Mirror Site

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 pkreitz@slac.stanford.edu. You may also send email to spires@slac.stanford.edu.

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.

Institutional Requirements

  • 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 your institution.
  • 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.

Technical Requirements

  • Accessibility
    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 site.
  • 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 web server.

Administrative Requirements

  • 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.

SPIRES HEP is a joint project of SLAC, DESY & FNAL as well as the worldwide HEP community.
Mirrors: DESY (Germany), Fermilab (US), IHEP (Russia), Durham U. (UK), SLAC (US), YITP (Japan); LIPI (Indonesia);

Last Updated: 01/22/2005

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