Thursday, January 28, 2016

APAN 41 Manila - Fellowship Summary Report

First of all I would like to thank APAN, especially the Fellowship Committee headed by Dr. Basuki Suhardiman, for awarding me a fellowship. I doubt that I will be able to attend such a meeting without a fellowship.

(Some Photos)

The main reason why I want to attend an APAN meeting is of course because I am very interested in the topics that will be discussed in the technical sessions, as well as the opportunity to network.  The workshops on cloud computing, network engineering, network research testbeds, and other co-located events are very much related to my research area and I learned a lot from attending them. I have a few blog entries that summarize some of the talks I attended.

The main realization that I came up with in this meeting is to never underestimate the value of COLLABORATION. The advances in research and education networks cannot be achieved without collaboration. I am amazed that majority of the presentations end with a slide having the logos of collaborating institutions and partners!

Unlike academic meetings that I frequent, the APAN meeting has a relatively informal and light atmosphere. Everyone seems to be at ease with each other and the senior members are very kind, accommodating, and generous. 

Attending this meeting also made me realize that my country, Philippines, is behind in terms of network infrastructure and capacity compared to its neighbors. I think improving this is just not a priority of the government as of the moment. It is great that DOST-ASTI is participating in this kind of activities that puts Philippines on the map. I also hope to be able to contribute, perhaps submit a research paper or join a working group to organize some workshops during the technical sessions. Interestingly, APAN publishes proceedings.

Since the APAN 41 Meeting is an international event, I also learned to appreciate the culture of people from other countries, particularly the other fellows. Talking to them gave me new perspectives in looking at things, not just on technical matters but also on other aspects of life. 

I believe that the APAN Fellowship was able to achieve its objectives and I hope that APAN will continue to support this program. I highly encourage others, especially the young ones, to participate and contribute to future APAN meetings.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

APAN 41 Manila - Day 4

27 January 2016

Today I attended the Network Engineering Workshop. The abstracts and slides of the talks are here. This workshop is by far the most organized which started and finished on time.

Majority of the talks described their home institution's current network infrastructure as well as their future plans. They are slowly moving to 100Gbps connections( the term is Long Fat Networks or LFNs) from 10Gbps.

There were also some presentations on protocol modifications (TCP in particular) in order to support 10/100 Gbps transfer over long distances across the Pacific Ocean.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

APAN 41 Manila - Day 3

26 January 2016

Today I attended most of the sessions from the Cloud Working Group.

Talk: More than Three Years of OpenStack Clouds at NCI
Speaker: Andrew Howard, NCI High Performance, (via Skype)

In this talk, Andrew talked about the history of their OpenStack deployments at NCI. It is surprising to know that they have deployments using different versions. At this point in time, they are experimenting with using Ceph for storage. One person from the audience asked how they keep up with the rapid release of newer versions of OpenStack in order to keep updated. They use fibre channel for connectivity.

Talk: Application-Centric Overlay Cloud Utilizing Inter-Cloud
Speaker: Shigetoshi Yokohama

This is a short talk about the use of cloud in big data analysis. The middleware group where the speaker is a member of, focuses on automatic and quick creation of virtual clouds.  Other groups are working on aspects such as optimal resource selection and infrastructure.

Talk: SmartX Playground Update
Speaker: JongWon Kim, gwangju institute of technology

This talk is more of an update of the SmartX Playground which integrate the recent technologies such as SDN and IoT with clouds. 

Talk: National Computing Center Singapore

This talk describes some updates on the NCC in Singapore. It is located in the 7th floor. They use the term InfinCloud because they use Infiniband interconnect. Their facility is state of the art.

Talk: Kreonet cloud update
Speaker: Yoonjoo Kwon, Kisti

This talk is about some updates on the Kreonet, including COREEN and RealLab. 

Talk: VM Migration on SDNs
Speaker: Kashir Nifan

This talk is about a VM migration mechanism implemented in Java. 

Talk: Collaboration with APAN WG
Speaker: Eric Yen, Academia Sinica

In this talk Eric emphasized that collaboration must be made in order to encourage members of other working groups to utilize the infrastructure developed from the Cloud WG. He said that the requirements should drive the cloud facility.

In the afternoon, I attended sessions on Future Internet Testbeds. Testbeds are real/virtual networks where researchers can experiment with new ideas.

The day ended with a fellowship dinner with some presentations from local talents.

Monday, January 25, 2016

APAN 41 Manila - Day 2

25 January 2016

Talk: IPv6 Working Group Meeting
Speaker: Nava C. Arjuman

In this talk, Nava gave an overview of an IoT case study in Japan. According to him, in adopting a new technology three things are usually considered: performance, security, cost. Also he said that market/industry needs drive innovation. In the case of Japan for example, energy conservation is a driving factor for the development and deployment of smart meters. Using the ECHONET-Lite standard, devices can be monitored. 

Talk: FELIX Tutorial: Federation of SDN testbeds for large-scale network experiments
Speaker: Jason H. Haga et al

The talk described the architecture of FELIX. Basically it is about resource sharing across different domains, both in terms of geographical and political boundaries. The idea is very similar to grid computing. Felix uses 'slices' to as the basic unit of resource that is being shared which may include compute resources or network resources. Felix follows a hierarchical design. Majority of Felix components are implemented in Python. Several cases studies were also presented.

Talk: Introduction to cloud computing and OpenStack
Speaker: Karlo Paulino

The talk gave an overview of the advantages of cloud computing, in particular IaaS. Karlo described the different components of OpenStack as well as RedHat's virtualization engine. A short demo was given to highlight the features.

Talk: Role of the IX Manager/Coordinator
Speaker: Jake Chin

This talk summarized some tips on how to be a good IX coordinator. One tip that I remembered is that doing your homework before any attempt to peer must be done first.

Talk: Blacklisting DNS using a software defined network switch
Speaker: Mon Nunez

This talk outlined a solution to blacklisting malicious DNS access using openflow and raspberry PI's.

Fellowship Meeting:

The general manager of APAN, Marcus, gave an introduction about APAN. All the APAN 41 fellows finally get to see each other face to face.

The day ended with a fellowship dinner.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

APAN 41 Manila - Day 1

24 January 2016

Talk: Identity and Access Management
Speaker: Terry Smith

Terry is from the Australian Access Federation(AAF) and he discussed some aspects of how they operate this project. He talked about federated identity management which is essentially an arrangement among multiple enterprises to use identification data. This arrangement requires parties to follow a trust model. The advantages include single sign on, reduction in work, updated data, improved security and usability. The main entities include the Identity Provider (IdP), Service Provider (SP), and the Users. When a user wants to use a service provided by a service provider, the service provider contacts the identity provider to get the user credentials needed to use the resource. In this scenario, active protection of user information must be guaranteed.

The federation is responsible for the following: maintains a list of IdP and SP, define rules, provide user support, operates a central discovery service, and tool development.

A common issue is how much information is to be shared among the entities. This can be resolved using a consent engine or government policies (as in the case of Singapore). 

Terry also talked about the types of federations which include mesh, hub-and-spoke, centralized, and mashups.

Operating a federation requires tools. Terry discussed some of these tools such as the AAF Registry Tool, Jagger, Janus, OpenConext, and others. A hands-on activity was also conducted using AAF Registry tools.

A brief overview of EduRoam, a location-independent wireless network, was discussed. This is an example service that uses federated identity and access management.

Operating a national federation is very much like operating a business requiring full-time staff and resources. Marketing the services is also important.

DOST-ASTI is starting to roll out a federated IAM for the Philippines.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

ICS awarded by CHED as Center of Excellence in IT Education for 2016-2018

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) recently awarded my institute, the Institute of Computer Science , along with other HEI's in the country,  as a Center of Excellence in Information Technology Education for 2016-2018. This award is given to an institution offering CS/IT/IS programs, both graduate and undergraduate, that satisfies certain criteria set by CHED. In addition to the recognition, an institution is qualified to receive funding for proposed projects.

The evaluation conducted by CHED is mostly based on materials submitted, which are mostly written documents. On-campus interviews and inspections were also conducted for additional information and clarification. During the on-campus interview, according Prof. Connie Khan,  the CHED committee was impressed by the extensive involvement of ICS in national-level initiated projects as well as the active participation of faculty, students, and alumni in developing and enhancing the programs offered in the institute.