Prerequisites for All Link Applications
At least one of the people named in the link application must have strong background knowledge of UNIX-based systems in order that they can maintain their server - we rely on server administrators to ensure their server is kept as secure as possible and to diagnose and fix any issues that may arise after the link has been setup. Stability is important to GTANet and it's important to us that servers are kept operational for as long as possible and that updates are carried out promptly.
We understand entirely that problems may arise that are beyond your control, and ask simply that server administrators do their utmost to provide the best service possible to our users, if any major downtime is planned or you were to wish to discontinue being a part of GTANet then we would ask that you let us know in plenty of time - communication is a must, not just with the other operators but everyone else on the network.
All of the people you name as operators on your server should have a decent amount of experience with IRC, not necessarily essential that they have been an operator before but they must be familiar with the way in which IRC works, from the protocol to the conventions. It's hugely beneficial for anyone requesting to link to have been a part of the GTANet community for at least a few weeks or months, it's understandable and not unknown for people to dislike the way we do things at GTANet.
There are already some servers linked which don't meet these requirements, but long-term we're aiming to improve the experience for everyone.
- The server should be located in a reliable environment, ideally a datacenter but company offices or similar would be suitable providing the power supply and internet connection is unlikely to fail frequently.
- The server must be connected to the internet 24 hours a day, and always accessible from the outside.
- The server must be running a UNIX-based operating system and be capable of running Unreal IRCd (the latest version), with remote includes, ZIPLinks and OpenSSL support built in.
- The server must be dependable upon.
- The server must have sufficient bandwidth and system resources to be able to maintain up to 1000 IRC connections concurrently.
- The server must be accessible using ports 6667, 6697, 8067 and 8097.
Preferred Server Conditions
Whilst it would be unreasonable to expect all of the following conditions to always be met, it will have significant weight on whether or not your link application is approved.
- The server is not over-burdened with other tasks, dedicated (or as close to as is possible) to IRC only would be ideal.
- The server administrator has root access to the server - if this is not the case then we must have written consent from someone who does, or see a receipt or proof of purchase if it's a shell account.
- The server should be dedicated or virtual, we try to avoid using shell providers as much as possible.
- Someone is available at all hours of the day to perform hardware maintenance should it be required, though we understand this is likely to only be possible in datacenters.
The staff running the servers are as important, if not more important, than the actual connection and hardware of the server itself - therefore the following conditions must be met:
- While a server is only linked on a trial basis, it may only have two operators.
- Trial link servers may not always be linked directly to the hub for security reasons, may be required to use local configuration files instead of remote includes, and the associated operators may not always be granted any global rights onto the network - this is likely to depend on how familiar the operators already are with the network's staff.
- All new IRC operators must be agreed by the network administrators before being added, and will only be permitted if there is genuine need for new operators - for example when a new server is linked it needs a small number to maintain it, but not a small private army.
- All IRC operators must follow the guidelines which are subject to change at any time, for the protection of GTANet's users.
- Access to passwords, databases, configuration files etc will only be given to those who require it, we have a duty to protect the data that we hold regarding our users and any leaks of this information will of course be taken seriously.
- Access to services will only be granted after a link ceases to be a trial link and becomes a full link, again - for the protection of our user's data.
- A list of the operators desired on the server and contact details for them (at least an e-mail address) should be supplied to a network administrator before a server is linked.
Trial Links vs Fully-linked Servers
- Servers will usually be linked on a trial basis for between two weeks and a month, though there is not a finite limit to how long a server may be linked on a trial basis for.
- While a server is linked on a trial basis it will be monitored for its reliability, stability, and the conduct of its staff.
- Staff on fully-linked servers will be consulted with regard to any major changes that may take place on the network and future links.
- Any servers which spamvertise themselves or are found to be involved in misconduct during their trial period will be immediately delinked, fully-linked servers will also be delinked if the circumstances are serious enough.
GTANet has established a relatively small but nice community, to which our allegiance lies, and as such GTANet has no intentions of merging with larger networks - we're not driven by size or number of users, there are much more important things to consider in an IRC network.
Smaller networks that share a common interest (the obvious one being GTA) can ask to merge and will be considered on an individual basis with much the same conditions as those specified in this document.
IRC operators can be contacted in #CallCentre on irc.gtanet.com, questions or requests relating to linking should be sent to Luke or Peter and will be discussed over IRC - receiving a response may take several days whilst everyone involved provides their opinion.
This document is subject to change and maintained by TwoZero and Luke.