non-disclosure of infrastructure problem a management issue?

Bjoern Tore Sund bjorn.sund at
Thu Aug 21 09:04:21 UTC 2008

It has now been a full week since the first announcement that Fedora had 
"infrastructure problems" and to stop updating systems.  Since then there 
has been two updates to the announcement, none of which have modified the 
"don't update" advice and noen of which has been specific as to the exact 
nature of the problems.  At one point we received a list of servers, but 
not services, which were back up and running.

The University of Bergen has 500 linux clients running Fedora.  We 
average one reinstall/fresh install per day, often doing quite a lot 
more. Installs and reinstalls has had to stop completely, nightly updates 
have stopped, and until the nature of the problem is revealed we don't 
even know for certain whether it is safe for our IT staff to type admin 
passwords to our (RHEL-based, for the most part) servers from these work 

Sometimes unfortunate events happen beyond anyone's control.  We 
understand this as well as anyone.  We trust the assurances that the 
infrastructure team is working hard on resolving the matter and are 
greatful to them for the job they do.  So far nothing that has happened 
with this issue has reflected poorly on them.

Sadly, the same cannot be said about the Management of the Fedora 
project.  Their choice of complete non-disclosure is enough to eradicate 
any and all confidence that Fedora is a trustworthy platform for Linux 
installations.  What information they have released has been deliberately 
vague and, frankly, useless.  For a day or two to secure things this may 
be a workable strategy.  For a full week, not giving the community 
participants any chance whatsoever to protect themselves from threats 
indicated but not specified?  This is poor management and poor judgement 
and reflects very badly not only on the Fedora project but on Fedora's 
RedHat sponsor as well.  The issue is more than serious enough and has 
gone on for more than long enough that someone higher up the scale should 
have stepped in a long time ago and made sure that all relevant info was 
released to the community.

We strongly encourage both the Fedora management and RedHat as a Fedora 
sponsor to immediately release any and all information relating to the 
current infrastructure problems.


-BT, linux client architect, University of Bergen
Bjørn Tore Sund       Phone: 555-84894   Email:   bjorn.sund at
IT department         VIP:   81724       Support:
Univ. of Bergen

When in fear and when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.

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