Machine Room

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The Machine Room is the isolated glass room in the center of the lab. Most of the essential servers are housed in the Machine Room.

General Machine Room Rules

In general, sysadmins and faculty are the only people who actually have business in the machine room, and not too many other people. However, if you have guests, students with service requests, or underclassmen working on some project or other, it's okay to make exceptions.

  • Do not have food in the machine room. It is a controlled environment.

  • Do not reflash the ROM on the KVM, in any circumstance whatsoever. This sounds a bit silly to put as a general machine room rule of thumb, but it's actually very bad, because you can't use the KVM for a while, and then you have to re-input the server names so that everyone else knows how to get to the machine they're supposed to use. Fortunately, that hasn't happened for a very long time now, but it used to be a common occurrence. (Jeff Arnold, Jeff Grafton, and Dan Tran used to be particularly bad violators of this). It was eventually determined that the key sequence "Scroll-Lock Scroll-Lock r" would initiate the ROM reflash sequence, and Scroll-Lock was often pressed to regain control of the terminal (make it not sleep). Many times after this happened, one would begin typing "root" and badness would result. Try typing something else first to make sure you're not going to do Bad Things®.

  • Do not store cardboard or other flammable objects in the machine room (at the request of the fire marshal).

  • Do not act reckless in the machine room. Yes, we all do it at some point or other, but there are important things in there we'd rather not break. That includes using random ports on the switch without carefully checking the situation. You don't know what's supposed to go where. In fact, you pretty much just stole someone/thing else's network connection. Good job.

  • Do not be in the machine room if you don't need to be there. It's nice to check up on what the other admins are doing, but the machine room is for the machines. Don't forget that.

  • Do not invite non-admins into the machine room unless they have a legitimate reason to be in there, such as to perform maintenance. These cases are rare and should be cleared by a senior Sysadmin.

  • Have the lights on in the machine room. The SysLab is a room in a school, not a cave for trolls to dwell in.

  • Turn off the lights at the end of the day when there will be no one else using it.

  • Keep the raised floor tiles clean. Anything less than clean in the machine room is disgusting. It is best if you can give them each a gentle scrubbing with soap during the summer, then dry them off.

  • Minimize the amount of work that involves cables that you do not know the function of. You don't want to be the one who breaks the Lab's networking.

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