Internet Performance Update

Additional Internet Link

Efforts by Colleges of the Fenway Area Network (COFAN) to increase bandwidth are taking longer than anticipated. Due to this, Wentworth has partnered with a second Internet Service Provider to provide an additional 900Mbps (megabits per second) Internet connection dedicated to our campus’s wireless network.

Why are we doing the change?

While the new Firewalls installed over Winter Break improved our Internet performance on campus, we are still impacted by a bandwidth limitation on the Colleges of the Fenway Area Network’s link to the Internet.  This limitation typically occurs weekdays between 12pm-1am and has been increasing in duration. Our Internet connection is a mission critical system that impacts the entire community and this solution will increase the performance level you receive using the Internet.

What is the change?

All campus wireless Internet traffic will be directed to the new Internet connection. This will allow us to redirect approximately 50% of our current Internet traffic through our dedicated connection. The remaining campus Internet traffic will continue to utilize our existing connection with COFAN.

When will the change take place?

We anticipate that the additional connection will go live within the next few weeks.

Firewall Implementation

Over Winter Break, Network Operations installed the new firewalls which were contributing to poor Internet performance on campus throughout the fall semester.

Background

In late 2012, a formal report was compiled of network equipment showing that the majority of equipment in Academic buildings was old. Early in 2013, a replacement cycle plan was put together to replace 1/4 of the network each year beginning with the oldest equipment first. The funding and plan began in July 2013.

During the Spring 2013 semester, we began to see a significant growth in the number of devices on the network and a higher demand for bandwidth. During the Fall 2013 semester, we were continually reaching our maximum bandwidth limitation, which has been causing slow Internet performance.

Solutions

  • Firewall

Our existing firewall had a limitation of 650 Mbps (megabits per second). On October 30th, we purchased a new firewall to allow for future Internet usage growth. The new firewall was installed over the Winter Holiday Break.

  • Colleges of the Fenway (COF) Bandwidth Increase

Currently the COF has 2GBps of available bandwidth. Wentworth utilizes more of this bandwidth than the other five COF schools combined. COF is planning to upgrade the network and bandwidth to 4GBps beginning in early 2014.

User Impact

While these solutions are implemented, Internet usage will be slower during peak usage times. Please be conscious of unnecessary Internet usage, such as leaving music or videos streaming while away from your computer, until the issues are resolved.
Peak Usage Times: Monday - Thursday: 1:00pm - 2:30pm & Sunday - Thursday: 8:00pm - 1:00am
We will be continually monitoring Internet traffic to ensure the highest level of performance available at this time.

Network Statistics and Graphs

Traffic Growth

2011 2012 2013
Daily Average 232 Mb/s 490 Mb/s 566 Mb/s
Hourly Maximum 246 Mb/s 630 Mb/s 647 Mb/s

* 2011 and prior, limit was 250 Mb/s. 2012 and after, limit currently 650 Mb/s.

Wireless Devices Growth

2011 2012 2013
Hourly Average 1,550 2,350 3,200
Hourly Maximum 1,730 2,670 3,480
Year over Year Growth 9% 35% 23%

* We have more than doubled the number of wireless devices on the network since 2011.

Daily (24 Hour) Traffic Graph

24 Hour Traffic Graph

Traffic Usage

Traffic Usage

Usage Areas

Usage Areas

Note: Wifi statistics are aggregated into Residential and Academic buildings. Specific building names indicate wired connections.

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