Loyola Deploys Packeteer Software To Manage Network Traffic

Loyola College in Maryland has upgraded to a new version of PacketShaper in preparation for a network upgrade that could quadruple bandwidth to as much as 500 Mbps. The college will use the enhanced software from Packeteer to manage and monitor performance for the school's network traffic, which includes streaming media-based academic content, administrative functions and recreational use.

The campus originally deployed the software to get control of peer to peer traffic. Recently, the college has prioritized its more critical applications for the faculty and staff and streaming media of academic content. The current migration to PacketShaper 10000 was made in anticipation of an upgrade from the existing 150 Mbps WAN link to one with 400-500 Mbps.

"PacketShaper is an indispensable tool for managing and reporting the constant growth in bandwidth demand across our diverse set of applications," said Patrick Donohue, Loyola's network systems engineer. "With the deep visibility provided by PacketShaper we know exactly which applications are running at any point in time, and can adjust priorities on the fly to deliver better performance for the most critical ones."

Top priority is given to web server traffic facing the outbound link as well as thresholds for designated inbound connections necessary to support the college's network identity. In addition to the traditional Web, email, instant messaging and administrative applications, the college also supports a student portal, an online registration system and centralized data storage for all students and faculty.

The college has 5,000 students with 80 percent of the undergraduates residing on campus. The Residence Hall Network, RezNet, provides a high-speed connection to both the campus LAN and the Internet for each student. Wireless Internet access is also available for students and faculty throughout the campus.

"Students today not only want to study online, they expect to be able to get their entertainment online, particularly through interactive gaming, streaming media, and social networking," Donohue said. "A modern collegiate network must be able to support work and play as many more traditional services, like cable TV and telecommunications, become converged onto an expanding data network with growing options of connectivity."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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