Office of Learning and Information Technology
CIO Council Meeting
Thursday, May 12, 2005
- Network update
- Network cost review
- BadgerNet Converged Network
- WiscNet's Role
- Possible Backbone Models
- Pricing Exercise
- DOA Telecom update
- Procurement update
- BOR-delegated authority for IT purchasing
- Common Systems/APBS Steering Committee update
- Online learning enrollments
- Hyperion upgrade
- Next meeting
CIOs and their Representatives
David Dumke has been named the CIO at UW-Stevens Point. He is no longer interim.
Ellen James is the new UWS Interim Purchasing Director.
The WCNI group is morphing into a Badgernet Advisory Council for the Badgernet Converged Network (BCN). It will meet every fourth Thursday at 3:00 pm. WCNI has been drafting by-laws that make the Advisory Council independent of DOA. It has at least a dozen members that represent the educational community and state agencies that will be using the network. It will have two UWS members as well as non-voting DOA and vendor members. A technical subcommittee will report to the advisory committee.
At the last WCNI meeting, Bob Stussey noted that low latency, high priority WAN connectivity costs the same as the higher latency offering. The UWS Education Media Technology Council (EMTC) may want to explore an inter-UWS video network, which could be advantageous to the UW Colleges.
Even though cost information is not yet complete, a possible scenario is being developed.
SBC is still designing the BadgerNet Converged Network and the details have been changing. There are three basic services:
The vendor managed video service uses codecs provided by the vendor that are designed for fixed classrooms. There is also a user managed video service, which is essentially a user-managed VPN service with all of the technology provided by the customer.
The WAN service is essentially VPN transport between two or more sites. It has a QoS priority of 2 (medium). It can cross LATA boundaries. It comes in standard and low latency versions for the same price. It looks like it is the same price as ISP service, but the cost to use it is essentially double because the institutions on both ends are paying for the same traffic. It can burst into the ISP service capacity, but at the lower ISP priority.
Many sites can connect to a layer 3 VPN and communicate without having to build a star or mesh topology, i.e., it is a cloud. The vendor controls the routing of the packets and only the services that their routers support will work, e.g., it probably won't work for multicast and IPv6, at least initially. Packets can have user set priorities from 0 to 2.
Layer 2 point to point tunnel circuits (EoMPLS) are also available to the UWS. Priority markings inside the packets are preserved, but the entire tunnel has an over-riding priority of 2.
ISP transport connects a customer to one of ten ISPs, including WiscNet. The ISP must connect to the core node in the customer's telecom LATA. The priority for all traffic is 0 and any other markings are cleared. The customer only pays for their end of the connection and the ISP pays to reach the Norlight POP at the BCN core node, but does not pay for BCN service.
Norlight will provide 4 core nodes; 17 aggregation nodes will be provided across the state by several other vendors. Connectivity to customers will vary by what is the cheapest local loop in the region, everything from T1 to metropolitan Ethernet.
The core and aggregation routers are all dedicated to BCN, and won't serve any other customers.
WiscNet's current members connect by a number of methods, primarily the current BadgerNet. The UWS four-year campuses currently host the WiscNet POPs, which provides inexpensive access for them.
WiscNet is one of the approved ISPs for the new BadgerNet. Therefore, WiscNet must connect to the four BCN core nodes by mid-July, as well as to Chicago where Internet 1 and research connectivity exists. The majority of WiscNet customers will likely use a form of BCN transport to reach WiscNet.
The no WiscNet model
A model based upon not using WiscNet for UWS traffic was examined. It would result in having a single point of failure and no aggregation benefits. Four additional models were also considered. In all of the designs, a WiscNet core network that connects to the BadgerNet core nodes is required, also connectivity from UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee to Chicago. The issue of using dark fiber where possible has not been discussed, except for cross town loops.
ISP transport model
In this model, the aggregation routers connect to the core using BCN ISP transport and layer 2 tunnels. QoS/prioritization may not be possible. ISP service is less costly than the WAN service described below.
WAN transport model
In this model, aggregation routers connect to the core using BCN WAN transport and layer 2 tunnels. QoS/prioritization may be possible once the packets leave BCN, although all packets will have the same effective priority of 2 when in the tunnels. Using WAN transport is more costly than the ISP transport in the previous model because each end of the connection pays for the desired level of BCN WAN service.
ISP/WAN blended model
In this model, BCN ISP transport is used for low priority traffic and BCN WAN transport is used for high priority traffic. Traffic can be prioritized between the UWS campuses. A downside is the extra routing complexity at each campus border. Another downside is that traffic is partitioned into different pipes that cannot burst into each other. The network is no longer "converged" between data and video.
The circuit model uses point to point circuits to interconnect the WiscNet POPs. Since UWS institutions and WiscNet are on both ends of the circuit, it has the most flexibility in terms of protocols and services.
The costs of the current WiscNet have been extrapolated to a BCN ISP transport model. The in-state backbone pieces were removed (~$2.4M) and new BCN circuit prices were substituted. BCN services were also modeled to the remaining 4-year campuses.
Any transition to a new network and costs will be a gradual evolution, not a sudden shift. Jim Lowe suggested that the CIO Council ask WiscNet to configure its hardware to make real time decisions regarding which type of circuit any given piece of traffic should optimally use.
David Lois confirmed that WiscNet is committed to providing low latency traffic over WiscNet, such as video, VoIP and upcoming services, but it is challenging given the current options in the contract.
Vendor managed video appears to only offer connectivity for $2,400 per month/room. The UWS institutions probably need multiple rooms apiece. Although the UWS institutions have widely varying uses of video, vendor managed video does not appear to be a viable option for some institutions. The EMTC is discussing the issues further and Michael Schlicht will send their responses to the CIO Council.
WiscNet is doing a hardware upgrade project over the summer to handle QoS. The most challenging QoS issues may occur on local campus LANs, or on the campus borders where there are firewalls or Packeteers.
A draft RFP for Centrex services, voice services, etc., has been released by DOA. John Krogman can supply copies to any who are interested.
Silver Oak Process
The printer RFP was due in yesterday. It has 5 categories. The intention is to only award one brand per category.
The copier RFP came in already. The group hopes to get down to two or three potential vendors. It is expected to come out beneficial to the UWS.
Ellen James will ask Helen McCain if the UWS can have a representative on each negotiation team.
The peripherals RFP bids are in. There were a fairly large number of responses, some may be brand specific. The expectation is that multiple awards will be made.
UW-Madison, DOA and Cisco will negotiate a new contract. It is not clear if Silver Oak will be involved. The status of the contract for other network components isn't known. Presumably the current UWS contract is being extended on a month to month basis.
The software RFP generated a lot of responses, including large Microsoft resellers. Vendors can respond to either the Microsoft portion of the RFP, the non-Microsoft piece, or both. Any cost impact on the UWS will be clearly identified and not subsumed into DOA's numbers. The scoring process is currently underway. In any event, the UWS would not be held to the Microsoft portion of the contract until August 2006.
The IT Services RFP responses are due next Tuesday. A large number of vendors participated in DOA's informational videoconference (there are over 300 on the current contract). Judy Caruso of UW-Madison will participate in the scoring process. The scoring will make a cutoff based on qualitative aspects before costs are considered.
Math and science software
UW-Stevens Point has asked for systemwide pricing on SPSS.
On paper, Mathematica is offering an unlimited program for less, which is being reviewed.
Microsoft and Novell
Renewal instructions will be sent out soon. There were problems with the 2003 Microsoft knowledge worker count, which were subsequently corrected. Efforts will be made to not repeat those mistakes.
In March 9, 2005, DOA sent a letter to the Joint Finance Committee asking for technical changes to the budget, including removing the authority delegated to the UWS for IT procurement. The proposed changes were not included in the budget itself. All of the technical amendments will be put in a separate paper that will be considered when the rest of DOA's budget is considered by Joint Finance.
The important considerations will be money, and quantifying the financial differences between DOA and UWS contracts, as well as any negative impacts on student education. Because they are obviously interested, Apple has been inquiring about the status of the language. Different telecommunications vendors may have mixed views on the proposed language. If local vendors, who are constituents of the Joint Finance Committee members, have thoughts on these proposed changes, they should be encouraged to express them to their representatives.
Ed Meachen will send a finished version of the bullet points that give the UWS and UW-Madison perspectives to Don Nelson to use as appropriate.
Ron Kraemer has sent a request to the list of APBS contacts asking them to identify their institutions' input to the summit meeting because the information that was collected was on the basis of seating at tables, not campuses. Don Mash is interested in the issues on a campus basis.
UW-Madison and Lawson are engaged in a three month process to identify the gaps between current design of Lawson system and the UW Madison business requirements, and determine approach for meeting those needs.
Statistics on the use of course management systems by the UWS institutions were distributed. Overall, there was a 66% increase in enrollment and 4% increase in courses from the previous semester. Most are blended/hybrid courses: traditional courses that have been augmented by these online tools.
A faculty satisfaction survey has been recently completed and data will be available at the next meeting.
Contractual issues surrounding expanded use of D2L for non-credit courses are still under negotiation.
UW-Milwaukee will be transitioning to the Learn@UW utility on May 23rd. The staff at both institutions are very optimistic.
Brio/Hyperion will be upgraded from version 6.0 to 8.3. David Hart will send out a list of the issues and benefits. It will not be necessary to migrate immediately. The dashboard tool is also being examined. A representative from every campus is on the team.
The next CIO Council meeting will be on June 16, 2005.