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Combining the strengths of UMIST and The Victoria University of Manchester Access Grid Quality Survey & New Services Update Michael Daw Manchester Computing.

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Presentation on theme: "Combining the strengths of UMIST and The Victoria University of Manchester Access Grid Quality Survey & New Services Update Michael Daw Manchester Computing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Combining the strengths of UMIST and The Victoria University of Manchester Access Grid Quality Survey & New Services Update Michael Daw Manchester Computing Access Grid BOF, All Hands Meeting 20 September 2006

2 All Hands Meeting September Contents Quick review of the AGSC year AGSC User Survey e-Science Centre Survey The Message… …Possible Solutions

3 All Hands Meeting September A Busy Year! User survey New look website Booking system launched Improving services –VRVS –Jabber integration –AG3 –IG2

4 All Hands Meeting September Usage Highlights

5 All Hands Meeting September Growth of UK Access Grid Nodes

6 All Hands Meeting September AGSC Survey – Respondents 9 th -31 st January different institutions –e-Science –e-Social Science –AGSC registered –etc. 70 respondents: –Users 69% –Node admins 24% –Node operators 6%

7 All Hands Meeting September User Quality Excellent: 35% Good: 44% Poor: 15% Abandoned: 5%

8 All Hands Meeting September Session Frequency On average… Users – used AG 3.1 times each month Node admins/operators – nodes used 4 times each week

9 All Hands Meeting September Number of Sites Involved How many sites are involved in your Access Grid sessions? Two sites only 45% of sessions 3-5 sites 39% 6-10 sites 14% More than 10 3%

10 All Hands Meeting September Top Rated Problems What are the top three problems that hinder Access Grid sessions that you are involved in? Networking:26% Problem sites:24% Poor quality audio:21%

11 All Hands Meeting September Benefits of the AGSC "What do you see as the main benefits of the Access Grid Support Centre?" General support54% Services19% Quality Assurance testing17% Training17% Did not respond27%

12 All Hands Meeting September Benefits of the Access Grid What are the ways in which Access Grid helps you in your work?" Alleviating the need to travel: 74% Facilitating teaching: 6% Negative comments: 6% "Saves time & money travelling. Communication is more natural & open as body language and expression is available" "Not impressed by AG and now use as a last resort only" A cool thing to show to people who don't know how far video conferencing has come"

13 All Hands Meeting September Top Rated Improvements What are the top three improvements you would like to see in Access Grid? More reliability:35% More Access Grid nodes for those without:16% Better audio (e.g. stereo):12% Running meetings without an operator:7% Better video: 7% Better integration with other applications: 4%

14 All Hands Meeting September e-Science Centre Survey Conducted by Clare Gryce, University College London Nine centres responded Most centres report increasing usage of Access Grid Most sites have node operator service Several sites encourage user-operation One site charges for node operation

15 All Hands Meeting September e-Science Centre Survey Is the Access Grid valuable? All respondents said yes Most sites planning further installations One site is planning to replace other videoconferencing technologies with AG

16 All Hands Meeting September The Message in a Nutshell Users are most concerned about reliability In almost all cases, this means problems connecting and problems with audio

17 All Hands Meeting September What Goes Wrong? SymptomsCausesSolutions Break-up, loss of connection Network congestion, other network problems Hardware faults No real solution; QoS?; NB: inSORS clients more resilient to network loss than AGTk clients Repair/replace hardware EchoMics too near speakers Poor settings Dying/dead batteries in wireless mics Move the mics/speakers Correct the settings Replace batteries Extraneous noises: hissing, crackling, general poor quality Poor settings Ambient room noises (e.g. aircon) Hardware faults Correct the settings Reconfigure room Repair/replace hardware

18 All Hands Meeting September Whats to be done? Regular QA tests Good for… –Training –Looking after your node But… –What about between tests?

19 All Hands Meeting September Whats to be done? Open test sessions Good for… –Training –Imparting information –Knowing the AGSC is there for you –In case you need to test

20 All Hands Meeting September Whats to be done? AG Check Good for… –Self testing –Checking audio & video quality objectively –Perhaps a replacement for QA tests…?

21 All Hands Meeting September Whats to be done? Incident report Good for… –Grass a site! –Keeping nodes up to scratch But… –No good if its not used!

22 All Hands Meeting September Whats to be done? Store working audio configurations Good for… –Centralised storage –When it all goes wrong –Will be accessed through booking system

23 All Hands Meeting September Whats to be done? Request AGSC assistance Let us baby-sit your meeting Its easy to ask! Good for… –Solving problems before they affect users –When youve got a meeting that cant go wrong! –When sessions always seem to fail –If youre new to this game

24 All Hands Meeting September Whats to be done? Better training AGSC on-line movies – coming soon AGSC workshops – every six months

25 All Hands Meeting September A Selfless Act (Urwin Wood, University of Newcastle)

26 All Hands Meeting September And Finally… Report for JISC Usability & manageability+ Focus group: 2 nd November Volunteers apply here!

27 Combining the strengths of UMIST and The Victoria University of Manchester Manchester Computing Providing Research Infrastructure & Support Research Support Services Manchester Computing


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