[Python-Dev] PSF Infrastructure Committee's recommendation for a new issue tracker

Brett Cannon brett at python.org
Tue Oct 3 01:52:46 CEST 2006

On behalf of the PSF Infrastructure committee, I am happy to report that we
have reached a recommendation for a new issue tracker for Python!

But first, I want to extend our thanks to all who stepped forward to provide
the committee with a test installation of an issue tracker to use as a basis
of our evaluations.  Having several trackers to compare may have made this
more time-consuming, but it helped to realize what people did and did not
like about the various issue trackers and solidify what we thought
python-dev would want.  Thank you!

The Infrastructure committee (Andrew Kuchling, Thomas Wouters, Barry Warsaw,
Martin v. Loewis, and myself; Richard Jones excused himself from the
discussion because of personal bias) met and discussed the four trackers
being considered to replace SourceForge: Launchpad, JIRA, Roundup, and
Trac.  After evaluating the trackers on several points (issue creation,
querying, etc.), we reached a tie between JIRA and Roundup in terms of pure
tracker features.

For JIRA, members found it to be a very powerful, polished issue tracker.
But some found it to be a little more complex than they would like in an
issue tracker.

Roundup, on the other hand, had the exact opposite points.  While not as
polished as JIRA, it is the simpler tracker which some committee members

As for Trac and Launchpad, both had fundamental issues that led to them not
being chosen in the end.  Most of the considerations had to do with
customization or UI problems.

With JIRA and Roundup being considered equal overall in terms of the tracker
themselves, there is the tie-breaking issue of hosting.  Atlassian, the
company that created JIRA, has offered us free hosting of a JIRA
installation.  This cannot be overlooked as keeping an issue tracker running
is not easy and requires supervision at various hours of the day to make
sure possible downtime is minimized.  There is also always the issue of
upgrading, etc. that come with any major software installation.

Details on the hosting is pasted in at the end of this email as provided by
Jonathan Nolen of Atlassian.  He has also been cc:ed on this email so as to
allow him to answer any questions directly.

In order for Roundup to be considered equivalent in terms of an overall
tracker package there needs to be a sufficient number of volunteer admins
(roughly 6 - 10 people) who can help set up and maintain the Roundup
installation.  If enough people can be gathered, then Roundup will become
the recommendation of the committee based on the fact that the trackers are
roughly equal but that Roundup is implemented in Python and is FLOSS.  If
not enough support can be gathered, the committee's recommendation of going
with JIRA will stand.

If people want Roundup to be considered the tracker we go with by
volunteering to be an admin, please email infrastructure at python.org and
state your time commitment, the timezone you would be working from, and your
level of Roundup knowledge.  Please email the committee by October 16.  If
enough people step forward we will notify python-dev that Roundup should be
considered the recommendation of the committee and graciously turn down
Atlassian's offer.

-Brett Cannon
Chairman, PSF Infrastructure Committee

[email from Jonathan, unedited, with details about hosting]

Hosting is with http://contegix.com. They host all of our servers, as
well as those of Cenqua, Codehaus, Jive (I think), and a bunch of
other folks in the Java community.

They have engineers online 24x7x365. I've contacted them at all hours
of the night and weekend and never failed to get a response with 5
minutes, though they guarantee 30 minutes. The engineers I've worked
with have been universally top-notch. They've been able to help with
every kind of question I've thrown at them. It's hard to describe how
great they are, but it's like having a full-time sysadmin on staff
who knows everything about your systems, who never goes to sleep, and
who is always seems chipper at the very thought of making any change
you might ask.

Ideally, we'd set it up so that the appropriate members of the Python
team could contact Contegix directly for any requests you may have.
You'll also have direct access yourself if you need to do any work on
your own.

As far as the export, they will set it up any way you like. The two
obvious ways that come to mind are copying the XML backup or a
database dump each night (Or whatever frequency you specify). Either
option would allow you to fully restore a JIRA instance to the point
of the backup with full history.

They will pro-actively keep your apps up to date as well. They
usually know as soon as we release new versions and will contact your
to arrange upgrades almost immediately. They also perform things like
OS upgrades and patches on a regular basis without having to be

Contegix will set up monitoring on your server(s) to watch things
like disk-space, memory, CPU and networking usage. If any of those
resources starts to get maxed out, they'll let us know and offer
advice on how to fix it.

Right now, we have the Python stuff and the Mailman stuff on one
server. There should be enough capacity for both, but if your usage
grows to the point where we need more hardware, we can arrange that
(within reason). If you ever needed to make your own arrangements
with Contegix, their rates are reasonable, and you can either buy or
lease hardware as you choose. I'm also sure that they would be
flexible for a active, popular, open-source project such as Python.

When Barry and I spoke, he told me that you had four or five other
servers scattered around the world running things like SVN, mail and
web. If you would ever be interested in consolidating those services
with Contegix, it is likely that we could help you out with those as
well. SVN would be a particular benefit, as the Fisheye Plugin for
JIRA is really useful, and will perform better over the local
network. It can still be used from your current host, it'll just be a
little slower to get new information.

I should also mention that Atlassian will soon be introducing two new
products: Crowd, a user-management/single sign-on solution and
Bamboo, a build server. if you guys are interested in trying either
of those, you're welcome to them. I can imagine both might be useful
to a project like Python.

I'm happy to help out, and we continue to be very interested in
seeing the project happen. If there's anything further we can do,
don't hesitate to ask.


P.S. Here's is Contegix's material about their service:

Data Center
Contegix's data center is located in the Bandwidth Exchange Building
on Walnut Avenue, which is the premier, carrier building for this
region.  Security is very important to our clients and us.  As a
result, access beyond the lobby requires a code access for the
elevators.  Once someone reaches our floor, all of our perimeter
doors require both a card key access combined with a matching
biometric palm scan to access our facility.  Once someone has been
admitted to our suite, they are then required to log in and IDs
checked against our Access Log for customers.  Once authenticated, a
Customer Badge will be issued.  Visitors are only allowed escorted
access to the data center and NOC on an as needed basis.

In addition to all exterior doors being controlled access, all
internal doors leading to the data center also require an additional
card scan for access.  Within the data center, all customer equipment
is located in locked cabinets or cages.  In addition to restricted
access, the facility is monitored with digital cameras 24x7 recording
all movement within the data center.

Technical Support
Our facility is staffed with Tier 3 Support Engineers 24x7x365.  Our
engineers are available to assist you with any needs you may have at
any time.  Because the highest level of support available is key to
both of our businesses, Contegix engineers focus upon keeping your
application and data available at all times.

Therefore, we guarantee all support requests will be responded to
within thirty minutes and the average response is three minutes.  In
addition, through our custom monitoring system, we are capable of
actively monitoring almost anything you would like monitored.

Many of our engineers are Dell certified technicians.  In addition,
we maintain ample stock of spare parts for Dell servers including
hard drives, memory, etc.  Rest assured, every precaution and measure
is taken to ensure your equipment will be up and running should a
hardware failure occur.

Contegix Network
Contegix offers one of the strongest networks available in the
industry.  Our network infrastructure is fully meshed, running
redundant Juniper routers and Foundry BigIron core switches. We have
five Tier 1 providers including Sprint, Level (3), MCI, XO and WilTel
running BGP4.  Because our data center is located in the Bandwidth
Exchange Building, which is the Internet hub for this region, all of
our connections to our providers in our managed network are "On Net"
meaning we connect directly to the Internet avoiding local loops and
local connections.

Our core switching infrastructure provides the ability to deliver
load balancing without a significant investment in equipment.  When
your needs grow, Contegix will be able to deliver.

Our network is enhanced by our Intelligent Routing Solution and DDoS
Mitigation/Protection system, which drastically improves the quality
of our network performance and reliability.  One of the benefits of
our redundant, intelligently routed network is our 100% Network
Uptime guarantee, delivered in writing.

Power Infrastructure
Our power infrastructure was built with redundancy in mind. All power
supplied to the data center is clean and constant coming from the
redundant UPS' (AC) or battery plants (DC).  The PowerWare UPS
systems run in a redundant configuration to maximize reliability.
The UPS and battery plants are being constantly charged by our dual
grid connection to Ameren.  There is an Automatic Transfer Switch
between the two grids.  In addition, if power is interrupted to the
UPS/battery plants, another Automatic Transfer Switch automatically
starts the diesel generator farm.  All of this occurs instantaneously
without human intervention to eliminate potential mistakes or errors
and maximizing performance.

Environmental Controls and Protection
Our Environmental Systems run in a redundant configuration.  Each
Environmental Control Unit/CRAC has a redundant "twin" on stand-by to
take over in the event of a failure or service affecting health
issue.  These units maintain constant temperature (72°) and humidity
(45%) in the data center.   Contegix has configured our data center
with hot and cold aisles for maximum cooling performance.

Fire Detection / Suppression is configured with three independent
systems.  The first two monitor for temperature and smoke.  The third
system is a VESDA system that inspects air samples with a laser to
detect any potential fire hazards prior to an actual fire event.  Our
sprinkler system is dry pipe / pre-action which means the sprinkler
lines are filled with compressed air, not water.
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