issue in January
I am a regular reader of your esteemed magazine and
was glad to read the January 2003 issue. It was very
enlightening to learn the trends in the opinion of different
CIOs in India. There are a few issues in some of the
articles which I strongly feel should be given due consideration.
With reference to the article titled 'More options for
WAN media' written by C.N. Ram, Head, Information Technology,
HDFC Bank, international satellites can now also be
used for providing VSAT connectivity in India. Leased
lines are also emerging as an attractive proposition
for Internet connectivity even after considering the
QoS issues. These will further help Indian enterprises
fulfill its communication needs. A few TRAI consultation
papers can be viewed at www.trai.gov.in/consultation.htm.
The article titled 'e-Security: The way ahead' written
by Vishwajeet Deshmukh, Country Manager-SAARC, Network
Associates explained a lot about IS audits and was brilliant.
We cannot undermine the importance of BS7799. It's probably
the best standard in Information Security Management.
Thirteen companies from sectors like finance, manufacturing,
and retail have developed this standard. But although
the article mentioned all the components of IS audits,
from firewalls to encryption, it missed out on the criticality
of viruses. According to KPMG's Information Security
Survey 2002, 22 percent of the companies surveyed found
viruses as the most important security breach. They
have estimated that around 68 average days were lost
every year and average revenue lost was $ 162,000 every
year. Overall, the magazine provided an amazing insight
on the importance of Information Technology in a growing
and competitive scenario. These articles are a candid
glimpse of the things to come in the IT industry.
Thank you for your interesting letter. I am very glad
that you found the January 2003 issue rewarding. Your
points of view are very inspiring and important to us.
I hope our future issues will inspire you even more
and we will hear from you.
I am very impressed with your story on software licensing
policies in the September 2002 issue of Network Magazine.
I have a question regarding the preparation of a software
contract with special reference to banking software.
The question is about Gap Analysis. Should Gap Analysis
(identifying exact needs of the bank vs. the ability
of the software to meet such needs) be done after signing
the contract or before the contract? If it is to be
performed after the contract is signed, how can the
documentation of the tailored functions (modules) be
made binding in the contract? Especially since it is
not a part of the vendor's standard documentation. If
the Gap Analysis is to be performed before the contract,
how can the payment be arranged or negotiated with the
vendor? Is this because there is no commitment from
the customer to make a purchase from the vendor? I am
not sure if vendors may accept to do the gap analysis
without being assured of the deal.
Ayubu H. Kamti,
Tanzania Postal Bank
Dar Es Salaam
The article can be viewed at:
Dear Ayubu Kamti,
Thank you for appreciating my article and sending us
a query. I had forwarded it to Manoj Kunkalienkar, Executive
Director, ICICI Infotech. Here is his reply:
for the query. These are the stages in the software
contract finalization process.
Request for Information: This is the first stage where
a bank shortlists companies and products that meets
Request for Proposal: In this stage the client will
clearly indicate its requirements to the vendor by
answering a detailed questionnaire. This questionnaire
will help the vendor judge the 'Gap' between the available
solution and the product offered. The
vendor may also offer a week's free system study.
Usually, at this stage, around 70-80 percent of the
'Gap' is clearly determined.
Purchase Order: This is the final stage when the client
signs the contract. A detailed evaluation of the Gap
is done at this stage. I hope this answers your query.
Let me know if you need any more clarification.
Your article 'Meeting bandwidth needs' which featured
Bharti Telenet, was very interesting and informative.
It's encouraging to see that companies are relying on
optical networks, because the reliability of such a
network will directly translate to customer benefits.
Can you please feature more case studies of companies
that have deployed optical networks?
Thank you for appreciating the article. It's true that
a stable and reliable service provider network will
ultimately translate to better service and facilities
for the customer. It is encouraging to see that you
are interested to read more case studies on optical
networking. I am sure that we will feature some more
in later issues.
LATENCY IN VSAT
I read your article 'Connectivity: The VSAT way' and
am very impressed with it since it is very informative.
I seek your advice on some connectivity issues faced
by my organization. My company, Sipco Paints in Saudi
Arabia, is a part of one of the leading group of companies
by the Muhaidib Group. We have 36 companies in the group,
and have diversified in many business areas. And these
companies are spread over in all the GCC countries.
We are implementing Oracle E-Business Suite 11i for
our business processes. And we intend to connect all
our branches spread in the Middle East. I am responsible
for the entire connectivity operations of our branches.
After analyzing various solutions on the basis of cost,
stability, and scalability, we chose VSAT and feel it
can cater to our needs very well. We have installed
VSAT terminals in all our branches and are connected.
We have also established a VPN between our branches.
Since the volume of transactions between our branches
is very less now, we opted for very low bandwidth. We
use 64 Kbps in the head office and 32 Kbps in all our
branches. Now, we face the problem of latency. When
we communicate with the VPN, it takes 2400-2800 milliseconds
for send and reply. My peers feel that latency in VSAT
is always high and cannot be reduced. But, according
to your article, latency can be reduced to 270 milliseconds.
We are very pressed for time and the project implementation
is almost over, and we have to be online with all our
branches with the Oracle application. Is there a solution
for the latency issue?
Dear Srikanth Mahalingam,
Thank you for writing to me. I am glad the article has
been of use to you. I have sent your queries to Joyjit
Ghose at Comsat max. He has replied with the following:
Here are some basic clarifications:
1. The 'propagation delay' on a VSAT has always been
270 milliseconds. This is basically the time taken for
the signal to reach from one point to the other.
2. Latency on the other hand is typically measured by
considering the time taken by a data packet to travel
across the network and the acknowledgment received.
'Ping' is perhaps the most well known tool used for
this purpose. The differentiation between the two terms
tends to blur.
3. Typical Ping times in a Mesh topology VSAT (point-to-point,
single hop) is around 700-750 milliseconds, and in a
Star topology (multi-point to point to multi-point,
double hop) is around 1250-1300 milliseconds. This applies
to a 32 byte packet on a Free Network. A Free Network
is key, otherwise normally all systems would give 'ping'
traffic the lowest priority, and indicate erroneous
4. I am not very sure about what the exact application
or measurement criteria is in your case. I am also a
bit confused about the 'VPN' which you are trying to
establish. VSATs essentially provide you with a private
network and you don't need a VPN. Maybe you are adding
overheads which can be avoided.
5. If you are talking about 'response times' of your
applications, it depends a lot on factors like architecture
and number of users. It's difficult to comment on the
reasons for the delay but 270ms cannot be achieved as
a round trip delay, unless the satellite is neareror
the speed of light increases!