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Mike Gerard , IT/CS
All owners/users of computing equipment connected onto the CERN computer network are asked to ensure that the data base information concerning their computing equipment and its connection to the network is correct. In this way any subsequent change, in particular a move of equipment from one place to another place, can be done with a minimum of problems.
The method for verification, as well as for requesting a physical move of equipment from one place to another, is all via a Web Request form at http://network.cern.ch/register. This form contains considerable on-line help for the various items of information needed. Note, however, that it is only accessible from inside CERN.
When this form is used to make any kind of request then there will be an immediate confirmation message. However, only in the case of very simple updates to non-critical elements will there be an instantaneous update of the data base. In all other cases the request will have to be checked manually by Network Operations people: this will normally be done in less than half a day.
Many requests imply a physical intervention, such as a move of a network connection from one place to another, or a request for an entirely new connection on a network outlet. After verification by Network Operations the intervention is done by personnel of a Service Contract company. This will normally be the same day for requests made during the morning: afternoon requests are not guaranteed to be done before the following working morning.
The situation for portable computers can be somewhat different, unless the portable is only ever used at one place in CERN and is the only computer connected there: in this case the portable computer is essentially fixed. For other cases it is recommended that the portable computer be used on network outlets of type "portable". These outlets always have a fixed IP number allocated to them, but can also be used with dynamic addresses allocated by DHCP. Thus, any portable computer set for DHCP can be connected onto any portable outlet anywhere in CERN.
Portable outlets have to be requested by a direct request (e-mail, phone or visit) to Network Operations (Tel. 74927). When the outlet is commissioned there will be an accompanying information sheet giving the designated IP address for the outlet: this should normally be displayed as near as possible to the outlet.
Portable computers using these outlets must also be registered: this can be done via the above mentioned Web Request form. This registration will not allocate any IP address to the portable computer. It is particularly important that a portable registration includes the hardware adapter address, since this is the only way to track the owner in case of problems. Any portable outlet on which an unidentifiable computer is creating serious network-related problems risks being blocked to protect all other CERN users.
In complicated cases, or when an attempt to use the Web Request form is unsatisfactory or unclear, advice may be obtained by calling Network Operations on (+41 22 76)74927.
For matters related to this article please contact the author.Cnl.Editor@cern.ch