Old Development environment end-of-life – Decommission date January 2012

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Over the past couple of years I have been seeing that culture of using devbox that has caused many issues for us:

  • single monolithic installation as unmanageable and would be difficult to recover from in DR situation.
  • using it as a “dumping ground” encourages sprawl, bad practise and unrepeatability.
  • different OS and software stacks causes portability issues to production environments.
  • discourages interaction with methods native to production environment, e.g. “the Debian way”.
  • limits our ability to adopt agile development methodologies.

In addition there are a few factors require a change in operating environment:

  • hardware warranty has expired for devbox meaning it’s has an increased risk of suffering from a hardware failure.
  • all departmental server room space is being consolidated into centrally provisioned machine rooms to preserve power and other resources, both in an attempt to reduce costs and environmental impact.
  • Zone D are tasked with maintaining all hardware/OS software in ILRT Berkeley Sq. We want to move all kit out of the Waikiki Hut before they get to it to save them work but also to ensure our environment solutions remain aligned to our business objectives.

Therefore, I have set a date for the decommissioning of this service as January 2012. Note this is a decommissioning of the service, this means the applications, software, files, environments will NOT be migrated elsewhere, the service will just go offline in January 2012. For all existing projects and deployment environments we will need to move them to new environments and where one does not yet exist for a particular application we should make one. This would be a good opportunity for us to evaluate new tools, explore Continuous Integration, make use of automation tools such as Bcfg2 and fabric.

The servers affected by this change are:

  • devbox.ilrt.bris.ac.uk
  • ilrt-bester.ilrt.bris.ac.uk

May I also remind you that it is strongly discouraged to use your desktop as a development environment and it is against UoB Acceptable Use Policy to run network accessible services such as HTTP web servers on machines not authorised to do so. Please see the Use of Computers Policy on the Secretaries Office website (section 3.4). Any users still doing this should approach the Systems and Operations team (or me) to discuss alternatives.

Let me know if you have any questions.