Monday, September 13, 2010

Connecting things

It's Sunday, two days prior to the EGI Technical Forum 2010 kick off and people from the BiG Grid NGI and EGI Project Office join together for the build up of the conference.

All the equipment is transported from Nikhef to de Beurs van Berlage, unpacked and installed. Especially the network will take up most of the time. In preparation to the build up itself, the Beurs van Berlage needed to be equipped with fiber. This was delivered last week. This should provide us with a decent uplink to the internet for both the wired and wirelessly connected device.

The Beurs van Berlage is an old building of a past century. It doesn't have a high-end network infrastructure which would fit our needs. Somehow all the (secured) connections for email, web and remote command-line shells add up to quite some bandwidth utilization during similar conferences.

We've got one day to install a few kilometers of fiber optic cable, lots and lots of copper network cable and (ab)use a kilometer of gaffa-tape to securely fasten everything. Then we need to connect all the wiring to the 19" cabinet stacked with high-end network equipment in the "Grote Zaal". We even installed a video conferencing setup and VoIP phones. In some cases we had to be creative during the installation of all the cabling. Especially when the fibers are to move great distances through the basement or need to go up two floors to reach their designated switches.

We should be able to provide an excellent network infrastructure experience for all the delegates in spirit of the EGI's sustainable infrastructure goals. After all, having an excellent infrastructure without a headache getting your laptop online leaves you with more time to spend on social networking with all the other participants of the EGI TF 2010.


Manisha said...
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Manisha said...

Wow who knew setting up for the technical forum would be so complicated?!

Oscar said...

It took about 25 people to build up. We had a detailed work plan of about 30 pages with floor lay-outs, heatmaps for the wireless APs, (fiber) cable routes, a dark fiber to be digged for the conference, a 19" rack full of sponsored hardware (top of the line stuff from Brocade, Aruba, Arista and MRV).

And the best thing is that it just works. :D

Oscar said...

As somebody here likes to point out (and I fully agree) is that we've build a 10GbE infrastructure and uplink in one day throughout the building. The equipment that we've got here is sufficient to run a small ISP or large university campus.

And it's fun to do too. It's almost a shame we have to tear it down and pack it nicely on Friday. ;-)

Catherine Gater said...

All the hard work should be very much appreciated by the delegates when they arrive! I've been testing it out this morning and it's great...