AGC Role: Building a better networked e-Infrastructure
Access Grid Collaboration (AGC) is the new name for the AGSC. This (Videoconferencing Technology Advisory Service) VTAS role provides second line support for advanced video conferencing services; based on Access Grid Collaboration. Focussing on easing access and development of tools for the Access Grid, EVO and IOCOM advanced video conferencing systems (plus as yet unknown related tools).
There are several VTAS roles covering different aspects of video conferencing. This is just one of them focused on AG.
Currently this role is being carried out by the main firstname.lastname@example.org services
Combined within this team is a funded Development Support Officer for the Postgraduate Mathematics; MAGIC Access Grid Consortium, as well as developers on related Access Grid projects. Also the five main services from University of Manchester machine rooms and labs are to be maintained overlapping from the original AGSC (Access Grid Support Centre) contract.
Projects and Roles
Listed here are contact details for the team.
First and second line contact is from: http://www.ja.net/services/video/jvcs/gettingstarted/gettingstarted.html
- t: +44 (0)131 650 4933
Old email address is available:
- Phone numbers are: 0161 27 xxxxx
AG-C VTAS Line Management: 07990 918 509
Martin Turner email@example.com x50613 07990 918 509 (mobile)
AG-C VTAS Technical Support
Robert Frank firstname.lastname@example.org x50634
James Perrin (MAGIC) email@example.com x56945
Access Grid developers (past and present)
Anja Le Blanc firstname.lastname@example.org
Tobias Schiebeck email@example.com
Ian Dennell firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Rowley email@example.com
Mike Jones firstname.lastname@example.org
JANET Videoconferencing provides infrastructure, support and advice for the following collaborative technologies:
The Kilburn Machine room at The University of Manchester has operators available at x56001
Overall Purpose of the VTAS-AGC role
The Support Officer (VTAS) will be responsible for supporting users, understanding, developing and recommending service infrastructure, as well as performing outreach activities for advanced collaborative videoconferencing technologies. (This specifically specifies Access Grid and other related technologies such as EVO and IOCOM). The role of the Support Officer (VTAS) is to manage support queries, take on consultancy roles including development work, update and develop high quality user information (such as documentation, training courses and web pages), assist in the provision of advice and undertake representation and outreach activities to promote these advanced collaborative technologies.
Informal list of possible items to be carried out over and above the SLA and JD, involving a process of Case Study specifications:
- Stable long-term passive jabber client
- virgo IP # and AGSC reference searches
- New Beacon recommendation for multi-cast network monitoring.
- Integration (improved Development) of Video Projects
Desktop sharing (ScreenStreamer - part of ViCo)
- Key is the Access Grid Recorder (Arena)
- Annotation of Video events (CREW)
- Twitter Feeds (CritterVRE)
- Flash conversion (Sustained MAGIC)
- Website - it needs cleaning up and focus. Also presently there's no links to the AGSC project website from the JVCS pages.
- Venues - Clean up the venues - do we need all the institutional venues and the SC Global venues - check which venues have been used over the last few years as a guide.
- EVO - more venues could be added to the EVO bridge.
- Skype bridge - many tests but no conclusive solutions
- Outreach - New outreach strategy needed - working with JANET - incorporating JVCS - new leaflets and materials needed - maybe make it more focussed on certain colleges/Universities - could also include IOCOM or some of the installers.
- Visimeet - needs a full test of all features and interoperability with products (eg the video seems to work with EVO, but crashes).
- Focus on helping HE users who may need to regain faith in AG
- Try and create distributed teaching groups who will use AG, modelled on MAGIC
- SEPNet (already heavy AG users)
- Nuclear - Dalton group
- Particle Physics (currently using EVO)
- Get more involved in the development of AG software. IOCOM/Caltech/ANL need keep the AGSC informed at all times
- Develop an outreach program targeting local IT/Media support at Universities encouraging them to take ownership of, and promote AG
- A step back and look at the service from a
- user's perspective
- developer's perspective - including research projects
- Visimeet - Create an official manual. The "IGManual.pdf" in the inSORS directory under Program Files is a place holder.
- VTAS person should also be given some technical instruction and training on conventional VC.
- More detailed Activity Data analysis (including JVSC, EVO, and Skype activity)
Completed Tasks and Documents
AG Recording Options Version 1, October 2011
JISC Legal Recording Lectures Document Copy, July 2010
VNC and SSH instructions for AG test rooms, October 2011
AG Logger is available at: http://code.google.com/p/aglog/
- AG Jabber client (webag3 package)
Multicast list of ownership, May 2012
Updating AGTK3 bridge registry file, May 2012
VTAS-AGC Monthly Reporting
- Visimeet sesssion with JANET(UK) 16/4/12
- Worldwide AG Meeting Part 1: 23:30 8/5/12
- VTAS session 10/4/12
VTAS Review sessions:
AGSC post-handover activities
Five main services are being maintained until final transfer:
- EVO-Telephone Bridge
- Server-room space for sam.ag.manchester.ac.uk: new server built in Edinburgh
- AGSC Test Room machine qatest.ag.manchester.ac.uk maintain until new system built in Edinburgh
- Telephone number transfer to JVCS
Server-room space for virgo.agsc.man.ac.uk: moved to TeleCityGroup
Also local logging servers; kuippers.ag.manchester.ac.uk is to be maintain as long as possible and coppi etc. maintained.
The Kilburn Machine room at The University of Manchester has operators available at x56001
Access Grid Projects
Current, past and future projects to be listed here. See also the Access Grid Projects page: http://wiki.rcs.manchester.ac.uk/community/AGProjects
A Retrospective of Development Projects involving the Access Grid as a Research Environment designed to share and enjoy. These aim to enhance a framework that allow video conferencing environments to act as a true research development system.
DTAGMATHS; Anlysis and study of video teaching for HE sector Maths at A-level. Included testing and evaluating electronic white-boards.
CSAGE; Addition of stereoscopic capture and playback within the AG video conferencing system. Incorporates software manipulation to aid the ease of viewing sterescopic streams at the receiving end.
memetic; Semantic annotation and recording for video conferencing streams; including addition of time-stamped RDF triple stored mind-mapping tool for meeting annotation.
ISME; Test of Access Grid video conferncing in noise (audio and electrical) x-ray synchrotron beam-line locations.
RoboViz; Use of of Access Grid as a remote multi-tier command-and-control centre for guiding cluster of camera-bearing semi-autonomous robots.
PAG; Portlet Access Grid operation - used by other portal projects as a secure way for cross-portal communication. The Video conferencing launching mechanism has been superceeded by the use of EVO and shared venues.
CREW; Collaborative Research Events on the Web - ading semantic web information to recorded video streams. Included time-stamping Access Grid streams and compendium mind-mapping tool.
- CREW extension; Institutional Embedding Stages (CIES), involving the Intiute (MIMAS) system.
RACE; Repository using DSpace for AG video streams recording metsa-sdta appropriate and with extensions for multiple stream data sources.
eDance; tools to capture and document the incremental development of ideas and their material manifestation in the creative process within practice-led research.
vizNET; visualization network enhanced with Acces Grid Gardeners' Question Time forums.
OneVRE; A new VRE Framework created through the integration of the Portal Access Grid (PAG) into and joining together existing VREs.
ViCoVRE; Vidoe Conversion toolkit enabling on-the-fly conversions
Critter; CREW embedded with autoamic tweets from twitter feeds
ViCoVRE-X; Specialist use of ViCO for the X-Ray imaging community
AGtivity; AG Activity Data Analysis; data capture, mining and visualization.
Magical Books Continued Professional Development (CPD), KTA funded.
A part-time IT professional (0.4FTE) to
- take over role to manage and develop the website,
- handle the video recordings
- and integrate into website,
- deal with technical problems to do with the Access Grid technology,
- manage timetabling,
- develop and manage online data acquisition and analysis.
RCS will provide a suitable person or persons to:
Liaise with the Director of MAGIC to maintain and develop the MAGIC website (http://maths.dept.shef.ac.uk/magic/) and deal with technical problems to do with Access Grid Technology or other such technologies, as may be used to deliver the lectures in the virtual room.
- Handle the video recordings of the lectures and integrate them into the MAGIC website in accordance with policies as set out by the Management Committee, Programme Committee and Academic Steering Committee observing any legal requirements.
- Provide tools to assist the Director of MAGIC and the Management Committee for data acquisition and analysis of data stored on the MAGIC website.
- Provide technical advice and assistance with emerging technologies which may be used to provide an improved MAGIC Service.
- Handle data backups for data stored on the MAGIC website.
AverComm H300 and LifeSize LGExecutive have now been published on the web site.
The LifeSize Team 220 has been evaluated and published on the web site.
- !AVerCom HVC330 Codec has been evaluated.
JISC Synthesis project highlighting Activiity Data anallysuis: include AG traffic, http://www.activitydata.org
Section to explore hw/sw/servers that need to be evaluated:
- Local desktop echo cancellation units
- MS Lync-H323 Bridge evaluation
- AG-H323 Bridge quality tests
- Skype self-build and Bridge links
- Test use of MAGIC Memetic recorder for IOCOM IG2 and Visimeet
- HD video links + video cameras
- New Server builds etc
- Recommendation for desktop equipment
- New Minio whiteboard markers
- New visualiser systems