Note: The first two items are currently operational.
OC3 (155 Mbps) microwave system soon to be deployed, this system:
Working number - $1,500/month per observatory, based on 10 clients, at 10 Mbps AVERAGE bandwidth
This will cover:
DS3 from Time Warner is $13,500/month - not a good alternative at this time
There were some concerns over the reliability of the new microwave system. Gemini has good experience with microwave equipment in Chile. Pui Hin pointed out that the microwave will be in place for at least a month or two before our switching over from the DS3. She will also find out more about the technical aspects of the system.
For those who are interested in the technical aspects of the microwave system, please refer to URL:
Jim Kennedy of Gemini first raised the concern of video conferencing being affected by ftp traffic. One possible solution would be to limit the bandwidth of each location to a level where it cannot monopolize the network, for example, limiting each site to 10Mbps. Another solution is to prioritize the types of traffic, for example, setting h323 packets to highest priority and ftp traffic to the lowest. The working group preferred this solution since it will make better use of the network bandwidth. Pui Hin has found out that in a mixed ATM and IP environment, the implementation is more complicated then one would expect, but possible, using Weighted Fair Queuing (WFQ) on ATM with Cisco equipment on both ends. It will involve every site marking their network traffic with pre-determined priority and the router where QoS is applied to example these packets. However, with WFQ, packets are not actually examined until there is congestion.
With the switchover to the Microwave, the only shared stretch of ATM network between the MK summit and the Internet2 is the stretch between MK summit and Hilo. Since available bandwidth is also the least (45Mbps) on this stretch, it makes sense to apply WFQ on this stretch. To support WFQ, the router engine and the ATM card on the summit router need to be upgraded. Since we are missing a backup router in Hilo, Pui Hin suggested buying a new router with the ATM card that supports WFQ, and using the old router for a backup in Hilo. Whereas, we currently can route packets to the Internet through either the summit router or the Hilo router. This Hilo router will become the only connection point to the Internet not counting the T1 frame relay back up. Further, all observatories must upgrade the IOS of their summit ATM router to version 12.0(5)T or later.
Since WFQ does not take effect until congestion occurs, it was also suggested by several members that we should to go ahead and setup WFQ, but not deploy the queuing until it becomes necessary. Further, additional bandwidth between summit and Hilo should be considered if congestion occurs often.
The question of whether the price (10 x $1,500) is reasonable was briefly discussed. The bottom line is no one will be able to buy the same service through any other provider at this time, so the price is deemed to be reasonable.
There were also some concerns as to what happens when the OC3 microwave is outgrown. Pui Hin has learned from David Lassner that UH-ITS is already working on a second OC3 as fibers between the islands are being acquired. Whatever infrastructure we put in now, including a new router for the summit, and termination of the fibers between UH Hilo and the IfA building, will continue to be useful whether we stay on the microwave or switch to fiber connection in the future.
There was some discussion on whether the cost of the network should be shared equally or by usage. All members other than CSO favor equal share of the cost. These are some of the reasons for supporting equal share:
Richard Chamberlin of CSO however would like to see the costs shared by usage. CSO requires very little bandwidth and will simply not participate at $1,500/month. After further discussion, members agreed to let CSO participate at $600/month as long as CSO's usage remains at its current level. Again, since we are paying UH-ITS a fixed amount of 10 x $1,500 a month, CSO's participation even at $600/month will lower everyone's rate by a little than if we have only nine participants.
Richard Crowe of UH Hilo Astronomy department is setting up a facility at the construction camp at HP and has contacted Pui Hin regarding the possibility of using the MKOCN. Their usage will be small, a few PCs will be used. Members agreed to let UH-Hilo participate at $300/month, one tenth of the summit to Hilo DS3, plus a share of the annual maintenance costs.
CFHT, Germini, IRTF, JAC, Keck, SMA, Subaru, UH88, and VLBA