Minutes of Working Group Meeting

SMA Base Facility, Hilo

December 11, 2003




  1. Current Network Status
  2. There was only one problem to report:

    On November 14th, connection to I2/Abilene was down between 18:56 to 20:21 due to a faulty interface on the UH Juniper core router. The problem was resolved by moving the connection to a spare interface.

  3. Report from MKO Users' Meeting
  4. Pui Hin showed some slides from her presentation at the 2003 MKO Users' Meeting. In this year's presentation, she presented statistics on the reliability, bandwidth availability and performance of the network.

    On the whole, the network has been reliable. From October, 2002 to September 2003, there was a total system-wide downtime of 20 hours. That makes 99.8% availability. Approximately 90% of the downtime is due to DoS attacks related to Microsoft vulnerabilities.

    MRTG traffic graphs show that at our current level of usage, there is adequate bandwidth from the summit to Hilo, Hilo to Oahu and to the Internet. Also we are well within the 10 Mbps agreement we made with UH.

    UH is just now seting up servers using the iperf tool to measure network latency and throughput. A system-wide test was performed between 11pm and 12midnight on September 26th. The initial results look good; more data is needed however to make a statement on the issues.

    At the MKO users' Meeting, Pui Hin also presented the conclusion that the working group made concerning the usage of wireless at HP and its effect on the summit. On behalf of the working group, Pui Hin made the recommention to the directors that instructions on turning wireless capability on laptops off should be included with other instructions and recommendations to observers. Observatories might also want to post signs to remind the observers at their summit facilities.

    Pui Hin asked the working group to help in developing a set of instructions. Antony Schinckel bought up the problem of cellphones. Signs should be posted at the visitor center to tell tourists to turn off their cellphones before going up to the summit.

  5. Wireless Implementation at HP
  6. After further testing, Pui Hin has decided that it is not practical to use 802.11a for Infrastucture and 802.11g/b for users' connections. The problem is that the 802.11a radio at 5GHz has a much shorter signal range than the 802.11g/b range, which makes it a challenge to position enough APs for outdoor connections. Cisco APs with 802.11g radios are on order. The HP WLAN will cover the main building as well as the dormitories. Wireless will be implemented on a separate network with DHCP and NAT. The bandwidth will be restricted to 10 Mbps. The implementation details will not be posted in the minutes in the interest of security.

  7. Extension of Mauna Kea Observatiories DS-3 Verizon Services Agreement
  8. Pui Hin and Miranda took Greg Oi--the engineer for the project-- to look at Verizon cables and equipment at HP and the summit. The problem with Verizon for the past two years has been the big turnover in personnel. Many of the people involved in the initial development of the MKOCN are no longer with Verizon or have been reassigned to other projects. Lee Wilson who has been helping us to push the project along has accepted the latest Verizon retirement package.

    From Greg Oi, Pui Hin learned that Verizon has determined that not all their interisland fibers are suitable for DWDM, this will make a difference in how much Verizon can bring down the cost of interisland services in the near future. However, other interisland services are available. Also, there is a chance that the 10Gbps link from Australia to the Mainland will land on the big island.

    It will help speed up the contract renegotiation process if observatories can give Greg Oi an idea of how much bandwidth they will buy; this is not a committment. Pui Hin asked everyone around the table to give a number assuming FastEthernet (FE) to cost around the price of the current DS3 and GigabitEthernet (GE) to be $6k or under:

  9. Rewiring for Observatories Hilo LAN
  10. So that everyone will be able to put the costs in their next year's budgets, each Hilo facility will need to tell Pui Hin by March how many strands of multimode and singlemode fibers they will want to pull into the IfA building. It will take a couple of months to get quotes. As a reminder, Verizon cables are 6+6 composite, and in 6 strands increment.

  11. Internet2 Demonstration
  12. Because of scheduled remote observing on both nights, the demo was performed between 6am and 10am on both the 14th and 15th of October. David Lapsley, who coordinated the demo, limited the bandwidth to 10 Mbps. Here's what David had to say regarding the demo:

    "Thanks for the information and thanks again for your support. Overall the demonstration was very successful. I have attached a couple of paragraphs describing the demonstration and the results. We did learn a lot from the demonstration, in particular, there were a few configuration/network issues that had quite an effect on the overall system performance. We weren't able to achieve as high a bandwidth as we would have liked to, but we were still quite happy with some of the results we obtained. We also saw a clear demonstration of the performance benefits of using high performance TCP stacks (FAST and HSTCP). These performed much better than traditional TCP over the high bandwidth paths (even with low packet loss).

    "Internet2 Demonstration of e-VLBI over High Speed Networks

    "The demonstration was highly successful in raising awareness of VLBI and e-VLBI. In the demonstration area, a large display was constructed which described VLBI, e-VLBI, participants in VLBI and the application of VLBI to astronomical and geodetic applications. Two Mark 5's were located in the demonstration area, both connected via optical fiber into a dedicated 1 Gbps stream that was connected into Abilene via a shared 10 Gbps trunk. Three laptop computers were used to display animations obtained from VLBI observations, video footage of the Westford telescope taken during a geodetic observing session and a real-time display of the application transport statistics.

    "The demonstration was attended by a large number of people including people from the National Science Foundation and was well received. A demonstration was given of the transfer of VLBI data between the US and another International site using prototype RTP software. This software is representative of the next generation of VLBI transport protocols. A demonstration was also given of the transfer of VLBI data between two Mark5 systems located in the US. A maximum throughput of 207 Mbps was achieved. Demonstrators were also able to test memory to memory transfers between various sites and achieve a maximum TCP throughput of 460 Mbps using FAST TCP, 180 Mbps using TCP Reno and 400 Mbps using High Speed TCP."

  13. Techs in Paradise (January 22-31 at the East-West Center)
  14. UH-ITS will be hosting the Techs in Paradise conference again this year. David Lassner is also putting together a BoF for Astronomy for the afternoon of January 28th. Pui Hin Rhoads and Alan Whinery will give a short update from the Mauna Kea Observatories to highlight some challenges we are facing in the area of communications that will lead into an open discussion section. The purpose is to establish the observatories as leaders in the use of I2 and the need for network improvement. Pui Hin asked everyone to send her some input to how I2 is used.

  15. Next meeting
  16. March 11th Thursday, 10:00 AM at Subaru, Hilo

    Note: The meeting was subsequently re-scheduled for March 19th in order to have the meeting and the Sun/AMD Presentation on the same day.

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Last updated March 16, 2004 by Miranda Hawarden-Ogata