Layered Athena makes information available to the workstation owner, to Athena operations personnel, and to anyone polling the workstation.
Much of the communication is email based. This is a potential problem because email may not work on the workstation, either because the vendor or system manager did not configure it properly for the MIT environment. When this system sends mail, it will invoke sendmail with an alternate configuration file that is likely to get the mail to the mailhub under most circumstances.
Messages are generated to the workstation owner when new software versions are available. The ``owner'' is identified when Layered Athena is installed, and may be an individual or a mailing list. If the workstation is allowed to auto-update, it will do so, and just send a single piece of email confirming the update. Otherwise, it will send a piece of email requesting the manual update. This email will not be from root, but will instead use a special return address to collect info about bounced notices. The message can contain some release notes extracted from the release. If the workstation does not get updated, it will repeat this message once a week until it is updated. The owner may ``acknowledge'' the message and quit receiving reminders until the next version is available, even if the workstation does not get updated.
Unless the workstation owner specifically requests anonymity, Layered Athena will also send a message to Athena operations when it is first installed, and when it updates or the configuration is changed. This will be in the form of an email message containing the all of the Layered Athena configuration information for the workstation. The message will be sent to an address which archives these into a database. This database will allow us to help the workstation owner with problems, and give us an idea of how people are using Layered Athena in the field.
Finally, the workstation configuration is available via SNMP to anyone who queries for it. We will add several new variables to the Athena MIB to report this. Access to these variables may be turned off in the configuration for those workstation owners who do not want to allow others to find out what software is on their workstation. When the SNMP agent scans the Layered Athena configuration file, it will check that it is OK to report as well as getting the configuration.