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Is Your School Ready for An Access Grant? Tommy Whitten & Nathan Curry Madison County Schools. Is Your School Ready for An ACCESS Grant? Presented By Tommy Whitten, Technology Coordinator Nathan Curry, Network Specialist

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Is your school ready for an access grant tommy whitten nathan curry madison county schools l.jpg
IsYour School Ready for An Access Grant?Tommy Whitten & Nathan CurryMadison County Schools

Is Your School Ready for An ACCESS Grant?

Presented By

Tommy Whitten, Technology Coordinator

Nathan Curry, Network Specialist

With some information lifted from the Alabama Supercomputer Authority’s presentation to the ACCESS Task Force, July 23, 2007

Alabama Educational Technology Association

Fall Symposium 2007

Orange Beach, Alabama


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IsYour School Ready for An Access Grant?Tommy Whitten & Nathan CurryMadison County Schools

  • Video Conferencing Components

    • H.323 Video

    • Quality of Service (QoS)

    • Managed Switch

    • Firewall

    • Multipoint Control Unit (MCU)

    • Network Address Translation (NAT)

    • Main Distribution Frame (MDF)

    • Intermediate Distribution Frame (IDF)

    • Video CODEC


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IsYour School Ready for An Access Grant?Tommy Whitten & Nathan CurryMadison County Schools

  • What is H.323?

    • Packet Based Multimedia Communications Systems (IP)

      ITU (International Telecommunications Union) standard for videoconferencing over local area networks and packet-switched networks generally. It is based on a recognized real-time standard and is commonly used with video over the Internet to ensure that users can communicate with each other, as long as they are using videoconferencing software which complies with the standard.

      The Tandberg and Polycom systems used with ACCESS comply with the H.323 standard for videoconferencing.


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IsYour School Ready for An Access Grant?Tommy Whitten & Nathan CurryMadison County Schools

  • H.323

    • Uses existing state network infrastructure

    • Does not require a separate network

    • Less expensive, more efficient

    • Network infrastructure is E-rate eligible

    • Ease of interconnectivity provides growth options

    • Requires QoS-enabled network for guaranteed quality


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IsYour School Ready for An Access Grant?Tommy Whitten & Nathan CurryMadison County Schools

  • What is H.320?

    • Multimedia over ISDN based networks (IP)

    • Older standard still used in some VTC solutions

    • Link used in ISDN are dedicated to VTC. If VTC is not being used, the bandwidth is not used for other services (i.e.. Internet access)

    • Since link is dedicated, no need for Quality of Service (QoS)

      *All ACCESS labs will be using H.323 standard, but other systems outside of the ACCESS cloud could still use ISDN. Bridging will be necessary when connecting to a system using the H.320 standard.


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IsYour School Ready for An Access Grant?Tommy Whitten & Nathan CurryMadison County Schools

  • What is Quality of Service? (QoS)

    • QoS involves prioritization of network traffic on local and across wide area networks. The goal of QoS is to provide guarantees on the ability of a network to deliver predictable results for specific purposes, such as videoconferencing or VOIP.

      • Bandwidth-how many bits per second are sustained end to end for each connection

      • Priority-how many packets will arrive within time specified

      • Latency-the delay that media packets encounter end to end


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IsYour School Ready for An Access Grant?Tommy Whitten & Nathan CurryMadison County Schools

  • Quality of Service (QoS)

    • Is enabled using DSCP tagging and CBWFG on routers and Layer3 switches

      • Differentiated Services Code Point (DSCP)

      • Class-Based Weighted Fair Queuing (CBWFG)

    • Traffic is classified and tagged at routers based on source/destination IP address

    • QoS must be enabled for IVC throughout your school network and the Supercomputer Network.


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IsYour School Ready for An Access Grant?Tommy Whitten & Nathan CurryMadison County Schools

  • The network (inside the school)

    • Managed Switch

      • Capable of individual port configuration

      • Speed selectable 10/100/1000/Auto*

      • Duplex selectable Full/Half/Auto*

      • SNMP capable for monitoring

      • Supports Telnet, SSH

      • Vendors include HP, Cisco, 3Com, etc.

      • *Always hard code speed and duplex on ports used for VTC

      • Newer VTC units can be hard coded to 100Mbps full duplex on the VTC and switch that directly connects to the VTC. If this switch is located in an IDF, then the uplink for the IDF to the MDF should be 100Mbps or higher (hard coded).


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IsYour School Ready for An Access Grant?Tommy Whitten & Nathan CurryMadison County Schools

  • The Network

    • Firewalls (and NAT)

      • H.323 uses multiple tcp connections and udp ports simultaneously for Video Conferencing

      • The H.323 standard assigns ports dynamically from 1024 to 65535

      • During call setup, the IP address of the calling party is sent to the called party in the data field of the IP packet (so NAT cannot translate it)

      • All firewalls do not support H.323 (e.g. Lightspeed)

      • Problems may arise when CODEC software is upgraded.


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IsYour School Ready for An Access Grant?Tommy Whitten & Nathan CurryMadison County Schools

  • Multipoint Control Unit (Video Bridge)

    • Provides a method of connecting 3 or more sites into one video conference

    • Allows merging of multiple network types (e.g. – IP and ISDN)

    • Maintains a centralized, web-based point of maintenance for a running video conference

    • Uses H.231 and H.243 standards

    • Video units purchased for ACCESS must be able to connect to at least 3 other sites without requiring the bridge. However, the bridge can connect larger numbers of sites and can also, by acting as a middle-man, combine IP and ISDN calls into one conference (important for virtual field trips).


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IsYour School Ready for An Access Grant?Tommy Whitten & Nathan CurryMadison County Schools


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IsYour School Ready for An Access Grant?Tommy Whitten & Nathan CurryMadison County Schools

  • The Classroom

    • Power*

      • For IVC cameras/codecs

      • Monitors

      • Projectors

      • Interactive Whiteboards (?)

      • Document Cameras

      • VCR/DVD Players

      • Wireless Access Point

      • Tablet PC cart (recharging station)

        * Power strips/uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) can be used in the VTC lab for conditioned power and to reduce the number of physical outlets needed.


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IsYour School Ready for An Access Grant?Tommy Whitten & Nathan CurryMadison County Schools

  • The Classroom (cont.)

    -Network Connections

    • For Codecs

    • Printers

    • Wireless Access Point

    • Any additional devices that will not use the access point to connect to the network

  • Phone/Fax Line

    • For faxing documents

    • For troubleshooting help


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IsYour School Ready for An Access Grant?Tommy Whitten & Nathan CurryMadison County Schools

  • The Classroom (cont.)

    • Miscellaneous

      • Tables and chairs

        • Keep within the field of view for the cameras

        • Field of view is 60-70 degrees for Standard Angle lens (default)

        • Field of view 80 degrees for Wide Angle Lens

        • Field of view 90 degrees for HD Lens (Super Wide Angle)

      • Projector Mounts

        • Don’t forget cabling and power in drop ceiling.

        • Consider the placement of the whiteboard


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IsYour School Ready for An Access Grant?Tommy Whitten & Nathan CurryMadison County Schools

  • The Classroom (cont.)

    • Miscellaneous

      • Sound

        • Air conditioning

        • Busy hallways

        • Stay away from Ag shops, band/choral rooms, etc.

      • Lighting

        • Room should be well lit

        • Florescent lighting recommended

        • Indirect up lighting can diffuse hard direct light and give the room a more natural look and feel in the VTC session


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IsYour School Ready for An Access Grant?Tommy Whitten & Nathan CurryMadison County Schools

  • The Classroom (cont.)

    • Miscellaneous

      • Wall Colors

        • Stay neutral

        • Gray, Mauve, or Light Blue recommended.

        • If room is not neutral and needs to be painted, flat satin or eggshell recommended

        • Polycom recommends the color “November Skies”

          (Benjamin Moore color code # 2128-50)


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IsYour School Ready for An Access Grant?Tommy Whitten & Nathan CurryMadison County Schools

  • IVC Equipment Settings

    • Hard code speed and duplex settings to match the settings on the managed switch

    • Turn OFF encryption

    • In most situations, turn NAT off on the CODEC settings. The settings on the CODEC must be compatible with the settings on the Firewall (or NAT device)


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IsYour School Ready for An Access Grant?Tommy Whitten & Nathan CurryMadison County Schools

  • The Intermediate Distribution Frame (IDF)

    • Connected to classroom via CAT5/5e/6 cable

    • IVC traffic run through a Managed Switch at 10/100Mbps. Duplex setting on port used for IVC must match setting on CODEC

    • Recommended – QoS configured on switch ports used for IVC


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IsYour School Ready for An Access Grant?Tommy Whitten & Nathan CurryMadison County Schools

  • The Main Distribution Frame (MDF)

    • IDF/MDF backbone cable (Fiber, CAT5/5e/6), 100Mbps, 1Gbps

    • MDF Managed Switch, 10/100Mbps. Speed and Duplex settings must match those of IDF.

    • Recommended – QoS configured on uplink ports used for IVC


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IsYour School Ready for An Access Grant?Tommy Whitten & Nathan CurryMadison County Schools

  • School Router

    • QoS capable

  • 10 Mbps Fiber connects School Router to District Router

  • District Router

    • QoS capable

  • Firewall

    • People managing the firewall must be in communication with the network administrator and the CODEC installers.

  • Supercomputer Router – QoS capable

  • 10 Mbps Fiber connects Router to Supercomputer


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IsYour School Ready for An Access Grant?Tommy Whitten & Nathan CurryMadison County Schools

  • What you get from the Alabama Supercomputer?

    • 10MB fiber connection from your school to the Alabama Supercomputer Network

    • AREN is designed to support video through Quality of Service guarantees.

    • If both ends of the call are within AREN, ASA can prioritize the call, resulting in good transmission quality.

    • Video bridging


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IsYour School Ready for An Access Grant?Tommy Whitten & Nathan CurryMadison County Schools

  • The End