Computational Science Community Wiki

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 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

Contact Details

Listed here are contact details for the team.

First and second line contact is from:

Old email address is available:

AG-C VTAS Line Management: 07990 918 509

AG-C VTAS Technical Support

Access Grid developers (past and present)

JANET Videoconferencing provides infrastructure, support and advice for the following collaborative technologies:

Remember also to be a member of the Access Grid AG-TECH mailing list and look through their archives; especially when maintaining servers.

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.

VTAS-AGC position

Informal list of possible items to be carried out over and above the SLA and JD, involving a process of Case Study specifications:

Completed Tasks and Documents

VTAS-AGC Monthly Reporting

Meeting minutes:

Monthly reports:

VTAS Review sessions:

AGSC post-handover activities

Five main services are being maintained until final transfer:

Also local logging servers; 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:

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.

  1. DTAGMATHS; Anlysis and study of video teaching for HE sector Maths at A-level. Included testing and evaluating electronic white-boards.

  2. 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.

  3. memetic; Semantic annotation and recording for video conferencing streams; including addition of time-stamped RDF triple stored mind-mapping tool for meeting annotation.

  4. ISME; Test of Access Grid video conferncing in noise (audio and electrical) x-ray synchrotron beam-line locations.

  5. RoboViz; Use of of Access Grid as a remote multi-tier command-and-control centre for guiding cluster of camera-bearing semi-autonomous robots.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. CREW extension; Institutional Embedding Stages (CIES), involving the Intiute (MIMAS) system.
  9. RACE; Repository using DSpace for AG video streams recording metsa-sdta appropriate and with extensions for multiple stream data sources.

  10. eDance; tools to capture and document the incremental development of ideas and their material manifestation in the creative process within practice-led research.

  11. vizNET; visualization network enhanced with Acces Grid Gardeners' Question Time forums.

  12. OneVRE; A new VRE Framework created through the integration of the Portal Access Grid (PAG) into and joining together existing VREs.

  13. ViCoVRE; Vidoe Conversion toolkit enabling on-the-fly conversions

  14. Critter; CREW embedded with autoamic tweets from twitter feeds

  15. ViCoVRE-X; Specialist use of ViCO for the X-Ray imaging community

  16. AGtivity; AG Activity Data Analysis; data capture, mining and visualization.

  17. SustainedMAGIC
  18. Magical Books Continued Professional Development (CPD), KTA funded.

MAGIC Development/Support

A part-time IT professional (0.4FTE) to

RCS will provide a suitable person or persons to:

  1. Liaise with the Director of MAGIC to maintain and develop the MAGIC website ( 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.

  2. 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.
  3. Provide tools to assist the Director of MAGIC and the Management Committee for data acquisition and analysis of data stored on the MAGIC website.
  4. Provide technical advice and assistance with emerging technologies which may be used to provide an improved MAGIC Service.
  5. Handle data backups for data stored on the MAGIC website.

Extra Links

Evaluations at:

  1. AverComm H300 and LifeSize LGExecutive have now been published on the web site.

  2. The LifeSize Team 220 has been evaluated and published on the web site.

  3. !AVerCom HVC330 Codec has been evaluated.

Other links:

  1. JISC Synthesis project highlighting Activiity Data anallysuis: include AG traffic,

Evaluation Options

Section to explore hw/sw/servers that need to be evaluated: