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LISA '11 is sponsored by
USENIX
in cooperation with
LOPSA

WORKSHOPS

Join Your Peers for Three Days of Focused Discussion

Senior sysadmins will want to participate in one or more of these full- and half-day workshops. Attendance is limited for each workshop, which ensures a seminar-like atmosphere. To attend Workshops 3 and 6, you must be an accepted workshop attendee; see their descriptions for information about how to participate.

Each half-day workshop costs $90 and each full-day workshop costs $180. Please make sure you do not select another session whose timing conflicts with that of your workshop.

Questions? Contact conference@usenix.org.

Workshops Schedule

SUNDAY:
Real-World Configuration Management  |   Monitoring Process and Implementation Solutions

MONDAY:
Aligning the Research Interests of System Administrators and CHIMIT Researchers  |   HPC Compute Cluster  |  Security

TUESDAY:
Advanced Topics  |  Documentation for System Administrators  |   Teaching System Administration  |   Government and Military Computer System Administration

Sunday, December 4

Workshop 1: Real World Configuration Management (Full Day)
Public Garden
Kent Skaar, VMware; Narayan Desai, Argonne National Laboratory

This workshop will cover configuration management processes in real-world settings. The focus will be on practical tactics that attendees can apply directly. Attendees will discuss the issues they face in their deployments and will compare their experiences and tactics with other attendees'.

TThe workshop will have two major components. The first will be a series of discussions on current topics of interest. These will be separated by two or three presentations by attendees of their configuration management environments, highlighting useful techniques and potential problem areas.

This workshop is a tool-agnostic discussion of practical issues; the discussion will be widely applicable, regardless of the configuration tool used. The focus will be on practical tactics that attendees can apply directly. Attendees should be sysadmins with a deployed configuration management system in place who want to talk with and learn from others on the subject. Tool developers interested in hearing the needs of their users and/or offering suggestions are also welcome, but they are not the primary intended participants.

Workshop 2: Monitoring Process and Implementation Solutions (Full Day)
Riverway
Scott Koch, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

The area of cluster and network health monitoring provides ample opportunity for creative and diverse process and tool implementations. Attendees in this workshop will discuss the issues they face in their deployments and will compare their experiences and tactics with others.

This workshop is a tool-agnostic discussion of practical issues; the discussion will be widely applicable. The focus will be on practical tactics that attendees can apply directly. Attendees should be sysadmins with a deployed monitoring system in place who want to talk with and learn from others on the subject. Tool developers interested in hearing the needs of their users and/or offering suggestions are also welcome, but they are not the primary intended participants.

Monday, December 5

Workshop 3: Aligning the Research Interests of System Administrators and CHIMIT Researchers (Full Day)
Public Garden
Nicole F. Velasquez, Pepperdine University; Adam Moskowitz

This workshop will be held in conjunction with the ACM Computer-Human Interaction for Management of Information Technology symposium. CHIMIT was started in 2007 and is the leading forum for discussing research on IT management with a focus on people, business, and technology. This workshop will provide an opportunity for in-depth discussions between CHIMIT researchers and highly experienced sysadmins. The expected outcomes include the identification of key areas of future research/collaborations, initial action plans, and future joint conference submissions for CHIMIT and/or LISA.

Interested sysadmins should describe their interest in research and identify 2–3 key issues they would be interested in investigating in cooperation with researchers. Based on the proposals, 15–20 sysadmins will be accepted into the workshop. Position papers should be sent to workshop@chimit.acm.org.

You must have received pre-approval from the instructor before registering for the workshop.

Workshop 4: HPC Compute Cluster (Half Day AM)
Riverway
Clay England, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Administering a compute cluster in a production environment is a niche area of system administration. In addition to the common issues involved in administering *NIX computers, additional challenges related to cluster management, customer usage, and specialized software present themselves. In this workshop, we will discuss these specialized problems and potential solutions, as well as offering suggestions based on our experiences in HPC cluster management. The topics will be based on the attendees' interest but may include OS deployment, software deployment, management tools, schedulers and resource managers, and customer issues.

Attendees should be admins of a compute cluster or interested in adminning this type of cluster. They should come prepared to discuss openly, in a round table setting, their admin experiences with this class of machine and the pros and cons of their existing cluster management tools.

Workshop 5: Security (Full Day)
The Fens
Matt Disney, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Information security is important to many system administrators, yet it is challenging to make security a high priority or to stay updated on this very wide and fluid topic.

This workshop offers a personal and flexible venue for systems, security, and network administrators to discuss security challenges and experiences with other interested admins and experts. Discussion topics and potential presentations will depend on the interests of the attendees.

Tuesday, December 6

Workshop 6: Advanced Topics (Full Day)
Public Garden
Adam Moskowitz

This workshop, intended for very senior administrators, provides an informal roundtable discussion of the problems facing system administrators today. Attendance is limited and based on acceptance of a position paper (plain ASCII, three paragraphs maximum); a typical paper covers what the author thinks is the most difficult or important issue facing system administrators today, why this is a problem, and why this problem is important. A more complete description of the workshop and information about position papers are available at http://atw.menlo.com/. Position papers should be sent to lisa11ws-atw@usenix.org.

You must have received pre-approval from the instructor before registering for the workshop.

Attendees are required to bring a laptop computer.

Workshop 7: Documentation for System Administrators (Half Day A.M.)
Riverway
Janice Gelb, Oracle Corporation

This workshop is for system administrators who would like to learn about producing documentation for their systems and processes or who would like to improve the documentation they produce. It will provide practical advice and encourage interactive discussion in the following areas: why organized and up-to-date system administration documentation will help make your job easier, how to develop a documentation strategy, guidelines for writing documentation, common errors and how to avoid them, and a group review of submitted documentation and suggestions for improvement.

Attendees are encouraged to submit current or proposed documentation to be evaluated in advance and reviewed during the workshop.

Workshop 8: Teaching System Administration (Full Day)
The Fens
Kyrre Begnum, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences

This workshop is for educators and practitioners who are interested in influencing the ways we can better teach students to become good sysadmins. This year's topic is: "Skills from curriculum—How do we shape the next sysadmins?" We will focus on how standard engineering and computer science tracks can be modified in order to better facilitate the skills we expect in future sysadmins. What topics are important and what aren't? What should optional modules focus on? Our goal is to establish a set of recommendations for schools and teachers who want to offer system administration as a specialization to their students. Everyone with a strong opinion on what skills are important in order to have a career in our field is welcome to join our discussion.

Workshop 9: Government and Military Computer System Administration (Full Day)
Beacon F
Andrew Seely, Science Applications International Corporation

This workshop is for sysadmins who have primary responsibility for computing systems owned by government or military agencies and for sysadmins who work in secure environments, deal with classified data, provide GOTS support, or deploy to military hot spots. This includes contractors, government civilians, vendors and suppliers, uniformed members, and anyone who has a direct hands-on support role in the government sector.

The general focus will be US government and military systems, but interested non-US personnel are welcome to attend. Specific goals and topics will be solicited in advance from registered attendees in order to ensure a relevant and useful workshop. All discussions will be strictly unclassified.

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Last changed: 5 Dec. 2011 jel