Minutes of Working Group Meeting

Subaru Base Facility, Hilo

March 19, 2004




  1. Current Network Status
  2. There were two major problems to report:

    1. Fiber cable damage

      At about 5:00pm on December 13th, the Verizon fiber cable between Humu'ula and the Verizon Hilo central office was damaged. As a result, much of the communication to HP and the summit was lost. (The connection between CFHT and the Keck head offices and the summit was not affected.) A Verizon crew dispatched to repair the fiber cable at about 8:30pm turned around after reaching the site because of high winds and unsafe conditions. All services were restored around 2:00pm the next day.

      During the outage, service for Subaru was restored immediately because the OC12 service provided to Subaru by Verizon provides for rerouting of traffic from Humu'ula through Kamuela and then through the Hamakua coast. According to Verizon, an attempt was made to manually patch the damaged cable to alternate routes. As a result of that effort, JAC's service was restored sometime in the evening of the 13th. However Verizon technicians then decided that patching all of the services would take about the same amount of time as simply repairing the fiber cable. The patching efforts were discontinued in favor of repairing the cable.

      Verizon offers us the option to build route diversity at an additional monthly recurring charge. At the current level, Verizon will try to provide diversity on a temporary and non-guaranteed basis. Pui Hin has asked that the common DS3 be rerouted before other DS3s.

    2. Problem with MKOCN summit router

      About six months ago, CFHT experienced loss of connection between their summit router and the MKOCN summit router. Our investigation showed numerous input and CRC errors on both routers. Cleaning fiber connectors on both ends reduced errors, but loss of connection continued to occur. The problem could be fixed temporarily with a reboot of the summit router or diverting the CFHT traffic to HP, although input and CRC errors then started to appear on the HP router. In recent weeks, the loss of connection has spread to JAC, UH88, Gemini, as well as Subaru. Since the observatories summit routers and the MKOCN summit router are directly connected through ATM, Pui Hin does not think that this is a routing issue. Instead, she suspects the problem is caused by either dirty fibers or a defective interface card. As a first step towards solving the problem, Pui Hin suggested scheduling a cleanup of all the summit fibers. A preliminary schedule was drafted to clean all the fibers between the summit communication room and each of the MK observatories.

  3. Techs in Paradise (10Gbps dual rings connecting Australia and the Mainland US via Hawaii)
  4. There was a great deal of excitement over the proposed dual 10Gbps rings connecting Hawaii-Seattle-California(CENIC)-Australia-Hawaii. In the plan, the rings will land in Hawaii at two points: Kahe point on Oahu, and Spencer Beach on the Big Island. The rings are sponsored by the Southern Cross Cable Network. Access to the facility will be managed by the Australia Academic and Research Network (AARNet). The involvement in Hawaii is being coordinated by the University of Hawaii. On the Mainland, the SX TransPORT will interconnect with Internet2 and other academic and research networks. David Lassner is working on connecting the rings to existing facilities in Hawaii. The cost, unfortunately, is high. Funding has yet to be identified.

    Charles Yun from Internet2 visited the Big Island on an invitation by Kanoa who organized several meetings between Charles and the observatories. Charles suggested that we start gathering data on types and volumes of data produced by each observatory, and also to run tests on our existing network that will build a case for improved networking to the Big Island and the summit. Kanoa started running some tests in early March. No effect or degradation has been observed.

    Pui Hin also reported on a new funding opportunity through NSF. The program's title is "International Research Network Connections" (IRNC).

    Here's an excerpt from the program's synopsis:

    "NSF expects to make a small number of awards to provide network connections linking U.S. research network with peer networks in other parts of the world. Links funded by this program are intended to support science and engineering research and education applications. Funded projects will assists the U.S. research and education community by enabling state-of-the-art international network services similar to and interconnected with those currently offered or planned by domestic research networks.

    "Preference will be given to solutions which provide the best economy of scale and demonstrate the ability to link the largest communities of interest with the broadest services."

    UH will most probably partner with other organizations in this proposal to achieve end-to-end connections. The goal is to bring the 10Gbps to a UH facility and to the Mauna Kea summit at a minimum of 1Gbps for the short term. For the longer term, to build the infrastructure that will provide observatories and other scientific organizations with opportunities to acquire cost-effective high speed connections.

  5. Extension of Mauna Kea Observatiories DS-3 Verizon Services Agreement
  6. Pui Hin was able to get some verbal pricing on the new services that she has been working on with Verizon. Instead of DWDM, Verizon is offering extended SONET. Services include the current DS3, FE, and GE. The numbers -- not included here because of their confidential nature -- were quite attractive.

    Note: Since the last meeting, Verizon, citing applicable mileage charges, has given Pui Hin much higher numbers for Kamuela. Pui Hin has scheduled more meetings with Verizon, and will report on this at the next meeting.

  7. Wireless Implementation at HP
  8. In the HP main building, locations have been picked for the APs. Tom Krieger will be pulling CAT5 cable between the UH computer room and these locations. Additional memory has been purchased for the HP Cisco router in preparation for upgrading the software to an IOS that will support NAT and DHCP. Pui Hin is hoping to have this going by the next meeting.

    For the dormitories, we are running into an unexpected problem. While we did not have any trouble getting the wireless signals to each of the buildings, the insulation in the walls is blocking distribution of the signals to the rooms.

    Pui Hin asked the group for suggestions on how we might have the dormitory rooms connected without having to pull cables into every room. Kanoa suggested using Ethernet over AC powerlines.

  9. Rewiring for Observatories Hilo LAN
  10. To speed things up, Pui Hin asked everyone around the room to give her an idea of how many fiber strands each observatory would like to install between their building and the IfA building. Pui Hin reminded everyone to make provision for high speed connections to the MKAEC for special events. There are currently 24 strands of SM fibers between the IfA building and the Switchgear room (de-markation point for UH-Hilo). Provided that MKAEC also pulls fibers to the Switchgear room, fiber connection between MKAEC and each observatory in the Park can be made easily with patching in the IfA building and the Switchgear room. Pui Hin will verify this with Bob Okuda, who has now retired from UH Hilo and is working half-time for MKAEC.

    Following are the number of fibers requested by each observatory:

    JAC --12MM
    SMA --12MM
    Subaru--8MM+4SM or 4MM+4SM depending on the cost

    CSO will continue to patch into Gemini

    It is not clear when the rewiring projects can be realized since each observatory's fiscal year starts in a different month:

    Gemini --January
    IRTF --February
    SMA --October
    UH88 --July

    However, to move forward, Pui Hin will get a budgetary quote from Verizon.

  11. Next meeting
  12. June 24th Thursday, 10:00 AM at IfA, Hilo

    Following the meeting, a presentation was given by Sun and AMD representatives on the AMD Opteron Processor, the cooperation between Sun and AMD, and the Sun Grid Engines.

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Last updated July 12, 2004 by Miranda Hawarden-Ogata