It has been a while, I need to get back into the swing of making posts here. Several of my blog posts have centered on the effort we pay to the quality of connectivity, not the quantity. In fact, twice in the last six months I’ve given external presentations centered on this theme.
As long as I can remember, KanREN has been so closely tied to high-performance networking that this obsession with quality connectivity is in our very DNA. This week, Internet2 is holding it’s annual TechEx (Technology Exchange) conference in Miami, FL. This is a gathering of the nerdiest nerds in the community, and is purely about technical items. Our A.D. for Technology, Brad Fleming is attending.
Internet2 Sr. Director of Strategic Projects, Eric Boyd, presented on the next generation of the perfSONAR measurement infrastructure. In his presentation, he listed “top deployments” of perfSONAR worldwide. This list of eleven deployments included KanREN.
It is often easy to get bogged down in the state’s budget woes, our own financial planning, day to day business and network operations, etc. and forget about one of the most important reasons KanREN is here. This stuff is important. And after I’ve preached the importance of accurate network characterization and how “gigabit” really isn’t always gigabit, why end-user experience is the real target, not a number with “bps” at the end — even sometimes in conflict with respected advisors — I sometimes start to feel like I need to take the tin foil hat off. Then something like this comes around and I realize, we’re doing it right. What we’re learning and how it affects our members is important.
Just recently I tried to explain to some of our largest members that while we have to watch the “industry standard usage stats”, because that’s how we get billed, and part of making sure we’re fairly cost-allocating. But traffic graphs, at their very best, are still an “average” view of what’s going on — even very, very fast updating ones. Making sure everyone is paying their fare share is a business necessity, but trying to ensure that there aren’t tail drops, packets aren’t delayed in queues and latency stays stable (and low) — that’s how you make end users happy, and that’s where we really spend the majority of our time working.