Re: Internet problems at UAlbany

Sorry for coming into this late, but I've been on the road a lot lately.

The Peer to Peer problem is pretty significant and only likely to get worse before it gets better. One of the bright spots at the end of the tunnel is that bandwidth _is_ going to get cheaper, so it's not unreasonable to see the various universities being able to ramp up their connections for the same money they're paying now.

Having said that, demand always exceeds bandwidth.

Also, the freedom of speech issue at a University is always a sticky one. Generally, policy has to spell out what is and is not allowed, and what will, and will not, receive priority.

For us at TAMU, if it's not illegal, we don't try to stop it, but we may well "traffic engineer" it into a more reasonable slice of bandwidth. Thus, dorm traffic on campus is unrestricted, while dorm traffic off-campus (bidirectionally, at that) is limited in bandwidth. While the students do pay a fee for computer and network use, (our situation is similar to Gilbert's in that) the main role of the network is _not_ to support p2p activities.

Further, if we get some indication of a really illegal activity, we have mechanisms to have that shut down. Finally, for those young entrepreneurs who want to run e-commerce from thier dorm room, they're in direct violation of University policy and can lose their rights to connectivity, or, if they're persistent, lose their right to attend.

Packeteer is not necessarily the best choice for traffic engineering in this case, but they do have the best marketting. I've become particularly fond of Sitara Networks, and they already have a profile for LDM in their system <grin>. Packeteer is easier to set up but harder to customize when the default setup isn't quite what you need. Sitara's system is harder to configure but has a better vernier when you need to tweak it. For us, on the dorms, Packeteer works fine. On our wide-area, we need and use Sitara.

I wear 2 hats around here: network engineering, and recently, the Mesonet. If I can help or answer questions regarding network engineering issues, let me know.


Gilbert Sebenste wrote:

If 60% of all the traffic is still MP3 related then what is the point?
Sounds like to me (as an outsider) that most of these implementations
have mainly hurt the folks that have a legitimate use for the bandwidth
(like the IDD)

kFirst, a couple of things. It isn't just mp3''s also videos. We have been slapped with as many as 7 RIAA warnings at NIU in one day, threatening to sue us if the servers aren't shut down. At our heating plant, at least one was hacked into and used as a KazAA server.

Second is freedom of speech. Yeah, I know. But unfortunately, faculty and staff pay ZERO for the service. The students and nobody but students pay. If they demand this or that, they get it. The only thing our techs can do is limit outgoing files from peer-to-peer servers. At one point, for about two weeks before NIU was able to shut it down, 90% of our traffic was hosting almost 30 full-length movie servers. Somehow, IDD data was making it through, but at times, it was a little behind.

The RIAA folks cited (how they did this, I don't know) NIU for multiple distribution points for the "Scooby Doo" movie back in September. Someone, somehow managed to get a great dub off of it and put it in a file.

Which is one reason why U's want to go to a "pay per byte" system.

Gilbert Sebenste                                                     ********
Internet: gilbert@xxxxxxx    (My opinions only!)                     ******
Staff Meteorologist, Northern Illinois University                      ****
E-mail: sebenste@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx                                 ***
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Work phone: 815-753-5492                                                *

Gerry Creager -- gerry.creager@xxxxxxxx
Network Engineering, Academy for Advanced Telecommunications
Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Office: 979.458.4020 FAX: 979.847.8578 Cell: 979.229.5301
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