Engineering the Virtual Silk Highway .
The Eight CEENet Workshop on Network Technology
Location : Central European University Conference Centre
Dates : August, 19 . 29, 2002
Number of working days: 6 full- + 2 half-days
Broadening of CEENet Educational Activities
The dynamic and innovative nature of the CEENet Education Programme with
respect to the organization and the execution of the workshops in the
areas of technology, management and policy was broaden and reinforced
again during the "NATO ANW - Eighth CEENet Workshop on Network Technology"
held in Budapest from August 19 to August 29, 2002, colored for the first
time with hands-on exercises using a real Virtual Silk Highway set-up and
an extensive programme on VSAT technology.
Request for the Workshop
The workshop was a response to the request from Central Asian and Caucasus
NRENs, which were in urgent need to train their technicians, in view of
the foreseen delivery of the Silk set-ups in the near (2002 and 2003)
future. ANW application has been sent before the Jan 15th deadline, and
the timely decisions of the NATO Science Committee and Networking Panel,
as well as splendid support of the local host (CEU CC) made all
preparations very easy.
Number of Participants
Workshop has been planned for 32 participants: 3 candidates from each of 8
countries, involved in Silk project, have been invited. For the last 8
places candidates from other CEE countries, with clear interest in VSAT
technology have been invited. Not all NRENs from Silk countries were able
to nominate 3 candidates, also in the very last moment, 2 candidates from
Turkmenistan could not leave their country. Thus additional students from
countries, which do not need Hungarian visa, have been invited.
Altogether, due to a very efficient visa support organized by CEU
Conference Centre, 33 students from 18 countries participated in the
workshop. For those technicians from Silk countries, whose command of
English was not enough to follow the lectures, a translation to Russian
language has been provided.
It is clear that the combined efforts of the organizers, the lecturers,
the sponsors, and more important, the interest and the diligence of the
students, produced rather exceptional results and fulfillment of all the
objectives set prior to the Workshop.
Set-up of the VSAT Antenna
Prior to the workshop, the NATO Co-director Dr Jacek Gajewski, visited
DESY-Hamburg, to take part in the VSAT vendor training and arranging the
details of hardware delivery to Budapest and the software installation.
The hardware has been shipped by a truck. Unfortunately the equipment
couldn't be sent to Hungary as an ATA-Carnet demonstration equipment,
since it already was on a temporary residence in Germany (bound for
Central Asia/Caucasus). Nevertheless, the custom clearance in Hungary has
been done effectively within 4 hours with the help of professional custom
agent. In parallel a (successful) application has been issued to obtain
the operation license from Hungarian Radio-Frequency authority. During the
next 2 days two antennas have been mechanically set-up, and later within
one day the two-way VSAT communication has been established by a team of
CEENet lecturers. Valuable comments from this installation process have
been distributed and will be used in subsequent installations in Silk
Books Donation for Students
The education environment, due to generous donation of equipment by CISCO,
and the previous preparations by the organizers, the staff of CEU CC, and
the core lecturers was more then adequate and the operations were most of
the time flawless. Due to the another donation provided by O'Reilly and
CISCO Press in books, estimated value of about 35 000 USD, all of the
participants and their respective organizations and institutions were
presented with much needed literature and software, often rather difficult
to obtain in their developing countries.