Ideas about Bandwidth

Some schools are in range of fiber connections and can have 10 mbit connections fairly easily. We’re not in one of those locations. We can get cable, dsl and our T1s, but not high bandwidth fiber.

Currently, we have two bonded T1s for bandwidth, going through a Packeteer, Microsoft ISA Proxy server (which works with our Websense server). All the client systems on campus go through this proxy server.

To improve bandwidth, we’re considering a business class cable connection that runs into its own ISA proxy server. I believe that Websense could connect to that second proxy server, and to begin with we could enable only faculty and staff to use that proxy server. If we could connect them to a more dedicated bandwidth connection (or the students to this connection), the load on our T1s could be reduced.

One example is the Daylight Savings Time updates this week. Mostly, the Windows machines only needed a 600k patch. Many of our OS X machines, however, needed to download 200 megabytes of updates to get them 10.4.8, add the Java update, and then the Daylight Savings Time update. Even having a handful of users doing this at once saturated our T1s yesterday (the lab machines, etc., we did with downloaded updates off the servers).

So, we’re on the hunt for bandwidth, and the second proxy server with its own pipe appears to be our next test solution.

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