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Issue of March 2003 
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A CHANGE IN PROCESS

Dear Brian,
Congratulations to you and the Network Magazine team for the nice cover feature 'Shopping for Servers' in the February 2003 issue. I was Head-IT, at Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) (1989-97) and was responsible for installing the Integrated Management Information System, including the Vessel Traffic Management System (Automatic Ships Surveillance System) for the entire Mumbai harbour. Since then I have served as IT Consultant to various ports (Cochin, Jawaharlal Nehru and Vizag), for deploying their IT infrastructure. I am now Consultant to MbPT.
The hardware sizing process has undergone major change in the last decade. You have clearly described various factors involved in this operation. This article will certainly help IS managers while selecting servers for their organizations. However, in government organizations like ports, the procurement of such servers is invariably done through 'tendering'. This requires giving exact specifications for the servers in the tender documents. Earlier, the target server configuration was subjected to 'customized benchmark tests' and suitable importance was given to the test results during the technical evaluation. This method was rather arbitrary and also time consuming. Later in the nineties, the practice followed was to specify the third-party benchmarks such as SPECint, SPECfp and OLTP benchmarks such as TPCC ratings. The audited TPCC ratings are no longer available for most of the RISC-based servers today. In view of the above, while procuring servers for MbPT recently, we selected specific models based on detailed consultation with OEMs like IBM, HP and SUN.

Regards
Satish N. Nayak,
Systems Adviser, Mumbai Port Trust

Dear Satish Nayak,
Thank you very much for appreciating our feature on servers. It was interesting to read how the process for procuring servers has evolved over time. Thank you for sharing this with our readers. Since benchmarks and tendering processes are seldom used when purchasing servers (and other hardware), Network Magazine will continue to offer advise on such matters, through more such stories in the months ahead.


MILITARY WLANs

Dear Minu,
I'm working as a Deputy Engineer at BEL, Bangalore. If we want to deploy a WLAN for military applications do we need to use a military band or the regular ISM band?

Regards
Thilaga Lakshmi U.
Dear Thilaga Lakshmi U,

Thank you for your letter. Since you are interested in WLAN security you can read more on WLAN security at: www.iss.net/wireless/WLAN_FAQ.php I had also forwarded your query to Colonel S.P. Kochhar VSM, Col GS (Sigs and IT), Army War College, Mhow. Here is his reply: The transmission band you want to use depends on the requirements of the user organization, which in turn will be dictated by security concerns. If you are developing a system, then possibly you should be working in the military band with necessary security. Even in the ISM band there may be a requirement of the right grade of security. However, a definite answer can only be obtained from the RFP issued by the user.

 
     
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