Ken Schumacher's Professional Home-Page


In Jan of 2009, I joined the High Performance Computing department (HPC) of Fermilab's Computing Sector. I am working toward more regularly updating this page as my role in this department develops / grows. It should be no surprise that maintaining pages like this has to take a lower priority than my primary responsibilities as described below. Your patience and constructive comments are always appreciated. Please send me an email with any such suggestions.

Regarding Off-site access to these pages

You may have come to this page because you saw it listed on my business card, an e-mail signiture or some web posting. I hope the information here tells you more about what it is that I work with and answers more questions than it creates. It is my intention that the links I provide here should be accessable to all who visit, but things change and the maintaining the links can be challenging. You may find that some Fermilab links don't work from off-site locations due to access restrictions. Documents containing instructions were most likely written for internal or on-site use. The instructions may not work in other circumstances. Whether you are on-site or not, I hope that you find some information of value or at least find some interesting material within these pages.

My Start at Fermilab

I started at Fermilab on Jan 20th, 1997. I don't recall what the group was called back then, but we provided support for shared UNIX systems of several different vendors. I had come in with experiance on Sun Solaris, SGI IRIX OS and IBM AIX systems, all of which were in use at Fermilab. And one of the first things I did was come up to speed on DEC AlphaServers and Tru64 Unix, which I ended up supporting. I supported several experiments including KTeV and SDSS. And I also assisted Business Services with their Alphaservers.

From there, I moved into the group that supported Linux based compute farms for a variety of experiments. Most of my time was spent with systems used by the Dzero experiment. I was involved in the installation and testing of the first 16 racks of farm systems that were installed in our Grid Computing Center.

Data Movement and Storage

Just prior to taking this position, I was working with the Data Movement and Storage Department as part of the SSA-Group. That group maintains the robotic tape storage facilities and the Enstore and dCache systems and services that are used to work with the storage facilities. I've worked with tape robot equipment from StorageTek and ADIC. Enstore software was the front end for huge robotic tape based data storage systems developed at Fermilab. I also became familure with our dCache services, a disk caching front end for moving data into and back off of tape storage systems like Enstore.

Current Primary Responsibilities

The High-Performance Computing Department

In January 2009, I began working in the High Performance Computing Department (HPC) of Fermilab's Computing Sector (CS). We support several highly integrated High-performance parallel computing clusters. The Fermilab QCD site is part of a larger collaboration known as USQCD. I have been working in this organization since Jan 2009. Can I interest you in a good description of our hardware.

Until the most recent CS reorganziation, this group was commonly known as LQCD Admin. In fact we manage two other clusters in addition to the LQCD clusters. One is the Cosmology Cluster and the other is the Accelerator Modeling cluster.

I try to focus on a short list of priorities. Foremost is our resource accounting tools where I maintain reports and a job accounting database. These tell us which projects are using our systems/storage and how their usage measures up against the budgeted allocation granted to them for the program year. I also assist with resolving issues affecting production systems including Troubleshooting, Documentation and coordination with our Service Desk. I have developed a series of checklists used to monitor our systems and to review the scans that watch for unauthorized access and other noteworthy issues. And I will work with other longer term projects as they are assigned.

As users of the HPC clusters encounter problems with our many data storage services, I help troubleshoot and resolve some of these issues. At times, I find myself as something of a customer of the SSA Group that I was previously a member of, working with them when HPC users report problems with the publicly available storage services. When I joined HPC, we maintained our own instance of dCache pool nodes used exclusively by HPC users. And we have other storage solutions including two large Lustre filesystems and numerous NFS shared RAID filesystems.

Computing Sector Outreach

In 2012, I assisted with a few tours of our Grid Computing Center (aka. GCC). These were very well recieved and I have now been asked to help the Outreach group by updating their tour related documentation. I enjoy serving as a Computing Sector Docent. I have written a new version of our GCC Tour Guide Book, intended to equip those who guide tours of GCC with the facts and details that can make those tours more informative and interesting. I also do some training for the scientists who lead tours at GCC as part of Fermilab's Saturday Morning Physics programs. There is a more detailed Indico site that describes the Saturday Morning Physics (SMP) 2014-2015 series.

Outside Fermilab

Professional Organizations

USENIX & the LISA SIG (formerly SAGE)

The USENIX Association

I am a member of USENIX & LISA. LISA is the USENIX Special Interest Group for Sysadmins (formerly SAGE). I really like their slogan "The People Who Make IT Work." These organizations sponser several conferences each year.

I have attended several of the past LISA conferences. LISA stands for "Large Installation Systems Administration". These conferences are incredibly valuable, not only for the training and information available, but also for the people you meet and get to know. The 2015 LISA conference will be held in Washington, D.C. Nov 8-13, 2015.

My plans for LISA'15

I will be leading the GPG Key signing BoF and the CAcert Assurance BoF sessions again in 2015, as I have at several previous LISA conferences.


I have previously attended these LISA conferences:

LOPSA - League of Professional System Administrators


I first encountered LOPSA at the LISA'09 conference in Baltimore, MD. I was impressed by the people I met at their booth and had already become friends with several of them at earlier conference sessions. I joined LOPSA before I left that conference and I have already renewed the membership. This is an organization of those who understand the importance of and the needs of professional system administrators.

UniForum Chicago

UniForum Chicago is the Chicago area affiliate of UniForum. UniForum Chicago has monthly educational meetings to provide a local forum in the Chicago area for open systems and UNIX discussion and to provide an opportunity to meet other professionals in our field.

I have attended a few of their meetings. I do get their monthly program announcements. Their web page describes their group better than I can. I list them here because I have found some of their presentations valuable and worth my attending on my personal time. I have not yet joined the group, since I only attend occasional meetings.

On-line Security and Privacy is working to provide Free digital certificates, available to everyone. I encourage you to visit the FAQ on the CAcert Wiki to learn more about the assurance process. The "What can CAcert provide you?" web page describes the different types of certificates available and the requirements for each of them.

I am a Senior Assurer for I am available and can grant up to 35 assurance points toward your own FREE personal digital authentication certificate that can be used to sign e-mails and such. If you would like to arrange to be assured, please visit my CAcert web page for information on setting up a meeting.

In Sept 2013 I also became a TTP Assurer. TTP stands for Trusted Third Party. In the USA, a Notary Public can fullfill the role of TTP. The TTP Assurance program was created to make it possible for people to collect assurance points in places where there are no local Assurers available for a Face-to-Face assurance. For more information on the TTP Assurance Program, please visit the CAcert TTP User Page.

You are invited to visit my Wiki page for more information about my roles and my involvement with CAcert and verified identity programs.

Gossamer Spider Web of Trust (GSWoT)

I became an introducer for the Gossamer Spider Web of Trust (GSWoT) in Oct 2009. I won't try to write a better description than you can find on the GSWoT About Us webpage. Our Web of Introducers affirm that we will strictly adhere to our practice guidelines. If you see a GSIntroducer signature on a PGP key, you can be reasonably certain the key belongs to the real identity named in the certificate.

Development Projects

I believe in the value of OpenSource software. There are many such tools that I use every day. While I wish I could spend all my time contributing to projects which make such wonderful tools available, it is something I can only do when I can manage few spare cycles. Most of the projects I will list here are found on These are a few of the projects or packages which I use, recommend and/or support.


I have so many hobbies, that I put all that information on a seperate page.

Other pages of mine

These are links to some other pages of mine that you might find interesting or useful. Most of these are served from my Fermilab public web area.

Other Sites and Services

I use to manage my on-line identity. I recommend thier guide to managing your online identity. I am working toward listing all of the web pages I have developed on my ClaimID profile. If you find a page that you believe to be mine, and it is not listed on the profile, either I overlooked that one, or it is not really mine. Either way, if you find such a page, please contact me so I can check it out myself. There is a "Not Me" section near the bottom of that profile that lists pages done by other people named Ken Schumacher.

View Ken Schumacher's profile on LinkedIn

I am part of the "LinkedIn" network. Visit my profile on their system. I am putting together a presentation on how to use this on-line Networking tool. In these days with so many friends and aquaintances unemployed or under-employed, tools like this become quite valuable.

Best viewed with ANY browswer Get Firefox! Get Thunderbird! Created by XEmacs editor!

The URL for this page is

Valid XHTML 1.0! XHTML 1.0 Transitional using Cascading Style Sheet. Valid CSS! Checked by Tidy! Ken Schumacher

This page is maintained by: Ken Schumacher <> © Copyright 2005-2010.
Constructive comments are always appreciated. Please send mail to the author with any such suggestions.

Last modified: Thus Oct 17 11:28 CDT 2013