What is Co-Op Support?

Co-op support or Cooperative support is an arrangement where EUS  handles the behind-the-scene activities (e.g. patch installation) and a local person handles the day-to-day activities. This person is selected by the system(s) owner from the work-group, department, or school. This person should have knowledge of UNIX system administration, not just UNIX system use. People with this knowledge are typically staff members hired into the Programmer/Analyst category.

The workload will depend on the demands of the system and users, but the workload is not negligible. The workload is, sometimes, not schedule-able. System failures always seem come at the least opportune time.

What is expected of the departmental/work-group CO-OP contact?

  • Basic UNIX system administration skills:
    • add/delete/lock accounts
    • kill jobs
    • understand mail (i.e. sendmail v. pop v. imap; mail spools)
    • understand printing systems (i.e. how jobs can be passed from computer to computer or computer to printer).
    • understand NFS (i.e. what is necessary for file service).
    • understand maintenance of systems in an open environment such as UCI (i.e. there are no extensive firewalls here, security is essential).
    • similar basics
  • User management: including quotas, if applicable. EUS provides tools to simplify quota management. Sometimes quotas aren’t appropriate and disk consumption will have to be monitored in other ways.
  • User discipline: In the UCI environment, user management is increasing its complexity due to disciplinary issues. Harassment, spam, or other issues which violate the computer use policy (‘Netiquette’ issues) must be dealt with in the proper manner (e.g. for students this may include involving the Dean of Students Office). These issues can be extremely time consuming. They also require consistent application. OIT can provide some basic consulting for these endeavors.
  • Specialized application/hardware support: If your group uses special applications (i.e. 3rd party apps), then support for those applications (including installation) will be the responsibility of the local person. If your machine has special hardware, the local person is responsible for any drivers the hardware will require.
  • Use of EUS tools: These include autoinstall, afterrun-after and srsh. Autoinstall is a requirement for all co-op supported machines. It is essential for the local person to communicate to EUS any changes that are made to the system locally, so that these changes can be added to the autoinstall each scripts.
  • Patches: In the event that the automated patch application doesn’t work, the local person should know how to install patches. The local person is responsible for patches required for any 3rd party or specially configured applications.
  • File Restores: If backups are purchased through OIT, file restores should be done according to our policies. The policies are setup to prevent problems with multiple clients using our campus backup resource. This is usually trivial.
  • Root password: Provide EUS with the root password for emergency situations. Or the owner can sign a waiver indicating that EUS does not have the root password and therefore EUS cannot respond to emergencies requiring the root password.
  • Response time: EUS can provide assistence and/or advice. During working hours (M-F 7am-5pm), priority is given to those on tailored support, server support and personal workstation support. Your EUS support person will respond as soon as he/she is able to within this timeframe. After-hours and weekend consulting are available on a recharge basis.