A tablecloth restaurant is still one of the great rewards of civilization. - Harry Golden

C.5 Implementation Plan

The implementation plan of NaukaNet recognizes the special circumstances under which it must develop. The anticipated funding commitments from both the US (NSF) and the Russian government enable the establishment of a solid foundation for NaukaNet. However, the initial funding will permit a lower level of bandwidth during the first phase of the project (until late 1999) meaning NaukaNet will be unable to deliver services for which higher speeds (in the tens of Mbps) are required. Early efforts will therefore concentrate on implementation of services such as Ipv6, which can prove beneficial to advanced applications even at lower speeds. NaukaNet will work to encourage the further development and application of advanced ATM services (developed in many cases by the US R&E community) within the Moscow and St. Petersburg ATM cloud and across the new ATM link between Moscow and St. Petersburg. Thus, the NaukaNet Consortium will be encouraging the development of high speed networking within the Russian scientific community. The advanced applications developed will be immediately available on an international scale when the capacity of the NaukaNet link is increased to levels supporting traffic in the tens of Mbps.

Given the lower bandwidth constraints, the implementation plan is especially focused on recognition of initial funding as providing a foundation upon which NaukaNet must be rapidly grown and expanded. Thus, there is a special emphasis in the implementation plan on fund raising and development, on conference organization and community-building, and on ensuring wide-spread exposure to NaukaNet's potential as a part of the overall development campaign. The following outlines in more detail the key components of the implementation plan.

C.5.1 Introduction

While the first stage of the project is to establish the 6 Mbps communications capacity and ensure its stable operation, the goal of the project is to increase the capacity of the initial link to support high performance networking applications by a growing community of US-Russian researchers. Success will be measured by the rapid growth in total capacity, the stability of the link, the number of research programs serviced (including Russian academic centers outside of Moscow and St. Petersburg), the quality of research being supported, and the satisfaction of users with its performance meeting the needs of their applications.

To ensure realization of these goals, the NaukaNet team will put into place the necessary investigative, engineering and staff support; the advisory structures for policy development, fund raising and decision support; the appropriate management systems and procedures to support trouble shooting, scheduling and authorization issues; and communications and information services for appraising interested parties of NaukaNet's status, utilization (both in terms of capacity usage but also describing model applications), growth and planning.

This project is in its infancy and the broad plans outlined today (and described below) will certainly change to reflect rapidly changing conditions. The key to success will hinge on developing and supporting an active US-Russian community of individuals and organizations (primarily, scientists and engineers - but also scientific associations, foundations, government agencies, corporations, the media, etc.) with active interest and stake in the success of the project. Success to date with the US-Russian Friends and Partners community motivates and supports the belief in this flexible, broad-based and community-driven approach.

C.5.2 Link establishment/testing timeline

Upon award of the NSF grant based on this proposal, NaukaNet will initiate the following actions:

  • Establishment of the 24x7 NaukaNet NOCs (both UT and RBnet) for coordinating the installation of the proposed link
  • Establishment of NaukaNet WWW sites in the US and Russia for dissemination of all information regarding NaukaNet to the US research & public community
  • Establishment of the NaukaNet user LISTSERV and threaded on-line discussion services.
  • Establishment of NaukaNet resource reservation procedure, as well as procedures on becoming HPIIS authorized

It is expected that the order for the proposed link will be immediately submitted to AADS for the link construction. NaukaNet expects this link to be turned over by AADS within 60 days of the placement of order.

As the proposed link is turned over to NaukaNet, networking personnel will be deployed at both Chicago STAR TAP site as well as M9 station in Moscow for link testing and baseline performance measurements (at both layer 2 and layer 3). Metrics obtained in performance analysis during this stage will be used for measuring the effectiveness of the link during production use.

The NaukaNet policy router will be deployed immediately after the proposed link is turned over by AADS. IP layer-3 service with vBNS will be established within 15 days after the link is turned over to NaukaNet. The policy router will be configured to only accept routing updates from vBNS border router while advertising only HPIIS authorized institutions.

The following is a tentative timeline for service deployment on the proposed link:


  • Best efforts IPv4
  • 6-bone tunneling
  • Hierarchical web caching services
  • Data Conferencing services (T.120/H.383)
  • Improve Multicast Support
  • Audio & Video Broadcast Streaming Servers


  • Introduce native IPv6, IPv6 DNS
  • Introduce Quality of Service
  • Introduction of QoS measurements
  • Improve Multicast support, e.g. IGMP
  • Collaboratory tools with integrated audio


  • Upgrade to DS3/OC3 speeds
  • Development of charge-back model and mechanisms
  • Collaboratory tools with integrated video

C.5.3 Prototype Development

To showcase the capabilities of high performance network applications and to spur the early development of new applications for NaukaNet, the NaukaNet team will engineer prototype applications which can be documented and offered to those involved in collaborative US-Russian research projects. For example appropriate technology will be installed to demonstrate quality full motion video conferencing. NaukaNet is also experimenting with video servers to be used for storing broadcasts that can then be delivered upon demand to interested viewers. The consortium will be working with others on the vBNS and participants in other HPIIS-funded initiatives to learn of and to document innovative applications of high-speed networking.

In short, the goal is to have proven recommendations for applications (including hardware and software components) at the very beginning of NaukaNet's availability so that others can begin experimenting with them for their own programs of research.

C.5.4 Initial Announcement and Promotion

Given the quality of both national scientific programs and the importance of encouraging increased cooperation, the establishment of NaukaNet represents an important milestone. Its creation should be highlighted as a significant event, representing an important enhancement of the basic infrastructure supporting mutually beneficial, cooperative endeavor between the US and Russia.

The significant opportunities provided by a formal launch ceremony towards meeting NaukaNet's own goals merit its inclusion as a part of these plans. The ceremony should include participation by appropriate U.S. and Russian government officials and leaders of the two nation's scientific and networking communities. In addition to formally announcing the new initiative, the ceremony should showcase the types of applications and collaborative research the link will make possible.

This event is a particularly important one for meeting NaukaNet's goals. The 6 Mbps capacity at which NaukaNet will be initially launched is only a starting point for what must quickly grow to support high performance applications requiring tens of Mbps. Organizing and conducting the launch ceremony will provide unique opportunity to educate and further support for the growth and development of NaukaNet specifically, for high speed networking generally, and for advancing high speed network development within Russia (still at an early stage of development - and limited primarily to academic facilities in the Moscow and St. Petersburg areas).

Particular importance is placed on furthering support for NaukaNet by U.S. agencies (such as DOE and NASA) who are likely to become users of NaukaNet services and whose support would enable earlier growth of the total capacity.

Favorable event coverage (in both U.S. and Russia) should serve as an effective promotional facility in reaching scientists and educators and educating the general public about next generation Internet/networking applications. Follow-up from the event (from the leadership of scientific/networking communities and from the NaukaNet team) will help ensure a strong start for the project.

The launch will only be scheduled after all testing is complete and the NaukaNet team is assured of successful performance of key applications during the event.

Coincident with these preparations will be the preparation of a targeted announcement which will, immediately after the launch, be disseminated to individuals and organizations previously identified as having potential interest and need for this new capability. The NaukaNet team will populate a database already developed and used for other "Friends and Partners" purposes. An important component of this work (and one in which we've already begun work) is the development of an information base describing all individuals with expressed or potential interest in NaukaNet. This database will allow for multiple categorizations of individuals so that they can be targeted for specific communications and information items (such as periodic updates, reports, etc.). This database has been developed and we've already begun populating it with descriptions of individuals who are already engaged in U.S., Russian cooperative endeavor and who might benefit from use of the NaukaNet link. This database will be used for the initial announcement and for subsequent communications.

The announcement will also be used to help educate potential users about NaukaNet's application - what its intended uses are (and are not). More complete information will be maintained on the NaukaNet World Wide Web site which will be mirrored in the U.S. and in Russia (and the contents of which will be in English and in Russian). This site is described under section C.5.9 below.

Since the intention with this mailing is not only to educate but to help develop a community of interested participants, NaukaNet must also have operational appropriate communication devices (such as email listservers, bulletin boards, chat rooms, etc.) which are described under section C.5.9 below.

While the final launch and official announcement are among the first visible stages of this project, an enormous amount of work must be done in preparation. Because of the anticipated heavy response to the announcement, there must already be in place the appropriate procedures, information and communications services.

C.5.5 Fund Raising/Development

The support of the National Science Foundation and the Russian Ministry of Science provide the foundation upon which the NaukaNet Consortium is being built. To build upon this base, the consortium must develop an additional fund raising and development program.

A portion of this effort will be devoted to getting other large potential users of NaukaNet's capacity (such as NASA and U.S. Department of Energy) to contribute to increasing the base capacity. But NaukaNet will also be soliciting agencies with interest in this link and with a history of funding US-Russian initiatives to provide support for conferences, travel, equipment, special applications development and associated ‘last mile' connectivity expenses. NaukaNet will work to establish special funding competitions for high performance networking applications — there has already been a favorable response to such a proposal from the Soros-based Open Society Institute in Moscow.

NaukaNet also intends to initiate a corporate development program soliciting interest, funding and equipment by corporations with interest in high performance computing and network applications. The advanced nature of the technology and the high visibility of the NaukaNet Consortium should make this project attractive to certain networking and computing vendors.

C.5.6 Conference Organization

One of the first intended activities is a special conference on next generation Internet development – to be organized and held in Moscow. Friends and Partners has received support in the past from NATO and is aware of similar conferences which have been supported by NATO for networking activities. NaukaNet plans to submit a proposal for such a conference to be held during the fall of 1998. This is a very important element of the total NaukaNet Consortium as it should bring together the major networking community and potential scientific users in Russia (and associated networking experts and scientists from the U.S.) to discuss the development of next generation Internet, and, more specifically, new applications of the NaukaNet link. Based on the success of this conference and the development of the NaukaNet Consortium, NaukaNet may sponsor additional conferences in the U.S. and in Russia devoted to application and development of NaukaNet.

C.5.7 Management Structure

The Network Operation Center (NOC) for the Russia side of the proposed link will be handled by the RBnet (Russian Backbone Network) NOC. RBnet is well capable of handling the troubleshooting and statistics gathering aspects of the HPIIS link because of its extensive networking experience. The RBnet NOC consists of at least three persons in Moscow and one in each of the regions (RBnet NAPs — Samara, Ekaterinburg, and Novosibirsk). The RBnet NOC in Moscow is housed at MSU and in the RIPN headquarters at the Kurchatov Institute.

Beginning in November 1998, the NOC will be operated 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

RBnet NOC actively supports connections of the regional networks to the backbone. Its functions also include network troubleshooting, gathering of network statistics (reports published daily) and consulting. A trouble ticketing system was installed in late 1997.

Network statistics gathering and network monitoring is performed using Cisco Works and programs developed internally. The work of the RBnet NOC is funded by the Ministry of Science and is not included in this proposal.

One of the first activities of the NaukaNet Consortium will be the establishment of an advisory board that will meet at least annually and communicate on a continuing basis to provide advice on the development and growth of NaukaNet. This will be comprised of leaders of the scientific communities as well as key researchers, networking professionals, and corporate/foundation leaders with interest in high performance networking/computing initiatives. It will be formed as a part of the process in preparing the formal launching of NaukaNet.

The primary task of this board will be to give general advice on the direction of the growth of NaukaNet, policy issues, fund raising, and on ensuring NaukaNet's sustainability.

It will be necessary to establish other advisory groups to provide guidance on more focused issues such as authorization procedures, engineering and applications development, standards development, etc.

C.5.8 Management Systems and Procedures

Several key procedures must be put into place before the launching of NaukaNet, including the following:

  1. Authorization Procedure - The NaukaNet teams in U.S. and in Russia will work closely with the National Science Foundation to develop an appropriate procedure for authorizing new Russian institutions for access to NaukaNet, and thus, to the US vBNS (and peer network) infrastructure.

  2. Scheduling System - Although NaukaNet does not anticipate scheduling problems in the first few months of the NaukaNet effort, the consortium will begin work immediately on developing a database and a process for resource reservation and for resolving scheduling conflicts. NaukaNet will also develop an associated value/credit system to ensure the fair distribution of capacity among a growing number of users.

  3. Trouble Ticketing - The University of Tennessee already utilizes an effective trouble ticketing system that works well for its large network. This will be adapted for use by NaukaNet. The U.S. network operation center in Knoxville and the corresponding NOC in Moscow will be staffed twenty-four hours per day/seven days per week to ensure rapid response to and quick resolution of any submitted items.

C.5.9 Publication, Reporting, and Communication Services

An important component of the project is continual dissemination of information about NaukaNet - its status, capabilities, policies, current applications, and future plans. The primary vehicle will be the NaukaNet WWW site, which will be maintained in U.S. and Russia (and in both languages) and housed as a part of the Friends and Partners service.

In addition to describing the project and serving as the primary reporting mechanism, the site will be used as a means of encouraging growth of the project. It will regularly feature stories about the collaborative research projects that are supported by NaukaNet. The site will also point to other resources about innovative uses of high performance networking applications as well as other US-Russian cooperative scientific ventures.

The NaukaNet site will house the front-end to the trouble ticketing system. As utilization of the link grows, it will also provide access to the scheduling database by which capacity will be allocated for those applications that need reserved capacity. The web site will also house various communication services (bulletin board systems, chat rooms, and the archives of email listservers). As much content as possible will be maintained in both languages.

A section of the web site will cover technical issues - particularly regarding experiences with hardware and software to support high performance applications. The site will also archive public domain software proven useful for existing applications.

In addition to meeting sponsor-based monthly, quarterly and annual reporting requirements, the NaukaNet team will produce an annual report describing growth, utilization, and innovative application of NaukaNet. It will be distributed appropriately as an information update - to ensure growth and new applications and to help secure additional funding and support.

As mentioned previously, the NaukaNet team will establish a number of communication services to facilitate dialogue between users of the link and other interested parties. As part of the broader Friends and Partners project, NaukaNet has extensive experience managing communication services such as email listservers, bulletin boards, and other interactive services such as chat rooms, CuSeeMe reflectors, etc. These services will play an important role in supporting the community of users.

C.6 Reporting and Publication

As mentioned previously, one of the key strengths of the NaukaNet Consortium is the Friends and Partners foundation upon which it is built. Over four years of intense cooperative effort by individuals in Russia and the US have helped foster a large (and growing) US, Russian community, several thousand subscribers to its communications services and tens of thousands of regular and occasional users of its information services. This places the NaukaNet Consortium on a good foundation with respect to experience with US, Russian cooperative endeavor - the importance of which cannot be underestimated in any multicultural project (and perhaps especially one involving these two nations). More to the point of publication and reporting, however, Friends and Partners provides a very rich environment for publishing information and communications resources that will be useful for the NaukaNet Consortium.

First of all, all basic materials developed for Friends and Partners are mirrored by the US and in Russia (Knoxville and Pushchino/Moscow). There are also several years of experience peering communications services (such as email listservers). However, it is experience with large multi-lingual web sites that may prove most helpful for this effort.

Friends and Partners has developed an object oriented approach to web site publishing which enables us to publish all pertinent materials from an easily manageable database which allows better information management and quality control than traditional HTML-based publishing. The special software that has been developed for delivering web pages automatically adjusts output depending upon the users preference for language, character set encoding (very important in Russia - given the 6+ "standards" for representing Cyrillic characters) platform and browser. Material can be delivered appropriately no matter whether the user is using a high end work station or a text only interface. While it is the content of the reporting services provided via NaukaNet that will be important, the NaukaNet team will be able to immediately supply a very sound information infrastructure with which to provide those services.

Also important is the large community of users of Friends and Partners. It will be simple to reach a larger audience — important for this project given the need for educating and encouraging more interest in the project to enable its rapid growth in terms of capacity and services. In addition to this "electronic community," Friends and Partners has developed a number of good relationships over the four years of its activities - within academia, government agencies, foundations, corporations, supra national organizations, etc., which will prove helpful throughout the further development of NaukaNet.

Reporting and publication responsibilities will be shared by the network information centers that will be housed within the Friends and Partners organization in the US (the Center for International Networking Initiatives at the University of Tennessee) and in Russia (the Friends and Partners Foundation in Moscow). All information and communication services will be provided with hardware and software maintained by the Friends and Partners organizations.

Relevant reports and regular status updates will be made to all subscribers through email (via several peered listservers) and such communications will be archived on the NaukaNet web site (with privileges assigned appropriately by NaukaNet's reporting and management structure in cooperation with the network operations and network information centers). NaukaNet reports, updates publications, etc., will be available (where possible) in both English and Russian. While it is anticipated that most Russian users of NaukaNet will have some English language ability the intention - as it has been with all of the Friends and Partners projects - is to maintain as much information as possible in both languages.

In addition to the reporting system, the NaukaNet web interface will provide several threaded forums for discussing problems, operational issues, and future planning. The NaukaNet web site will also document frequently asked questions, provide technical support through on line documentation, provide appropriate contact information, etc. It will also function as a front end to the trouble ticketing system as well as to-be-implemented resource scheduling system. A system will be put in place to ensure that the trouble items are forwarded both by email and by electronic pager to appropriate network engineers to facilitate the fastest resolution of critical problems. The Friends and Partners system will also house various interactive communication services such as "chat rooms" (some restricted, some not), CuSeeMe reflectors, and, as developed, more sophisticated conferencing tools which will be used as model prototype applications but which will also facilitate the day-to-day operations of the NaukaNet project. This will be supplemented as soon as possible with a video conferencing system to facilitate required meetings between NaukaNet participants and staff.

C.6.1 Description of methods to be used

C.6.1.1 Informal status updates

These will be published when necessary through email messages sent to all appropriate and interested parties. Additionally, all status updates need to be contained in the NaukaNet web site for general accessibility. Status updates will specify availability, utilization, and application-specific traffic mixes if applicable. Transcripts of weekly chat sessions will also be made available on the web site. All relevant status reports will also be sent electronically to the HPIIS Program Officer.

C.6.1.2 Monthly reporting

Monthly reports will be published no later than the 15th of the next month and will be available on the NaukaNet site and emailed to all interested NaukaNet users. These reports will describe the network's availability (% of service up time), utilization (% of available resource actually used), and if desired by the network engineers, application-specific traffic mixes. Also, monthly reports will have performance-monitoring results and narratives as well as discussions of trends, problems, recommendations, etc. All monthly reports should provide interpretations of measurement data and figures. Monthly reports also need to be made available to the appropriate NSF contact person, and that person should be notified immediately of any impending problems. All monthly reports should be sent by email to the HPIIS, or when necessary. Transcripts of monthly chat sessions will also be made available on the web site.

C.6.1.3 Quarterly progress reports.

These will summarize information contained in the monthly reports but on a quarterly basis. They should be publicly accessible from the NaukaNet site and be sent to those NaukaNet subscribers that request them. In addition, they should be published on paper for promotional and annual meetings with strategic partners. Transcripts of quarterly chat sessions will be made available on the web site, as well as all information relevant to the schedule NaukaNet meetings and on-line events.

C.6.1.4 Annual progress reports.

All annual reports will be sent to the HPIIS Program Officer with a Program Plan for the next program year.

C.6.2 Trouble ticketing system

Regular network status reports will be made available through the NaukaNet web site. In case of problems, there will be an automated daily message conveying general status information on all ends of the network. The Russian and US Network Operation Centers (NOCs), along with STAR TAP engineers will handle troubleshooting, statistic gathering aspects of the HPIIS link because of its extensive experience with ATM networking on campus. UTK will work with MSU and STAR TAP to maintain the high availability and reliability of the HPIIS link.

UTK has in place a Network Management/Operation Center (NMC/NOC) that is staffed by three full-time personnel from 8am to 5pm on each working day. It serves as a central place for the distribution of information regarding the status of the network, to file trouble tickets, and to solve network problems. The trouble ticketing system used at the UTK is the Action Request System from Remedy Corporation. All trouble tickets are reviewed each day by NMC to ensure proper progress is being made toward the resolution of the ticket. Tickets that are three days or older are escalated when needed. Senior technicians and engineers are immediately notified for emergency problems to ensure immediate resolution. To supplement the NMC, an on-call person is also available 24 hours a day to initiate and perform trouble-calls when emergency problems arise. The on-call person is paged by the network management system for component failures on the network. UTK is working toward staffing the Network Management Center around the clock to ensure immediate action for emergency network problems. Network statistics are gathered by the NMC by using SNMP and programs developed internally. Currently, statistics such as router interface usage, network segment usage, Remote Monitoring (RMON) are being gathered. The same type of data logging will be extended to the HPIIS. TNS has been publishing network statistics on the WWW for departmental use and can easily make the HPIIS statistics available to the researchers and the world.

As part of the quality assurance plan, UTK will use the NMC to proactively monitor the status of the HPIIS link to Moscow. UTK will work with STAR TAP technical personnel to troubleshoot problems related to this link. UTK, STAR TAP and Moscow engineers will work together during installation to ensure maximum performance is achieved. The experience gained during the test stage will be used to guide researchers in setting up their links to ensure efficient utilization of this connection. With end-to-end connection being ATM, from STAR TAP to Moscow, it is by design that QoS can be offered and enforced by creating PVC and SVC links between Moscow and member vBNS/HPIIS sites.

C.6.3 General public information services.

The NaukaNet web site will serve several functions. While a large part of it will be devoted to technical issues, technical communications services, and housing other services of primary interest to those who will operate NaukaNet, it is vital for its growth that NaukaNet be promoted as a model of US, Russian cooperative scientific endeavor and that it provides specific information services for educating the general public about the project itself, the many applications which will be made possible by NaukaNet, the collaborative, scientific work behind those applications, and as a general introduction to next generation Internet capabilities. For that reason, the WWW server for NaukaNet will be designed to attract the public and to secure and maintain their interest in the NaukaNet project. This will not only meet the educational objectives but will assist in NaukaNet's efforts to manage the rapid growth of NaukaNet so that it can meet the needs of more applications. The NaukaNet consortium will highlight on a regular basis applications and collaborative scientific work associated with the NaukaNet project - with materials written and illustrated in such a way as to be of interest to a wider (and not necessarily technical) audience.

At the same time, the site will feature information that is of interest to a more technical and scientific audience. Thus, separate material will be featured highlighting technical issues being encountered and addressed with NaukaNet and other high performance networking initiatives. The Consortium will seek to work with other HPIIS grantees on developing information that can be shared across the several projects.

C.7 Business Plan

The NaukaNet Consortium will aggressively pursue its goal of providing and proving advanced network applications as a part of its larger goal of developing a solid infrastructure supporting collaboration between the US-Russian scientific communities. Over the five years of the NSF grant, the constant level of funding provided by the NSF (and shared by the Russian Ministry of Science) must decrease as a total percentage of NaukaNet's financial base. At the end of the 5-year period, that funding must be replaced entirely by other resources.

The ultimate sustainability of NaukaNet depends upon many factors. These include the realization of its goals of rapid growth in total capacity and services offered, of the number of applications supported and of the quality and results of those applications; of continued decreasing cost of international bandwidth; upon a growing awareness of the value delivered by increased collaborative activities; and upon realization of a large community of active NaukaNet participants in traditional academic settings, in research laboratories, and in other government and commercially-funded research enterprise.

The best way to ensure its sustainability is to first ensure that it becomes an indispensable component of the scientific infrastructure linking the two participant countries. The sizeable funding commitments already allocated to developing communications infrastructure between the US-Russian scientific communities can perhaps best be consolidated towards funding dedicated infrastructure that can take advantage of shared technical resources and basic economies of scale. NaukaNet must first provide the necessary organizational and technical leadership to prove such infrastructure - and this initial 5-year effort is its opportunity.

The academic/scientific world of the 21st century will in all likelihood be much more "global" than is even the case today. Some of the funding allocated to facilitating global science today — and committed to such expenses as transportation, traditional communications (i.e., telephone), materials and data shipment, etc. — will need to be shifted towards high performance telecommunications capabilities. These capabilities have the potential of reducing current expenses — with additional advantages offered by leveraging shared resources and scientific facilities, enabling more continual and richer communications, etc. The NaukaNet Consortium must develop means of educating the scientific communities that funding should be provided - and in many cases on a per project basis - to support the basic telecommunications infrastructure that will make continued collaboration possible.

With today's particularly explosive expansion and change in the area of telecommunications, it is too early to predict what the environment for services and pricing will be 3, 4 and 5 years out. NaukaNet will work with the NSF, with other HPIIS grantees, and with its commercial partners to stay abreast of current developments in service pricing, chargeback schemes, etc. Its business and sustainability plan will evolve during its first 2-3 years of operation in response to its own experience servicing high performance network needs and to the changing telecommunications environment.

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Updated: 1998-09-

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Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole