Educational Campus Bandwidth Monitoring

Educational Institute Network Bandwidth Monitoring & Traffic Analysis



Elizabeth Board of Schools

Queen's University

Claremont McKenna College

Right from filing admission by prospective students to administering exams more and more colleges are going the e-way. Campus wide internet availability and Wi-Fi enabled classrooms are ubiquitous in today's academic institutions. Educational Institutions rank at the top when it comes to harnessing the latest in technology. Especially technologies that seek to eliminate the constraints of time and distance and make learning possible from anywhere are well received. The backbone of this capability is interenet. Being that,  it is vital that educational institutions have a proper system in place to monitor the health of their networks and the bandwidth availability.

A question of reputation

Often researchers at universities use the internet as a principal form of communicating their research findings - including means such as tele-conferencing and webinar based streaming videos. These session are often attended by researchers from other premier institutions and laboratories. In such events even the slightest glitch in the network reflects badly on the faculty member and the academic institution. So it's well in order that proper mechanisms exist in place that help the network administrators to ensure that the network is always up and running.

Also with more colleges and universities emphasizing on internship for students it is not uncommon for students to spend a term or two at industries for practicum. In such cases students take a course or two
relying on the streaming video classes. Also all the assignments are submitted online. Any network delay could could result in the student not being able to submit assignments before deadline or not able to take the exam in a sitting.

It is very vital that network administrators have the ability to visualize their network health and take appropriate proactive actions to avoid any network eventualities.

A Case in Point

A community college based in NewYork wants to conduct a webinar for its distance education students. As a number of students access its session, the bandwidth requirements
are very high.The IT department which doesn't have the advantage of a bandwidth monitoring and reporting solution assumes that the available bandwidth on its network should be sufficient to handle the session. Midway through the session the participants are timed out and many of them observe mismatch between the voice and video content.

The Solution : NetFlow Analyzer as a tool to monitor the network

In such a situation a bandwidth monitoring that makes available details pertaining to bandwidth consumption in the last 6 months, the daily bandwidth usage pattern in the last 1 month, the top applications that consume bandwidth   empowers the network administrator to take an educated decision and there by make the suitable bandwidth provision or apply appropriate rules to ensure the webinar goes unaffected during the specific time duration.

Cisco NetFlow Technology makes it possible to unravel various vital information about your network health with no additional investment. ManageEngine NetFlow Analyzer, by harnessing the NetFlow data export from Cisco Routers and switches analyses and reports on vital parameters like who the top talkers are, which applications are consuming the maximum bandwidth,  whether there has been any network attack/unscrupulous access attempts, etc.

Armed with this information and with provisions to be proactively alerted upon any threshold violations, you can stay relaxed when it comes to your educational network. You bet !

Read : Case Study ( in PDF)