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Linux Computing at MIT - page 4

From Red Line to Online

  • May 30, 2006
  • By Rob Reilly

Tier 1 support is usually provided by students. Tier 2 and 3 level support tasks are carried out by higher level students and staffers.

The team has roughly 15-20 students (on tier 1) and a mixture of 15-20 Mac and Windows support people. Amazingly, there are only 2 full-time Red Hat & Athena support staffers. The total number in the overall group is about 40 members. Not bad, when you consider that there are 773 Linux Athena users, 498 Solaris Athena users, and over 10,000 registered plain Red Hat users. Those numbers are expected to keep growing.

There are currently 9 major Athena applications that run on Windows and Macs. Most of the Athena applications run on Linux.

Keeping all the Linux based computers running with the latest patches and programs has received special attention. The Athena group utilizes Red Hat's Network Service in-house update via a satellite server. The satellite server also allows creation of specialized custom updates. Updates to individual machines typically happen around 3 AM.

Proof that the MIT Information Services and Technology group (including the Athena Linux team) are doing a good job, is reflected in their Web site. They have mapped out virtually every detail of computing at the university, that you could imagine.

The gamut of computing topics are covered, from being a rank beginner, up through how to get hooked into the Athena clusters.

Students might first want to visit the main MIT Athena and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 Web page. Next stop could be the page that lists existing Linux supported applications. Finally, a quick click to the MIT Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 update page, will tell all about making Linux run great on the student's machine.

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