CirrusWorks Discusses Taming the Bandwidth Hogs at Elmhurst College

Student demand for bandwidth is exploding, and nowhere is it more acute than in college dorms.  When Dean Jensen and his team at Elmhurst College began planning for the seasonal spike in tablets, smart phones and PCs, they knew that simply adding more bandwidth, infrastructure and support services would not be enough to satisfy the insatiable demand from these competing devices. They needed some way to optimize their current and future network resources, controlling costs and ensuring a measurable quality of service.

With over 3,200 students, concurrent devices were reaching into the many thousands and their current capacity was oversubscribed, especially on the dorm ResNet (“Residential Network”), during peak usage periods. Every evening, the quality of service would suffer from a few “data hogs” grabbing bandwidth at the expense of everyone else. Elmhurst will be upgrading their circuit in the fall, and they wanted to ensure they get the most from this additional bandwidth, optimizing the user experience and minimizing their future support costs.

“We needed a solution that did not require heavy configuration or ongoing maintenance, and could adapt to changing user demands on the fly,” said Dr. Jensen, Director of Infrastructure & Web Applications. “Students are streaming, gaming and upgrading operating systems, all while trying to access their Blackboard LMS platform. We couldn’t turn them off, because they are doing it all simultaneously. And to add to the complexity, most of the data is encrypted traffic, which makes it nearly impossible to shape or limit by application.”

"CirrusWorks is managing data flows in microseconds, and dynamically allocating bandwidth to users based on real-time availability. It tames the hogs, so everyone gets a fair share of bandwidth during peak periods and it complements our existing stack of network monitoring and content management platforms."

Dr. Dean Jensen

Director of Infrastructure & Web Applications

“We found CirrusWorks when researching what other colleges had done to specifically address data congestion during peak usage periods,” said Jensen. CirrusWorks has developed a unique bandwidth optimization platform that dynamically assesses and allocates bandwidth among multiple competing users on a network in real time, without static rule sets, complicated prioritization schemes or intrusive Deep Packet Inspection (DPI).

When Elmhurst looked at traditional network monitors and packet shapers, the list was “long on functions but short on individual user performance,” said Jensen.  Many were originally built as content filters, monitoring platforms or application prioritization engines. Most require very specific, expensive expertise to maintain, and they can’t keep up with the enormous volumes of data required by students on campus networks.

CirrusWorks is managing data flows in microseconds, and dynamically allocating bandwidth to users based on real-time availability. It tames the hogs, so everyone gets a fair share of bandwidth during peak periods,” said Jensen, “and it complements our existing stack of network monitoring and content management platforms.”

Elmhurst College is a private college in the heart of the Chicago metropolitan area, committed to helping students reach their potential—in college and in the world beyond. With nearly 60 undergraduate majors and more than 15 graduate programs, Elmhurst boasts a student-to-faculty ratio of just 13 to 1. The College’s gorgeous campus is a green oasis in the heart of a safe, quiet suburb—but it’s also just a half-hour train ride from downtown Chicago, giving students unlimited access to world-class cultural and professional opportunities. Please visit www.elmhurst.edu.

CirrusWorks is the leader in bandwidth optimization technologies. Their flagship product, The Governor™, provides a simple, efficient and cost-effective tool for maximizing the capacity of Internet circuits, getting more out of network infrastructure and improving web-based performance for users on busy networks. For more information, please visit www.cirrusworks.net.

Source: CirrusWorks, Inc.


Categories: Colleges and Universities, Student Living, Internet

Tags: college dorms, congestion, internet performance, optimization


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CirrusWorks is a leader in bandwidth optimization technologies. Their flagship product, The Governor™, provides a simple, cost-effective tool for capturing more capacity from Internet circuits, improving web-based performance for users on busy BYOD n

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