University of Miami
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NetEnforcer Earns Top Grade for P2P Control at the University of Miami

About the University of Miami

More than 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students from around the world call University of Miami home during the academic semesters. With over 10,000 full- and part-time faculty and staff, it is the largest private employer in Florida’s-Dade County. The University’s 12 colleges and schools offer 150 undergraduate, 130 masters, 60 doctoral and two professional areas of study.

Business Challenge

For Carlos Diaz-Silveira, IT Security Engineer at the University of Miami, late summer is the last respite before the torrential onslaught of staff and students. Beginning in August when the fall semester opens, the pressure to prepare the network for smooth functioning is immense.

The university had set aside specific Internet bandwidth that was reserved for student use. But uncontrolled access was allowing “network hogs” to tie up the entire pipe, often with long P2P downloads, leaving other students with no access at all. “We had specific bandwidth contracted with our ISPs,” Diaz-Silveira says. “Exceeding those limits could get very expensive.”

Diaz-Silveira began searching for tools to help manage the hefty student network. “We were looking for a way to rate-limit Internet usage on CaneNet, our student network,” says Diaz-Silveira. “The project came up during the summer, which gave us a window of just a few months to get it up and running before the students returned.”

The goals of the project were simple:

  • Accommodate a large volume of legitimate traffic
  • Allow open access to the campus network, while equitably sharing bandwidth to the Internet
  • Manage P2P traffic, which was a major bottleneck on the CaneNet network
  • Seamlessly bypass the control system if anything went seriously wrong

The option of limiting total bandwidth but allowing first-come-first-served access shut out a lot of legitimate users. The alternative of removing the total bandwidth cap and paying for the additional bandwidth could have gotten very expensive. “We needed better options,” Diaz-Silveira says.

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The NetEnforcer Solution

The ideal solution turned out to be Allot’s NetEnforcer AC-1000. “Some of the vendors claimed to have the capabilities we wanted, but only under certain conditions,” says Diaz-Silveira. “The Allot solution was virtually alone in having the capacity and features we needed along with the right price.”

With only seven days between installation and the first day of the semester, it was absolutely essential for NetEnforcer to perform seamlessly. “The start of school was going to be the real test” says Diaz-Silveira. “We were prepared to bypass the Allot NetEnforcer if it failed or didn’t perform as promised. Fortunately, this was not the case. In fact, the installation and implementation went quite smoothly.”

From the first day of term, NetEnforcer enabled Diaz-Silveira to manage the university network with ease and simplicity. “The system has worked very well for us” says Diaz-Silveira. “The students are more satisfied now that they have equitable access to the Internet. The Allot NetEnforcer is doing a pretty good job at blocking unwanted P2P traffic. Since installing the NetEnforcer, we receive a lot fewer letters from the RIAA [Recording Industry Association of America] and the MPAA [Motion Picture Association of America].”

Since its initial installation, NetEnforcer has maintained this high standard of performance. “Our original configuration hasn’t changed a bit since then,” boasts Diaz-Silveira, “and the product has been working flawlessly all this time.”

NetEnforcer has worked very well for us. The students are more satisfied now that they have equitable access
to the Internet

Carlos Diaz-Silveira
IT Security Engineer

Challenge

Prevent P2P traffic from monopolizing broadband pipes while ensuring equitable allocation of bandwidth to academic applications and students

Solution

NetEnforcer to manage P2P traffic and guarantee the performance of academic applications

Benefits

  • Reduced P2P congestion
  • Guaranteed performance
  • Easy to install and use