Policy

Posts in this category describe ResNet policy changes, and explain why we do things the way we do.

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

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

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

As promised, we have added a Check my network usage page to Manage My ResNet. It seems very fashionable these days to have Beta software and this certainly is (beta not fashionable) ;-). We are in the process of enhancing it but for now it does exactly what it says on the tin.

Mark

Update 20-02-2007 : Comments are now closed as there have been no genuine comments submitted since December, only spam. If you want to comment on this article, please email the ResNet Helpdesk

Just one item in this ResNet newsletter. It won’t affect 95% of people on ResNet, but we want to make sure everyone knows what is happening. We also want to get your views on the changes.

We are introducing a new fair usage policy for ResNet. This specifies the total amount you can upload or download per week on your ResNet connection. We are setting this at 10 Gigabytes of data transferred a week. This will only affect a small number of the very heaviest ResNet users (less than 5% of people on ResNet)

We are doing this to help us provide the best service we can to everyone. At the moment 5% of people on ResNet use as much of our Internet traffic as the other 95% of people put together. This puts a strain on the limited capacity of our Internet link. Bringing this traffic under control a little will improve the performance for all. It should particularly improve the connection for people using Skype, other Internet telephony systems, and online gamers, as these are all time sensitive and suffer most if there is congestion.

Please don’t worry about this. Remember that most people aren’t affected by it. In any week if you are one of the heavier users and go over the limit, you will receive an email to let you know this, so you have a chance to reduce your usage the following week.

If you want to read the details, see the fair usage policy
If you would like to give your views, please email us or post comments on our ResNet blog www.bristolresnet.net . We would welcome thoughts from people both for and against, and suggestions for changes. Please read the details of the the fair usage policy first as many questions are answered in there.
As well as the fair usage policy, we are (as always) taking other steps to improve ResNet performance. Over the summer we put in gigabit connections to all the large halls, and upgraded the raw connection speed to each room. Over the next few months we are trialling a new bandwidth management system, and we have plans to increase the total capacity of our Internet link.

Best wishes,

Nick Skelton, ResNet Manager, & the ResNet team.

Update 27-11-2006 @ 16:15: We are working on a page that you can access from Manage my ResNet. We hope to have this up and running in a basic, but informative, way in the next couple of days. You don’t have to worry about your usage too much this week as you will get a warning email on Monday 4th December giving you a week to reduce your usage – we will have your usage statistics pages in place before then.

Update 20-02-2007 : Comments are now closed as there have been no genuine comments submitted since December, only spam. If you want to comment on this article, please email the ResNet Helpdesk

We’ve just upgraded everyone’s ResNet connection from 10Mbit to 100Mbit.
What does the upgrade mean in practice? Maybe not much at all. Typically when using ResNet you want to access sites outside the University, and the speed for external access hasn’t changed at all this time (though we’re always trying to improve that too). However for internal traffic, such as accessing resources on Blackboard or sending a file to a friend using Fluff transfers should now be quicker.

If you find that your ResNet connection has slowed down, that might be because your ethernet adapter is hard set to use 10Mbit connections, and can’t cope with the change. It should be set to Auto, so it will work on either a 10Mbit or 100Mbit network. Contact the ResNet help desk for advice, or see How to test the speed of your ResNet connection

We’ve been able to do this now as the switches that provide ResNet were already 100Mbit capable – we haven’t had to throw them out and replace them all. We’ve replaced the equipment one level up the chain. Before your hall might have had a 100Mbit connection for the whole hall, so there wasn’t the capacity to provide 100Mbit to each room. Now the busiest 100Mbit links have been upgraded to Gigabit, so we should be able to provide 100Mbit to each room.

At the moment this is just a test – we might need to adjust it and make further changes – but we hope it will all work out over the next few months and we will be able to make this a permanent change.

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