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[802SEC] Network Status Update

Forwarded for Tony, who is now subscribed to the list.


-----Original Message-----
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 09:59:09 -0800
From: "Anthony L. Awtrey" <>
Subject: Network Status Update

Hello the list,

I am writing to communicate the status of the network and setup issues 
for this dual interim. According to Buzz Rigsby there was not formal SEC

meeting at the start of the conference since this is an interim, so I 
hope this will serve in place of me speaking to all of you.

The expected donation of equipment I mentioned at the November closing 
SEC meeting did not occur. The vendor cited inventory issues and hopes 
to still provide the donation in time for the March Plenary in Orlando.

Once again we faced a 1000+ member meeting without adequate quantity or 
quality of access points to provide wireless coverage and once again 
Chris McGugan and Cisco delivered us from our fate. They provided an 
additional 15 access points which allowed us to provide complete 802.11b

coverage. However, some rooms which need 3 access points to provide 
support, we only have 2 to place in the room due to the IEEE's limited 
inventory of equipment.

We place access points based on room capacity, not simply coverage. For 
example, we could probably provide coverage at this Hyatt with 4-5 
access points. However, based on utilization levels we try to limit an 
individual access point to no more than 50-75 clients. This means that 
for a conference of 1000 people in a perfect facility, we would need 
between 15 and 20 access points. When you find the perfect facility, be 
sure to book it...

When we start subdividing the groups out to rooms of 20 to 250 people, 
we need to have additional access points to provide coverage for each 
room based on size of the group and overlapping coverage from other 
adjoining meeting spaces. From a design point of view at this conference

with the expected 1100 people and for these two specific facilities, we 
need approximately 40 access points. We currently have 34 access points 
deployed at this time which includes the entire IEEE inventory and 
Cisco's 15 loaners. I'd suggest a good rule of thumb that for every 
50-75 people increase in plenary attendance size, there should be a 
corresponding additional access point added to the inventory. This 
assumes that at some point the IEEE equipment inventory is capable of 
meeting its own needs.

Just as an FYI, some of the equipment being donated are not typical 
access points. While I certainly welcome and can use more access points 
of any kind, I would like to be able to provide support for all the 
wireless standards at the same levels. Right now we can only support 
802.11b over the whole conference with some support for 802.11a when we 
deploy the access points that support both standards. There is no 
802.11g standard access points at this time in the IEEE inventory.

The Internet access at this conference is being provided by Fairview 
Broadband Wireless. They use a wireless link that is 2Mb burstable to 
6Mb. I have noted a latency problem with the link evidenced by a ping 
latency ranging from just over 1ms to 60-80ms from second to second. 
This probably indicates that the radio physical layer is having to 
continually restransmit packets. We are also hitting the Internet fairly

hard and running the link at close to its capacity with a high water 
mark of about 5.1Mb per second so far.

The wireless link, which is also provided by Fairview Broadband 
Wireless, connects the two hotel networks. It appears to be solid and 
yields no significant latency between the halves of the network. I have 
been on both sides of the link with my laptop and the browsing 
experience is the same.

One problem noted is that on some VPN implementations that may be more 
sensitive to latency, the VPN link appears to drop. Many people I've 
spoken to in the last two days are using their VPN connections very 
effectively despite the latency, so I am not certain this problem is 
very wide spread.

We are seeing good distribution of wireless clients over the available 
access points, although the usage is still higher than I'd like. This is

especially true in those rooms where I could have used an additional 
access point or two. Overall, the network performance and general 
wireless coverage is acceptable to the members I've spoken to around 
both facilities.

I had hoped to have this email out yesterday, but we were still quite 
busy getting the network installed and working out the few remaining 
issues. I will also be sending a wrap-up report to the list with a 
presentation that includes statistics like I've done for all the 
previous conferences. If anyone has any questions or service issues, 
please feel free to contact me.

This contact information has already been distributed on the "On Site 
Contact List" by Face-to-Face Events, but just to make it available

Network Room at the Hyatt: 604-639-4901
My Cell phone: 407-529-6012

I am generally available either in the network room in Queen Charlotte 
or at the support desk located just outside that room. I am available by

6:00 or 6:30 and remain until about 8:00pm. I invite anyone who 
previously indicated problems to come by and speak with me. I will be 
happy to show you the tools and utilities we use to monitor and measure 
the network performance.

One final note; telling someone else about your network issues might 
make you feel better, but telling me is much more likely to get them 
resolved. Please keep me informed about your perceptions on the quality 
of the service you receive and allow me the opportunity to correct any 
issues within my control. I look forward to hearing from you.

Anthony L. Awtrey
Vice President
I.D.E.A.L. Technology Corporation - Orlando Office - 407.999.9870 x13