North American Network Operators Group|
Date Prev | Date Next | Date Index | Thread Index | Author Index | Historical
Re: OT: Novel uses for old hardware?
Over here in Iraq, I've seen people use new SOHO gear ($30 NAT router/switch, etc.), and I've been moving them up to used low-end cisco gear and linux/freebsd PCs for some things. The big contractors bring in expensive cutting-edge gear which doesn't work very well (because it's still so new), especially for VoIP (IP phones on the desktop really are not as well understood as multiline digital PBXes with VoIP CO circuits). The advantage of soho type new equipment, vs. equivalently priced old enterprise gear, is it is a LOT easier to train people on it. We're thinking about setting up a proper networking school, maybe trying to do vendor cert prep, since we have 100 or so iraqi engineers (with cs/it SB/SM degrees, often), but that is something for the future. We're a (successful) commercial company, but I'm also very interested in serving unprofitable markets through some kind of non-profit efforts. We have a lot of VSAT experience, and are looking at fixed wireless for some things, so if anyone could help us serve some additional users who we can't justify from a purely business basis, I'd be interested. There are some big organizations like USAID/DAI doing internet cafes across the country, which is great, but I've found some of the best "charity" is grass-roots, inexpensive/free The things which I think will help the most: #1) Moving this country off NAT. I'm trying to get a LIR set up, and once we do that, I am not going to be shy about using public IPs where appropriate. I plan to do some slightly more advanced than default-to-vsat routing at 1000+ sites. Donations of routable IP space would also be appreciated. /19 or so would probably be good for now. I'd be happy to assign space to commercial competitors as well as others on a non-discriminatory basis. #2) Increase in-country peering...right now, almost all sites are little islands with a vsat route back to EU or US, so two systems in the same office might have two vsat hops and a fiber backhaul to peer at somewhere in california. #3) Technical training -- any assistance from vendors in this would be most appreciated. cisco would be particularly good, but even just a general IP/ethernet/open systems, or MCSE even, would be a useful practical program for iraqis with a fair bit of theoretical background. #4) Transponder capacity -- any "interesting"/non-commercial users will end up using very pricey VSAT bandwidth, and I only have a very limited amount of this spare, after commercial customers are taken care of (sat bandwidth for most systems is kept at very high utilization...people will eat all you put in front of them). If there are any companies with "event" transponders, etc. with mideast coverage, I'd be happy to do the ground station work to take advantage of that capacity, on a pre-emptable basis, for community networking. #5) Software -- r-t-l, i18n issues, as well as general http caching proxies, anti-virus proxies and devices to mitigate the effects of viruses/worms on very small, very expensive uplinks, etc. Old enterprise gear is probably the least useful assistance available right now, at least in general, but there are probably exceptions. Good test/measurement gear, training lab equipment, tools, and RF/microwave are probably the main ones. Shipping is pretty expensive, about USD 4/kg by air, but for bulk consolidated shipments, there's probably the land route from Kuwait or Turkey. Iraq is a slightly special case, since there are a lot of big companies operating over here, and a well-educated population which is not actually inherently poor, but I think a lot of this would apply elsewhere. We should have an Iraqi non-profit org soon, but for US tax purposes, I'm sure there are US non-profits which could be used to channel any kind of contributions. The best way to make it successful long-term is to get local tech/business people involved, and basically serve as investors-with-equipment in their project, and reward them (with more equipment, etc.) for meeting certain goals -- either providing specific services, or generating revenue in business which would not be commercially viable without free capital equipment, etc. Quoting John Ferriby <firstname.lastname@example.org>: > > Is anyone aware of lists or sites dedicated to novel > uses for old hardware? > > I'm trying to figure out what to do with some old working > gear that is valued practically as scrap. e.g. old lucent/ascend > max 4002 units. Me thinks they are 6 year old antiques. -- Ryan Lackey [RL960-RIPE AS24812] email@example.com +1 800 723 0127 OpenPGP DH 4096: B8B8 3D95 F940 9760 C64B DE90 07AD BE07 D2E0 301F