The kernel on Aleph will be upgraded to 2.6.25 on May 3rd at 1 AM EST (-0500 GMT).  There will be a brief 3 – 5 minute period of service interruption as the server is rebooted.  We will be performing the kernel upgrade to assess the changes in the sky2 network driver used on the servers.  Currently with 2.6.24 we still see intermittent timeouts once every several days lasting 20 seconds when the network card “hangs” and is restarted.  While these are rare, ensuring optimal stability around the clock is important.  If the sky2 driver fixes eliminate the hangs, then 2.6.25 will be rolled out on all the servers in 10 – 14 days.
Update: the new kernel will also include offline support for the second processor to reduce power consumption during non-peak hours.  This feature will be demoed on Saturday night as well between 2 AM – 9 AM EST.

Kernel upgrade pilot, May 3rd on Aleph