January 2008

You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2008.

This is the first part of a news story from the BBC.  Full story on the link at the bottom.

Severed cables disrupt Internet

Internet services have been disrupted in large parts of the Middle East and India following damage to two undersea cables in the Mediterranean.

There was disruption to 70% of the nationwide network in Egypt, and India suffered up to 60% disruption.

UK firms such as British Airways have told the BBC that call centres have been affected by the outage.

Industry experts said it could take up to one week to repair the damaged cables and resume full service.

International telephone calls, which have also been affected, are being rerouted to work around the problem.

Full story…

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.

Manor house will be down for a short while as building services are conducting some type of electrical testing.

We expect the work to be completed in a couple of hours.

The work was finished by around 10:30.

One of the Universities central database servers will be unavailable between 8am and 9am on Thursday 24th Jan for some essential systems maintenance.

This will mean that the following ResNet services will be unavailable:

  • The in-room registration service for new users
  • Some parts of My ResNet may also be unavailable

All existing ResNet connections should continue to work uninterrupted and most customers won’t notice anything.
There are a handful of other University services which will also be unavailable during the maintenance period. For more details, please see the IS News website: http://www.bris.ac.uk/is/news/2008/datahub24jan.html

Dear ResNet subscriber,

This is one in the occasional series of ResNet newsletters sent to all subscribers.

Get your computer up to date

Welcome back to Bristol if you’ve been away for the Christmas vacation. Now you are back this is a great time to check your computer has all the essential security updates for Windows. To check and install updates go to Microsoft Update http://www.update.microsoft.com/microsoftupdate/ or open Control Panel, Security Center.

It is essential you stay up to date: if not you put your computer and others on ResNet at risk. To protect other people we may suspend your ResNet connection if your computer is not up to date (but we’d give you a warning about that first).

For more advice on computer security see Protect your computer, your data, and yourself: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/is/computing/advice/security/

Changes to fair usage allowance

During the vacation we temporarily increased the weekly peak time fair usage allowance from 5GB to 10GB, as the network was very quiet. Now term has started again we’ve returned to our normal limit of 5GB a week, peak time (6pm-12 midnight).

Extended ResNet Help Desk opening hours

As it’s busy at the start of term we’ve extended the ResNet Help Desk opening hours. For the next two weeks if you need help with ResNet you can now ring us on 89001 internal, 2pm-8pm weekdays.

Free software for students

As a student at Bristol there is lots of free or very cheap software available for you. For example you can:

  • Download McAfee Anti-Virus from the University free of charge,
  • Buy, rent or get free (some departments only) student copies of Microsoft Office,
  • Get free Desktop Publishing software from Serif,
  • Get free Autodesk CAD software.

To download free software or find out more about student discounts see software for home users: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/is/computing/advice/homeusers/software/

As it’s the start of term we’ve extended the ResNet Help Desk opening hours.

For this week and next week (Monday 14th Jan to Friday 25th Jan) the ResNet Help Desk will be open for phone calls from 2pm-8pm, Mon-Fri, and for visitors 10am-1pm and 2pm-5.15pm Mon-Fri.

If you’d like to pay for ResNet please visit us at the Computer Centre, and if you have any problems please give us a ring on 89001 internal.

We’re currently having some problems with our live status monitoring system, which appears to be caused by some high network latency on a section of the ResNet network.

This is causing the network monitoring software to report most of the ResNet network as unavailable, when in reality it is available, it’s just slower than the monitoring software can cope with.

As far as we can tell, actual end user ResNet connections appear to be working as normal.

We’re investigating the problem and will update this blog post as and when we have more information.

Update: I’ve tweaked the monitoring system so it’s less sensitive, and it’s now reporting status correctly.  We are still investigating the cause of the latency though.  This is a particularly busy time of day on the ResNet network though, so if you are experiencing any latency problems, you may find that they resolve themselves after 6pm