Univ. information technology specialists look to expand network
Published: Monday, October 15, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013 19:04
Because many students use the Internet throughout the day, Information Technology specialists are looking into expanding the university’s network capacity to accommodate the demand.
Daniel Grim, chief technology officer at the university’s IT department, stated in an email message there are currently two connections to the Internet, each with a one gigabit per second capability.
“We plan over the next several months to upgrade to three Internet service providers, each with a 10 gigabit [per] second capability,” Grim said.
He said a couple of years ago, the servers that run PeopleSoft, a software that gathers, analyzes and reports on organizational data, were upgraded and have recently been upgraded to the latest software version. Grim said the upgrades improve the software’s response times, but it is still not as good as the IT department would like.
He said the most compute-intensive process for the network is schedule registration, but IT workers have attempted to increase the Internet’s speed during that period.
Freshman Travis Sauer said he visits the websites Facebook, Wikipedia, Reddit and Tumblr the most throughout the week and has noticed the Internet in his residence hall is fast but not always reliable.
“The Internet in Harrington [Residence Hall] is pretty fast when it works,” Sauer said. “Sometimes my computer just won’t connect to the internet.”
Grim said although information regarding the most popular websites among students is not available, traffic patterns during the evenings may indicate what is happening. The IT department sees large amount of traffic in the evenings, which he said might suggest that sites like Netflix are in use.
Senior B.J. Hockman said the Internet plays a significant role in his daily life.
“I’m on the Internet everyday on campus, probably four or five hours a day,” Hockman said. “Everything I do is on the Internet nowadays.”
Senior Chelsea Trottier said she divides her time online between academic uses and social media websites like Facebook.
“I use the Internet all the time, every day, 50 percent of the time is for academics,” Trottier said.
Karl Hassler, an IT in systems security, stated in an email message that in addition to periods of high traffic, the department tracks many copyright infringement cases.
Hassler said between the period of Sept. 1, 2011 and Aug. 31, 2012, there were 1,198 alleged incidents of distributing copyrighted files on campus. However, he said the numbers are not uncommon and students who participate in the activity are directly contacted and reprimanded.
“For the first incident, we notify the student, disable the network access and enroll them in an online copyright education course,” Hassler said. “Repeat incidents are referred to the Office of Student Conduct.”
Grim said IT workers also receive Digital Millennium Copyright Act notices for infringing material.
“In some instances, their system must be brought to IT for analysis and cleanup,” Grim said.