Students 'Streaming' Back to Campus Put Unprecedented Strain on University Networks
As millions of college students head back to campus, bringing with them laptops, smart phones and a myriad of high-bandwidth internet applications to fuel their learning experience and social life, most colleges and universities are unprepared for this growing strain social and peer-to-peer internet traffic will place on network resources.
Working with colleges and universities around the globe, Exinda has found that this strain can often impede the universities’ own network services for critical enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications, as well as diminish access to learning and testing applications for faculty. Given how rapidly the market for high-bandwidth access devices and social applications has grown, many university networks simply do not make the grade for network performance.
“Networks at colleges and universities serve many constituents with little direct control over how they use the network,” said Brendan Reid, vice president of product marketing at Exinda. “Students, faculty and administration often have competing application needs – academic, social and business – that together create a unique network personality our education customers call The Learning Network. Network administrators need to understand that personality and have the tools to identify what application is being used, who is using it and why it’s being used so they can prioritize and protect strategic traffic and throttle back recreational traffic when needed. That consistent insight and control – powered by Exinda – helps to provide a healthy balance between learning and social application use to ensure predictable user experience when it’s needed most.”
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is one university prepared for the additional strain the arrival of more than 9,000 students put on its network each fall. Located in southeastern Massachusetts, UMass Dartmouth has limited access to the fiber rings that surround larger cities such as Boston, and leverages Exinda to help prioritize its available bandwidth to assure the performance of its critical ERP functions while providing a “fair share” of bandwidth to each student to meet their personal academic and social needs.
“Access to a world-class network that is available whenever and wherever our users want to access it is a key benefit to our students and faculty at UMass Dartmouth, whether they are using it to learn, grow or simply entertain,” said Richard Pacheco, Network Systems Manager at UMass Dartmouth. “But we can’t let their needs supersede our ability to deliver the network performance our faculty members, administration and partners need to make the university run, and that’s where Exinda plays a key role.”
With Exinda’s solutions in place, UMass Dartmouth has visibility into its network traffic and can balance both optimization and containment of that traffic – whether that be administrative (e.g., ERP), academic (e.g., Blackboard), collaborative (e.g., Moodle), social (e.g., Facebook, Twitter), or streaming (e.g., YouTube, Netflix).
The UMass Dartmouth implementation is part of Exinda’s ongoing strategy to assure the performance of The Learning Network – networks at schools, colleges and universities that must meet the academic requirements of their institution as well as the social interaction of the students that study, live and play within it. Today, 6 million students rely on the Exinda Learning Network worldwide because more than 700 educational institutions have turned to Exinda to assure application performance, improve the end-user experience, contain recreational applications and reduce network operating costs.
Exinda’s targeted solutions for university networks include the Education Application Pack for Exinda Edge, which contains 142 targeted, Layer 7 application signatures that speak to the personality of the network type and help focus network resources intelligently where they are needed most. Exinda Edge is a WAN Optimization 2.0 solution that integrates WAN Optimization and Application Assurance technologies into a single suite. Exinda is the first and only company to take this strategic application approach to WAN Optimization.
To learn more about Exinda’s solutions to assure the performance of the Learning Network, visit www1.exinda.com/education/.
Exinda is a proven global supplier of next-generation WAN optimization and application assurance solutions. The company has helped more than 2,500 organizations in over 80 countries worldwide assure application performance, improve the end-user experience, contain recreational applications and reduce network operating costs for the IT executive. For more information, please visit http://www.exinda.com.