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  #21  
Old 11-07-2005, 07:09 PM
Justin M. Giza
 
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It was explained to me today that the academic buildings are given high priority (not on wireless), and upon testing this with good ol' Warcraft 3 (I figured it'd be a good test-program) in my spare time, I found it to run flawlessly at 7pm tonight (usually a busy time, I've noted).

Out of curiousity, and please correct me if I'm wrong (I have no real working knowledge of network traffic), is there any way to re-route this open access to the rest of campus? Just how much of this space is left open? I'm not sure exactly how your software divvies up the connection, but I can most certainly promise you that most of the folks in their offices seldom use anything all that network-intensive, at least from what I've seen.

So... to summarize: how much is left open in academic buildings, how much is actually utilized on a day to day basis, and is there any way to reroute this bandwidth?

Last edited by Justin M. Giza : 11-07-2005 at 07:10 PM. Reason: I was told it was prioritized only on direct connections, not wireless.
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  #22  
Old 11-07-2005, 10:14 PM
Zachary C. Kanfer
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin M. Giza
... well... attention all bittorrent users, please stop downloading the new Harry Potter movie that you didn't pay for...

Or at least limit the download/upload speed. I know Azereus allows you to do such; I'm not sure about other programs.


Quote:
It was explained to me today that the academic buildings are given high priority (not on wireless), and upon testing this with good ol' Warcraft 3 (I figured it'd be a good test-program) in my spare time, I found it to run flawlessly at 7pm tonight (usually a busy time, I've noted).

Out of curiousity, and please correct me if I'm wrong (I have no real working knowledge of network traffic), is there any way to re-route this open access to the rest of campus? Just how much of this space is left open?

I assume it's just given priority over the rest of the campus, but nothing is reserved for them. Like, if a student is having supper in a restaurant, and a professor comes in, the management will throw the students out to make room for the professor, but the students can sit there after the professor leaves. So there's nothing saved for them if they're not using it.

At least, I think.
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  #23  
Old 11-08-2005, 03:56 PM
David J. Wilson's Avatar
David J. Wilson David J. Wilson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin M. Giza
It was explained to me today that the academic buildings are given high priority (not on wireless), and upon testing this with good ol' Warcraft 3 (I figured it'd be a good test-program) in my spare time, I found it to run flawlessly at 7pm tonight (usually a busy time, I've noted).

Out of curiousity, and please correct me if I'm wrong (I have no real working knowledge of network traffic), is there any way to re-route this open access to the rest of campus? Just how much of this space is left open? I'm not sure exactly how your software divvies up the connection, but I can most certainly promise you that most of the folks in their offices seldom use anything all that network-intensive, at least from what I've seen.

So... to summarize: how much is left open in academic buildings, how much is actually utilized on a day to day basis, and is there any way to reroute this bandwidth?

Whoever explained this to you has no actual knoweldge of how our network and internet connection is configured. Allow me to provide you with some facts-

The internet connection is not split up between FS, Students, Wireless and so forth. We only identify and categorize them separately on our packet shaping device for management purposes, like getting a more detailed depiction of how the bandwidth is being utilized by users on campus. They all share the same QoS (quality of service) policy. You can see this for yourself if you follow the link to the screenshot below. Each connection group shares the same "Normal" policy. Note that the first two groups are only for testing purposes and are disabled 99% of the time- You can see that they are greyed out.

http://users.drew.edu/~djwilson/policies.jpg

If Warcraft 3 worked fine for you in an academic building it was just a coincidence, because it should work exactly the same way in your room. There is no difference as far as how our packet shaper is configured.

We have made a lot of positive adjustments to it in the past week. Unfortunately during this same time, the device has started to crash multiple times a day, taking the internet down with it. We've been working with the support staff for the product and they have identified the cause as being a bug in the version we were running. They recently put out a newer version which is supposed to correct the particular issue, and we've already gone ahead and upgraded it this afternoon. Assuming they correctly identified the problem, we should be much better off now. If not, we'll continue to work with them until it's resolved.

The above is why your AIM has been disconnecting, why streaming radio would stop, and why you wouldn't be able to re-establish the connection for about a minute. Keep in mind though- The internet is not perfect. Sites go down, as do any of the ten to twenty routers you go through to get to one. It varies. Same goes for speed and latency. It can be our connection, I'm not saying it never is, but it's certainly not always.

Only one thing is limited-and it goes for the entire campus. We heavily limit P2P for one reason: No matter what we set it to, if it's 1Mb or 10Mb, it's pretty much guaranteed that all of that bandwidth will be consumed at all times. I have seen it for myself. Personally I feel it's like throwing away bandwidth that legitimate applications could be using. Granted there are legal and legitimate uses for P2P like with BitTorrent- But honestly, that is rarely the case. Regardless, we recognize that and have not completely shut off P2P.

For games, I know many of you have questions regarding this. For the games that our packet shaper recognizes (and part of the problem is that it doesn't recognize all of the ones that are played here-we may be able to work on this), we actually have a QoS policy to *guarantee* bandwidth per connection so that games are able to work better. We do the same thing with streaming media, because these are both persistent connections that won't work if the available bandwidth falls below a certain level. There is a cap on how much of this we can provide but that is only because we have to still allow other applications to work. The idea that we don't care about this stuff working, that we would try to limit use, that's just false. But there is naturally a limit to what we can provide, and we have to think of all the users who are online and what they are using the internet for.

Here's a link to one more screenshot. It was taken this afternoon, a graph of the current usage at the time. Bandwidth is distributed rather evenly among WLAN (wireless), SRV (our servers, but mostly the proxy server), ST PB (students) and FS (faculty/staff). Look at the bottom left for a breakdown of the most active protocols.

http://users.drew.edu/~djwilson/graph.jpg
(The times are GMT)

At night it's an entirely different picture- Primarily student, then some wireless and servers, nothing in fac/staff. If nothing else was happening, the student side of the network could use 100% of the connection- And that is always the case, it's not a policy that goes into effect at a certain time and goes back later. There's no bandwidth reserved for a particular group or location. The only thing we reserve or guarantee bandwidth for are specific applications that need it (academic software, streaming media, games, etc.) And in those cases, the bandwidth only gets reserved as it's needed and used.

Like it's been said earlier, we do listen and we're doing the best we can to make the most out of our connection. I actually care about improving service and adjusting it to match the needs and of the community, and not just because it's my job to. Besides the brief outages this week which I hope we're through with, I actually think the latest adjustments have helped quite a bit, I've been able to get very fast transfers, web pages load up fast, streaming audio works (and again, some servers are just overloaded or too far away- my cable connection at home may be super fast but there are still plenty of streaming audio or video servers that cut out or outright don't work), and so on,. No it's not blazing super fast, but it's been really good considering how many other users are sharing the same connection.

I hope this answers some of your questions.


Dave

Last edited by David J. Wilson : 11-08-2005 at 04:06 PM.
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  #24  
Old 11-08-2005, 04:55 PM
Mike Richichi's Avatar
Mike Richichi Mike Richichi is offline
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Default Another small point

Just for perspective--I have an Optimum Online connection at home which I love very much and wouldn't trade for anything. I was getting miserable performance to several sites on the Internet last night. Pages weren't loading, things were just awful. Others were working great. There's been a few recent incidents about problems at backbone providers (like Level3 and Cogent not routing traffic between them, Level3's routers going crazy after a software upgrade) that show in many cases Internet problems are beyond our control. Of course, it's easy to assume that once we have some problems with Drew's connection that everything's our fault--and it's important to maintain some perspective.

And please, if there's one thing you get from this discussion--if there's something you don't understand, or you "heard something" from "this guy" who "is really smart" but doesn't work for me (as in, the one responsible for the Internet working), please just ask. We're happy to tell you what's going on and give you real information based on facts, instead of conjecturing wildly based on limited information.
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  #25  
Old 11-08-2005, 05:10 PM
Justin M. Giza
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David J. Wilson
I hope this answers some of your questions.
Certainly does! Thanks for taking the time to write that out.

I don't mean this to be an attacking thing - I just wanted to get some actual answers, because until this post showed up, we really didn't have any.

Thanks to all the guys who're taking the time to answer our questions. It is most certainly appreciated.

So... it's just coincidence that it ran flawlessly for a full hour, then 10 minutes later in my room the lag was so horrible it wouldn't even log me in? And there's no prioritization given to anyone whatsoever? Just seems odd to me. Bad timing, I suppose.

And just to say... we know it's not always your fault. A lot of people find it easier to just lump the blame on the tech guys, which isn't fair (I fixed computers all summer, I know how it goes). Again, now that the students have some definitive information here, I hope that removes some of that from your shoulders.

EDIT: I think I should also note that I didn't hear this information from "some guy," it was someone who works at CNS, and has an intimate working knowledge of the networks. Trust me, I wouldn't be posting random things I heard from Joe Nameless. I guarantee you that anything I presented earlier was probably not precisely what he told me, and was in fact just me being an idiot. After all...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin M. Giza
...please correct me if I'm wrong (I have no real working knowledge of network traffic)...

Last edited by Justin M. Giza : 11-08-2005 at 05:41 PM.
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  #26  
Old 11-08-2005, 07:28 PM
Noah C. Rosenfield
 
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at least AIM is acting better now. emphasis on better, because it's still having problems like file transfers stopping mid way through. i just have a couple things to say...


firstly, drew needs a new browser. this is not a matter of i would like a new browser, it is seriously becoming a necessity. mozilla is outdated! almost NO websites are designed around it anymore, so please, get a new contract or whatever and get Firefox instead! it's made by the same freaking company but it's also the second most commonly used browser which means that it will work better with more sites because companies design there sites to work well with it. Mozilla used to be popular like, 3-4 years ago, but now guess what, there are a LOT of website which are incompatible with mozilla, so please, just get firefox as the campus supported browser...please. just please do it.

and as for why i don't just use firefox as my default web browser? it gets crappy connectivity and transfer rates. i can download a file using mozilla at a good 80 KB/sec sometimes, but firefox never gets over about 8 KB/sec. so, once again, PLEASE GET FIREFOX AS THE DEFAULT DREW BROWSER! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE! IT'S SO MUCH BETTER! AND EVERYONE WILL LOVE YOU

next, as far as you realizing the legitimacy of some p2p's and that's why you don't shut them down completely, i gotta say, i don't really see it. i can't even get a connection to limewire 90 percent of the time, and i can connect to a host even less often then that. so as far as p2p being not blocked entirely, i'm really just not seeing it....

Last edited by Noah C. Rosenfield : 11-08-2005 at 07:36 PM.
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  #27  
Old 11-08-2005, 08:26 PM
John D. Muccigrosso John D. Muccigrosso is offline
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Dave,

Nice stats in the jpegs. Thanks. What's with the extremely large http portion? Is that AIM or something else using port 80, or maybe large file downloads coming across via http? Also, looks like MS Player is a big chunk too, and BitTorrent is in there.

Interesting stuff.
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  #28  
Old 11-08-2005, 08:50 PM
Paul R. Coen's Avatar
Paul R. Coen Paul R. Coen is offline
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Default Stats . . .

Actually, most of our traffic is http traffic, by a huge margin. Some of it may be multimedia stuff delivered over http instead of, say, RTSP. Luckly (or not so), most of the Mozilla configs on campus are set to use our proxy server, which is probably one of the few things allowing our connection to not completely melt down. It's old, and it's slow, though (it's the old server we used to use for fac/staff and departmental data, Janus). Anyway, we've got another, newer server lined up, but we haven't had a chance to get the proxy configuration moved over to it (it's actually a fairly complicated config). We're hoping to do it soon.

I'm going to attribute the jump in Windows Media Player to NPR using it for it's streaming audio, as well as CNN and a few others. Total guess on my part, and I'm sure there are alternative guesses that are as (or more) valid. Honestly, I try not to examine the web and streaming media sites hit too closely. While a longer-term study might be interesting, I wouldn't want to collect the data unless we could insure that we weren't retaining any identifying info, which can be somewhat difficult (you'd likely have to gather data, and strip info out or aggrigate some of the information and destroy the original source data)

Quote:
Originally Posted by John D. Muccigrosso
Dave,

Nice stats in the jpegs. Thanks. What's with the extremely large http portion? Is that AIM or something else using port 80, or maybe large file downloads coming across via http? Also, looks like MS Player is a big chunk too, and BitTorrent is in there.

Interesting stuff.
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  #29  
Old 11-08-2005, 08:57 PM
Golbanou Tabatabaie's Avatar
Golbanou Tabatabaie Golbanou Tabatabaie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul R. Coen

I'm going to attribute the jump in Windows Media Player to NPR using it for it's streaming audio, as well as CNN and a few others. Total guess on my part, and I'm sure there are alternative guesses that are as (or more) valid.

Not to mention that it is far superior to any other media player of its kind.
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  #30  
Old 11-08-2005, 09:19 PM
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Kevin P. Egan Kevin P. Egan is offline
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Default VLC rules

Actually I find the VLC media player is actually superior to all media players. It comes with as many codecs as anyone could want. If I ever have a media file I cannot play with winamp and wmp, I know that vlc can. And the latest version came with a snapshot feature, allowing easy screen caps without having to rely on 3rd party utilities or the print screen command.
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