MKO ComNet Working Group Meeting Minutes

Subaru Base Facility, Hilo

May 22, 1997





  1. Current Network Status
  2. Equippment failure at Keck and IRTF within a couple of days caused JCMT, UKIRT and CSO to become isolated from the Internet early on the morning of April 17th. By late morning of the same day, IRTF became isolated as well. Since we were not able to get to the summit until after dark, and since we did not want to disturb observing by working on the routers, only preliminary diagnostics were performed that evening. The next day we found that the CNX500 at Keck was overheating. The link between Keck and JCMT was restored after swapping in a new router and an FDDI interface card.

    At IRTF, we found another burned out FDDI card and a bad FDDI cable. Since the FDDI hot spare was already being used, we installed a card that was given to us by Proteon as a Demo a long time ago. This card was later found to have intermittent problems and has been swapped out since.

    The ring is now operating at full counter-rotating mode.

  3. MKOCN FY 97/98 budget
  4. Bob McLaren presented the proposed FY 97/98 budget. Direct costs have increased as result of:

    General administration charge has increased because of decrease in Constructiion Camp use, and resulting decrease in the camp's share of fixed admin costs.

  5. Status of Infrastructure Upgrade
  6. Design is underway for the renovation of the suumit utility room to accommodate fiber terminal equipment for both Hawaiian Tel and MKOCN.

  7. Possibility of adding ATM to the MKO Communication Network
  8. Bob McLaren presented a plan for the expansion of the MKO Communication Network to support ATM as well as FDDI. The presentation consisted of the following viewgraphs:

    1. Overview of the Expanded Network
    2. Performance Comparision between ATM and FDDI
    3. Estimated Cost of the Various Pieces of Equipment
    4. Cost of Hot Spares and Maintenance
    5. Cost Sharing

    Pui Hin Rhoads added the following comments:

    1. Routers versus Switches at the Edges
    2. The proposed configuration uses routers at the edges rather than switches to avoid getting into the situation of a great big emulated LAN which will need to be centrally managed to different degrees with the hardware and software available today. This is normally considered to be an advantage of LAN Emulation. However, in our situation, autonomy within each facility is preferred. In the future, products which allow more division of network management might become available.

      As a reponse to Jim Wright's concern about quality of service (QOS), the central switch in the plan is a 5 gbyte switch. At the edges, facilities worrying about QOS will need to look into routers that will deliver QOS. Whereas all ATM switches claim to deliver QOS, only some routers do, for example, the Cisco router 7000/7500. I am convinved that with our applications and the amount of bandwidth that will be available to us, QOS will not be a concern for a while. However, this is a very important issue. Routers supporting QOS are more expensive than switches. The working group should make the final decision after it has had some time to look at the issue.

    3. Vender Selection
    4. In order to come up with a more realistic configuration, Cisco products are being used in the proposed configuration. Members of the working group should remember that the equipment is there as an example. We still need to make a decision as to which vendor to go with. I strongly favor going with a single vendor, whichever it might be, to avoid problems with interoperability now and in the future. Further, a single vendor solution will make it possible for the group to share spare parts.

    5. On the Cost Sharing
    6. In the last viewgraph, everything in dark blue will be paid for by the IfA and everything in cyan color will be owned by individual facilities. In the case where it will be easier and more economical, IfA will buy the equipment and be paid back by the facilities as a buy-in fee as they join the ATM network. An example of this would be a multi-ports ATM interface card for the central switch.

    7. Hot Spares Policy
    8. Some companies, including Cisco, do not have maintenace contracts that provide hot spares. One way to solve this problem would be for the IfA to put up the money at start to buy the backup equipment. The costs will be amortized over 3 to 5 years. The amortized value for each year will then be shared by the facilities participating in the ATM network during that year. To minimize the cost, we will not buy a hot spare for every piece of equipment used by members of the group. Rather, we will buy the least number of pieces of equipment that will keep the facilities operating at a reasonable level in case of an emergency.

      This scheme can also be extended to cover equipment not on the common network itself. Some formula could be set up to pro-rate the annual amortized value according to the number of routers rather than the number of facilities participating in the scheme. In other words, a facility with three routers would pay three times the amount paid by a facility with only one router. Finally, all equipment must be on an advance replacement maintenance contract to be eligible for participating in the hot spares scheme. Obviously, it won't work if facilities have to keep the hot spares a month at a time while they get their equipment fixed.

    As to the schedule of the ATM network implementation, JAC would like to see it in place by the middle of 1998, Subaru by next March, and Gemini by the end of this year. Our preliminary goal is to have the common equipment in place in a year. In the interim, Gemini can use two of our dark fibers to get to HP and the Internet.

    In response to the concern that we will run out of fiber between HP and the summit communication room. Pui Hin responded that an ATM switch could be installed at HP and depending on the bandwidth demand at the time, an OC3 or OC12 link to the summit can be set up.

    Andrew Pickles expressed concern about the over-heating of equipment in the Summit Communications Room. Ventilation and temperature control is part of the design effort.

  9. Next meeting
  10. Thursday, September 4, 10:00 am., at CFHT, Waimea.

MKOCN Homepage Back to Minutes

Last updated December 7, 2001 by Miranda Hawarden-Ogata