Commonality in Announcing and Logging Changes

BC Project: FY06-11
Date of Policy: 21 Sep 2009
Last Updated: 21 Oct 2021 (see Revision Log)

This policy defines a time schedule for announcing and logging changes to all user-accessible systems (specifically including allocated HPC systems), networks, important application software, and system support software across all HPCMP centers. Advance notice for announcements of changes to systems accessible to, or that otherwise impact, users are summarized in the table below.

Change Announcement Categories
Category Description Time Frame
Major Any upgrade/change to HPC systems that may affect multiple software packages. 30 days
Minor Any upgrade/change to HPC systems or center's infrastructure that may hinder the effective use of resources at the center. 15 days
Software Removal Any change must include cases when the centers are determining which versions of software are candidates for removal from the system. 30 days
Emergency/Security Any upgrade/change requiring immediate action. As early as possible

This policy requires that change announcements provide a summary of the change, impact on users, and other dependencies, such as need to recompile or change scripts or library paths. When possible, a reference to a source of additional information such as a vendor-provided change notice, errata, or other user-oriented documentation should be provided. If the additional information is not directly accessible to users, the information must be provided to the HPC Help Desk, and the announcement shall direct users to the HPC Help Desk for additional information.

All centers are required to use the HPC Help Desk News and Maintenance Tool (NAMT) to submit their announcements. Historical changes, up to one year, can be accessed by the HPC Help Desk in the NAMT archive, and by users on the System News pages on most DSRC websites. Additionally all centers are require to provide an email announcement to users of the system. The email can should be identical to the NAMT posting or point to the NAMT posting for additional information.

Revision Log
Date Revision
21 Oct 2021BC Team Audit - Added the requirement for email notice
17 May 2018BC Team Audit - Changed "participating … centers" to "all … centers," and other changes to improve policy readability
02 Jun 2016BC Team Audit - Changed CCAC to HPC Helpdesk and standardized terminology
02 Apr 2015Added the new category "Software Removal" and replaced "floor version" by "production version"
03 Apr 2014BC Team Audit - Referenced Incident Reporting Tool (IRT) and added guidance on content of announcements
23 Sep 2013Removed reference to the HPC Help Desk web site
23 Mar 2012BC Team Audit
05 Nov 2009Logging Changes added to Announcing Changes