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A Collaborative Research and Doctoral Educational Program Based on Internet2. Inland Northwest Research Alliance (INRA) Dr. Ray Ford - U. Montana Dr. Gautam Pillay - INRA Dr. Jack Pelton - Boise St. U. INRA Collaboration.

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A collaborative research and doctoral educational program based on internet2

A Collaborative Research and Doctoral Educational Program Based on Internet2

Inland Northwest Research Alliance (INRA)

Dr. Ray Ford - U. Montana

Dr. Gautam Pillay - INRA

Dr. Jack Pelton - Boise St. U.

Inra collaboration
INRA Collaboration Based on Internet2

  • INRA Role: To support research and educational programs, historically centered around the Idaho National Laboratory (INL/DOE) in Idaho Falls, Idaho

    INRA Video

    [thanks to UM Applications & Media Group]

Inra collaboration relevance to internet2
INRA Collaboration - Relevance to Internet2 Based on Internet2

The network in general and Internet2 in particular is the “transport base” for all programs

  • Synchronous and asynchronous delivery of SSGP/PhD level course work and courseware (structured communication)

  • Growing multi-campus, multi-disciplinary research programs (remote computation, evolving to SCI)

  • Synchronous communication required to support research and advanced educational programs (unstructured communication)

Inra collaboration remote video
INRA Collaboration - Remote Video Based on Internet2

  • Five states with five different H.320-dominated distance delivery systems

  • H.320 system technical compatibility, but fiscal incompatibility => use H.323 (the network is free!)

  • Site incentive: external funding for facilities and skill development to support move into H.323 “production”

  • Some more cautious consideration of advanced video technology (e.g. Access Grid Nodes) -- more on that later

Inra collaboration h 323 system
INRA Collaboration - H.323 System Based on Internet2

  • 9 (then 10) sites: UM, MSU, UA-F, USU, UI, BSU, ISU, INRA, WSU [,WSU-Hanford], most connected through PNWGP

  • New facilities build out at all sites but “hard” go-live date (Fall 2001) => Started up on time in 8 of 9 temporary facilities, then evolved one by one into permanent quarters

  • Central H.323 switching from WSU, which thankfully had H.323 expertise (special thanks to R.Cross and J.Hall!)

  • Central “session capture” at WSU with near real-time conversion to streaming version available on-line -- a very popular feature (repeat special thanks!)

Inra collaboration h 323 results
INRA Collaboration - H.323 Results Based on Internet2

  • Tech Coordinator perspective: the result was amazingly good -- decent signal at start-up, with (mostly) consistent improvement as the sites matured

  • Student/faculty perspective: the result was acceptable at start-up, moving to 8/9 good, but 1/9 unacceptable (following move to a new facility)

  • Partnership comment: 8/9 acceptable is not good enough

  • Social comments

    • Who fixes the 1/9 problem? (site, switch, Tech. Coord., a team?) -- a critical question for program/site operators

    • To students: the streaming version (not real time version) was viewed as the critical “resource”

Inra collaboration h 323 troubleshooting
INRA Collaboration - H.323 Troubleshooting Based on Internet2

We cast our H.323 packets into the air (ether)

They arrive at sites we do know where

We cast our H.323 packets both fat and thin

They arrive at sites who knows when

Inra collaboration h 323 troubleshooting1
INRA Collaboration - H.323 Troubleshooting Based on Internet2

  • Observation: H.323 falls between H.320 and TCP/IP

  • Room-to-LAN, LAN-to-edge, edge-to/from-switch-to/from-edge leaves lots of room for fingerpointing (but who promised QOS anyway?)

  • H.323 experts are hard to find; TCP/IP experts with time and inclination to think about H.323 problems are even harder to find

    Bottom line: IP video troubleshooting can be a great way to “forge” partnerships (in the tradition of very hot fires, lots of pounding, etc.)

Inra collaboration next step move to more advanced video
INRA Collaboration - Next Step Based on Internet2 Move to More Advanced Video

  • Strong desire by all concerned to look beyond H.323 => interest in AGN

  • UM and UA-F were early AGN adopters, driven by individual researchers. UM, UA-F, U.New Mexico did an “experimental” AGN-delivered course in Fall 2001

  • Students/faculty: strong interest in (concept of) AGNs

  • Support staff: even stronger prove-that-it-works-first interest in (realities of) AGN

Inra collaboration agn evaluation blues
INRA Collaboration - AGN Evaluation Blues Based on Internet2

We (multi)cast our AGN packets onto the net

Most showed up in time (some ain’t here yet)

We (multi)cast our AGN packets, both sight and sound

But re-syncing them up, man its bringin’ me down

Inra collaboration agn evaluation
INRA Collaboration - AGN Evaluation Based on Internet2

Major AGN demo/intro training session in June 2003

  • INRA site reps mostly collected at UM (Missoula)

  • Two AGNs at UM (i.e., connected by campus network); single AGNs at each of UA-F, INL, UI, inSORS; bridged H.323 to MSU -- except for “sync” things went well until

  • Special dose of reality: mid-afternoon lightning strike knocks out some (not-all) campus power, switches, A/C, …

    Result: Support for a cautious move to AGN, provided that we address real-time support issues (e.g., how many engineers does it take to reboot an AGN room?)

Inra collaboration current status
INRA Collaboration - Current Status Based on Internet2

Year #2 (just completing): “smooth” H.323 course delivery

Year #3 (plan): Continue H.323 for course delivery, aggressively use AGN for other communication, develop uses of “shared cyberinfrastructure” to support research

AGN transition: Now rolling out 9 pre-packaged AGNs from inSORS, Inc., plus inSORS central capture/playback; will follow up with training, test sessions, development of “session management” protocols appropriate for available bandwidth, …

Inra collaboration what next
INRA Collaboration - What Next Based on Internet2

Year #4 and beyond

  • [ideal] Move to AGN for all remote A/V

  • [inevitable] Shift technical focus from A/V support to support for network based resource sharing, i.e., shared cyberinfrastructure, common middleware, federations, etc.

Inra collaboration1
INRA Collaboration Based on Internet2

Questions or comments?


Thanks for your attention