Infrastructure performance and safety: the latest developments

Written by Agnès Magron

You may have noticed a red banner on all platforms (HAL, Episciences and Sciencesconf) announcing a maintenance operation scheduled for 6 February. What was it about?

In fact, several operations were carried out that day, and if you noticed any disruption, it’s because you were connected to one of the platforms between 7am and 7.15am. In any case, they only lasted a few seconds.

The evolution of the hardware infrastructure

Hardware infrastructure has evolved significantly in 2023 to improve server performance and security. A physical server can support multiple virtual machines, each managing different services. This means that changing a physical server, especially one with increased capacity, requires the migration and reorganisation of these virtual machines. In this way, 90 virtual machines were migrated without service interruption in 2023.

The migration of the supporting databases, on the other hand, involves stopping all updates to the databases for the duration of the operation, which was carried out on 6 February.

For information, a server looks like this:

There is 1,500 GB of RAM on each of the 3 servers purchased in 2023.

Network operations

On the same day, another project was carried out on the network: the aim was to increase the size of the network so that more IP addresses could be managed. The network part of the infrastructure has also evolved considerably. By the end of 2023, the switch to fibre will have optimised internal traffic. Outgoing traffic is between 1 and 2 Gb/s.

Work is carried out on a regular basis to incorporate changes to improve the service provided without interrupting the service.

In a few figures, the infrastructure consists of 3 switches and 2 sub-networks, about 194 machines (virtual or physical), 1 NAS and 38 hypervisors (physical machines hosting virtual machines). For each of the services (HAL, Sciencesconf, Episciences, etc.), the CCSD manages a production platform, a pre-production platform and a test platform.

These changes to the hardware infrastructure are part of Work Package 1 of the Equipex+ HALiance project. The objective of this work package is to upgrade and secure the physical infrastructure of the HAL. In practice, this affects the entire CCSD infrastructure and benefits all platforms.

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