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ResNet Wired, ResNet Wireless, eduroam on campus, 3 systems, 2 setup tools, 2 sets of instructions… that’s all a bit confusing, perhaps it’s time we simplified all that.

This summer, we’re going to wave goodbye to ResNet Wireless and make eduroam available in the halls of residence.  This will mean that you only have to set up your computer/phone/tablet once, and it’ll work in halls and on campus.   Much simpler for you, and much easier for us to support!

We’ve made the first step in that direction already, and the eduroam wireless signal is now available in halls.  If your computer is already set up to use eduroam when you’re on campus you’ll find you can already use eduroam in your room!  Somewhere around 12% of the devices we normally see connecting to ResNet Wireless are already connecting to the eduroam signal.

We’ve still got a bit of work to do to transition fully to eduroam in halls, but the timeline looks a bit like this:

  • 7th May 2013 – we added the eduroam (and Bristol-WiFi-Setup) signals to the wireless coverage in halls
  • 17th June 2013 – we’ll start contacting those who haven’t migrated, so that if they’re staying on in halls they don’t lose out
  • 24th June 2013 – we switch off the ResNet Wireless signal

Somewhere in between those two dates we’ll be launching a new version of the connection instructions for new users, updating the website, and making sure that anyone who hasn’t moved over to eduroam does so. The IT Service Desk will be laying on some additional telephone support (starting on the 24th June) for anyone who needs help migrating – we don’t want to leave anyone stranded with no internet!

The super-high-speed ResNet Wired service will be staying around, and will not be changing.  At some point in the future (probably 2014/2015) we’d like to make the setup of the wired service the same as eduroam.  The idea being that you set up your computer once and use it on the wired or wireless, seamlessly – but that’s a little way off yet!

Over the Christmas period we’ve been busily installing additional wireless points to improve some of the gaps in our ResNet Wireless coverage.

  • Churchill – we’ve installed 4 new wireless points at in MPQR block, doubling the coverage in that building.
  • Goldney Hall – we’ve installed 14 new wireless points.

Customers in those locations should see an improvement in signal strength and reliability as a result of this work.

We’re aware that there are still areas of poor coverage elsewhere on ResNet, and work is underway to close up the gaps.  Most notably, we hope to be installing additional wireless points in Deans Court (26 new wireless points) and Unite House (36 new wireless points) in the near future.

Most people are using ResNet Wireless this year, probably because it’s really convenient (who doesn’t want to be able to lie on their bed and watch endless videos of kittens on youtube?) but did you know that ResNet Wired is up to 5 times faster?

Internet speeds are limited by the slowest technology in the path in the chain.  At home that’s usually the bit between your broadband router and the internet, but on ResNet Wireless our connection to the internet is so blisteringly fast that the bottle neck can be the wireless technology used by your laptop.  There are two main wireless technologies on ResNet Wireless, 802.11g and 802.11n

We have the newer, faster 802.11n technology in place on about 80% of ResNet, and in our tests the speeds work out something like this:

802.11g

802.11n

Although these tests were done using an actual ResNet Wireless connection, your wireless connection might well be slower.  Our tests were done at a quiet time of day, and we were sat in the same room as the wireless router.  If all your flatmates are using ResNet Wireless at the same time as you, or if there are any walls between you and the access point then you can expect your wireless speeds to be a bit slower than ours.

However, neither of those factors effect the ResNet Wired service!

ResNet Wired

Blimey! That’s a bit quick that is!

To set up your computer to use ResNet Wired, just plug your computer into the ResNet socket in your room using the cable provided and follow the connection guide we gave you when you moved in.  If you don’t have a cable or a connection guide, ask your hall office or senior resident.

This issue has now been resolved – see updates at bottom of post.  If you believe you are still having wireless problems then please contact the IT Service Desk.

We are aware of some specific ResNet wireless connection problems at Deans Court and Unite House and would like to assure our customers that we are working to improve the coverage.  If you’re affected by these problems, we recommend using the ResNet Wired service until we’re able to resolve the coverage issue.

ResNet Wireless was installed in these buildings within the last six months.  Once installed it was essential to survey every room to see if the installation met our expectations.   Unfortunately because the building was occupied we were unable to do this survey work until the last two weeks of September.

We’re still analysing the results for most halls, but we’ve already highlighted a number of rooms at Deans Court and Unite Hose which had poor or no wireless signal strength.

We are not happy about this situation because we aim to provide the best possible connection for all our customers.  Over the next few months we will be installing additional Wireless Access Points into low signal areas .

We plan to complete the work required before Christmas 2012.

We’ll post updates about the process here when we have more information, including details of any other halls where we’re not happy with the coverage.

Update 6th Feb 2013 – Mark (ResNet Manager)

We really wanted to get the service in Deans Court and Unite House up to the high standards you expect of the Residential Network but due to circumstances beyond our control we have not me the Christmas deadline we set ourselves.

The good news is that we are really close to commissioning the 38 additional Wireless Access Points (WAPs) installed into Deans Court and the 26 additional WAPs into Unite House.  We’d love to give an exact date but unfortunately we can’t although we really hope to get fully working wireless by Friday 8th February.

Update 7th Feb 2013 – Mark (ResNet Manager)

We’ll be on-site today in both locations installing network equipment so we should have everything working by Friday 8th.

Update 8th Feb 2013 – Mark (ResNet Manager)

Great news, we have managed to get all Wireless working in Deans Court and Unite House today so coverage is greatly improved.  We are really sorry this has taken a little longer than originally planned but hope you are happy with the results.

Good news for residents in Langford’s Hostels – We’ve added ResNet Wireless so you can now connect your computers, smartphones and tablets more conveniently!

Here is some info on how to connect…

http://www.bris.ac.uk/it-services/advice/homeusers/resnet/connect/wireless

 

Over the last few months the ResNet team have been working with cabling contractors on a plan to install ResNet Wireless in the smaller student houses. Starting on Monday 30th April and continuing until Friday 4th May our contractors will be on-site installing cabling and over 20 Wireless Access Points to flat hallways – access should not be required to your room so the disruption should be minimal.

Adding wireless to these properties will increase Residential wireless coverage to just over 96%

For more information on ResNet Wireless please visit <http://www.resnet.bristol.ac.uk/wireless>

If you have any questions then please get in touch by email but please check <http://www.bristolresnet.net> before doing so as progress updates will be posted there.

 Update 8/5/2012 by Mark

Our contractor was hoping to have this installed by now but we’re having supply issues with the wireless access points and switches.  On Friday we received the majority of the WAPs so the cabling contractor can now crack on with the install.  Watch this space for further updates.

Update 21/5/2012 by Mark

You’ve probably noticed that the WAPs are being installed.  You’ve also probably noticed that when they are installed they don’t seem to work.  There’s a good reason for that.  We are still waiting for the switches to be delivered so that we can plug the WAPs in.   The order for the switches went in nearly 5 weeks ago but there seem to be supply chain issues, the result of which is long lead-times on the switches we need.  I’ve asked our supplier for an update and I will update this blog when I know more.

Update 21/5/2012 @ 11:20 by Mark

Our supplier has told us that we should expect the switches this week.  We then need to configure them and install them in the cabinets in the houses.  I’d love to guarantee working wireless this week but this totally depends on when the switches arrive and how much time we have to configure/install them.

Update 30/5/2012 @ 11:20 by Mark

Switches are in but we are waiting to have them configured.  If all goes well we’ll be installing the switches this week.  I know we’ve had a few prompts from people eager to have wireless, and I’m really sorry it’s taken so long, but we are getting there!  I’ll update the blog and email everyone when the installations are complete.

 Update 01/05/2012 @ 16:30 by Mark

We’ve finally installed and configured all WAPs in Student Houses – just in time for the Jubilee!  We are now at over 98% wireless coverage in ResNet and we’re planning the install of the last 2%.  Sorry things took a little longer than expected but we got there in the end.

 

Over the last few months the ResNet team have been working with Unite and cabling contractors on a plan to install ResNet Wireless in Unite House and Chantry Court. Starting on Wednesday 11th April our contractors will be on-site installing cabling and over 50 Wireless Access Points to flat hallways – access should not be required to your room so the disruption should be minimal.

We do not have a completion date but hope the installation will be completed before the end of the Easter Vacation.

Adding wireless to these properties will increase Residential wireless coverage from 80% to just over 95%

For more information on ResNet Wireless please visit

This post will be updated with any useful information as and when we have some.

Update 23/4/2012

We currently have all but 2 of the 51 wireless access points installed in Unite House and Chantry Court fully working.  We are working on the 2 that are not happy and hope to have them up soon.  We can see that 171 of you have used the wireless already which is great.  If you’ve not used ResNet wireless then you can do so by connecting to the ResNet-Setup wireless signal and visiting go.resnet.bristol.ac.uk.

Update 8/5/2012

Okay, all wireless access points in Unite House and Chantry Court are up and running – they were last week, I just forgot to update this post.  If you are having any problems connecting then we have pages to help connect.  If you’re having problems with signal strength then there is a survey that will help us identify problem areas.

 

Over the last few months the ResNet team have been working with A2Dominion and cabling contractors on a plan to install ResNet Wireless in Deans Court.  Starting on Friday 18th November our contractors will be on-site installing cabling
and 30 Wireless Access Points to flat hallways – access should not be required to your room so the disruption should be minimal.

We do not have a completion date but hope the installation will be completed before the end of the term (16th December 2011).

Adding wireless to Deans Court will increase Residential wireless coverage from 68% to just over 75%

For more information on ResNet Wireless please visit <http://www.resnet.bristol.ac.uk/wireless>

This post will be updated with any useful information as and when we have some.

 Update 09-12-2011
All cables have been installed but only some have been terminated. Swicthes are installed. We are a waiting for completion of cable termination which we expect to be next week. Looks like we are on target for completion by the end of this term 🙂

 Update 20-12-2011
The installation of Wireless ResNet was completed late last week and 28 of the 30 access points are now up and we’ve seen over 60 people using them already. We are looking into fixing the two that have never come alive either today or tomorrow. We hope you enjoy using Wireless ResNet.

While we already compare favourably with commercial broadband providers (on price, speed and bandwidth quotas) there’s always room for improvement – so we’re rethinking how much bandwidth we give you on ResNet.

Making your usage quota easier to understand

Currently you have two bandwidth quotas, one for off-peak and one for on-peak times of day.  Going over either quota lands you in a slow network for the rest of the week – at all times of day. This is confusing, and terribly inconvenient if you want to skype your friends back home during peak hours…

So, we’re getting rid of peak-time!

We’ve combined the on and off peak quotas to give you a single quota of 48GB per week (For ResNet Standard) or 81GB per week (For ResNet Max) – no more worrying what time it is!

We’ve been trialling this change since 23rd May and it’s been going pretty well so far.  The My ResNet control panel, and the Bandwidth Gadgets don’t fully know about the change yet, so your on-peak usage is being reported as zero.  If the trial continues to work out ok, we’ll have to see about fixing that!

If 81GB per week isn’t enough for you, you can still buy extra chunks of quota through My ResNet.

Making your connection even faster!

Not content with making things easier, we’re making them faster too!

Starting Monday 13th, we’re going to increase the speed of ResNet wired connections to 50Mbps symmetric – That’s 50Mbps download speed, and 50Mbps upload speed.  Once we’ve made that change, ResNet connections will be faster than BT Infinity Broadband (which gives you 40Mbps download speed, and 10Mbps upload)

Why is this awesome?  (Apart from it being obvious that faster is better!)

Well it means you can take full advantage of cloud based storage/backup solutions such as iCloud, Windows Live SkyDrive or Ubuntu One. It makes uploading photos or video to facebook/vimeo/flickr/youtube super quick, but most importantly – whatever cool new internet functionality is coming round the corner, we want your ResNet connection to be ready to handle it.

At this stage, we’re not making any changes to the speed of the wireless network.  We can make it a bit faster than it is at the moment, but we can’t make it quite as fast as the wired network.  So to take full advantage of the speed boost you’ll need to use your wired connection.

“With great power comes great responsibility” – Spiderman

Once your connection is faster than a very fast thing going downhill on rollerskates – it does mean that it’s easier to use up all your bandwidth quota.  We’ve done some sums and we think a bittorrent client serving up something popular (like an Ubuntu Linux DVD image) left unchecked could rip through the ResNet Max weekly limit in under 4 hours – on upload traffic alone!

If you’ve got any filesharing software on your computer, you might want to limit how much it can upload to the internet.  Most programs allow you to specify a maximum upload speed – we suggest setting this as low as you can get away with!

Not-that-small-really smallprint: All the features mentioned above are being trialled, we reserve the right to end the trial at any time if things start to melt.  We’ll make a decision about what next years network speeds look like based on the results of the trial, so the above features may or may not be available for the 2011-2012 academic year.

Oh, and they apply to ResNet only.  The VisitorNet service got an 8 fold increase about a month ago but that’s as far as we can push that for the moment.

Questions?

If you’ve got any questions or comments about the trials mentioned above, hit the comments below!

We’ve got a new version of the ResNet bandwidth quota monitoring sidebar gadget, which fixes a problem experienced by Windows Vista and Windows 7 users, where the gadget refused to accept their keys.

If you tried the sidebar gadget and it didn’t work, upgrade to the latest version from http://toys.resnet.bris.ac.uk and give it another go!

We’ve been experiencing some problems with the ResNet Wireless service at Northwell House and Winkworth House.  The wired service, and wireless access in other locations around the university are not affected.

There are two distinct issues, which have combined to cause a rather complicated and confusing result, so much so that I’m not really sure how best to describe the situation!

The main symptoms people have been seeing are:

  • The wireless connectivity became unstable (we think on Monday, but possibly over the weekend), meaning that peoples wireless connections were unreliable.
  • The wireless bandwidth accounting encountered a problem and started counting peoples traffic multiple times, leading to people being cut off for going over their quota – without them actually doing so.

We’ve made some changes to the wireless network which we think will improve the stability again, hopefully returning us to normal service stability, and we’re busy fixing the bandwidth accounting.

We are picking our way through those who are affected by the accounting issue, restoring their bandwidth quotas and putting things back to normal.  Until we’ve completed this work, Wireless ResNet data isn’t being updated through My ResNet or the RSS feed/bandwidth gadgets We will be emailing those affected with more details in due course.

We’re really sorry for the inconvenience, especially during the exam season!

Information Services are carrying out some essential systems maintenance on the 11th August 2009, 10:00-10:30 which affects the following ResNet systems:

  • My ResNet
  • ResNet in-room Registration System
  • ResNet Helpdesk troubleshooting tools (including those used by the out of hours helpdesk)
  • ResNet Network Monitoring system (the traffic lights on the ResNet home page)

All fully registered ResNet connections will continue to function normally throughout this maintenance period, so most people won’t notice anything.

There are several other University systems which are also affected by this maintenance, for more details see the IS News website: http://www.bris.ac.uk/is/news/2009/koi28july.html

We’ve received a maintenance announcement from Freewire TV, saying that they will be carrying out some upgrade work on Wednesday 1st April 2009 between 1100 and 1500.

This maintenance has been scheduled so that Inuk Networks Infrastructure can upgrade the encoders used for broadcasting the channels listed below.

Setanta Sports News
Setanta Sports 2
Setanta Sports Golf
Arsenal
Liverpool
Celtic
Rangers
ESPN America

Maintenance Schedule
Maintenance Start: 11.00 on Wednesday 1st April 2009
Maintenance End: 15.00 on Wednesday 1st April 2009
Maintenance Window: 4 hours
Planned Downtime: 30 mins per channel

For the last two weeks we have been logging users’ wireless ResNet usage and have just made this viewable (if you have any) via MyResNet

Because wireless, unlike wired, ResNet usage includes internal usage we are not yet including this in your weekly allowance – it’s just for information.  We will be monitoring wireless usage to make sure it’s not being abused by individuals.  We believe that our wired weekly usage allowance is very generous, so excessive use of the wireless should not be necessary.

We’ve just been informed by freewire that they will be doing some maintenance on the TV service this Wednesday, it shouldn’t cause any problems but we thought we’d warn you all just incase. details as follows:

Maintenance Details
This work has been scheduled so that Inuk Networks can upgrade the User Interface component of the IPTV platform. This improvement will enable future VoD menu features to the Freewire Television service.

Whilst we believe that this work will be completed within the specified times, we feel it prudent to make customers aware that this work is planned.

We do not expect there to be any interruption in your Freewire services.

Maintenance Schedule
Maintenance Start: 10.00 on Wednesday 14th May 2008
Maintenance End: 11.00 on Wednesday 14th May 2008
Maintenance Window: 1 hour
Planned Downtime: No impact.

We’re getting reports that the freewire IPTV client on Windows Vista is encouraging people to upgrade to the latest version (2.1.2.0) – and then failing to work with the following error message:

Freewire 2.1.2.0 error message

The problem seems to only affect some Windows Vista users.

We have found a (temporary) workaround. The “freewire lite” client doesn’t seem to show the same problems, although it is missing some of the features of the full version of the client. So if there’s something you desperately need to watch tonight, that may be an option.

You may like to contact the freewire helpdesk yourself. Contact information for the freewire helpdesk can be found on their website: http://freewiretv.com/helpdesk.html

We’ll update this post as and when we get more information from freewire.

Update 4pm: Freewire confirm that they have seen other cases of this and their engineers are investigating. It seems to affect some but not all Vista users.

If you’ve looked at MyResNet recently you’ll have noticed that the off-peak weekly allowance cell in the Network Usage table has changed from ‘unlimited’ to 35GB. Currently we are not automatically restricting users based on their off-peak usage but we are working towards this goal.

Looking at this table you should be able to work out that if either the off-peak allowance OR the on-peak allowance exceed 100% AUP then your connection will be moved into the restricted network. Clever usage will allow up to 40GB weekly traffic (35 off + 5 on).

As I said before, the off-peak allowance is not active yet, but will be in the near future. The on-peak allowance is still in operation as it has been all year.

From current usage statistics, we anticipate that less than 1% of our users will be affected by this change. For example, last week 0.56% of users transferred data in excess of 35GB off peak and the week before it was just 0.33% (although term only started on Wednesday of that week).

Currently off-peak is midnight to 6pm (18 hours) and on-peak is 6pm to midnight (6 hours).

As always, we welcome constructive feedback.

Well it’s Christmas and lots of students have disappeared for the holidays so it’s only fair that we increase the usual 5GB weekly peak-time usage to 10GB.

Peak-time is unchanged, 6pm to midnight.

The limit will be reduced back to 5GB per week from Monday 7th January 2008 so try not to get caught out 😉

Mark

We will soon be running a pilot wireless version of ResNet in Northwell House. This will provide wireless Internet access to ResNet subscribers in study bedrooms, kitchens and other communal areas in Northwell House. We have selected Northwell because we needed a medium size residence for the pilot. This is in addition to the Wireless Hotspots already available on campus and in some public areas of the halls.

We want to run a pilot so that we can work out the best ways to provide wireless ResNet and get some feed back from students.

What are the benefits of Wireless ResNet?

  • We can provide access in common areas like kitchens
  • You can move your computer between rooms
  • We can provide access to more than one computer per person
  • We hope to provide access to a broader range of devices, such as some handheld computers and games consoles
Cabled ResNet Wireless ResNet
Higher speed You can use more than one computer
You can use FreeWire TV You can use mobile devices
Higher reliability Available in communal areas

Why run a pilot?
We need to be sure that Wireless ResNet will work before we roll it out to thousands of students! The trial gives us the opportunity to test our hardware and to collect feedback from the users participating in the trial. We are sure we will need to make adjustments throughout the trial, so we have a smooth launch and a great level of service when we are able to roll out Wireless ResNet to all residences.

Who can take part in the trial?
As mentioned above, the pilot is only available in Northwell House. Furthermore, only existing ResNet subscribers will be able to use Wireless ResNet.

What kind of computers are compatible with Wireless ResNet?
To start with, you will need Windows XP, Windows Vista, Mac OS X or Linux to be able to use Wireless ResNet on your computer. We hope to add support for many other devices later in the pilot.

How long will it be until Wireless ResNet is made available to all?
This will depend on information gathered in the trial, financial constraints and the time needed to install wireless equipment in 5000 rooms. Universal wireless access to all study bedrooms will be very expensive so we don’t know when we will be able to deliver it. We think it will be very popular among students, and we are running a pilot to find out how people use it. We do know that Wireless ResNet won’t be available in other residences at least for this academic year.

Will cabled ResNet be taken away when Wireless ResNet is turned on?
No. Wireless ResNet will not affect the existing cabled service. However, you will have the ability to use more than one computer, or to use your games console, handheld computer or smartphone on wireless ResNet. You will be able to use either service, or both services, as you please.

How much will Wireless ResNet cost?
For the duration of the trial, Wireless ResNet available for ResNet subscribers at Northwell House at no extra cost. You are helping us by testing out the service and providing feedback! We haven’t yet decided how much it will cost, or even if we will charge extra for Wireless ResNet when it made available to all residences.

I live at Northwell. What do I do to use the pilot?
For now, all we ask is that you fill in our survey. When the pilot is ready to go live, we will be in touch by email.

This is an email we received from Freewire (the people that stream the channels to us)…

####################################

Dear Customer

Please be informed that essential maintenance has been scheduled on the Freewire network infrastructure on Monday 23rd July between 19.00 and 21.00.

During this time our Engineers will work to minimize any disruption to the Freewire services, nevertheless please be aware that the planned maintenance is taking place.

Best regards

Freewire Support

####################################

We (ResNet) hope that this will not cause too many problems.

During the vacation period (starting on Monday 25th June) we are increasing the peak-time usage 10GB per week as the network is less busy. We may review these limits throughout the vacation period.

Off-peak periods remain unlimited.

Peak-time is 6pm to 12 midnight and off-peak time is 12 midnight to 6pm

Enjoy 😉

The IPTV service seems to have gone off air. We’re looking into it, initial investigation seems to suggest it might be a problem with the supplier. Mark is currently on the phone trying to get hold of their technical bods. We’ll update this as and when we have more info.

Update – 17:00: We’ve just had an email from the guys at freewire, it looks like the problem is wider than just Bristol, it’s effecting other universities as well – but they’re working on it.


Please be informed the ‘Freewire’ Infrastructure team are investigating the current network problem and are working with ‘JANET Operations’ to return the TV channels as soon as possible.Sorry for the interruption in service, we will keep you updated.Best regards

Freewire Support


More info as we get it. (Although you’ll probably notice it’s working before we do!)


If you’ve tried Freewire TV you’ll know it’s fixed 😉

Week 5 (Monday 21nd May to Sunday 27th May)

Day Restricted Network Total Restricted Average Restricted Days Warning Emails >80% Total Emails UL/DL Ratio All Restricted Users
Tue 22nd (Early am) 0 0 0 4 4 0
Wed 23rd (Early am) 2 (<0.05%) 2 (<0.05%) 5 1 5 0.42
Thu 24th (Early am) 3 (<0.07%) 5 (<0.12%) 4.4 12 17 0.45
Fri 25th (Early am) 9 (<0.22%) 14 (<0.35%) 3.5 29 46 0.65
Sat 26th (Early am) 25 (<0.62%) 39 (<0.97%) 2.5 23 69 0.43
Sun 27th (Early am) 24 (<0.60%) 63 (<1.57%) 1.9 45 114 0.32

Update 2007-06-19: Comments are now closed as there have been no genuine comments submitted recently, only spam. If you want to comment on this article, please contact the ResNet Helpdesk.

This is part of the occasional series of newsletters sent to all ResNet subscribers. In this edition: Peak usage limits increasing to 5GB per week; ‘Second Chance’ System; Jobs with ResNet

Peak usage limits increasing to 5GB per week

We are pleased to announce that from Monday 21st May 2007 the weekly peak-time usage allowance is to be increased to 5GB.

It has always been our intention to let ResNet subscribers use any spare capacity. We are confident that we have enough spare network capacity at the busiest time of day (6pm to midnight) to allow this increase.

We are constantly reviewing the peak and off-peak usage so that the best possible quality of service is maintained for the often conflicting needs of ResNet subscribers.

For more information on the peak-time system see

http://www.bristol.ac.uk/slink/dr8r

‘Second Chance’ System

We are developing a ‘Second Chance’ system that can be used once per term to allow restricted subscribers back onto the ‘normal’ network. An announcement will be made on our blog when the system is in place. If you are moved to the restricted network, and the ‘second chance’ system is in place, then the email we send you will contain information on how to use it.

Jobs with ResNet

There are still a few days to apply for a number of technical and non-technical positions available for full-time work this summer vacation and part-time work from Freshers’ week onwards.

To apply, please see http://www.bristol.ac.uk/slink/ktui

The closing date is 10am, Monday May 21st.

Best wishes,

The ResNet Team.

Update 2007-06-19: Comments are now closed as there have been no genuine comments submitted recently, only spam. If you want to comment on this article, please contact the ResNet Helpdesk.

We are pleased to announce that from Monday 14th May 2007 the weekly peak-time usage allowance is to be increased from 2.5GB to 4GB.

We have been very pleased with the improvements to packet loss and latency that real-time application users find essential. These applications should now be working without trouble at all times of day.

We now find that for the first time in ResNet’s history we have spare capacity at the busiest time of day (6pm to midnight) and it has always been our intention to let subscribers use this capacity, hence this increase.

The limits will be reviewed again in a week or two and changed accordingly. The aim is to allow as much use of the available capacity whilst still maintaining quality of service to all subscribers. This is a learning curve for us, as having a peak-time limit is a culture change and we could not easily predict usage patterns, hence the relatively low 2.5GB initial limit.

Last week a total of 191 subscribers were moved to the restricted network, well under 5% of all subscribers, with an average restriction of 2.86 days per restricted user. If this were scaled up to all of ResNet then the average restriction would be < 3 hours per user per week.

We hope this change meets the approval of all who have asked for an increase, however, I’m sure not all will be fully satisfied with our attempts to please all ResNet subscribers.

Regards,

The ResNet Team

Week 4 (Monday 15th May to Sunday 20th May)

Day Restricted Network Total Restricted Average Restricted Days Warning Emails >75% Total Emails UL/DL Ratio All Restricted Users
Tue 15th (Early am) 6 (<0.15%) 6 2 3.70
Wed 16th (Early am) 2 (<0.05%) 8 (<0.2%) 5.75 11 13 1.57
Thu 17th (Early am) 9 (<0.22%) 17 (<0.42%) 4.82 13 26 0.69
Fri 18th (Early am) 13(<0.32%) 30 (<0.75%) 4.03 38 64 0.46
Sat 19th (Early am) 24 (<0.60%) 54 (<1.35%) 3.13 52 116 0.37
Sun 20th (Early am) 38 (<0.95%) 92 (<2.30%) 2.25 79 195 0.38

Update 2007-06-19: Comments are now closed as there have been no genuine comments submitted recently, only spam. If you want to comment on this article, please contact the ResNet Helpdesk.

We have now enabled the clifton and centre halls for ResNet IPTV.

See here for more information:

TV on ResNet trial extended

The complete list of residences where Freewire TV can be tried is:

  • Woodland Court
  • The Hawthorns
  • 29-33 St Michaels Park
  • 43/45, 51, 61/63 St Michaels Hill
  • 5, 12, 16 Osborne Villas
  • 1 University Walk (Principal’s House, Institute for Advanced Studies)
  • University Hall – (UH added 30th April)
  • Badock Hall
  • Churchill Hall
  • Durdham Hall
  • Hiatt Baker Hall
  • Wills Hall (trial now in all Stoke Bishop halls as of 2nd May)
  • Clifton Hill House
  • Goldney Hall
  • Manor Hall (including annexes and Sinclair House)
  • Winkworth House
  • Deans Court
  • Unite House
  • Chantry Court
  • 115 Queens Rd (Clifton and Centre halls added on 10/05/07)
  • Northwell House

See the original announcement about TV on ResNet for details and to try it.

There are a few people living in some of the small or more distant residences that unfortunately we will not be able to provide TV to:

  • Langford old & new hostels
  • 121 Redland Road
  • Rodney Place
  • 97 Woodland Road

We cannot provide TV to residents in those houses as there isn’t enough capacity on the relatively small links we have to them. We are very sorry about this.

Update 2007-06-19: Comments are now closed as there have been no genuine comments submitted recently, only spam. If you want to comment on this article, please contact the ResNet Helpdesk.

ResNet has started trials of a new TV service, Freewire TV. This provides 15 digital TV channels to watch on your computer. It includes all the BBC digital services and other popular channels such as E4.

The initial trial is only available to ResNet subscribers in some residences. See TV on ResNet to try it out.

We’ve been working to get this ready for some time now and are very pleased to start the trials. We hope it will be popular – in the ResNet survey 2006 75% of students said they would watch TV on their computer if we offered it.

We may be able to extend the trial to other residences later in the term. If the trial is successful we plan to launch a full service ready for autumn 2007.

We’d love to find out what people think about this and how well it works for them. If you are taking part in the trial and would like to give us any feedback, please comment on the blog below or email the ResNet help desk. Please read the FAQ first though, as that answers most of the questions people have.

Update 2007-06-19: Comments are now closed as there have been no genuine comments submitted recently, only spam. If you want to comment on this article, please contact the ResNet Helpdesk.

It seems that some people are bringing new Vista laptops back after the Easter vacation. Please, please, please DO NOT run the ResNet security checker with Windows Vista machines. The CD clearly states that it should only be run on Windows 2000 and XP and then exits. Windows Vista in its infinite wisdom then asks you if you want to run the CD in ‘Compatibility Mode’ and then emulates and XP installation so that it can run the CD. The main problem comes when the Anti-Virus is installed as version 8.0i is incompatible with Vista and can crash your machine.

To get Vista going on ResNet, visit<http://register.resnet.bristol.ac.uk> with your Vista machine and follow the on-screen instructions. McAfee version 8.5i is available to download and install from there.

We currently have about 42 machines running windows Vista.

We are making the initial results of the new policy publicly available so users are aware of what’s going on.

We have calculated, based on past usage, the number of people that may be affected by the new policy. This data is in the expected column.

Week 1 (Monday 24th April to Sunday 29th April)

Day Restricted Network Total Restricted Average Restricted Days Warning Emails >80% Total Emails UL/DL Ratio All Restricted Users
Actual Expected Actual Expected
Tue 24th (Early am) 15 (<0.4%) 21 6 13 2.75
Wed 25th (Early am) 58 (<1.5%) 50 73 (<1.8%) 71 5.21 31 44 1.60
Thu 26th (Early am) 56 (<1.4%) 69 129 (<3.2%) 140 4.68 59 103 1.38
Fri 27th (Early am) 39 (<1%) 80 168 (4.2%) 220 4.29 104 207 1.20
Sat 28th (Early am) 62 (<1.6%) 100 230 (<5.8%) 320 3.67 141 348 1.07
Sun 29th (Early am) 62(<1.6%)* 112 292 (<7.3%) 432 3.10 186* 534 0.88

Notes on Tuesday 24th:

The 15 users that were moved to the restricted network had a combined upload to download ratio of 2.75 so it is likely that they were moved because the either couldn’t, wouldn’t or didn’t know how to control the upload traffic.
For probably the first time in the history of ResNet there was noticeable drop in traffic between 6pm and midnight. There was no increase in latency and no packet loss so this is all very positive.
One minor problem was noticed for the hour before 6pm. Latency increased slightly because the upload link was saturated which would have had a detrimental affect on real-time applications. We are looking into solving this.

Notes on Friday 27th:

The number of people being moved to the restricted network is decreasing which suggests that people are not doing P2P during peak times (our traffic graphs also support this). The latency and packet loss for the vast majority of the day is excellent so hopefully all the real-time application users are happy. There is still a slightly higher latency spike for the hour before 6pm – this is probably when people are cramming in downloads before the peak period begins.

Notes on Sunday 29th:

* The script that runs every evening failed on its early Sunday run because of an error in the code. This has now been corrected. 62 people were not moved to the restricted network and the 186 warning emails were not sent to users that were over 80% usage.

Week 2 (Monday 30th April to Sunday 6th May)

Day Restricted Network Total Restricted Average Restricted Days Warning Emails >80% Total Emails UL/DL Ratio All Restricted Users
Actual Expected Actual Expected
Tue 1st (Early am) 13 (<0.3%) 21 6 9 4.06
Wed 2nd (Early am) 22 (<0.5%) 50 35 (<0.9%) 71 5.37 23 32 2.40
Thu 3rd (Early am) 30 (<0.8%) 69 65 (<1.7%) 140 4.74 35 67 1.49
Fri 4th (Early am) 40 (<1%) 80 105 (<2.6%) 220 4.08 68 135 0.80
Sat 5th (Early am) 32 (<0.8%) 100 137 (<3.4%) 320 3.59 100 235 0.79
Sun 6th(Early am) 54 (<1.3%) 112 191 432 2.86 169 404 0.65

Week 3 (Monday 7th May to Sunday 13th May)

Day Restricted Network Total Restricted Average Restricted Days Warning Emails >80% Total Emails UL/DL Ratio All Restricted Users
Actual Expected Actual Expected
Tue 8th (Early am) 9 (<0.3%) 21 6 7 1.87
Wed 9th (Early am) 18 (<0.5%) 50 27 (<0.7%) 71 5.33 20 27 1.20
Thu 10th (Early am) 28 (<0.7%) 69 55 (<1.4%) 140 4.65 41 68 0.90
Fri 11th (Early am) 56(<1.3%) 80 111 (<2.6%) 220 3.82 68 136 0.57
Sat 12th (Early am) 58 (<1.3%> 100 169 (<4.2%) 320 3.54 78 214 0.52
Sun 13th(Early am) 91 (<2.2%) 112 260(<6.5%) 432 2.65 93 307 0.42

Update 2007-06-19: Comments are now closed as there have been no genuine comments submitted recently, only spam. If you want to comment on this article, please contact the ResNet Helpdesk.

What are we doing?

We used to have an allowance of 10GB a week data transfer per ResNet user. We are changing this so that in future we will have no overall limit for the whole week, but limits for the busiest time of day only. The day is divided into peak and off-peak periods:

  • Off-peak period (12 midnight-6pm): no limit
  • On-peak period (6pm-12 midnight): allowance of 2.5GB a person a week

Why are we doing this?

We have had a ResNet fair usage policy for a while. It tries to make sure that our pipe to the Internet is available fairly to all and not used up by a few.

The evening is the busiest time for ResNet. It is only during the busiest period that our pipe to the Internet can get full and performance suffers. We’d like to reduce usage during this time so the network still works well for everyone on it.

If we have spare capacity during the rest of the day there is no reason that people shouldn’t use it then. Some things, like backups or large downloads, you can do at any time.

We are trying as far as we can to provide a service that suits everyone, or at least balances conflicting demands. For example, heavy users can schedule large downloads to take place off-peak without any penalty. As there is no off-peak limit then over a week heavy users will actually be able to do more than they could before. Reducing large transfers during the evening means that sensitive real-time usage (such as webcams, telephony or games) will work better during the busy period.

When does it start?

Monday 23rd April 2007 (start of summer term)

What happens if I use more than the allowance?

The morning after you exceed your weekly on-peak allowance your ResNet connection will be automatically moved into a different network segment and will stay there for the rest of the week. This network area is shared with other heavy users. Your connection may be much slower. You will still be able to get at websites, email, and internal University resources like Blackboard, but other things such as Skype, webcams or Internet radio will stop working.

How do I know how much I’m using?

See Manage My ResNet to view your usage.

More questions?

Please first see the fair usage policy for more information and then email us if there is more you need to know.

Comments?

If you’ve got any comments or suggestions on this please comment on the blog below.

Update 2007-06-19: Comments are now closed as there have been no genuine comments submitted recently, only spam. If you want to comment on this article, please contact the ResNet Helpdesk.

Warning about upgrading to Vista

If you buy a new computer with Windows Vista you can now connect it to ResNet. To do this use the normal in-room registration system http://register.resnet.bristol.ac.uk/ and follow the instructions.

Do not run the ResNet security CD on Vista! Doing so can cause serious problems. Instead use the in-room registration system. This will give you a new version of our McAfee AntiVirus which is Vista compatible.

If you are thinking of installing Vista on your current computer – don’t! It will cause old systems to run incredibly slowly and some of your existing hardware and software will break. It is best to wait for several months for problems to be fixed – or the easiest option is to wait until you are ready to buy a brand new computer.

For more info on Vista see the ResNet blog at http://www.bristolresnet.net

New wireless hotspots in halls

Wireless hotspots are now available in many of the halls of residence. They’ve been installed in central areas such as bars, libraries & study rooms. Hotspots are working now in Badock, Durdham, Hiatt Baker, Manor and University Hall. Hotspots for Churchill, Clifton Hill House & Goldney are also on the way.

Hotspots are free to use for all members of the University (you don’t need a ResNet subscription). Each hotspot only covers a limited area though – they don’t provide wireless in your own room.

For precise locations and connection instructions see http://www.wireless.bristol.ac.uk

Win an iPod video for your views on IT services

The University is conducting a survey of all students to get your views on IT services and facilities. What would you like us to do and how could we do it better?

There is a prize draw for all completed surveys – the top prize is an iPod video worth £180, and other prizes of iPod shuffles and print/copier credits are also up for grabs. If you prefer not to enter the draw the survey is completely anonymous.

Your feedback is essential to help us provide the IT services that students need and want to use. Please got to http://www.bristol.ac.uk/student-itsurvey to let us know.

Well so far we have a whole 8 people connection to ResNet with Windows Vista and we have had (that I know of) two people needing to rebuild their systems. Both rebuilds have been caused by running the ResNet Security CD and installing the old version of McAfee VirusScan Enterprise (8.0i).

How can ResNet let us accidentally install the wrong version of McAfee VirusScan I hear you all asking.

Well, when the ResNet security CD is run, we check to see what version of Windows is being run, if it is not 2000 or XP, we exit the installation. Vista (in its infinite wisdom) then pipes up saying something about running the install in compatibility mode, emulating (probably) XP, so the installation can continue 🙁 After McAfee VirusScan is installed, your system will either blue screen and crash or not allow updates to the VirusScan definitions file – either way this is not good. Currently we have not been able to resurrect these dead machines.

Please, please, please do not run the ResNet Security CD on Windows Vista or your Vista installation may get fried.

To register your Vista system simply visit <http://register.resnet.bris.ac.uk> and follow the on-screen instructions.

If you are considering upgrading an existing computer to Vista – don’t. Give it a few months before spending your hard earned cash on something that will probably make an older machine run like a 3-legged donkey 🙂

Well we said that Windows Vista could be unleashed on ResNet in February and we were almost right, March 1st is pretty close 😉

To get Vista through the registration process you will need to visit http://register.resnet.bristol.ac.uk and follow the on-screen instructions. At some point you’ll have to phone the ResNet helpdesk to get a registration shortcut code. The phone lines are currently open from 2pm to 5:30pm Monday to Friday

We are working on making the Vista registration process more slick but currently it’s a bit manual – sorry about that.

If you have any feedback about Vista, good or bad, then please drop us an email resnet-help@bristol.ac.uk

At 10am this morning, we increased the maximum upload speed that each user can use on ResNet. We’re hoping that by allowing you to upload to the internet quicker, skype (and other VOIP applications) will become more reliable.

For info, the maximum download speed is currently set to 8Mbps, and the maximum upload speed has been increased from 2Mbps to 8Mbps (per user).

We will be keeping an eye on the traffic graphs and the packet loss/latency to make sure that this doesn’t cause any unforseen problems.

Don’t forget that uploads are included in your weekly traffic allowance, which you can check online keep an eye on your usage so that you don’t get caught out!

The problems we were experiencing with our new bandwidth management appliance (see  bandwidth-management-teething-problems) seem to have highlighted a design flaw in the appliance itself.  We’re working with the vendor to fix the problem, although we’re not expecting a patch from them for another two weeks or so.

Latency and packet loss are now back to the same levels that they were in January.  However, these levels are still much higher than they were at this time last year.  This is mainly because there’s a *lot* more traffic on ResNet than there was this time last year!

We will be making some changes next week which we hope will improve the situation further, we will be documenting details of the changes (Most importantly the details of the times when we put them in place) on the blog.

We’ve set up a new category for bandwidth related posts, so if latency/packet loss etc is of special interest to you (eg if you’re a gamer) you might want to keep an eye on the  bandwidth management category.

Our existing bandwidth management appliance is getting a little long in the tooth and whilst it can cope at the moment, it isn’t able to scale to match our needs for the future. So we’re replacing it, and over the last couple of days we’ve been trialing the new system.

Initial reports are mixed. Some users of services such as Skype have reported improvements, others have seen things get noticably worse. Eg at peak times last night, the latency on the network increased substatially compared to our previous solution.

One side effect is that the new system allows people much more “upload” bandwidth during off-peak times than we had anticipated. This seems to have caught out a few people who had left their P2P applications running, and caused them to go over their weekly bandwidth quota.

As this was unexpected, we have taken the decision not to transfer anyone to the restricted network on Monday. However, you do still need to keep an eye on your bandwidth usage as we are likely to go back to using the restricted network on the 12th Feb. Don’t forget that even if you’re not downloading anything, your P2P software may be uploading to other people. The best thing to do is to shut it off if you’re not using it!

We’re still learning about the new system, working closely with the suppliers to tweak it so that we get the best possible performance out of it for our environment. We think last nights latency problems were caused by a configuration oversight, which we will look into as soon as possible next week.

For the moment though, we have moved the network back to our previous bandwidth management appliance and we intend to leave it that way over the weekend.

We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused while we’re finding our feet with the new appliance. We hope that any problems will be short lived, and in the longer term you should notice an improvement in the quality of your network connection.

Noticed any changes to the icons in your system tray?

As part of a virus scanner management (ePO) agent upgrade, your anti-virus system tray icons have changed from (notice the red circles) McAfee and ePO Agent V3.5.5 to McAfee and ePO Agent V3.6.0

When you click the new RED M, you can see the old familiar icons.

3.6.0 Image

The management agent helps to ensure your machine is up-to-date with anti-virus definition files and that your Microsoft patches are also up-to-date.

The upgrade to the agent was necessary in order to get new virus scanning software functioning on Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows Vista.

The anti-virus software that you are running has not changed and will continue to update in a timely fashion.

Microsoft released its new OS, Windows Vista, to consumers on Tuesday 30th January 2007. New machines are only just shipping with Vista installed so there can’t be many of these wanting to connect to ResNet just yet. We are however getting an increasing number of requests from people wanting to upgrade to Vista from XP.

We have been ‘playing’ with pre-release versions of Vista for many months and have found it to run quite sluggishly on even high end hardware so would discourage people spending their money at this time as they may be disappointed. BTW, the released version is not too sporty either 😉
Another problem, as the title of this blog suggests, is that McAfee have only just release a production version of Virus Scan Enterprise (VSE) 8.5i, which supports Vista. We are currently testing VSE 8.5i with Vista, XP and the management agent, ePolicy Orchestrator so that we can be confident that there won’t be any problems.

Once the testing of VSE 8.5i has been completed we need to modify the registration process to allow Vista onto ResNet. If testing goes well then we should have a solution during February but please do not upgrade to Vista before we have published the latest version of VSE 8.5i