Archive for the ‘planning’ Category

  • tech•ed and the IPocalypse: What you need to know.

    Date: 2011.04.01 | Category: ipv6, networking, planning, setup, tech•ed 2011, wireless | Response: 0

    As planning for tech•ed 2011 in September this year has formally commenced I’m again in the role of being responsible for the technology across the whole event (including the Australian Partner Conference).

    Each year I’ve challenged our technical team to try something risky to keep us honest about leading with first rate technology implementation and practice. You can see our success on numerous articles across writing service that does have really top-notch writers who always are ready to provide a wholly original and perfectly written piece and on this blog.

    The first challenge I’ve identified this year is to move the whole event from a NAT’d network to a full blown public routed network, similar to what you see with an ISP. We’ve based this looking at last years usage pattern on our networks , and after some research we’ve come to this conclusion due to the lack of sensibly priced devices that can support 8000+ clients with many port mappings.

    To some extent we achieved part of this last year with giving everyone a public routable ipv6 address with all ipv4 still being NAT’d. Our key requirement to support approximately 2500 delegates a few hundred staff and many, many ip enabled devices it to acquire a large range of pubic ip’s in the order of a /19,  /18 or /17 giving us 8192 or 16384, 32768 respectively, possible clients to support (if you don’t understand see CIDR).

    Now the impending exhaustion of ipv4 address space commonly referred to as the IPocalypse you can imagine this kind of addressable space is not easily obtainable  – and can sometimes even go for a high price .  Last year we requested a temporary allocation from APNIC out of their portable/temporary range, which we used for a couple of weeks and shortly after returned. As a side note that same temporary range was used by LinuxConf in Brisbane a few months later, however sites like still cached the Microsoft tech•ed entry at the event…

    In our manner of planning ahead, last week we initiated our request to APNIC for a /17 or /18 or /19, as well as a temporary ipv6 allocation.. This was the response from APNIC.(note that the names and contact details have been scrubbed to protect the not so innocent – of course read from the ) ;

    From: xxxxx@xxxxx
    Date: Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 11:47 AM
    Subject: [APNIC #XXXXXX] Temporary IPv4 and IPv6 allocation for Microsoft TechEd
    Dear XXXXXXX,
    Thank you for your email reply.
    There is no IPv4 address space available for temporary allocation.
    This reserved address space is no longer available as it has been placed
    back in the APNIC free pool for distribution.
    Please let us know if you wish to continue to obtain a temporary /48
    IPv6 assignment from APNIC.
    We look forward to hear back from you.
    If you have and further questions, please let us know.
    Kind Regards,
    APNIC       sip:
    * Sent by email to save paper. Print only if necessary.
    On Wed Mar 23 10:06:01 2011, xxxx@xxxx.xx wrote:
    > Hi XXXX,
    > What is the largest v4 block you can offer?
    > I was under the understanding that APNIC had a block of space parked for
    > temporary uses like this event (the netblock we used at TE last year was
    > used at LinuxConf this year).
    > XXXXXX.
    > On Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 10:01 AM, XXXX XX via RT  wrote:
    > > Dear XXXXX,
    > >
    > > Thank you for your email.
    > >
    > > In regards to your request, due to the APNIC reaching Stage 2 of the
    > > IPv4 Exhaustion plan, APNIC are unable to provide a temporary /17 IPv4
    > > allocation.
    > >
    > > However, we are able to provide you a temporary /48 IPv6 assignment.
    > >
    > > Please let us know if you wish to continue to obtain a temporary /48
    > > IPv6 assignment from APNIC.
    > >
    > > We look forward to hear back from you.
    > >
    > > If you have any questions, please let us know.
    > >
    > > Kind Regards,
    > >
    > > --
    > > _____________________________________________________________________
    > > APNIC       sip:
    > >                 phone:
    > >                                       fax:
    > > _____________________________________________________________________
    > >
    > > * Sent by email to save paper. Print only if necessary.
    > > On Tue Mar 22 11:39:03 2011, wrote:
    > > > Hi there,
    > > >
    > > > We are in planning stages for Microsoft TechEd 2011 to be held in the
    > > > Gold Coast Convention Centre this year. As per last year we would like
    > > > to obtain a temporary allocation for use at the event.
    > > >
    > > > We are seeking the following:
    > > >
    > > > * IPv6 /48
    > > > * IPv4 /17
    > > >
    > > > The earliest date we would be using these addresses is the 1st of July
    > > > 2011.
    > > >
    > > > We would return the addresses on the 16th of September 2011.
    > > >
    > > > Could you please advise what you require for this allocation and when
    > > > it might be approved so that we can do our physical network design.

    So that’s it then – no more ipv4 space for us. We’ve committed to the path of deploying a fully routed network so it looks like it will be an:  IPv6 ONLY network!

    We are working really hard to make sure that the key resources for the event (the schedule builder, for example) are available over IPv6.

    As for other purposes not directly related to the event, we will not be offering IPv4 connectivity.

    There will be an option to purchase time on Telstra NextG USB dongles at the event and we are working hard on coming up with a good sponsorship arrangement to help out with the cost of IPv4 network access during tech•ed.

    – Jorke and the network team aka David Connors

  • Hitting Reset for 2009 -> 2010

    Date: 2010.03.29 | Category: planning, tech•ed 2009 | Response: 0

    So it’s well and truly time to wrap up this blog for 2009 and move to 2010, i’ve been holding off until everytime of work from last year was resolved – strangely enough that happened just last week as the last invoice was sorted… (and no I’m not kidding..)
    So here’s a fast and loose summary of what we achieved – mainly to help with our planning for teched 2010.

    Delegate Network

    • 99.998 uptime (was a 45 second outage from a GBIC flapping..)
    • ~1300 wireless clients was the highest amount connected.
    • ~2TB of data downloaded (in 4 days!)
    • 300GB send out.

    Demonstration Network (the glass box of doom with the servers inside)

    • 100% uptime on services with over 80 virtual machines hosted for speaker and other demos. This was highly under-utilized.

    Major issues




    • Intel Wireless drivers – escalated to Intel who were sponsoring –
      they were kind enough to help us out
    • Bit Torrent – Played network cop – Rickrolled access to key sites
    • RRAS port exhaustion – escalated to our support team in India
    • Live ID creation – another escalated to our support team…
    • Netbook deployment – finished this with brute force
    • Session Recording – Expression Encoder crashes
    • Wrong URL on netbook images – network hack
    • Well i think this is minor, but there was some slight damage of a netbook box…


    As you can image there was so much more that went on, we’ve added a lot of these things to our planning process which has already started;

    “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving” – Einstein

    So here go, we’re hitting the reset button – we’ll do our best to keep you update-to-date from our end – no promises of course as we’re all focused on delivering to a higher quality outcome than before.

    – jorke

  • What’s in a colour?

    Date: 2009.08.26 | Category: Australian Partner Conference 2009, networking, planning, tech•ed 2009 | Response: 0

    Have you been to tech•ed in years past? Have you seen the array of colours used for cables in CommNet areas, Recharge Bars, around the Exposition Halls and inside the Session Rooms? You’ve thought either the person laying all those cables is colour blind or needs some serious tips from House & Garden on matching seasonal hues? Not so.

    In an event such as tech•ed, managing data cables is in itself, a job which could challenge the best of logistical minds.  There are over 1,200 Cat5e UTP cables to install or over 8,200m to lay down, plug into switches, test, secure to desks & stage plinths and of course plug into computers at the other end. Don’t forget the task of recollecting them all at the other end in a manner that doesn’t result in the biggest bunch of copper and plastic spaghetti in the world.

    To help with the taming of this cable mammoth, a colour coding system is used to make what would normally be a challenging task just that little easier.  With experience, we’ve established the best combination of lengths. The colours were chosen based on what are standard available colours without the need for excessive custom makes :

    • Grey Cables : 2m
    • Yellow Cables : 3m
    • Green Cables : 5m
    • Orange Cables : 8m
    • White Cables : 10m
    • Purple Cables : 15m
    • Blue Cables : 20m and over

    The result is cable installers and the technology team can quickly identify the appropriate cable. It hasn’t always been like this. Before we had a colour coding system for the lengths we had a huge wastage issue with excess length. So much a number of years ago we reduced the cabling costs by 30%.

    What happens to all of the cables after the event? You would appreciate the cost involved when replacing cables, not to mention the environmental impact. To maximise integrity, cables are used for no more than 2 events and so costs are amortised. If cables have been in trafficable areas, such as where trolleys and feet run over them, they are replaced after each event.  At the end of the event, the task of recollecting, rolling and sorting patch leads is job that may leave you chrysophobic, but the method of colour for length has made our “Where does that cable go” jigsaw easier to piece together.