FAQ GGUS-User Guide

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FAQ GGUS-User-Guide


Introduction

GGUS system is the central helpdesk for EGI and WLCG communities. The GGUS system creates a trouble ticket to record the request and tracks the ticket from creation through to solve. The user of the system should not need to know any of the details of what happens to the ticket in order to get it from creation to solve. However, an understanding of the operation of the system may be helpful to explaining what happens when you request help. Use the GGUS web interface to create the ticket. The web interface is described in section Accessing the web interface to GGUS of this note.
Once the ticket has entered GGUS, it is processed by assigning it to the appropriate group to deal with the issue. The groups are generally addressed via mailing lists, and so GGUS assigns the ticket to a group, and an e-mail message is sent to people on the appropriate list. Sometimes, a ticket is simple and it is assigned to the correct group immediately and dealt with immediately.

Submitting a ticket using the web interface

Before using this route, it is essential to have either a digital certificate and that it is installed in the manner appropriate for its use by the browser being used or an EGI SSO account. A description of how to do this is outside the scope of this document. Some of the Certificate Authorities (CAs) provide documentation on this matter. For further information on EGI SSO accounts please refer to the EGI SSO pages

Accessing the web interface to GGUS

Figure 1: GGUS home page for unregistered users

If the user carries out all of the steps above, but is not registered to use GGUS, then the home page is like shown in the following figure If the user faces problems with his certificate he may get help here:

For accessing GGUS users have to register first. Registration process is described in chapter Registering at GGUS.

Registering at GGUS

For getting support privileges users need to be register at GGUS. For registering at GGUS the user should go to GGUS home and click the registration link. This link opens the registration form that the user has to fill in. In addition, there are some links where the user can find information about grid certificates. Users who do not have a valid digital certificate can access GGUS via EGI SSO or via login and password. Since the use of login and password will no longer be guaranteed in the future, it is recommended to access GGUS with a valid digital certificate or EGI SSO. Both authentication methods, Grid certificate and EGI SSO, will be guaranteed in the future. After filling in the registration form, the user receives an e-mail from the GGUS employees with his access data to GGUS.

Accessing GGUS with certificate

Figure 2: GGUS home page for recognized users

The primary address of the GGUS portal is: http://ggus.eu. If the user enters this in the browser, a warning will be displayed by the browser prompting the user to specify which certificate to use (if the user has not selected to automatically select the certificate in the browser settings). The reason for this warning is that GGUS has to validate the user in order to allow access. After that, the user will no longer be asked to identify himself. The user identifies himself with his digital certificate. At this point in time, GGUS has identified the user and displays the start page as shown in Figure 2: GGUS home page for registered users. Note that in this case, the user's identity is displayed on the page and GGUS has recognized that this user is registered to submit tickets. If authentication by certificate fails, you will be taken to the login page.

Accessing GGUS via EGI SSO

When choosing "Login via EGI AAI CheckIn" on the login page the user is guided to the EGI AAI page were the users Identity Provider can be selected. After authenticating there the user will be redirected to GGUS.

The ticket submit form on web interface

Figure 3: Ticket submit form on web interface

The tickets submit form offers a set of fields which should help the user to describe his issue as detailed as possible. Most of the fields on the submit form are optional. Only field “Subject” is required. The submit form consists of three main sections: the user information, the issue information and the routing information.

  1. User information
    Most fields in the user information section are pre-filled by GGUS system.
    • “Name/Login” is taken from the GGUS user database.
    • “E-Mail” is also taken from the GGUS user database.
    • “Notification mode” defaults to “on solution”. The “Notification mode” manages the update notifications the user receives. “On solution” means that the user only gets notified when the ticket status is set to “solved” or a comment is added to the public diary. Additional information is available by clicking on the question mark on the right hand side of the field label.
    • “CC to” could be filled with any mail address of people who should be informed about this ticket. Notifications are sent on every ticket update. The field content could only be changed by people who have support access. Additional information is available by clicking on the question mark.
  2. Issue information
    Although only one field is mandatory in this section as much fields as possible should be filled with information.
    • “Date/Time of issue” defaults to the submitting time. This field should be set if the ticket is submitted much later than the issue occurred.
    • “Subject” is a mandatory field. It should give a short description of the issue. This field is limited to 250 characters.
    • “Describe your issue…” is limited to 4000 characters. It should be used for a detailed description of the issue. If the user does not know which information to add here he could click on the question mark for getting additional information.
    • “Concerned VO” provides a drop-down list of all VOs supported by GGUS.
    • “VO specific” is a flag indicating whether an issue is VO specific or not. It defaults to “no”. This flag could only be set to “yes” in combination with a VO selected in field “Concerned VO”.
    • “Affected Site” The site impacted by the issue. A drop-down list with all EGI sites registered in GOC DB and OSG sites registered in OIM DB is available. This is no routing information!
    • “Affected ROC/NGI” The NGI/ROC impacted by the issue. A drop-down list of all NGIs/ROCs integrated in GGUS is provided.
    • “Ticket category” provides a drop-down list with possible values. This field is for categorizing the issue. It defaults to “Incident”.
    • “Type of issue” provides a drop-down list with possible values. This field is for categorizing the issue. It defaults to “Other”.
    • “Priority” provides a drop-down list with possible priority values. They are “less urgent” which is the default, “urgent”, “very urgent” and “top priority”.
    • “Attach file(s)” offers the possibility to upload 4 attachments (e.g. log files etc.) at a time. Attachments are limited to 2 MB. Please avoid uploading file formats “.exe”, “.php”, “.htm(l)”.
  3. Routing Information
    • “Notify SITE” provides a drop-down list with all EGI sites registered in GOC DB and OSG sites registered in OIM DB. If selecting a site from the list this site will be notified about this ticket by mail. Additionally the ticket is assigned to the appropriate NGI/ROC directly, bypassing the TPM (Some words about TPM). If setting a site value the appropriate NGI/ROC is set automatically. Choosing an NGI/ROC simultaneously is not possible.
    • “Assign to ROC/NGI” provides a drop-down list of all NGIs/ROCs integrated in GGUS. Choosing a value in this field assigns the ticket to the appropriate ROC directly, bypassing the TPM. If assigning a ticket to an NGI/ROC choosing a site value simultaneously is not possible.


After clicking the “Submit” button the user gets a confirmation page showing the information submitted and the ticket ID.

Figure 4: Confirmation after ticket submit

Bypassing the TPM

The TPM (Ticket Processing Manager) is the 1st Line Support in GGUS. Users can bypass the TPM if they have good knowledge about where the problem is. For this purpose at the bottom of ticket submit form there is a section "Routing information". Selecting either a site from the "Notify SITE" drop-down menu or a support unit from the "Assign to support unit" drop-down menu routes the ticket directly to the selected support unit. If selecting a site name the NGI/ROC the site belongs to is set automatically. Hence the ticket is assigned to the relevant NGI/ROC. Additionally the site will receive a notification about the ticket. Selecting both, the "Notify SITE" and the "Assign to support unit" is not possible.

Tickets of type TEAM and ALARM are always routed to the relevant NGI/ROC by default.

Browsing your own tickets

After authenticating himself the user has access to the GGUS homepage. On this page he sees a list of his own open tickets and a list of the latest open tickets of all users (Figure 2). Below the list of the user’s own open tickets there are two links for further browsing possibilities of the user’s own tickets:

The system only shows the user tickets which have been created with the same authentication information the user is currently logged in. This means if a user submits tickets with different certificates he does not see all of his tickets. The reason for this is that the DN string of the certificate is stored in each ticket. Showing all tickets of a user can be done by using the GGUS search engine. In the GGUS search engine users can search by user name amongst others. This search will show all tickets of a user independent from the authentication information.

Show my complete ticket list

Figure 5: Complete ticket list on GGUS home

This link opens a new window showing tables of all open and closed tickets of the user and all tickets of other users the user has subscribed to. Information on how to subscribe to a ticket is available in chapter Subscribing to a ticket of another user.

Modifying tickets

Modifying your tickets using the web

Figure 6: Ticket history

For modifying a ticket the user can just click on the ticket ID. He is guided to another page. On this page are three main sections:

The ticket information gives an overview of the personal data the user provided, the issue description and the ticket status. The ticket history shows all actions that have been taken to solve the ticket, the date and time these actions have been taken and the name of the supporter who did them. In the modify section the user can add some additional information or comment on a question of a supporter to him. The user can add attachments, change the email notification behavior of the system and change some other attributes of his ticket.

Figure 7: Ticket information section
Figure 8: Ticket modify section

Escalating a ticket

Figure 9: Escalation button

Between the information section and the ticket history there is a button which allows the user to escalate a ticket (Figure 9). Three escalation levels are available in GGUS:

The escalation levels are reached one by one. It is not possible to choose one of them. Additional information is available by clicking on the little question mark on the left hand side of the button.

Reopen a solved ticket

If a ticket is already closed it could be reopened by adding a comment and changing the status to “reopened” in the “Modify section” (Figure 10). In this case the support unit which solved the ticket and the TPM receive an email about the ticket reopening.

Verifying the solution

Figure 10: Verify button

When a ticket is solved the user could confirm that the solution has solved his issue by verifying it. A solution could be verified by either

Verifying a solution can help to increase the quality of solutions in GGUS.

Modify your tickets using email

Updating a ticket using email is also possible if one fundamental requirement is achieved. The mail subject must contain the typical GGUS string “GGUS-Ticket-ID: #<<Ticket-ID>>” where <<Ticket-ID>> is the ID of the ticket which should be updated. The easiest way to do this is to reply to an update notification received from GGUS. When updating a ticket using email the whole mail body will be added to the ticket. Changing any other field (e.g. status, priority,…) is impossible!

Ticket Participation

GGUS system offers various possibilities for participating in tickets. They are

An overview on these fields is given in the table below. Ticket participation can be done by adding a valid mail address to one of these fields. Please avoid adding closed mailing lists as such produce a lot of mail errors! Several mail addresses have to be separated by semi-colon.

User submit User modify Supporter modify
CC Yes No Yes
Involve others No No Yes
Subscribe No Yes Yes

The “CC” field

The CC field can be set by the user in the ticket submit form. Updates are only possible for supporters for correcting or removing invalid mail addresses. Every ticket update triggers a notification email to the mail address specified in the “CC” field.

The “Involve others” field

The “Involve others” field is only for supporters use. Every ticket update triggers a notification email to the mail address specified in the “Involve others” field.

Subscribing to a ticket of another user

Figure 11: Ticket subscribe

Every user could subscribe to tickets of other users if he is interested in the solution of any. For subscribing a valid email address has to be provided. The user gets a notification once the ticket is solved. After subscribing to a ticket the user could change the notification mode or unsubscribe if he wants to (Figure 11). Accessing the system with the same credentials as used for subscription is necessary for this. Additional information on subscribing to tickets is available by clicking on the question mark at the right hand side of the label “Subscribe to this ticket”.

Who gets what email notification from GGUS?

The ticket "submitter" gets emails according to the "Notification mode" value (s)he selected when submitting the ticket. If the selected "Notification mode" value is "on every change" then all updates are sent to the "submitter". "Public Diary" entries are sent to the submitter regardless the value of the "Notification mode". "Internal Diary" entries never go to the "submitter". They are reserved for exchanges amongst supporters.

The email addresses in the "Cc:" field can be entered by the "submitter" and receive the same notifications as the submitter. "Public Diary" entries are sent to the addresses in the "Cc:" field. "Internal Diary" entries never go to the people in the "Cc:" field. They are reserved for exchanges amongst supporters.

The email addresses in the "Involve others:" field can be entered by supporters only and receive the same notifications as the Support Unit (SU) to which the ticket is assigned. "Internal Diary" entries are sent to the relevant SU members AND the people in the "Involve others:" field, as they are supposed to be experts and contribute to the ticket solution.

The email address in the "Assign to one person:" field can be entered by supporters only and receive the same notifications as the Support Unit (SU) to which the ticket is assigned. "Internal Diary" entries are sent to the relevant SU members AND the people in the "Involve others:" field AND the email address in the "Assign to one person:" field as they are, all, supposed to be experts and contribute to the ticket solution.

Every ticket update triggers an email to the addresses in the "Cc:", "Involve others:" and to ticket subscribers, i.e. GGUS users, unrelated to the specific ticket, who entered their own email in the "Subscribe to this ticket" field.

GGUS email notifications highlight the fields changed with the specific update.

Please avoid including closed mailing lists, e-groups in these fields as mail delivery will fail.

Browsing all tickets

At the bottom of the home page there are additional links for browsing:

GGUS search engine

Figure 12: GGUS search engine

For browsing all tickets the GGUS search engine is a useful tool (Figure 12: GGUS search engine). The GGUS search engine can be entered by clicking on link “Search ticket database”. When accessing the search engine a default search is performed like shown in Figure 12: GGUS search engine. Searching via Ticket ID is the easiest and fastest way to look at a ticket. When searching via Ticket ID all other search parameters were ignored. Besides searching for all open tickets this is the recommended kind of search, because it avoids needless workload on the system. When searching via ticket ID the ticket details are shown in the same window. For getting back to the main page use the "Back" button of your browser. The various search parameters can be combined in any way wanted except “Untouched since”. Description fields “Keyword”, “Involved supporter” and “Assigned to person” trigger a LIKE search to the database. Concatenating keywords with “AND” or “OR” is currently not possible. The search can either be started by clicking on "go" or just hitting the return key. The result of a search by parameters is shown in the result list. For viewing ticket details just click on the ID. A new window opens showing ticket details. For getting back to the search result just close the window with the ticket details.

Showing all open tickets

Clicking on this link shows all open tickets that are currently in the system. Unlike “Showing all open tickets” the default search in GGUS search engine uses a timeframe of one week for showing open tickets.

Contacting the GGUS team

Users can click on the “Envelope” icon in the menu bar for sending an email to the GGUS team with any comments. Note: This must not be used for submitting support requests as it does not create a ticket in the system!

GGUS development plans

On GGUS home page there are a couple of links where users can get more information on the GGUS development plans as well as submit own feature requests. Feature requests are collected in the GGUS shopping lists in JIRA (only for users having a CERN account) and EGI RT.

Operation of GGUS

The GGUS system is running on servers located at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany. Besides the GGUS production system a backup system is in place. Switching from production system to backup system currently needs manual interaction. An automatic switch in case of fail-over will be implemented. GGUS staffs at Karlsruhe are not providing support apart from requests concerning GGUS system itself. They can be contacted by email to support<<at>>ggus.org. Usual office hours for GGUS staffs are from 07:00 to 15:00 o’clock (UTC).

TPM

TPM (Ticket Processing Manager) is the most important part of the support system for the grid. The purpose of TPM is:

The TPM teams consist of people with a broad knowledge of the Grid. TPM effort is done by NGIs CZ and IBERGRID.

Ticket Monitoring

Besides developing and maintaining GGUS system the GGUS team is also doing the ticket monitoring. The ticket monitoring team is responsible for:

What if I have questions which are not dealt with by this FAQ?

Please submit a GGUS ticket.

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