GGUS is the Helpdesk service of the EGI Infrastructure. Incident and Service request tickets can be recorded, and their progress is tracked until the solution. The users of the service should not need to know any of the details of what happens to the ticket in order to get it from creation to solution. However, an understanding of the operation of the system may be helpful to explaining what happens when you request help.
Tickets can be created through the GGUS web interface, which 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 email 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.
Before using this route, it is essential to have either a digital certificate installed in the appropriate manner in the web browser or an EGI Check-in account.
If the user carries out all of the steps above, but is not registered to use GGUS, then the home page is like the one shown in the following figure:
If the user faces problems with their certificate, they may get help at wiki.egi.eu: Getting certificate
For accessing GGUS users have to register first. Registration process is described in chapter Registering at GGUS.
For getting supporter privileges users need to be registered. 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 X509 personal certificates. Users who do not have a valid digital certificate can access GGUS via EGI SSO. After filling in the registration form, the user receives an email from the GGUS team with his access data to GGUS.
The primary address of the GGUS portal is: https://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 themselves with their digital certificate. At this point in time, GGUS has identified the user and displays the start page as shown in the following figure:
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.
When choosing “Login via EGI AAI CheckIn” on the login page the user is guided to the EGI Check-in page were the users Identity Provider can be selected. After authenticating there, the user will be redirected to GGUS.
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.
Most fields in the user information section are pre-filled by GGUS system.
Although only one field is mandatory in this section, as much fields as possible should be filled with information.
After clicking the “Submit” button the user gets a confirmation page showing the information submitted and the ticket ID.
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.
After authenticating themselves the user has access to the GGUS homepage. On this page they see a list of their 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 their 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 username amongst others. This search will show all tickets of a user independent from the authentication information.
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 section “Subscribing to a ticket of another user.”
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 them. The user can add attachments, change the email notification behavior of the system and change some other attributes of his ticket.
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.
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 8). In this case the support unit which solved the ticket and the TPM receive an email about the ticket reopening.
When a ticket is solved, the user could confirm that the solution has solved their issue by verifying it. A solution could be verified by either:
Verifying a solution can help to increase the quality of solutions in GGUS.
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
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 semicolon.
|User submit||User modify||Supporter modify|
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 is only for supporters use. Every ticket update triggers a notification email to the mail address specified in the “Involve others” field.
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”.
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.
At the bottom of the home page there are additional links for browsing:
For browsing all tickets the GGUS search engine is a useful tool.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.eu. Usual office hours for GGUS staffs are from 07:00 to 15:00 o’clock (UTC).
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.
Besides developing and maintaining GGUS system the GGUS team is also doing the ticket monitoring. The ticket monitoring team is responsible for: