Archive for December, 2011

Process monitoring on Unix/Linux/Solaris/HP-UX/AIX

Posted on December 28, 2011. Filed under: OS's, Technology |

It’s often a requirement to monitor Unix processes in the field of performance monitoring. However, there is a catch. Different flavors of Unix have different process monitoring tools such as `top`. Of course `top` is not available on all platforms. Similarly HP-UX has something called ‘glance’. This is again very platform specific.

The only CLI that is supported for process monitoring across different flavors of Unix is ‘ps’. However, one of the most two parameters that we are interested in process monitoring is its SIZE and CPU usages. Both of these parameters can be retrieved using ‘ps’ CLI.

To obtain size of a process, we generally use PS parameters ‘vsz’. It’s the size of process in virtual memory. To obtain CPU usages of a process, we generally use PS parameter `cpu` which gives absolute CPU usage of a process. On some Unices, PS provides parameter called ‘pcpu’ which provides percentage of CPU usage by a process. There are still limitations of this approach as described above. Few of the unices do not provide ‘pcpu’ parameter and instead provide ‘cpu’ parameter e.g HP-UX.

However, it’s still better to rely on single UNIX provided `ps` CLI that can be used inside a any shell or Perl script. In order to use `ps` CLI we should be relying on UNIX95 Unix standard as defined in the Single UNIX Specification.

e.g. Following CLI prints “our_process” usages on HP-UX with columns viz. process name, its virtual memory size and its absolute CPU usages on single line. It is just a matter of changing cpu to pcpu and application of few filters on some of the Unix platforms as per our requirements. But it does work.

# export UNIX95=1; ps –eo args,vsz,cpu | grep “our_process”

It just a matter of directing output of above CLI to a file post application of filters

# cntr=1;while test $cntr;do export UNIX95=1; ps -eo args,vsz,sz,cpu |egrep -v “our_process” | awk ‘{print $1″\t”$2\”\t”$4}’ ;done >> /tmp/our_process.txt &

Above while loop keep on dumping process virtual memory size and CPU usages of our_process in /tmp/our_process.txt file. Since output is in tabbed format, this output file can be easily opened in Microsoft Excel and graphs can be plotted.

Do you use any other methodology to monitor processes on Unix machines? If yes then do let everyone know in comments below.

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High speed advocates push to deploy more fiber in San Francisco

Posted on December 28, 2011. Filed under: fiber optic, Network |

While many parts of the United States are still playing catch-up when it comes to high-speed internet, two outspoken advocates for the cause are doing what they can to deploy more fiber in San Francisco.

Dana Sniezko, a nonprofit Web developer and technology activist who started the informative site; and Alex Menendez, co-founder of MonkeyBrains, are lobbying San Francisco officials to make it easier for regular companies to lay fiber and/or install their own ultra-fast cables throughout the city.

Sniezko and Menendez want to loosen the grip on local Internet service that AT&T and Comcast currently have while leapfrogging from the older DSL and cable TV technology to fiber to the home.

The pair face considerable challenges to deploying FTTH, including a maze of regulations, the big providers’ infrastructure and rights of way, and the lack of established policies for approving new approaches.

According to Sniezko, “What we have now in most parts of the United States is copper, and some of these lines are 100 years old. Copper lines were designed to carry the human voice, and all these DSL things that we’ve done are a hack. Then cable came along, which is a little better, but there are physical limitations.

With fiber, it’s the solution for the next 100 years. It can give us almost unlimited bandwidth, 100 to 1,000 times what you’d see today at a comparable price point. There’s no way San Francisco shouldn’t have something like this; we have the density and there’s a lot of demand here.”

FTTH networks can deliver download speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second, fast enough to download about 100 digital photos in a second. That compares with average rates in San Francisco’s primarily residential ZIP codes of roughly 3 to 10 Mbps, according to a study year by the Communications Workers of America.

A February report in the SF Examiner hinted that Google was negotiating with the city on an FTTH project.

James Kelly, project manager on Google’s infrastructure team, said that Google is looking to “find the right community partners” and has issued a request for information. City officials can provide information if it is interested in becoming a partner with Google.

Google has “plans to build and test ultra-high-speed broadband networks in the United States,” Kelly said in the announcement.

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Optical connections set to rise in Israel

Posted on December 28, 2011. Filed under: fiber optic, Network |

Israel is a prime location for fiber to the x (FTTx) expansion, as the nation is positioned well for exponential growth in fiber optic deployment to both homes and businesses.

According to a recent Ovum report, Israel hosts a number of the world’s most prolific telecoms in terms of deploying fiber optic networks around the word. However, the country boasts just one percent penetration domestically. This opportunity combines with government initiatives to improve communications infrastructure and put the nation in an excellent position to expand its optical infrastructure through FTTx deployments.

Israel’s population distribution also contributes to its potential as a destination for large-scale FTTx growth. The report explained approximately 90 percent of the nation’s population currently resides in urban regions. This means it will be easier to reach a large percentage of the population with optical technology than it would be if the population was spread out over vast tracts of rural land.

Beyond population, the report points to Israel’s healthy gross domestic product per capita and widespread access to DSL and cable internet as signs that the country may be ready for optical networks. GDP indicates a stable economy with enough household income to support FTTH, while success with DSL and cable internet means the population is familiar with fixed broadband and may be amenable to an upgrade, according to the report.

In some cases, these advantages may not benefit a country because optical networks can be too expensive to build. The report said Israel may be able to overcome that concern.

“Even with these positives, FTTx networks are expensive to build. But Israel has an advantage here too: the majority of existing electricity and communications cabling infrastructure in the country is aerial, so there is no need for costly and disruptive trenching,” according to the Ovum report.

When looking at the potential for FTTx adoption over larger regions than individual nations, another Ovum study identified the Asia and Pacific region as the leading area for FTTx expansion. The study found the region is being led by China into a role as one of the leading FTTx centers of the world. While China’s current deployment level for optical networks represents a low percentage of the population, Ovum found the actual number of subscribers is still quite large. Overall, China’s substantial population and economic growth throughout the Asia and Pacific sector should fuel rapid FTTx deployment.

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China may account for half of the world´s fiber users by 2016

Posted on December 28, 2011. Filed under: fiber optic, Network, Technology |

According to a report from industry analyst Ovum, the fiber broadband market will be dominated by China by the year 2016. Most of this growth can be attributed to the sheer size of the Chinese population.

Ovum principal analyst and co-author of the report Julie Kunstler says that, “China is the biggest consumer of FTTx equipment right now and that is set to continue. A key driver of the enormous forecasted growth is the bandwidth and subscriber targets set by the Chinese government and service providers. In addition, the government is providing support for deployments in the form of credit and partnerships. Meanwhile, the significant greenfield construction projects that are under way in the country make the installation of FTTx networks easier.”

China’s fiber to the home penetration is currently very low at just four percent, but this number is still very close to Japan’s year-end 2010 figure at nearly 20 million. By the end of the first quarter of 2011 this number had already grown to over 22 million, according to Informa World Broadband Information Service statistics.

China’s leading native vendor is growing rapidly but continues to face opposition around the world. Politics seems to be playing a large role in the Chinese fiber business. Earlier this year, the company’s U.S. executive Ken Hu wrote an open letter denying that the company had any links to the Chinese military, while more recently it has faced a ban in Taiwan, as it got caught up in the dispute over the island’s sovereignty between its government and its nominal Chinese rulers.

The Chinese migration to fiber comes at a good time for the region. Another recent Ovum study regarding IPv6 found that the Asia/Pacific region currently leads the world in IPv4 to IPv6 transition. There are a variety of reasons for this rapid growth in the region.

The Asia Pacific is the top growth region in the world, manufactures many electronic devices and many companies see this as their key expanding region. Also, many multinational enterprises are growing their businesses in the region, which will influence the faster pace of IPv6 adoption globally. Finally, a sense of urgency in the Asia Pacific region has been prompted by the announcement by the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre that the free pool of IPv4 addresses has been effectively exhausted.

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Mechanical fiber splicing becoming more popular in Asia FTTH

Posted on December 28, 2011. Filed under: fiber optic, Technology |

As fiber deployment accelerates across North America, Asia and Europe, there is a need for field-installed drop cable connectivity solutions that are simple, low in cost and meet high service standards. While mechanical splices have traditionally been restricted to restoration and temporary-service applications in the United States, mechanical splicing at the drop has become a common element of current fiber to the home deployment in Japan, Korea and China.

According to a report by Interconnection world, millions of mechanically spliced FTTH cable drops have been installed in Asian countries in the past year. The users in Asia have been reporting that these splices are meeting performance standards, are less complex and faster than fusion splicing. They also require substantially lower capital investments.

The drop cable connection is a key component in FTTH, and dependable broadband service requires that subscriber drops be stable, efficiently installed, operationally flexible and inexpensive. These conflicting objectives call for innovative drop cable solutions that can satisfy the growing global demand for high speed services. Apparently, mechanically spliced FTTH cable drops have been fitting the bill in some of the world’s fastest growing new fiber markets the report said.

Fusion splicing has been the de facto standard for fiber feeder and distribution construction projects, so handheld fusion splicers are considered to be the standard for FTTH drop splicing. However, initial capital costs, maintenance costs, and installation speed are key points to consider according to the report.

Factory-terminated patch cords have gained acceptance in the United States because they eliminate the need for specialized equipment, and they are quick and easy to install. However, mechanical splicing can customize the cable installation to the need, similar to the copper drop installation. In addition, the tools for mechanical splicing have no power or environmental requirements, need no maintenance or calibration, and can be set up quickly the report said.

Fiber deployment in Asia is moving quickly as the region gears up to compete globally. A report from The Next Web says that China Telecom, the country’s state-owned telecommunications operator, plans to reach 30 million users for its fiber optic broadband service this year, and have the entire nation run on fiberoptic infrastructure in three years.

Under the Five-Year Plan, the Chinese government will focus heavily on developing the telecommunications infrastructure, with total investments reaching 2 trillion yuan (roughly $300 billion), about 80 percent of which is allocated for broadband development. The plan is to cover every city in China with the fiber broadband service in three years and convert all copper lines to fiber, China Daily reported.

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New optical technology could improve network capabilities

Posted on December 28, 2011. Filed under: fiber optic, Technology |

Optical cabling has really come into prevalence during the past few years, and many telecom providers are currently working to expand their optical networks around the globe. As the technology has become more pervasive in a number of sectors, researchers have been working to develop ways to improve optical cabling moving forward. Recently, experts from Southampton University in the United Kingdom made a major breakthrough that will likely impact the optical cabling industry and many other technology sectors, the Engineer reports.

Researchers that specialize in the field of optoelectronics recently discovered a new method of device manufacturing that uses phase change chalcogenides to improve the physical makeup of optical cabling, semiconductors and other key technologies, according to the news source.

Dan Hewak, professor at Southampton University, told the Engineer the new solution diversifies how phase change materials can be deployed in technological settings.

“With chalcogenides we can form the material into fibers, thin films, microspheres, nanophotonics – anything that you can make glass into, but they also have the electronic properties of semiconductors, so it’s almost a marriage of the two worlds,” Hewak told the news source.

Using chalcogenides to give optical cables phase change capabilities could dramatically improve optical network performance. Hewak told the Engineer current optical cabling is made primarily from silica glass, which is inactive and simply a transit path for light signals. With chalcogenides forming the glass for optical networks, the cabling itself is active and can be used to improve switching speeds, remove the need for amplifiers and repeaters, reduce network bottlenecks and improve overall performance, Hewak explained.

The research is currently at a relatively early stage where chalcogenide-based optical cables and semiconductors have been made and had their capabilities proven, but the manufacturing processes have not been refined to a point where mainstream companies will be able to take the technology and turn it into products that can be deployed on a large scale. However, the researchers recently received a major grant to work with Cambridge University to begin preparing chalcogenides-based technology for widespread use, the report said.

While optical cabling advances illustrate the technology’s rising potential, some telecom carriers are still concerned with costs and waiting for prices to drop before expanding their fiber to the home networks. According to a recent Infonetics Research report, many carriers are moving slowly to upgrade current FTTH networks due to high component costs.

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India is preparing to deploy a fiber network across the entire country

Posted on December 28, 2011. Filed under: fiber optic, Network | Tags: , , , , |

In a recent statement, Shri Kapil Sibal, India’s minister of communication and information technology announced that the Telecom Commission wants to build a network across India called the National Optical Fiber Network. This network will extend India’s existing fiber optic network from the district level to the village level, or gram panchayat level.

According to Sibel, “the proposed NOFN will enable effective and faster implementation of various mission mode e-governance projects amounting to approx 500 billion Indian rupee (US$11.25 billion) initiated by Department of Information Technology as well as delivery of a whole range of electronic services in the above areas by the private sector to citizen in rural areas.”

In April, the Indian government announced that, in addition to growing wired networks, India plans to support mobile broadband technology in the nation. India plans to grow to 160 million broadband connections in the next three years.
The first phase of the fiber program is estimated to cost 200 billion Indian rupee (U.S.$4.5 billion). This phase will be bankrolled by the Universal Service Obligation Fund. The private sector will probably contribute similar investments in order to improve the Indian infrastructure and to provide services to the Indian people, said Sibal.

Sibal said that that the fiber optic network will grow the Indian economy by providing jobs. In addition to business benefits, Sibal said that the new fiber network will help drive Indian government programs like e-health, e-banking, e-education and more.
India is not the only nation in the eastern hemisphere with large fiber ambitions. According to an Ovum report, the fiber optic broadband market could be dominated by the Chinese by the year 2016. Most of this growth can be attributed to the enormous size of the Chinese population.

According to Ovum principal analyst and co-author of the report Julie Kunstler, “China is the biggest consumer of FTTx equipment right now and that is set to continue. A key driver of the enormous forecasted growth is the bandwidth and subscriber targets set by the Chinese government and service providers. In addition, the government is providing support for deployments in the form of credit and partnerships. Meanwhile, the significant greenfield construction projects that are under way in the country make the installation of FTTx networks easier.”

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BSNL offers city 100 Mbps with fibre network to Pune

Posted on December 26, 2011. Filed under: fiber optic | Tags: , , |

The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), Pune has come up with a “fibre to the home” (FTTH) service in Pune, which will offer its customers bandwidth speed up to 100 Mbps (mega bytes per second).

This was disclosed by BSNL principal general manager, VK Mahendra at a press conference held in the city at the BSNL customer service centre on Saturday.

He said the FTTH network is empowered with a gigabit capable passive optical network (GPON) that will help offer broadband services at very quick speeds to its clients.

The monthly charges for these services range from Rs2,999 to Rs83,999. The GPON services will be provided through optical fibre cables that have high speed downloading and uploading capacity.

He said the service was targeted at high value customers and the service required multi-storeyed buildings and also sophisticated infrastructure.

“We are looking for commercial clients and clients who can afford this service,” he said.

According to Mahendra, a trial service of FTTH had been carried out at the ICC Trade Towers. “In the upcoming three months, we will target 1,000 customers,” he added.

Residential locations like the Magarpatta City, Clover Heights and Kasturkunj are considered to be optimum sites for carrying out these services.

“The service requires optical fibre cables rather than the copper wires and hence we need the infrastructure to maintain it,” he said.

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Hello world!

Posted on December 26, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Welcome to After you read this, you should delete and write your own post, with a new title above. Or hit Add New on the left (of the admin dashboard) to start a fresh post.

Here are some suggestions for your first post.

  1. You can find new ideas for what to blog about by reading the Daily Post.
  2. Add PressThis to your browser. It creates a new blog post for you about any interesting  page you read on the web.
  3. Make some changes to this page, and then hit preview on the right. You can always preview any post or edit it before you share it to the world.
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