Production Nodes

I’ve been fielding a number of questions about production installs of the DPUK XNAT node recently, so here are some notes for reference. There are two take home messages:

  • Please do adapt the vagrant project recipe to your own circumstances
  • We’re not yet ready to use XNAT 1.7

Using the Vagrant project

The vagrant-dpuk-node project provides an easy to use introduction to a DPUK node but its not appropriate to use in production. You can run it on your desktop machine get an idea of what XNAT is and see the customisations of a DPUK XNAT node if you are already familiar with XNAT. The script provides a script for installing it on a single ubuntu 14.04 server. For a production install I would select a platform that you feel most comfortable with and use the vagrant project as a recipe to be adapted to your circumstances.  I would also recommend moving postgresql to it’s own server. For the Oxford node we have a setup where postgresql and tomcat are installed on separate VMs each with 4 cores and 8GB RAM allocated and we have a third smaller VM that has munin monitoring them both.  Note that there are sqlonly and xnatonly branches of the vagrant project that show how the install can be done with this setup.

XNAT 1.7

We’re not ready to use the latest version of XNAT. The DPUK XNAT node is a lightly modified version of the main 1.6.5 branch with several modules. To upgrade to 1.7 we’ll need to merge the modifications into version 1.7 and adapt the modules for 1.7 and test. We wont begin looking at this until at least the new year.


Matt is a software developer and system administrator based in the Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity at Oxford University's department of Psychiatry