[CQ-Contest] Competing in the Daylight - Making it Happen
guy_molinari at hotmail.com
Thu Oct 13 00:40:26 EDT 2005
It seems like there is concensus that it is a good idea although some of the
details and implications need further thought. So,,, how do we make this
Here are some of my thoughts on the technical infrastructure requirements.
This pertains to the
central server components only. USERS OF THE SYSTEM WILL NOT NEED A HIGH
CONNECTION. 56k WILL DO JUST FINE. AN ACCIDENTALLY DROPPED CONNECTION
FROM AN INDIVIDUAL PARTICIPANT SHOULD NOT BE AN ISSUE.
I was envisioning a system where there are hooks in logging programs (N1MM,
WriteLog, TR-Log, etc.) what would forward log entries to a central web
server cluster via HTTP POSTS's. This should be implemented in such a way
that the logging program will queue and forward these entries if the
Internet service is temporarily offline.
The other half of this involves a socket push server cluster that would
support 100,000 or more live connections. This would implement the
scoreboard side piece and would be updated every few seconds. Much more
exciting for participants and spectators alike. I think a somewhat real
time adjudication mechanism might be feasible.
Here is what I would need to make this happen:
1) A rock solid ISP/Hosting environment with 24x7 monitoring and a good
connection to the Internet backbone. I would need about 3-4 Intel servers
running the Linux O/S. I would also need a load balancer (F5, local
director) or another server that can function as a load balancer. By
clustering 3-4 servers there would be redundancy in case one server should
2) I would have to write a detailed specification for the logging software
providers and get their concensus as to how this is implemented. All of the
major log software providers would have to buy-in.
3) About 400-500 man hours of heads down programming/testing/implementation
4) Help from the contesting community on working out the set of
This should be abstracted in such a way as to support any type of contest.
a thread on this list with some ideas about how packet cheats could be
This needs more work. We also would have to work out what information
disclosed on the scoreboard.
No small feat. I must be insane for even thinking about this. ;-). It
can be done though.
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