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  #11  
Old 10-13-2005, 11:51 PM
Noah C. Rosenfield
 
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well, now this is even weirder. i just tried playing tonight and it was playable! it wasn't perfect, but it was infinitely better than it has been. yea, really really odd. so i've been told it's impossible because of the cap, but tonight was fine. i assume it's because everyone has gone home? but i mean, how many people are taking up a lot of bandwidth at 2 AM on a wednesday? why was it still so laggy then, but now it's fine. man, i'm so confused about how drew's network works.
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  #12  
Old 10-14-2005, 10:27 AM
Mike Richichi's Avatar
Mike Richichi Mike Richichi is offline
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Default Excuse me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noah C. Rosenfield
GOD DAMN! i was told what the problem is by someone who seems to know.

it's the upload cap they have in place. THAT'S the problem. man, i knew there had to be something other than general network use.

And where did you hear this from?
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  #13  
Old 10-14-2005, 11:07 AM
Christopher L. Stave's Avatar
Christopher L. Stave Christopher L. Stave is offline
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Default Gaming, Caps, Bandwidth, and Lag

Hi, I'm Chris Stave, I work with Dave to keep the network going and improving.

There are a few things that I think are related to this that are good to know:

1.) There is no cap on upload bandwidth. Occasionally we might hit the limit of our connection, but generally speaking Drew has upload bandwidth available.
2.) We want you to be able to play games. While academic use is the most important use of the network, we recognize the importance of the network for social and entertainment uses, including games. We don't actively prevent the use of games, and we wouldn't want to.
3.) The likely reason that games are playable now is due to reading days, people are so engrossed in their studies that they are not using the network as much as usual (or, more likely, many people are off-campus).
4.) When we look at the problem, it often looks like it might not be a bandwidth problem as much as a latency problem, you can move the data, but the response time is bad. This might occur when there is a lot of traffic, and is something that we are looking into.
5.) We are looking into getting more bandwidth in the future.
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  #14  
Old 10-14-2005, 01:11 PM
Golbanou Tabatabaie's Avatar
Golbanou Tabatabaie Golbanou Tabatabaie is offline
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Default

haha i love how our users names are our names....

and i find it funny when chris is like, hi! im chris!

nevermind.

i'm golly. yeah stuff ok bye.
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  #15  
Old 10-14-2005, 01:48 PM
Noah C. Rosenfield
 
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ok, it's nice to finally get a little more descriptive/definitive information on the network.

oh, and i heard about the cap from a fellow gamer.


i just have a few more things

you mentioned there was no upload cap, but is there a download cap?

it's refreshing to hear that some people understand that the use of the internet for entertainment purposes does have some relevancy and isn't just something which should be deemed totally unimportant because it isn't academic.

it's also good to hear that you're looking into the ping problem. if drew had the money for it, there's tons of ways you could improve it. of course, i don't know the budget around here.

and more bandwidth sounds awesome too. hooray. maybe get us a 1000T connection... that would rock.



ok, thanks to chris for the info.
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  #16  
Old 10-14-2005, 03:41 PM
John D. Muccigrosso John D. Muccigrosso is offline
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Default It's all your fault

Noah,

You seem to have answered your own question by observing that our internet connection gets a lot snappier when lots of students go home. You should try it over the summer.

Seriously though, all those little laptops sitting around downloading and uploading files take up a lot of bandwidth. Lots of P2P apps turn your computer into a server as well as a client (unless we prevent that?).

Perhaps Chris or Mike or somebody with the knowledge could post a typical day's bandwidth profile, or even a week's.

And I don't know whether this is a factor, but I wouldn't be surprised if local traffic didn't cause a lag for you in the dorms. Get a few people playing an on-line game and your local router may be awfully busy. Some schools even have separate lines for students and non-students because of this.

Oh, and Chris wrote:
Quote:
due to reading days, people are so engrossed in their studies

which is very funny. Glad to see that he hasn't lost his sense of humor since graduating.
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  #17  
Old 10-14-2005, 04:27 PM
David J. Wilson's Avatar
David J. Wilson David J. Wilson is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noah C. Rosenfield
ok, it's nice to finally get a little more descriptive/definitive information on the network.

you mentioned there was no upload cap, but is there a download cap?

it's refreshing to hear that some people understand that the use of the internet for entertainment purposes does have some relevancy and isn't just something which should be deemed totally unimportant because it isn't academic.


There's no upload/download cap in place in the sense that you are thinking- a per-seat or per-IP overall limit, like what you'd get with DSL or Cable (e.g. 2Mbps/128Kbps down/up).

There are, however, connection limits in place for a few specific protocols, but nothing unreasonable. On the other side of that, we are guaranteeing minimum bandwidth amounts to specific types of network traffic per connection. We try to find a balance that works for everyone. It's something that requires frequent monitoring and adjusting, and we're doing just that.

Our approach to packet shaping can generally be summed up as, we like to ensure that academic use of the network is always possible and reliable, we put an emphasis on this. But we also realize the importance of entertainment media- music, games, videos, etc. The restrictions we set in place, if any, are only to ensure that it works acceptably for everyone, rather than have it work great for just a few people and poorly for the rest.


Re: Bandwidth use, on an average day during the semester we're consistently using about 80-90% of our inbound bandwidth and about 50% outbound. I'm currently running some long term monitoring processes to gather data on what kind of utilization we have at nights and weekends. Hopefully we can use that information to our advantage.


Dave (network administrator)
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  #18  
Old 10-14-2005, 04:59 PM
Mike Richichi's Avatar
Mike Richichi Mike Richichi is offline
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Default Another consideration

At this point, no matter what we do with bandwidth allocation, it's still trying to get an elephant through a straw. The best we can do is get certain parts of the elephant first.

It's an interesting situation--I have a cable modem at home and I can get 8 or 9Mbps of download bandwidth, all for myself, for $50 a month. Drew has a 20Mbps connection for the entire university that costs over 100 times that. Why? Because commercial-grade Internet service is expensive. There's a much higher reliability factor, there's more work in supporting thousands of computers in a single connection, getting DNS servers, etc. Even if residential-class service would somehow work, the terms of service from the vendors specifically prohibits us using it for supporting all students. The point is the economies of scale aren't there--quite frankly commercial pricing hasn't come in to line with residential bandwidth pricing (and commercial bandwidth has come down considerably, and we purchase our Internet at a sizeable discount as part of a statewide consortium.)

I can certainly advocate for more money to fix the problem, but the fact of the matter is it's expensive and it has to coexist with all other financial priorities at the University (like paying faculty, renovating buildings, buying books in the Library and thousands of other things.) Technology presents to the budget committee on priorities, and if this is important to you, you should let your consituent representatives know so they can advocate for appropriate allocations.

Personally, I know we need considerably more bandwidth, and not just for Internet games but all Internet activities. There will be more and larger files needed to be transmitted to do research, create projects, and yes, to support legitimate non-academic uses of the Internet (3 years ago we didn't have iTunes for instance, and soon there will be movie downloading services.) We could easily spend a million dollars a year on our Internet connection, and I bet it might not be enough for some activities.

BTW, at least in the aggregate, we don't see any amount of bandwidth in the local switches in the dorms that would suggest a major saturation problem on the local area network. That's not to say there aren't issues in bursts or transients, which would be harder to detect, but our average utilization is at most a few percent of switch capacity, usually much less than even that.

I'd love to ramble on about how you can't just assume that the fact you spend $20 on a home router means we could do the same, but I'll stop for now. Suffice it to say that complexity increases exponentially when you have more people on a network, and that enterprise grade hardware costs many times the cost of home grade hardware, and although may not seem cost effective in raw numbers, is our only choice for a campuswide network.
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  #19  
Old 10-14-2005, 05:17 PM
John D. Muccigrosso John D. Muccigrosso is offline
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Quote:
3 years ago we didn't have iTunes for instance, and soon there will be movie downloading services
Sounds like somebody's in the market for a new iPod.


While iTunes was introduced in Jan 01, I suppose Windows users couldn't enjoy it until Oct 03 (actually 2 years ago this Sunday).
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  #20  
Old 10-14-2005, 05:32 PM
Noah C. Rosenfield
 
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just out of curiosity, what kind of connection does drew have?

just a single t3 line for all of campus?
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