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Introduction to Collaboration Technologies


Title: PowerPoint Presentation Last modified by: Brian Corrie Created Date: 1/1/1601 12:00:00 AM Document presentation format: On-screen Show Other titles – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Introduction to Collaboration Technologies

Introduction to Collaboration Technologies
  • Brian Corrie
  • Collaboration and Visualization Coordinator
  • WestGrid/IRMACS
  • Simon Fraser University

  • Introduction
  • Collaboration technologies
  • AccessGrid

The process
  • Session being delivered using AccessGrid
  • Distributed, multi-site session
  • Each site has a node operator
  • Questions
  • Let the node operator know
  • Make sure you have a microphone
  • Identify the site and who you are
  • Brian Corrie at SFU

What is collaboration?
  • The process of working together to
  • accomplish a task
  • Synchronous collaboration
  • Working together at the same time
  • Distributed collaboration
  • Working with collaborators at a distance
  • Primarily focused on IP network based

Why collaboration in the computational sciences?
  • The purpose of computing is insight, not
  • Richard Hamming
  • Collaboration environments
  • Bring the right people together, with the right
    data, at the right time!
  • In the computational science context
  • Big science distributed science (E.g. high
    energy physics)
  • Science is becoming multi-disciplinary
  • More effective research through
  • Communicating with remote colleagues
  • Creating more effective research groups

Levels of collaboration
  • Teleconferencing
  • Instant messaging
  • Video conferencing
  • Desktop video conferencing
  • Video conferencing rooms
  • Application sharing
  • Integrated collaboration tools

Increasing Complexity
Use the right tool for the task!
Social aspectsof collaboration
  • Goal to make collaboration effective
  • WestGrid can help you
  • Use the right tools for the job
  • Dont go over the top with technology!
  • As you start to use the tools
  • Learn what works and what doesnt
  • Learn what you should and shouldnt do
  • Adapt to technology

  • Introduction
  • Collaboration technologies
  • AccessGrid

  • Phone colleague and collaborate
  • Surprisingly effective - Dont dismiss it!
  • Multi-point teleconferencing
  • Easy and it works
  • Can cost money

Instant messaging
  • Instant communication with short text messages
  • Rapid exchange of information
  • Feeling of presence
  • Spontaneous communication
  • - Extended communications not effective
  • Free services
  • WestGrid runs a Jabber server
  • Clients
  • Wide range of free clients

Audio/Video IM tools(desktop video conferencing)
  • Instant messaging with audio (video)
  • /- Same as with IM clients
  • Allow real time voice/video (extended
  • - Reliability
  • - Primarily point-to-point
  • - Platform specific
  • Requirements
  • Webcam, headset/mic
  • Examples
  • Skype, iChat, IM Clients

Application sharing
  • Ability to share what you are working on
  • Desktop application sharing
  • Shares entire desktop or specific applications
  • Pixel scraping, requires reasonable bandwidth
  • IM Tools, Bridgit, VNC,
  • Collaborative applications
  • Designed for collaboration
  • Shared whiteboards, editors, powerpoint,

Video conferencing
  • Video conferencing rooms
  • Rooms designed for collaboration
  • Projectors, microphones, comfortable environment
  • Typically H323 based technologies
  • Good quality audio and video codecs
  • Interoperability (Polycom, Tandberg, )
  • Using a room
  • Need to make reservations, need to go to the room
  • May need technical support

Integrated collaboration tools
  • Commercial products
  • IM Tools (iChat, MS Messenger)
  • IM, presence, voice, video, documents, apps,
  • WebEx, Groove, Bridgit, Polycom Office
  • Hosted collaboration suites IM, voice, video,
  • Research efforts
  • VRVS
  • Web based, IM, voice, video, app sharing,
  • Widely used in some scientific communities
  • AccessGrid
  • To be discussed

  • Introduction
  • Collaboration technologies
  • AccessGrid

What is AccessGrid (AG)?
  • Project led by Argonne National Lab
  • Collaboration tool for scientific research
  • Targeted at group-to-group collaboration
  • Large scale distributed meetings
  • Collaborative work sessions
  • Distributed conferences
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials

AccessGrid features
  • High quality full duplex audio
  • Multiple large format displays
  • Full sized video of speaker
  • Simultaneous viewing of all sites
  • Multiple video cameras
  • Groups and multiple viewpoints
  • Collaborative software
  • Sharing and interacting with data
  • Use of advanced networking
  • Multicast, high bandwidth

AccessGrid Node _at_ SFU
The WestGrid Collaboration Infrastructure
  • Collaboration rooms at each site
  • Multi-screen, multi-camera environments
  • Support a range of technologies
  • Many shapes and sizes
  • Support desktop collaboration
  • WestGrid infrastructure
  • Venue servers, network bridges
  • Operational, research, and meeting venues
  • WestGrid collaboration support
  • Support people at each institution
  • WestGrid developed tools
  • Visualization, application sharing,

The WestGridCollaboration Infrastructure
  • What is it used for?
  • Research group support
  • E.g. high-energy physics community
  • Research dissemination
  • E.g. Coast-to-Coast, lectures, PhD
  • HPC Training
  • Intro, Grid, Collab, Vis, MPI, OpenMP, Data, PDEs
  • Operational support
  • Site leads, CV group, RAC, Finance

AccessGrid Status
  • AccessGrid version 3.1
  • Increased feature set, better usability,
  • Media tools have improved feature set
  • Version 3.1b1 (June 29, 2007)
  • Version 3.1b2 (October 9, 2007)
  • Version 3.1 should be released soon.
  • WestGrid AccessGrid status
  • Currently running AccessGrid 3.1b1 on servers
  • Supports all AG 3.x clients
  • Moving to AG 3.1 final when released

The AccessGrid Model
  • Virtual room (venue) based model
  • Meeting rooms, research labs
  • Meeting rooms scope communication tools
  • VenueServer manages access to venues
  • VenueClient is the user interface to AG
  • Communication tools
  • Audio, video, chat, presentations

Venue servers
  • Venue Server manages virtual meeting rooms
  • Typically at a virtual organization level (e.g.
  • The WestGrid Venue Server (and The Lobby)
  • AG 3.x https//venueserver.westgrid.ca8000/Venue
  • Main hang out for WestGrid AG people
  • Other lobbies are accessible from here
  • Often find video feeds and people here for
  • Other Venue Servers (Argonne, NCSA, )

The AG VenueClient
  • Venues are virtual meeting rooms
  • Schedule meetings in venues
  • Venues used for specific purposes
  • Venue exits
  • Doors to other related venues
  • Venues provide structure
  • Navigation
  • Use doors to move
  • My Venues a list of favorites

Venues and their attributes
  • Venue attributes
  • Participants
  • The people that areconnected to a venue
  • Data
  • Data (documents, images) thatare relevant for
    the meeting
  • Services
  • URLs for information
  • Application sessions
  • Shared applications that arebeing used in the

AG Networking
  • Multicast vs Unicast
  • Multicast Network infrastructure routes data
  • Supported on WestGrid core and CANARIE/ORAN
  • Typically not supported across campus networks
  • Unicast
  • Works over almost all networks (NAT/firewalls?)
  • Not as efficient (traffic may be duplicated)
  • Multicast-unicast bridging
  • Bridge sits on the edge of multicast network
  • Bridges are provided at several locations in
  • WestGrid users should choose unicast networking

What is an AG node?
  • Devices (computers, cameras, displays) that in
    combination provide AG functionality
  • Node manager
  • Manages the computers in a node
  • Service manager
  • Manages the services on a computer
  • Node services
  • Provide AG services to a node
  • Often interface with an external device (camera,

AG Nodes
PIG AG nodes
  • Personal Interface to the Grid (PIG)
  • Single computer, single user AG nodes
  • You were getting worried werent you
  • Much simpler than room nodes
  • Single web cam for video
  • Headset/microphone for audio
  • One node manager, one service manager
  • DEFAULT configuration when installed

  • WestGrid Collaboration Page
  • Using AccessGrid
  • HowTo documents (build a node, install AG, use
  • WestGrid AccessGrid facilities
  • Main AccessGrid pages
  • The Video Development Initiative Cookbook

  • Questions/Demo

Node management
  • Service managers
  • Need a service manager on each machine
  • Service managers manage node services
  • Node services
  • Add node services to service managers
  • Node configurations
  • Store node configurations for specific purposes

Audio service - RAT
  • Standard audio service is RAT
  • Started automatically
  • Sends/receives audio
  • Using RAT
  • Lists connected parties in window
  • Names are white when sending
  • Press talk button to transmit audio
  • LEDs indicate audio levels
  • Use sliders to adjust audio levels
  • Change device being used for input
  • Press on arrows beneath Talk button

Video service - VIC
  • Standard video service
  • Started automaticallyby video service
  • Producer asks whichdevice to use
  • Using VIC
  • Thumbnail view
  • Use number keys to change display columns
  • Click on video thumbnail to display window
  • Use s, m, and l to change size of window
  • Autoplace
  • Tiles windows across screen

Video service VIC (continued)
  • Configuring VIC
  • Rate control
  • Frames per second, bandwidth
  • Transmit toggle
  • Encoder
  • CODEC being used (h261)
  • Quality level of video stream being sent
  • Video device being used for video capture
  • Configuring drivers
  • Depends on platform
  • Can impact performance (default typically good)
  • Video config for AG is typically acceptable

Adding data to a venue
  • Adding data is simple
  • Right click on the Data tab in the Venue
  • Select the file and say OK
  • Venue client will do the right thing
  • Will open the appropriate app if it exists
  • Note that the application is NOT shared

Adding a sharedapplication to a venue
  • Shared applications
  • Provides a collaboration capability
  • Specific to the venue
  • Shared powerpoint, shared desktop, shared
    visualization, etc.
  • Adding a shared application
  • Shared apps are registered with Venue Client
  • Right click Application Sessions
  • Lists shared apps that are available
  • Select the shared app desired

Starting a shared app
  • Starting
  • Select a shared app that is registered
  • Right click the shared app and choose Open
  • Using
  • Depends on the shared application

Shared presentations
  • Presenter adds presentation shared app
  • Presentation resides in Data section
  • Presenter maps shared app to presentation
  • Observers simply open the shared app
  • Presentation starts automatically
  • Presentation goes to the correct slide
  • Slide changes are automatically propagated

Shared desktop
  • Provides a easy to use desktop sharing capability
  • Start the shared application
  • Presented with a list of usersthat are sharing
    their desktop
  • Can provide your desktopto other users
  • Can view other usersdesktop