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During the 94-95 summer season, the station was still running one LAN. The current mode of LAN growth seems to be ad hoc (we have never seen a plan). We understand that subnets are being implemented in the Pomerantz Observatory this winter season. Subnets are necessary to cut down on the large data traffic that will begin to occur as AMANDA and CARA come on line and are beneficial in allowing a more manageable network. This traffic should be local only, except in the cases of downloading to CONUS or backing up to the central backup facility (presumably in the Science Bldg.).

While fiber should be FDDI capable, network protocols should remain normal ethernet, and not be replaced by FDDI or ATM. The current protocols are adequate for science needs for the near term. We see no need to spend resources on higher speed protocols at this time.

2. Network Management

The subnet design makes the job of a single network manager more difficult. In the case of many of the science groups, we recommend that a Distributed Manager Scenario be adopted where local 'managers' are responsible for their own subnet, such as CARA or AMANDA. ASA staff at the station would be responsible for maintaining the backbone and routers up to where the researchers' computers plug into the wall. The ASA staff should also be available for consulting and help, but the research staff should be responsible for their own machines, backups, software upgrades, etc. Local managers would also be responsible for configuring any domain name servers, as well as notifying the ASA system manager of changes relevant to the main network or name server. With proper communications to CONUS, non-resident managers may remotely login and continue in a limited management role.

Requests by groups for a subnet address allocation which they configure and maintain, and/or a physical subnet, separated by a router, should be honored. Conditions of agreement should include a requirement of registering all domain addresses with the system manager (for the name server, network diagnosis, and packet accounting), and keeping the network wiring configuration diagram current. This would greatly reduce the number of discussions and negotiations over network configurations, would allow large continuing research projects to configure their workstations in the manner most suitable for their research, and would off-load some of the responsibilities of the system manager.

3. Accounts

Install a finger server that is kept current.

Use the domain name for all accounts, so that rfl@spole.gov is sufficient to email to rfl. Likewise, fingering a name @spole.gov should return adequate information to facilitate contacting that person. At present, individual machine names have to be known to reach a person at Pole, and it is not always possible to determine how to email to them without fingering first. Example: how do you contact Dave Fischer at the pole by email (assuming he were still there at this moment).

There may be a problem of keeping the database current with the transient population at pole. Also local managers have to inform the system manager of changes. But even with these few inaccuracies, the system could be better than it is now.

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