April 2007

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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.

We seem to be having some problems with Manage my ResNet – which may mean that people are unable to use it to check their bandwidth usage and/or sign up for the IPTV trial. I am investigating.

Update: The problem seems to be with our database link between the ResNet database and the main university database. Independently the two databases are working on their own, they are just not talking to each other. I’m just off downstairs to make the database admin team aware of the problem.

Update: Just as I hit save on that last update, the problem seems to have fixed itself. There should be no problems logging in to Manage my ResNet as of about 12:13pm today.

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.

We are having some problems with IP address allocation via DHCP in University Hall.

As a result some users are not getting access to any internal or external resources.

We are actively working on a solution and hope to have it fixed soon.

Please watch this space for updates (if you can) – Sorry for any inconvenience caused.

Fixed – 16:42 24-04-2007 – there was an error in one of our configuration scripts – again sorry for any inconvenience caused – we were trying to improve the service not break it – honest 😉

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.

During the Easter vacation ResNet helpdesk is closed on Friday 6th April, Monday 9th April and Tuesday 10th April. We are open again on Wednesday 11th April from 2pm.

There will be an interruption to network services in the Clifton area on the morning of Thursday 12th April. This will affect the ResNet service, halls admin network, and wireless hotspots, in Clifton Hill House, Goldney Hall, Manor Hall, 115 Queens Road and Rodney Place.

The work will start at 9am and be completely as quickly as possible later that morning.

It is possible that the phone service will also be interrupted, although the interruption to the phone service is likely to be shorter than that to the data network services.

Although we have scheduled this work for the Easter vacation when many people are away, we are sorry for the obvious inconvenience caused to people who will still be in residence.

The interruption is due to work we have commissioned to install a new power supply in the switch room which serves all these residences, so that the network equipment will be powered on a separate dedicated power supply. We’ve previously had problems, especially in the summer when aircon is working hard. The power to this switch room tripped out, stopping the service. The new power supply should make this much less likely and so improve the reliability of the service in the long term.

The work on the power supply feeding the network equipment for the clifton has now been completed. We turned off the equipment at around 8:45am and the power was restored at about 9:55am.

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