Bandwidth refers to the amount of information that can pass through the network. More information passing through the network, means more bandwidth used, which in turn means higher cost (think of it as another utility.) Most people on the network use very little bandwidth as they browse the web, send email and download files. However, in the past the majority of the bandwidth was being consumed by a small number of users, causing poor network performance for everyone.
At the present time, we have 375 Mbps of bandwidth available for incoming traffic (traffic coming on to campus) and 375 Mbps of bandwidth available for outgoing traffic (traffic leaving the campus).
CIT uses BlueCoat PacketShapers, sophisticated pieces of equipment that monitor all network traffic to and from the Geneseo network. Network traffic is identified and prioritized to provide a fair and equitable amount of bandwidth to all. This means the user that wants to download music or movies will be limited so the bandwidth for all others is not degraded. This also includes bandwidth available by folks outside of Geneseo that try to upload Peer-to-peer files from computers on campus. We found that over 50% of the network traffic leaving ResNet headed out the Internet was from one single file sharing application. By limiting this type of traffic we can increase the performance of the network for everyone. Peer-to-peer applications (Kaaza, Morpheus, DirectConnect, etc.) are classified as entertainment traffic which is given a lower priority than web browsing and email.
We have identified and prioritized four different types of traffic that move across our network.
The PacketShaper does not control traffic going between two on-campus computers, web sites or servers.
All standard traffic bound for or to the Internet (excluding peer-to-peer), is given a "normal" priority. If the bandwidth is available, then there is no artificial limit. Nearly all traffic fits into this category.
This kind of traffic is given very low priority, and is limited to 500 Kbps, if the bandwidth is available. This means extremely slow downloads and connections with off campus peers. P2P is an incredible consumer of bandwidth, and no matter how much we set aside, it would never be enough.
The recent invasion of the Blaster and Welchia worms infected many computers on ResNet. We are continually modifying the PacketShaper to recognize several variants of these malicious worms and block most of them.
Absolutely not! CIT's primary concern is network performance, not the content of your traffic.
More information on bandwidth can be found on the following web sites: