May 2007

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People testing Freewire TV can now also listen to radio stations within the Freewire TV application. 17 BBC stations and 10 commercial stations are currently available.

Many of these stations were already available as streams, but there are advantages in using the Freewire application to listen to them:

  • It is quick and easy to change channels,
  • There is a programme guide to tell you whats on,
  • As the channels are multicast (there is only one copy of them for the whole of ResNet) they don’t count as part of your fair usage allocation.

Linux and Mac users can’t use the Freewire TV application (except under some form of virtualization) and can’t watch channels broadcast as Freewire TV, but may be able to listen to the radio channels using VLC.

At 9:00 am on the 30th May we plan to reboot one of our main routers.

There should only be a small break in service as most traffic will be re-routed.

Unfortunately the ‘Freewire TV’ service will be interrupted for the full length of the reboot.

This will also affect the UoB Wireless service in the Halls (The rest of the campus Wireless will not be affected).

The reboot was completed by around 9:10am, all services are now restored.

The ResNet help desk will be closed on Bank Holiday Monday 28th May.

The ResNet help desk will reopen on Tuesday 29th May but with reduced opening hours for the rest of the term. We will be open for both phone calls and visitors weekdays 2pm-5.30pm only.

At this time of year we get very few visitors so hope this does not inconvenience many people.

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

This is part of the occasional series of newsletters sent to all ResNet subscribers. In this edition: apply for a job with ResNet; iTunes Music Store and more now working; update on ResNet traffic levels.

Jobs with ResNet this summer and autumn

Each year a large number of students join the team to run ResNet. A job with ResNet offers competitive pay and excellent experience while working with and helping other Bristol students. The student staff are an absolutely essential part of the team with helps make ResNet both a successful service and an enjoyable place to work.

We have 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 our vacancies. For more information, call in to the ResNet help desk for a chat.

The closing date is 10am, Monday May 21st 2007.

iTunes Music Store and more now working

We’ve been able to upgrade the ResNet network so that it is no longer necessary to use our webcaches. We’ve done this as there are some popular applications which didn’t work with the webcaches. One example of this is iTunes Music Store, which is now working fine on ResNet.

If there is anything else which you previously tried but didn’t work on ResNet, please try it again – you might well find it is working for you now.

See configuring applications for more info.

Update on ResNet traffic levels

With the new fair usage policy we’ve seen congestion on ResNet drop significantly, in particular during the peak evening period. This means that sensitive applications like gaming and telephony are now working much better.

We’ve had a lot of helpful comments on fair usage, both for and against, thanks for all of these. One of the most common comments was that the on-peak allowance should be higher. We’re reviewing it, and hope to be able to raise it soon.

Each year a large number of students and postgrads join the team to run ResNet. A job with ResNet offers competitive pay and excellent experience while working with and helping other Bristol students. The student staff are an absolutely essential part of the team with helps make ResNet both a successful service and an enjoyable place to work.

We have 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 our vacancies. For more information, please call in to the ResNet help desk for a chat.

The closing date is 10am, Monday May 21st 2007.

This explanation is a little technical – please read on if interested! If not, the take home message is this: if there are applications like VOIP, music stores, instant messengers, or anything else which you previously tried but didn’t work on ResNet, please try it again – you might well find it is working for you now.

The University has a set of web proxy servers (webcaches). Until April 2007 we required that all computers on ResNet use the web proxy – there was a block on all direct web traffic (all traffic on port 80 if you want the precise technical detail).

The webcaches were originally there to reduce our traffic by keeping local copies of popular pages – but with the growth of video and other very large files on the web (too large to be cached) they weren’t really saving us much.

The proxies were fine for web browsers, but caused us problems with lots of other programs that didn’t know how to use the proxy. These include some setup programs, Internet telephony apps, and music stores.

We’re no longer encouraging people on ResNet to use the proxy and have now removed the block on direct traffic. We’ve been able to do this now because of various other changes we’ve made – both enlarging the network pipe available to ResNet and bringing our traffic levels under control with the fair usage policy. We actually made the change before Easter but haven’t announced it until now – as now we’re confident we’ll be able to keep things as they are.

So, if there is anything which you previously tried but didn’t work on ResNet, please try it again. In particular, we’ve had lots of requests to get iTunes Music Store working, and it now is.

There are still some things which won’t work on ResNet, due to the University’s default deny incoming firewall. Hosting a games server on ResNet for players outside is one example. However we’ll consider requests to open up ports through the firewall, and can do this for some requests.

Generally, compared with ResNets at other universities around the country, we think we’re pretty open about what is allowed on ResNet – we are trying to provide the best service we can.

There are some rare times when you might still need to use the proxy. In particular, if you ever exceed the fair usage policy and are temporarily moved into the heavy user network then you’ll need the proxy for web access. For that reason we recommend you keep the proxy ‘autoconfig’ script set on your computer.

See configuring applications with local network settings for all the correct firewall or other settings you need to get applications working on ResNet.

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