (at either of the support levels), ARC expert in charge of the request provides the summary of the solution closes the ticket.

In order to join the group of ARC experts in charge of the NorduGrid queue, contact SNIC support (attach your certificate DN).

Tickets in NorduGrid queue are visible only to the registered members, as they may contain sensitive site-specific information.


3rd level support: Bugzilla

3rd level support deals with specific bug reports or feature requests, and is assisted by the Bugzilla system.

It is expected that only experts (from 1st and 2nd support levels) fill reports in Bugzilla, although advanced users (especially those not affiliated with EGI) may eventually decide to submit reports as well. The task flow is as follows:

  1. An expert reports a bug or a feature request to a specific ARC component, indicating all the necessary details, such as the middleware version and the operating system (Bugzilla automatically assigns the report to a developer responsible for this components, but this can be overridden by the expert).
  2. Developer in charge of the component accepts the report within 2 working days, or re-assigns to a more proper individual.
  3. In case the bug is found to be a duplicate of an existing report, it is resolved as such.
  4. When the issue is solved, ARC developer in charge of the report provides the summary of the solution and resolves the bug/request.
  5. Either the developer or the reporter verify that the bug is fixed; in case this report came via the 1st and 2nd level support chain, this triggers resolution of respective reports on higher levels (NorduGrid Support and GGUS).

When dealing with Bugzilla, supporters and developers must follow the Bug Procedures.

In order to be able to fill or modify Bugzilla reports, one must create a Bugzilla account.


Documentation

Documentation that assists in user support is collected in the NorduGrid Web site, is distributed with ARC, and is kept in NorduGrid SVN, such that it can be improved by any supporter:

This Wiki also contains bits of important information, but it is not officially endorsed as a reliable information.

All support systems (GGUS, NorduGrid support, Bugzilla) contain wealth of information, and solutions of some problems may well be found amongst closed tickets.

In order to be able to modify documents in SVN, please send request to be authorised (and your certificate's DN) to nordugrid-support@nordugrid.org.

In order to be able to modify documents in this Wiki, please send request to be authorised (and your certificate's DN) to nordugrid-support@nordugrid.org.