Hosting a Mirror Site
The SPIRES-HEP collaboration
serves the worldwide particle, accelerator, and astro- physics communites,
providing a valuable resource for information about research and publications.
The SPIRES-HEP databases were started at SLAC in 1974, and have since grow into a
collaboration of many institutions and mirror sites coordinated by SLAC. If you
and your institution would like to join the list of mirror sites, we have
prepared this outline of the requirements and responsibilities involved.
If you are interested, please contact Pat Kreitz, Director of Technical
Information Services, at 650-926-4385, or via email at email@example.com.
The SPIRES-HEP system is built on the SPIRES Database Management System. This
is a robust database management system that was developed at Stanford University
and is the corner-stone system for managing the information in SPIRES-HEP on
Unix platforms. Additionally, there is a web-interface to SPIRES that requires a
web server and web server software.
- Unix-SPIRES Collaboration. Institutions must be members of the Unix-SPIRES Collaboration.
- Contact Person. Your institution must provide us with a contact
person. It would be helpful if this person also functioned as the technical
administrator, but that is not a requirement. We will need name, phone number,
address, and email address of this person. This person will work with the SLAC
staff on all issues relating to the mirror site and be the interface back to
- Travel Support. Institutions must commit sufficient funds yearly so
that the mirror site administrator and/or technical administrator can travel to
SLAC for a minimum of one week per year to work on mirror-site and SPIRES-HEP
development issues with the SLAC SPIRES staff.
The mirror site should be up and running about 99% of the time. This should be
maintained on a "best effort" basis.
- Hardware. Machine running the UNIX operating system with a minimum of
128 MB Ram and 6 to 10 GB of hard drive space available for SPIRES and the
SPIRES-HEP databases. All sites currently use UNIX, not Linux. However, SPIRES
will run on Linux, and a mirror site willing to devote extra effort to working
out the bugs of a new platform could use Linux.
- Operating System Must
be current version of a major brand of UNIX (e.g., Sun, HP, AIX, see note above
regarding Linux). You must have a UNIX system administrator. You must be
applying all security patches to the UNIX OS that your vendor for UNIX puts out.
- Networking. Your machine should have a reliable connection to the
Internet that runs at least at T1 speeds if not faster. All installations are
done over the Internet, and require transfers of large amounts of files. Also,
we must be assured of at least moderate access speeds for users of your mirror
- Software. You must have ftp, ssh, the GNU software bundle (including
gcc and gunzip), a web server software package (Apache).
- Support. You must provide us with the name and contact information
for your UNIX administrator.
- Web Server Support. The web interface to SPIRES-HEP requires a web
server machine and web server software. You can either run the web server
software on the same machine as the SPIRES database management system, or you
may utilize your institution's web server. Installing the SPIRES web interface
onto a web server is very simple and does not have much impact on the web server
itself. It is desirable to have the web server software located on your
institution's web server, as then we are assured of the reliability of that
service. You will need about 500MB of free space for the files related to the
- Technical Administrator. Mirror site must have a designated technical
administrator. This is the person that will work with the SLAC staff to install
and/or update databases. It is preferable that this person also be the site
contact person, but it is not a requirement.
- Statistics. Mirror site must run statistics gathering programs on a
daily and monthly basis that will write out statistics pages to the web. These
usage statistics help SLAC manage the database's improvements and future plans.
- Technical knowledge. Technical administrator must have fair knowledge
of UNIX and be willing to develop basic knowledge of SPIRES. The person will
have to run nightly updates to the SPIRES-HEP databases, update other parts of
the mirror system, and generally maintain a stable computing environment that
ensures the mirror is running and available on a "best effort" basis.