[talk-ph] SOTM 2012 feedback

Michael Collinson mike at ayeltd.biz
Sat Sep 15 10:38:19 BST 2012

Andre's observations are pretty much the same ones I would make, and in 
much more detail. One other thing to understand is the topology of 
international connections to the Philippines. It looks as though ALL 
cable heads go into Luzon island: Batangas (APCN-2, EAC-C2C, SeaMeWe-3), 
Cavite (EAC-C2C), Nagsugbu (Southeast Asia Japan Cable), Currimao 
(Asia-America Gateway Cable System), Ballesteros (Tata TGN-Intra Asia), 
Daet (Asia Submarine-cable Express (ASE)). The last one, ASE, is the one 
that opened in August and significantly boosts capacity.  It connects to 
directly to Hong Kong,  Singapore and Japan.

Andre also asks the important question, what is actually needed? Here 
are my suggestions as to key factors and possible answers:

1) Reducing latency for general mapping for as many Filipinos as possible.

It looks as though all Philippine mapper's traffic would get routed 
through a network in or around Metro Manila no matter what.  Therefore 
from a latency point of view alone, and assuming PLDT routing, um, 
peculiarities, could be resolved then Manila would be the best place to 
put a server. A close second would be Hong Kong ... and might be better 
as per Eugene's point.

2) Be able to keep running in the event of a natural calamity (if the 
community feels this is an important function to have).

Here, key risk are: the data centre gets hit; connection to the data 
centre gets hit; international connection(s) get hit.  From that 
perspective, it is perhaps best to keep the server outside the country 
as there are enough geographically separate international cable heads to 
have a low probability that all international connectivity goes down at 
once.  Hong Kong is seismically stable and infrastructure is built to 
withstand super-typhoons. I assume the same for Singapore.

3) Be in a well run data centre with good connectivity at the lowest cost.

As a spiritual Illocano :-), (I am a UK Yorkshireman, which is almost 
the same thing),  I indeed always put things in the US. Cheap and plenty 
of support.  The USA is probably too far away for this application, but 
Rackspace in Hong Kong looks interesting. The alternative might be a 
sweet-heart deal in Manila, perhaps at a call centre??

4) Foster a technical community.

To answer Eugene's point about no one in the OSMPH community is 
experienced enough with running and maintaining a server.  I see that as 
actually part of the point of the exercise, to be able to provide a 
foundation for that to grew.  From that perspective, Metro Manila would 
be good location if physical access were a possibility. A university 
perhaps?  If physical access is not available, then it doesn't really 
matter where the server is as long as you can ssh into it and have 
reasonably low-cost support for hardware adjustments and in the event 
that restarts and the like do not work.

Hope that helps discussion,



On 15/09/2012 09:48, andre at enthropia.com wrote:
> Hi guys,
> Just happened to read this digest when I saw this.
> I am not an expert on the local internet infrastructure but from the 
> people I have talked to, what I understand is, PLDT owns it all and 
> anyone else gets routed out of the country first before coming back in.
> There is a service of PLDT called invitro where PLDT is directly 
> connected to all local ISPs. It's not cheap to say the least. If you 
> want to figure out the logistics and pricing I can put you in touch 
> with Wilson Chua who runs a datacenter here and Bitstop Networking 
> Solutions.
> Is there an actual connection issue with loading the FR server. What 
> is the latency from various ISPs here in the Philippines? Could it be 
> resolved by running on Amazon Web Services from Singapore? Or perhaps 
> renting physical servers from Rackspace in Hong Kong?
> Would we want to do it the NGO way via working out a partnership with 
> Smart/PLDT/ or Globe or go at it the retail customer way and asking 
> for the best discount possible. Lots of scenarios are possible but 
> what is actually needed?
> Regards,
> Andre
> On 9/15/12 8:49 AM, Eugene Alvin Villar wrote:
>> Hello Mike,
>> Your proposal is actually interesting.
>> However, I am not actually aware of anyone in the OSMPH community who
>> is experienced enough with running and maintaining a server here in
>> the Philippines. The usual strategy I know is that people buy hosting
>> services from data centers in located the United States.
>> Also, I am not familiar with the state of the Internet backbone in the
>> Philippines (PHNET). I'm not 100% sure but I've read of stories where
>> if you want to access a local server in the Philippines, you might
>> sometimes get routed first to the United States depending on which
>> Internet Service Provider you are currently on so having a local
>> server might not actually help with any netowrk latency issues that
>> OSM France's solution hopes to solve.
>> Maybe the people from Enthropia Philippines (who is generously
>> sponsoring the openstreetmap.org.ph website) can provide some input?
>> Regards,
>> Eugene
>> On Sat, Sep 15, 2012 at 12:28 AM, maning sambale
>> <emmanuel.sambale at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Dear Mike,
>>> Im glad you met Mario in SOTM2012. Also, congrats on finally getting 
>>> over
>>> with the license change.
>>> On to the topic, I think the idea of a server is good if this can 
>>> help with
>>> poor connections, especially if it can be used for disaster mapping 
>>> efforts.
>>> Maybe we can even design our own map style. :-)
>>> Anyway, I know very little about servers so I leave it to others 
>>> here to
>>> discuss possibilities and challenges on such a project with osm.fr
>>> Maning Sambale (mobile)
>>> On Sep 14, 2012 11:24 PM, "Michael Collinson" <mike at ayeltd.biz> wrote:
>>>> Hallo Maning and all and to Mario Baras who was at SOTM 2012 and is on
>>>> this list.
>>>> I see from Maning's post to the general talk list that he is already
>>>> familar with the French http://live.openstreetmap.fr/. Now here is an
>>>> interesting thing.  OSM France have also built and are operating a 
>>>> caching
>>>> download/proxy upload server for editing.  It down loads diffs 
>>>> every minute.
>>>> JOSM users can re-direct their editors to use it instead of the London
>>>> server. There is also a way to trick Potlatch into using it. For 
>>>> French and
>>>> many European users it provides much better response. When you 
>>>> upload, then
>>>> it sends your edit to London. It has been running for 6 months and 
>>>> appears
>>>> to work correctly.
>>>> And then another thing:  OpenStreetMap France also have funding to do
>>>> things. But they cannot spend it in France. Dot, dot, dot.
>>>> So I asked Christian Quest, "If there was interest, could they fund a
>>>> similar server in the Philippines?" and got a very positive 
>>>> response with
>>>> the caveat that a proposal has to be presented to the funding 
>>>> organisation
>>>> and they can say yes or no. The proposal could consist of a) 
>>>> server(s), b)
>>>> travel by OpenStreetMap France to the Philippines to train (perhaps 
>>>> not
>>>> vital but good to create a working relationship) and c) funding to 
>>>> put it in
>>>> a high availability data centre.
>>>> So, any interest?
>>>> In addition to helping poor connections (comments?), I see it as a 
>>>> way to
>>>> build up a strong system administration team to complement the mapping
>>>> community. The Philippine and Japan communities are probably the 
>>>> strongest
>>>> in Asia right now.  I would also suggest that it could be used as a 
>>>> H.O.T
>>>> server to be used in natural calamities if anyone is interested in 
>>>> getting
>>>> involved there ... that might also improve the chances of funding.
>>>> Mike

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