ACU replaces network management solution to halt rising Internet costs

Supplements other security tools

To manage rising Internet costs and control usage for its 14,000 students and staff, the Australian Catholic University (ACU) has implemented a DPI solution to prioritise network traffic.

The ACU has joined more than 30 campuses of higher education across the Asia Pacific who have also implemented PacketLogic from Procera Networks.

This includes Flinders, La Trobe, Victoria and Ballarat University.

IT infrastructure manager at the university, Wil Daniels, moved ahead with implementation after ditching a competitive product.

Daniels said the new solution has superior functionality, a real-time view into the network and local support.

He said it is more effective when it comes to shaping and prioritising IT services such as real-time IP traffic.

The ACU is Australia's only public Catholic university and connects its six campuses via the Australian Academic Research Network (AARNet), a subset of the Internet.

As all inter-campus traffic traverses AARNet, PacketLogic is being used to prioritize transactional and real-time IP traffic such as VoIP.

"PacketLogic has empowered the university with the ability to effectively manage and control Internet usage and the associated Internet traffic costs," Daniels said.

"It has consistently remained in budget while managing compliance with current copyright legislation.

"While not specifically a firewall appliance, the device has provided the university with the ability to quickly obtain an overview and profile of traffic patterns that has assisted in identifying unusual traffic behavior.

"This has been a useful early warning system that supplements our other security tools."

As well as providing more visibility, the solution can be used to control non-academic use of network bandwidth.

Most higher education institutions are faced with network performance issues due to dramatic increases in peer-to-peer (P2P), gaming and other recreational uses of bandwidth, as well as requirements for academic pursuits and to support business applications.

Procera's vice president of product management, Jon Linden, universities contend with many of the same pressures and demands for bandwidth that challenge commercial service providers, but the young demographic of student users typically leads to a much higher use of P2P and other bandwidth-intensive applications.

The company's regional vice president, David Green, agreed describing it as a delicate juggling act, balancing academic freedom to explore diverse Internet resources against the reality of bandwidth cost and quality of service.

He said this product allows network managers to plan policies and rules for fair usage of network bandwidth resources based on time of day, application bandwidth requirements, traffic characteristics and literally thousands of other variables.

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