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OIT installs connection successfully over break

Scott Brodfuehrer | Wednesday, March 17, 2004

The Office of Information Technologies successfully activated a new Internet connection over break, greatly increasing the bandwidth to all campus buildings except dorms.The connection had been activated twice before but was plagued by hardware failures each time. Before the final activation, which took place March 7, OIT asked its Internet Service Provider to re-engineer the connection with hardware from Cisco Systems and no problems were encountered during the third implementation.”It has been working flawlessly,” chief technology officer Dewitt Latimer said.The new connection, which is a direct link to Chicago, allows up to 100 Mbit of bandwidth for Internet traffic and 100 Mbit of bandwidth for Internet II. The previous connection was limited to 24 Mbit of bandwidth for Internet traffic and 20 Mbit for Internet II. Latimer said that since the upgrade, the campus has been consuming about twice as much bandwidth as was allowed on the previous connection, with a maximum usage of 48 Mbit of Internet Traffic and 40 Mbit of Internet II. OIT continues to route traffic from dorms on ResNet through a 45 Mbit connection with Gramtel, a South Bend Internet service provider. Once a redundant direct link to Chicago is installed, the ResNet traffic will also be routed out to the new connection, which will likely occur this summer. Latimer said this will not saturate the new connection, instead utilizing an average of 70 – 80 Mbit on the 100 Mbit connection.”[This is] good and efficiently utilized, and it still gives us some headroom for spikes,” Latimer said.Once all campus Internet traffic is traveling through one connection, an application called a Packeteer will be used on the connection. The Packeteer currently runs only on the ResNet connection and limits the amount bandwidth of peer-to-peer file sharing, which is often used for sharing illegal copyrighted material, and also redirects infected machines to a special Web site.Latimer said he did not expect this to be a problem.”Sharing illegal copyrighted material is sharing illegal copyrighted material whether it’s on campus or in the dorms,” Latimer said.Latimer said that after the connection had been re-engineered, the original hardware vendor, who OIT declined to name, identified the problem in their system.”The other vendor did discover their bugaboo, a dollar late,” Latimer said. “But it was a manufacturing error in their chip.”Latimer said that while OIT has not received any compliments about the new connection, they have also not received any complaints.”That’s our source or indication of success is when we don’t get complaints,” Latimer said. “We seldom get kudos.”