As we move closer to the April 2004 go live date for our migration to the Dynix Horizon product it is extremely important that we verify that the capacity and reliability of the connections our libraries use to access the LLSAP server are good enough for the new product. Please read the following information carefully to help us prepare for this aspect of the migration.
Before migration each library needs to make sure that their connection meets two standards; sufficient bandwidth for the number of staff workstations and OPAC stations they will have on the new system and a connection that is consistently and reliably provided at the same level without dropouts. Once we move to the Dynix software in April, each time a library workstation loses its connection, the client software will need to be restarted and a large amount of data normally loaded only at the beginning of the day will have to reload before the station can be used again. The good news is that remote libraries will be able to do this themselves at any time of the day without the delay involved in contacting an RPLS staff member to “kill the job”. The bad news is that, depending upon the speed of the connection, the process could require several minutes each time it needs to be done.
Recently a Dynix network engineer visited a number of our member libraries to review their connections to us. He reported back that although the Century Network connections appear to be very good, he does not think that the wireless connections he visited would provide a good enough connection to insure reliable access to the Dynix software.
There are several options for addressing problems that may exist with some current connections.
- Libraries may be able to work with their existing provider to improve the connection.
- Libraries may be able to switch to an alternate provider who can guarantee a better connection.
- If it appears cost effective, central site equipment at RPLS may be upgraded to reduce the amount of time required for some libraries with bad connections to restore lost connection.
- Libraries can work around slowdowns and dropouts for the first 8 months of the new system. In the late fall of 2004, Dynix will release a “thin client” software upgrade, which will not require as much time to restore connections.
To help us deal with this important aspect of migration each library must take the following steps as soon as possible.
- Review the chart of bandwidth requirements for Dynix Horizon that appears below. Know what you will need for the total number of workstations and OPAC stations you plan to have connected to the system at the same time.
|Number of Users||2||5||25||45||70||95||120|
|Avg Response time (sec)||4.29||2.84||3.03||3.18||2.83||3.07||2.85|
- Contact your Internet access provider and discuss these requirements with them. Ask them to provide you with a written statement concerning their ability to provide the bandwidth and stable connection that you need. Keep in mind that it is essential that the bandwidth they provide be available at all times you need it. If you need 256 kb and you drop below that several times per day, you will still have a problem with slow system response. If your connection drops completely at any time, even for a brief period, you will be disconnected from the system and will need to restart your client software. The software requires a “persistent connection”.
- If you were one of the libraries visited by the network engineer last month go to
http://www.rpls.ws/training/pdf/trip_report.pdf and read the
report’s section on your library. If you are a One-Eleven customer we plan to arrange a group meeting with a One-Eleven representative to discuss the issues raised by this report.
- Finally, and most importantly, complete and return the following brief survey to Paul Johnson by FAX at 217-429-4522 by January 16, 2004. This survey does duplicate some information requested earlier, but many libraries did not respond to that request for information. Keep in mind also that you need to verify your response with your provider. In some cases you may believe you have higher bandwidth than you are actually being provided. The discrepancy between what some libraries believe they have and what the Dynix engineer discovered is being consistently provided to them is a matter of concern. For us to form an accurate picture of the connections used by our libraries, you must gather accurate information from your individual providers and they must understand what you need. Please do not return surveys marked “don’t know”. Talk to your provider.
If your connection is part of a connection to a larger unit such as a T-1 that goes to a school district and is shared by an entire building, you need to talk with someone in the larger unit who can give you some estimate of how much of that connection is generally available to the library.
We will report as much as we can of the results of the survey at the January, 2004 Users Group meeting. If you have any questions please contact Paul Johnson or Jo McLain at RPLS. We are also willing to talk to your provider if necessary.
LLSAP CONNECTIVITY SURVEY
Please FAX response to Paul
Johnson at 217-429-2588 by January 16, 2004.