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New research content delivery system
21 Jan 2014   

Summary
We are implementing a new system for delivering research work. Most members will not notice anything different. However, if you have manual firewall configurations, you may need to update them.

On January 27th at 15:00 UTC, World Community Grid will change over to a new system for delivering research work to members. This change will provide better access to files that are frequently downloaded, and will offer better flexibility and expandability for future projects. This will also allow World Community Grid to benefit from SoftLayer capabilities, an IBM cloud solutions provider.

How will this change impact you?
For most volunteers, nothing will change - your devices will continue to receive research tasks and process them as usual. However, for some members, additional action may be required:
  • If you see a pop-up window asking you to confirm that World Community Grid wants to access the internet, please permit it.
  • If you are not receiving research tasks, your system may be blocking our new download location:
    • Open the World Community Grid software app (for details, click here)
    • Go to the advanced view (from the menu, select View, then Advanced View)
    • Select the Transfers tab. If one or more rows on the Transfer tab has a status message similar to "Download: pending (project backoff: 04:52:07)", then your device is being blocked from downloading work and you need to update your firewall settings as per the section below.
  • If your firewall is manually configured, update your settings

Updating firewall configuration
Follow these steps to adjust your firewall settings for our new content delivery system:
    1. Open a command prompt window and execute the following command:
    nslookup BDD7.https.cdn.softlayer.net


    2. This command will return the IP address your machine is likely to use. The information will be in the following format:

      > nslookup BDD7.https.cdn.softlayer.net
      Server: 9.0.128.50
      Address: 9.0.128.50#53

      Non-authoritative answer:
      BDD7.https.cdn.softlayer.net canonical name =
      cs89.wpc.edgecastcdn.net.
      Name: cs89.wpc.edgecastcdn.net
      Address: 72.21.81.109
    3. Note the IP address in the final line (in this example, "Address: 72.21.81.109").
    4. Find that IP address within the IP address ranges listed at the bottom of this forum post.
    5. Enable that entire range of IP addresses in your firewall settings.
Note: The topology of the content delivery network periodically changes. You may find that you need to enable another network block in the future.

Technical background
This change will impact where certain key files are downloaded from. Currently, your device would be downloading such files from the following URL: https://download.worldcommunitygrid.org/. This URL is associated with the IP addresses 170.224.194.69 and 170.224.160.205.

After the change to the SoftLayer content delivery network, these files will instead be downloaded from https://bdd7.https.cdn.softlayer.net/. Because of the architecture of the content delivery network, this URL is associated with many different IP addresses, and the range of IP address that each particular volunteer will see is dependent on the volunteer'€™s location. The current list of IP addresses is available at the bottom of this forum post.


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