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Yorkshire & Humberside Grid for Learning (YHGfL) Thread, Training in Regional Broadband Consortiums (RBC); Must admit direct YHGFL talks would be good then it would give YHGFL a clear picture of what our issues ...
  1. #16

    john's Avatar
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    Must admit direct YHGFL talks would be good then it would give YHGFL a clear picture of what our issues are as fine yes 1 school isn't really going to change the face of it, BUT if LEAs are not sharing and communicating then you may find that you spot a common complaint and actually its the LEAs systems giving YOU the bad name and reputation due to poor implementation by LEAs.

  2. Thanks to john from:

    ayoward (1st May 2009)

  3. #17
    ayoward's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogerblue View Post
    At last it is dawning on the YHGfL that they need to have 'DIRECT' communication with the end users, not empire building LEA staff.

    Have you ever thought of actually visiting schools yourself?
    meetings with LEA staff and schools are of limited value as school staff will not speak freely in frront of the LEA staff, especially those who according to you are supposed to keep us informed (and by all the edugeek posts clearly are not).
    We do visit schools. I personally have been to schools in Calderdale, Doncaster & Sheffield. We will visit just about anywhere we are invited (as long as we have the assurance of safe passage and an understanding that we will have to arrange a strategic phone call back to the office with a code word for if we are under duress ) Our eLearning team are visiting with your teaching & learning colleagues on an alomost daily basis.

    I will quote now from our headed paper:
    "YHGfL Foundation is a controlled company under Part V of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 and a company limited by guarantee registered in England, Reg No 4611988. It is controlled by: Calderdale MBC, Doncaster MBC, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Kingston upon Hull CC, Kirklees MC, Leeds CC, North East Lincs Council, North Lincs Council, North Yorkshire CC, Rotherham MBC, Sheffield CC, Wakefield City MDC"

    The LAs fund us and control us. Indeed they pay my mortgage. We do as we are asked. We make recommendations as to how we think things should be run and on any changes we wish to make, but ultimate sanction is with our board which is made up of representatives from all consortium members listed above. Our interaction with schools has to be in harmony with LA wishes.

    Quote Originally Posted by rogerblue View Post
    For example why on earth is 'tyres' on the bad word list???

    try typing tyres into google search!

    i asked, reply was because of the Pirelli calendar PMSL so why not block PIrelli then? the calendar itself is no worse than page 3 of the sun that all our kids can see in the local shop as they call in for their fags!
    I think you will find that Pirelli IS blocked. We were asked to block it by some schools whose students were actively searching for the calendar. Pirelli images however aren't always just limited to the Pirelli site, so Pirelli will have quite a high word score on the content filter naughtiness scoring. You probably aren't privy to the way that words are scored through the content filtering, so I am attaching a jpg of the way that your particular search is scored. As you will see, any search for tyres inevitably brings up a link to the Pirelli site, that will send the score over the limit and ban the search result page.

    While I accept the argument that the calendar is no worse than what they could see in the newsagent, our responsibilty while running this EDUCATION network (i.e. a network to assist in teaching & learning students, not a network for staff to book their holiday, do their internet banking and do a price comparison on the cheapest place to find the new PS3 game.), to protect our children while they are in our care and educate them for when they are not. We cannot control what they can see at home on their unfiltered internet access or on their mobile phones with internet connectivity where they will have access to the whole internet in all its glory, but I am sure taking your argument about the newsagent to its logical conclusion that you are not advocating removing all filtering purely because they can access similar content elsewhere?

    Quote Originally Posted by rogerblue View Post
    Take this message from another thread


    You should be able to get on it now. JANET had power issues at Leeds Uni which interupted acces to Y&H systems and also meant we couldn't access the web from within the grid. They need to sort out the BGP which should have re routed all our traffic to Leeds Met as our failover link. Your LA will be getting a major incident report about it.


    I got an email warning me of this from my LEA saying saturday 7 to 9 am should not affect YHGfL services anyway.

    However it was on friday (mistake anyway) and it did!
    Different issues actually and not related. Purely coincidental. The one you refer to on the Saturday was a router IOS upgrade which passed without hitch. The issue on the Friday was due to large sections of Leeds being without power from the National Grid for a considerable time, but we digress....

    Quote Originally Posted by rogerblue View Post
    who are 'they' who need to sort the BGP if not the YHGfL then why is the grid so dependant on others!
    "They" are JANET or the Joint Academic Network. This is the UK's education and research network who connect all of the country's universities and colleges together for communication and for onward connection to the internet. It has on Super JANET 5, a 40 gig backbone running up and down the country.

    Typically in most LAs, schools will connect to a local network which will normally terminate in a central point at some council building or other. Within that building will be a connection on to the Y&H Grid network. This is a network run on Affiniti fibre around the region, but is mostly managed and configured by ourselves. The Grid has two 1 gig pipes into JANET, one at Leeds Uni and one at Leeds Met for resilience. We run mostly EIGRP around the Grid and internal BGP on our JANET links. JANET themselves run the external BGP on their side of the network, and it was an issue with this BGP that was the problem that prevented our normally asynchronous links (we send traffic out of one pipe and receive it through the other thus getting the best use out of our links) from running in synchronous/failover mode (sending and receiving out of the one pipe that was up during the power cut). This of course has now been resolved. We use JANET as they are part of the National Education Network and therefore we have access to content not easily available if we were using BT (as LAs used to) or Easynet or NTL. Certainly the new National Digital resource Bank coming on stream very soon will only to my knowledge be available through the NEN. JANET provide our onward connection to the wider internet exactly the same as if we took our Internet feed from BT or those other providers aforementioned. The difference is that it is considerably cheaper as it is, as we are, run by the public sector for the public sector and so operate on a not for profit basis. Going with any other provider would not guarantee any better performance. The only difference would be that we would be able to enforce financial penalties for a drop in service which we can't currently do. Of course those providers charge a premium so that they don't lose out. We have saved the LAs a cosiderable sum year on year by running the Grid on their behalf as we do.

    I am attaching a copy of our Grid network diagram which should hopefully give you a visual indication what I am talking about here.


    Quote Originally Posted by rogerblue View Post
    Rumours have reached me that some schools in my LEA have been considering asking to join with a neighbouring LEA's system to get away from YHGfL anyone heard anything about this?
    I haven't heard anything like this, but I would be surprised if it came to fruition. If the LEA in question is a member of an RBC, to my knowledge an RBC cannot offer services to schools outside of their area. Also, under BECTA guidelines any school wishing to leave it's LA provided services must substitute that with a like for like service. For example, if they currently have a 10 meg synchronous line, they cannot go to a 2 meg line or to an asynchronous line such as ADSL. Also under the Byron report which has now been accepted as government policy, all schools must have a BECTA accredited ISP. We are on the last lap of having our ISP services BECTA accredited. We are however working with BECTA to come to a more realistic level for their expectations of filtering as if we were to run a true reflection of what they expect, you would be wishing for the halcion days where all you had to worry about was Pirelli being blocked.


    Quote Originally Posted by rogerblue View Post
    I dont mean this to be a moaning session (i know how it reads) but simply trying to provide some info on why the YHGfL are often perceived as a 2 blokes in a back bedroom outfit!
    Is that the perception? Come and see us if you like. I will give you a tour of our data centre and our offices should you wish.

    I appreciate that we can often be perceived as the bad guys, but let me genuinely say that all the team here at YHGfL are incredibly passionate about giving the best service that they can. Yes, we have made mistakes in the past and we hold our hands up. Show me someone who doesn't make a mistake. We get as frustrated as you do when things happen such as they did the other Friday when circumstances beyond our control mean we can't deliver our service as we know we will get blamed. But I think you will agree that compared with two years ago or so when we first started offering ISP services, that we have come a massive distance in terms of reliability of the network and the false positives on our filtering platform. We are continuosly striving to improve and with your help, and feedback such as this, we will get there together. We are not some company trying to fleece you so we can offer you the least amount of service for the most amount of profit, we are not for profit. We're not some fat cats on private sector wages who are paying dividends to shareholders, our shareholders are the local authorities. We are trying to work in partnership to offer the best service we can.

  4. 3 Thanks to ayoward:

    john (3rd May 2009), leco (1st May 2009), Marci (5th May 2009)

  5. #18
    ayoward's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ayoward View Post
    , so I am attaching a jpg of the way that your particular search is scored.
    .

    Quote Originally Posted by ayoward View Post
    , I am attaching a copy of our Grid network diagram which should hopefully give you a visual indication what I am talking about here.
    Well, I attempted to attach these files, but I don't know where they have gone. So I am attempting again.

    In case it doesn't work you can find them here:

    YHGFLYHFSCDocumentRepository < YHPublic < TWiki

    YHGFLYHFSCDocumentRepository < YHPublic < TWiki
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. 2 Thanks to ayoward:

    john (3rd May 2009), leco (1st May 2009)

  7. #19
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    Very informative posts... ta! Good to know how it all works beyond the blinking light in our server room...

  8. #20
    TechSupp's Avatar
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    Good to know there is contact from YHGfL on here. Think I may have spoken to you once about remote access but that was a while ago Andrew. On the subject of training I have been on a couple of YHGfL funded courses, there were not of the technical size of things as I teach as well, but they come in quite handy, e-safety etc. In fact I'm due to be at your offices on a course on Thursday looking at some e-learning resource software 'Fuse', so I hope the lunches are up to scratch and save me a car parking space reserverd for an eduGeek user!

  9. #21
    Leeoakley's Avatar
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    MS Exchange 2007 course which has a £1495 list price, we are able to offer at £800.
    we may be able to offer a partnership that offers even bigger savings for schools on tech training.

    please call me on 01905 726222.

    Lee Oakley
    Neos IT

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