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Geoff Molloy. Communications and Computing Branch Bureau of Meteorology Australia. Servers. ·        UNIX based Message Switching System ·        Currently ported to HP, IBM and Linux machines. Use HP and IBM internally Runs in 8 BOM offices (2 in Melbourne). Failover.

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geoff molloy

Geoff Molloy

Communications and Computing Branch

Bureau of Meteorology


  • ·       UNIX based Message Switching System
  • ·       Currently ported to HP, IBM and Linux machines. Use HP and IBM internally
  • Runs in 8 BOM offices (2 in Melbourne)
  • One issue is the mechanism for swapping to the backup machine if the primary is unavailable for an upgrade or has failed. On HP use a proprietary product called ServiceGuard and on IBM’s use HACMP.
  • Both work in the same manner:
  • heart-beats are exchanged between the servers via the LAN and via a direct link.
  • If the primary fails then the backup acquires the operational disks (which are always connected to both machines)
  • The backup also takes over the operational IP address.
  • The entire process takes 1-2 minutes.
  • This process ensures that other GTS centres only ever need to connect to one IP address.
data volumes
Data Volumes
  • Currently receive about 450,000 messages and files per day (most domestic).
  • Send over 1 million messages and files.
  • Have about 120 input connections in MSS
web site www bom gov au
Web Site:
  • Is an increasingly important mechanism for getting data to the general public but also to specific customers.
  • 10Mbps internet link
  • Up to 8.5 million hits per day in severe weather situations. Radar loops very popular
  • Data is populated from Message Switching System
  • In the process of replacing our HP UNIX Web server with a cluster of Linux PCs.
transmission mechanisms
Transmission mechanisms
  • Still issue about 10,000 faxes per day but is declining.
  • Use a polling fax system
  • Deliver voice files to a telephone weather service
  • Web
  • FTP via Internet (
  • E-mail output
  • Many links to private companies – airlines, private met companies
  • AFTN
  • Emergency services
  • Marine radio broadcast
incoming domestic data
Incoming domestic data
  • A lot of AWS use the telephone network. Some have leased lines and report every minute
  • Some co-operative observers have laptop PCs and they use the telephone network and TFTP to send messages
  • Some observations received via e-mail
  • Most ship reports received via satcom-C and the domestic X.25 network (Austpac)
  • Use ISCS (US International Satellite Communications System)
  • 64Kbps X.25 link to AFTN
  • Some data received via Internet – FTP to our external FTP Server ( and retrieved by MSS (FTP get)
  • Radar – about 100 radars with data received by MSS every 10 minutes. Converted to image form and stored on Web server and sent to sleected customers.
international links
International Links
  • Tokyo – 64Kbps leased line (WMO sockets + FTP)
  • Bracknell – 128/32K Frame Relay (WMO sockets + FTP)
  • Washington – sockets via Tokyo link.
  • Singapore – 128/8K Frame Relay (WMO sockets)
  • Jakarta – 128/8K Frame Relay (WMO sockets)
  • Malaysia – Internet (WMO sockets + FTP)
  • India – Internet (WMO sockets)
  • Fiji – 9600 leased line (WMO sockets)
  • Noumea – 9600 leased line (X.25)
  • Vanuatu – Internet (non-WMO sockets + FTP)
  • PNG – Internet (currently receive only) FTP
  • Solomon Islands – Internet but currently broken
  • Moscow – experimental Internet link (WMO FTP)