CSG Fall 2012 – Global hiring, staffing, and procurement

Steve Huth from Carnegie Mellon is talking about this topic.

Want to think about the nature of staff you’re sending over. They need to be adaptable. Think “Start Up” rather than a mature organization. Are your staff prepared for that? In one of the locations the guy building out the network and servers also helped put in the automatic gate openers. Some of the best staff had never travelled internationally – don’t want to miss out on a good prospect because they don’t meet your mental model.

Is your organization ready to do this? We deal with a lot of process and constraints built up over a lot of time – in these situations what you might need is a bag of cash in the souk – will drive procurement folks crazy.

Need people who are capable of interacting with the ambassador or the government – a lot of non-technical skills.

Dealing in a global environment offset by a fair amount of time. Even the work week might differ. Maintaining communications takes a lot of flexibility. Technology can help, but nothing takes the place of people going and having the remote people come back. Censorship can be a big deal in some of these countries. If we’re dealing with academic materials, they come in ok, but when you’re dealing with staff their materials may not. Share the good and bad parts.

People need more help than they would on a business trip to navigate in these new societies. Find local people who can help with things like getting health care set up, or if you’re in a car accident. Need to understand the culture when you’re doing business. Odd sorts of situations that won’t resolve in any meaningful way in any meaningful amount of time.

Things happen back home that global staff will have a hard time dealing with. Can be a high personal cost – if something needs to happen quickly you need to be prepared to get people on a plane so they can get home to deal with emergencies.

International assignments provide an unparalleled opportunity for growth and development. CMU worked on an international work assignment program – have people submit ideas for work at international locations. Gets people thinking about the campus globally.


CSG Fall 2012 – Global IT Services & Environments

Bob Johnson from Duke is introducing the Global Networking panel – we’re all faced with the same networking issues. Bandwidth availability, political restrictions, latency, jitter. Asia Pacific activities underway – Duke has a medical school in Singapore, building a million square foot campus in Shanghai, NYU has presence in Shanghai, Chicago has a presence in Singapore and Beijing. NYU is opening a presence in Sidney.

Working on building an International Network Exchange Point and Co-location site.  Рprovide common point for connection of regional R&E networks. Benefits are cost savings, building on R&E networks instead of leased lines to the US. Co-lo space is just cost sharing. Having a neutral location for data storage, hosting computer services (lower latency).

Where to put this? Reviewed three sites. The best ended up being TATA in Singapore.

Dale from Internet2 goes over the process and the support services required. There will be a telepresence and HD video exchange under the Internet2 Commons. Network Performance monitoring will be available. ¬†Multiple functions for this facility: Co-location (initially capable of 10 racks, which can grow); Layer 3 capability; an instance of an Advance Layer 2 Services exchange – support OpenFlow, SDN, Dynamic Layer 2 circuits; Exchange will operate as a GLIF Open Lightpath Exchange; Essentially policy free – if you can get a circuit in and pay the fees, you’re welcome.

Some sites might bring in their own address space and router, others might use shared space. 1 Gb physical link to commodity Internet. Initially provision 200 meg on 1 gig circuit (with some burst capabilities). 1 Gb link to global switching building for peering – TEIN3, Gloriad (which ends up in Seattle). 1 gig link to Hong Kong light to meet CERNET and CSTnet.

Timelines: Sept 14 Tat agreements to be signed and in place and equipment ordered; Nov 1 – equipment delivered to Singapore; Dec 15- everything in place to beging testing; Jan 1 – fully operational.

Kitty – what’s worked and what hasn’t?

NYU has been testing, focusing on latency and user experience – acceptable, tolerable, or frustrating.

Common issues – network bandwidth, amount and does it match contracted bandwidth? Response times are highly variable, Some apps aren’t tuned for latency. Latencies range from around 80 ms to over 300 ms depending on sites. Focused on two forms of testing/monitoring – latency simulator and actual testing from different locations. Implemented a tool to understand user experience for web-based applications.

Implemented a long distance performance simulatore to create profiles. Implemented a tool call TrueSight that’s a Web App performance tool – allows clear understanding of what happens in a web app. An appliance connected to the F5 Span port – captures all the traffic and analyzes. Performance metrics of http and https web traffic. Able to track usage over time then drill down into specific sessions. Service leads get daily or weekly reports. Anonymized data being moved to data warehouse for trend analysis.

Remediation – optimizing webpages, applications; tuning network; WAN acceleration

It’s hard for app builders and owners to think of applications this way. Network folks haven’t really understood how applications perform on networks. Most app builders assume their users are on the LAN, not across the world.

Aspire to do testing before going live, setting watch points on end-user app tool to watch how performance is doing. Working with cloud vendors on how they test instances before selecting.