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Education

16,000 CWRU Computers Getting Gigabit Ethernet 459

lowlypeon writes "In a move that makes going back to college more tempting than usual, Case Western is installing fiber connections in 16,000 computers over the next year to give students a 1 gigabit per second Ethernet connection. Administrators aren't sure what anybody needs that kind of bandwidth for yet, but they are curious to see how it gets used."
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16,000 CWRU Computers Getting Gigabit Ethernet

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  • P2P (Score:3, Funny)

    by Ween ( 13381 ) on Monday July 22, 2002 @08:21AM (#3929585)
    and they thought they were having a problem with file sharing before .....
  • by CaffeineAddict2001 ( 518485 ) on Monday July 22, 2002 @08:24AM (#3929599)
    Being mature educated college students i'm sure this bandwidth will be used for nothing other than strict educational purposes.
    • I agree - I know that I learnt a heck of a lot of ... "biology" ... after I got broadband. :-)
    • While I agree that much of the bandwidth will be pissed down the drain, I have to say this is an excellent development.

      Sometimes teaching institutions have to invest in technology before the application arrives - the first computing departments did, and most of the 'firsts' were bought / built because the could - not because they were needed.

      Until you have a tool, you struggle to come up with apps. If I had the time, and the skills, and the access to this kind of kit I'd be playing with distributed EVERYTHING. Some decent, killer, must have or I die, app will come out of that eventually.
  • I can finally use the Gigabit ethernet card in my PowerMac!

    http://www.apple.com/powermac/
  • Minor correction (Score:5, Informative)

    by sinnergy ( 4787 ) on Monday July 22, 2002 @08:27AM (#3929613) Homepage
    and a bit of a pet peeve.

    The name of the school is "Case Western Reserve". I know because I work, teach, and take classes here. Feel free to post your questions about it and I'll do my best to answer.
    • Case Western Reverse University,

      at least when I went there. aka See double, you are you.

      Are the Spitwad and the Fountain still in the quad? Is Presti's Donuts still in business, and are the Best Cinnamon Rolls in the known universe still available there at 1:15 AM?
      • Well, it's called CWRU, too, yes. but the shortened form "Case Western" is still reviled today.

        The spitwad is there, as is the phallic fountain. Presti's still does brisk business, albeit in classier quarters. Eating a donut at 2 AM with the cop that just broke up your party there is still common.
    • OK, then, what's a Reserve University? Is it anything like a Junior University? As in Leland Stanford Junior University.
      • During the formation of the 13 original states, many statehood claims laid out their potental boundaries from coast-to-coast (despite not having been charted. ) Conneticut claimed the land west of Penn. bounded by the same latitudes the state was on (41 to 42deg 2') This was called their Western Reserve. Shortly after this, of course, these claims were given up in lieu of western expansion and federal pressure (late 1700s). More info at an encyclopedia of Cleveland history [cwru.edu]. Thus, "Western Reserve" is all one phase, and can't be split up.
        • by fm6 ( 162816 )
          Thus, "Western Reserve" is all one phase, and can't be split up.
          It can and is. People don't learn language by studying obscure rules. (And the one you've cited sets some kind of record for obscurity.) They learn by listening and using. People hear "Case Western" and they say "Case Western". No amount of rule-citing is going to change that. Deal with it.
  • by Mr Guy ( 547690 ) on Monday July 22, 2002 @08:27AM (#3929615) Journal
    It's sad what admins will convince businesses and colleges to do just to get ahead in the SETI ratings [berkeley.edu].
  • If some folks were smart, they would try to do two things:

    1. Set up VoIP systems. This might kill their telephone bills. Who knows? Find a way to make VoIP work, work, work.

    2. Set up wireless hubs everywhere in the area. See how people get creative with the access. Always on, always fast. Yum!
    • Re:Hello VoIP (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sinnergy ( 4787 )
      Well, those are two of the things I know that are in the planning stages. What isn't in this article is that about 10,000 WAPs will be deployed across campus to allow for as much seamless coverage as possible. The WAPs will be capable of holding 2 radios (ostensibly for 802.11b/g and 802.11a). One of the neat ideas being bantered about is perhaps the ability to do VoIP over 802.11... so... cellular service with a twist.

      Also, CATV might possible be streamed as well.

      There's a lot of new technologies that are going to be pushed and tried out on this network. Some if it will be great, some of it will fail miserably. In any case, it should be interesting and hopefully everyone else will be able to enjoy the fruits of our labors and heartaches once we figure out what works and what doesn't!
  • At least they'll have little lag issues with Quake, and one can really find out who the fastest gun in the west is. Or at least the Case Western! (I'm just not sure how Cleveland, OH is considered part of the west....)
    • "Western Reserve" is a term that was left over from the old original 13 colonies. When the original colonies of the United States were formed, most of the western borders were left blank, since the settlers didn't know how far west the land went. In 1786, Ohio was actually part of State of Connecticut. Connecticut gave up its claims to Western lands of the United States, except for a portion of northeastern Ohio known as the Connecticut Western Reserve. Later, the land was sold to the Connecticut Land Company, which surveyed and settled the region, but the name Connecticut Western Reserve - or just Western Reserve - continued to be used to describe the northeastern section of Ohio.
  • This is intereresting but not that all unexepected --- Case has always been on the cutting edge of networking technology. I almost ended up going to school there just because they already have ATM Fiber conncetions in all the rooms already (155Mb/sec IIRC). Gigabit ethernet in itself is interesting because I Don't know of any hard drives that can actually move 100 megabytes a second conitinuously, but I'm sure it will catch up one day. I wouldn't be surprised if students started building RAID striping arrays just to get the bandwidth up.

    On another note, the article doesn't seem to mention the speed of the actual internet hookup. Anyone know what they have over there? If they haven't upgraded that, then the whole thing won't seem any faster than 10-base-T when using the net.
    • by sinnergy ( 4787 ) on Monday July 22, 2002 @09:04AM (#3929837) Homepage
      Well, I think it's going to be a good idea, too. Previously people had a choice between a shared 10 Mbps network (yes, shared... sloooow) or a 155 Mbps ATM connection (ATM never became the standard we thought it was going to be back in 1994/1995... oh well).

      I know students who already have striped RAID arrays (have to hold those research reports on something, eh?) I think, too, that that kind of thing will become more prevalent. There are already some high profile centers on campus that could use the bandwidth... and those folks stuck on the basic 10 Mbps network are going to gladly move up to something faster and actually switched.

      As far as off-campus connectivity goes, we have the equivalent of an OC-3, but only handle about 36 Mbps in commodity internet and the rest for Internet 2 (minus about 55 Mbps or so.... the firewall only has 100 Mbps cards or something like that).

      In any case, we have plenty of bandwidth to the outside world, but I expect we acquire more as time progresses.
  • bottlenecks?? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MarvinMouse ( 323641 ) on Monday July 22, 2002 @08:29AM (#3929626) Homepage Journal
    Won't this really only be useful for the people on campus, even if someone in New York had an equivalent HS connection because of the inherent bottlenecks that exists on the current internet.
    • Re:bottlenecks?? (Score:5, Informative)

      by sinnergy ( 4787 ) on Monday July 22, 2002 @08:59AM (#3929809) Homepage
      Well, yes and no. The current off campus connection is equivalent to about an OC-3, with portions for both commodity Internet and Internet 2. I believe the idea is that we'll be increasing those caps and installing additional fiber to connect to the rest of the world. Granted, there will be a bottleneck SOMEWHERE.

      The Internet2 is actually going to make a big difference here... cheap costs to hook up host institutions and no need to deal with the hassles of the current crappy commodity Internet. Other Universities will probably follow step, I2 will be upgraded and then it will make a bit more sense.

      In any case, the whole upgrade will take about 18 months and we've just gotten started. Students are already set up to go, and the comp-sci buildings are going to be next (I know, because I'm responsible for making sure the upgrades go as smoothly as possible for my users).

      Still, I think there's a lot of experimentation to do with the GigE network even if we can only realize those speeds off campus. Will this make us a huge target for DDoS attack machines? Sure, but that's why we try to be proactive in protecting our machines. ;)
  • Administrators aren't sure what anybody needs that kind of bandwidth for yet
    Then why are they going to the trouble of installing it?
    • Administrators aren't sure what anybody needs that kind of bandwidth for yet
      Then why are they going to the trouble of installing it?

      When industry in the mid to late 1800's figured out how to make steel production significantly cheaper, they didn't say, "What could we possibly do with this much steel?" They provided it to the world, and the age of the automobile and mass production began. As a recent grad, I think I can say that if you want to find out what massive last-mile bandwidth will do to the world, there are few better places to find out than a school like CWRU.

  • yes mom... I'm taking care of myself... I get enough fiber...

    :-)
  • How it gets used (Score:3, Insightful)

    by andy@petdance.com ( 114827 ) <andy@petdance.com> on Monday July 22, 2002 @08:32AM (#3929645) Homepage
    Administrators aren't sure what anybody needs that kind of bandwidth for yet, but they are curious to see how it gets used.

    Porn.

    Duh.

    • This reminds of one of my favorite Simpsons [snpp.com] lines:

      Nerd: "I've invented a program to download porn up to a million times faster from the internet."
      Marge: "Does anyone really need that much porno?"
      Homer: "Uuuuuhhhuh... one million times..."
  • at college. I'm sure that it's very important for Case to have a "leg up" on the bigger universities but is this going to produce better educated students? The teacher can control lights, sound system and link to the web....oh boy. I'm not dismissing the importance of research at universities but damn, isn't 100 mb networking enough for most dorm computers? Wouldn't the money they're spending on this be better spent elsewhere because $400/student isn't going to cover their costs!? The only possible use I can see for this is porn, warez, etc, etc, etc. Although maybe someone could scan one of those $200, 50 page paperback textbooks and make it available....
    • On Case's campus for the past several years they have had a system set up for freshman Chemistry review sessions (I'm sure it is used for other classes as well). The prof can broadcast the review live to the entire campus and students can call in and ask questions. From experience, I have found this useful in that (1) it saves me the trouble of hiking across campus to Schmitt lecture hall, but more importantly (2) if I have other obligations at the same time the review is going on, I can just record the review and watch it when I find time.

      Having the new technology so the "teacher can control lights, sound system and link to the web" will allow more professors to do the same. (Only one TV channel is currently used, so if it is broadcast over the internet, the number of classes you can broadcast simultaneously now increases... well, technically not infinitely, but you get the picture.) Being connected will also allow students to possibly send the prof diagrams, code-snippets, etc... which may improve the quality of the sessions as well.

      ("We... have ways... of finding out... who.. who... who you are....")
    • I believe one of the design goals here is to also prevent the need to upgrade the network every 4 years. With 100 Mbps... chances are we will have to upgrade again. The more upgrades, the more chances for problems and the more disruption for users. Doing it less often will help to extend the investment. These issues have been argued ad nauseum on campus. There are certainly some downsides that few can argue against. However, I believe the benefits will far outweigh the potential downside issues.
  • Come up with a new network application after music sharing and become famous!

    Non-starters:

    • VoIP (savings is tiny when backbone bandwidth is counted; with different calling plans and simpler billing traditional telephony might be preferred for its guarantees);
    • Interactive video (nobody wants it, good cameras are expensive, there's no good lighting in normal offices, and you cannot currently make eye contact);
    • Games (they barely ever use any bandwidth because they are always designed for diverse connectivity).

    I guess for a while we'll just see Fasttrack and Gnutella used to distribute movies... How utterly boring.

  • by yatest5 ( 455123 ) on Monday July 22, 2002 @08:39AM (#3929681) Homepage
    makes going back to college more tempting than usual

    Sorry, but personally, fast internet connections don't rate quite as highly as 18 year old girls...
  • Ok lets take this recipe

    College students.
    Computers.
    Gigabit eth0 interface.
    Porn.
    Warez.
    Muzic.

    And these "ADMINISTRATORS" dont yet know how the bandwith is going to be utilized ?!?!?!

    I think someone is asleep at the wheel. Or just dosent have a clue what college students are all about. I mean sure, some will be running spatial simulations of the end of time on their gigabit beowulf cluster that geek squad 101 puts togeter on this network and all that acedemia but, but how about the most kick ass perr to peer network know to man ?

    I wonder if they'll pu that in the brocures :)

    I am curios what type of traffic shaping and filtereing they are going to do on the campuses in and outbound pipe to the net ?

  • I want to meet the sales guy that sold them the switches.

    How much does GigE run per port? $500?
  • The RIAA has struck yet again, this time seizing every non-Apple computer at Case Western Reserve. When questioned why they did not confiscate any Apple computers the RIAA stated, " Well, lets put it this way, Steve's nickname around here is Hand"
    • Steve Jobs blasted the RIAA on Headline News the other day. He just demoed a way to share playlists over any IP network without any configuration, allowing a user to listen to virtually any song with iTunes. He created the iPod whose only "Digital Rights Management" is a sticker which says "Don't Steal Music." I don't think Steve is excactly the biggest friend of the music industry.
      • Sorry to be off-topic, but I think you missed something.

        The ability to share a playlist does not MP3-swapping make. You can send someone else a list of songs and it will find them on the other person's computer.

        Also, you've obviously never used an iPod. Apple set it up so iTunes allows you to copy music to the iPod, not from it. Sure, you can use it as a portable hard drive, but condemming the iPod as against the DMCA for that is like saying Sharpie's should be illegal becauce they can defeat CD copy protection [slashdot.org]. Let's ban all forms of transportable media while we're at it.

        The iPod's protection can be broken with various bits of software, but again, condemning the iPod for this would be like condemning makers of CDs because their copy protection can be broken.

        Sorry to go off, but Apple is doing far more to keep music both accessible and legal than anyone else I've seen in some time. Even the "Rip. Mix. Burn." campaign was in keeping with that. You must have the CD to rip it. Apple isn't willing to go to the opressive extremes that Microsoft is with Palladium, but they are trying to keep people honest.

        Maybe Apple just believes that people can be good, and Microsoft (and most everyone else) has forgetten that.

  • by slashnik ( 181800 ) on Monday July 22, 2002 @08:48AM (#3929736)
    "Administrators aren't sure what anybody needs that kind of bandwidth for yet, but they are curious to see how it gets used"

    I am interested to find out how the administrators will find out how the links are being used. What hardware/software has the power to track this level of traffic on a switched network.

    Will they be using integrated RMON2 NAM cards in the switches or possibly analysis of Netflow data from the routers.

    However they do it there will be a geat deal of data to crunch

    slashnik
  • The big question: will CWRU spend the money to decently support the new version of CWRUnet? I both attended CWRU and worked for the department responsible for network administration (which has changed acronyms several times), and we were constantly plagued by the administration's willingness to spend lots of money for hardware, but not for staff.

    The network administration folks at CWRU have some very clueful geeks (used bash lately?), but when I left, there were never enough of them. All this fancy new hardware will do the university little good unless they give the people running it enough budget to do a first-rate job.

  • Got to ask (Score:2, Insightful)

    by macdaddy ( 38372 )
    ...what the hell for? I'm the netadmin at Unv and I'm fighting to not run GigE to all my buildings. It simply isn't needed here. I can't imagine running GigE to the desktop. They must have a helluva lot of grant money to waste. The nic cards along aren't cheap. A 3c996 SX card runs about $475 at discount. Are they expecting the users to go out and buy them? That card doesn't have Mac drivers either. I wonder if they expect new Mac users that already have 10/100/1000 to waste a PCI slot for a 1000Base-SX nic. This is just plain weird. I wonder what they connect the building to the campus with... One thing it does do is give the users more than enough umph to DoS most modern processors. It also gives them more than enough umph (if they connect to the campus LAN at say 10GigE to DoS their server farm firewall or worse yet, the actual server. Wanna fill the queue on their I1/I2 border router? Here GigE kids; go have fun.
    • Re:Got to ask (Score:3, Interesting)

      A 3c996 SX card runs about $475 at discount

      Seriously, who is selling these people 16,000 fiber NICs that they will need to hook up all the PCs? Or are the students expect to foot the bill, on TOP of the $400 per year tech fee listed in the article?

      Wouldn't this make a lot more sense? [newegg.com]

      Newegg.com sells retail boxed, Intel Gigabit cards for $55. So the question is now, how much is the fiber to giga-copper transceiver? :)
    • Actually, we're using Netgear cards (GA621) for most installations. Getting a fiber to UTP converter will get the Mac folks up and running. Considering we're getting volume discount pricing, the pricewatch prices don't matter much. Our only concern at present is what to do with the Suns. Those GigE cards certainly aren't cheap!
  • but they are curious to see how it gets used."

    Living in an all Computer Engineering floor, I can tell you what it's going to be used for:

    1) Downloading pr0n
    2) Counterstrike
    3) Getting Porn
    4) Downloading every episode of every season of every Star Trek series ever made (including the animated one)
    5) Hosting Porn

  • I had a friend who was attending CWRU in 1992-1993 whose Frat House (!) had fiber to each room. He had a 386 with an ISA card had an AUI port, which had a fiber transceiver attached. It may have only been attached to a 10 megabit hub/switch, but the fiber was there.

    My classmate took her PowerMac 7100 to CWRU in the fall of 1994, and she also had to buy a fiber to AUI transceiver to hook up her machine in her dorm room. Strosacker auditorium/lecture hall has had fiber ALN drops readily accessable since the early 90s as well.

    So it's my belief that the campus has been wired with fiber for at least 10 years; perhaps they're just upgrading thw switches to Gigabit?

    Why did they run fiber that long ago? Well, they had to do SOMETHING with all that technology grant money they were getting for CWRUnet/Cleveland Freenet besides buy modems... plus the $26,000 a year tuition/board costs at the time probably made it easier as well. *Smirk*

    -RT (Once known as "Iceman" on CFN, as a teen in the early 90s. Scary.)
  • I work at a University now with Gig to every building. I monitor the links constantly and have never see more then 2 or 3% usage, even to the dorms - Why ...

    Because we have not real apps that use it and our link to the Internet is only Frac-T3.

    We even use VoIP and some streaming video tech.

    My Advice - By 100M uplinks (Channel if you need more to other buildings) and spend the savings on a better Internet Pipe and applications.

    Gig is good for servers, not to a building with 50 people in it, or to a desktop!!!!!

    Just my .02$
  • by Snuffub ( 173401 ) on Monday July 22, 2002 @09:12AM (#3929879) Homepage
    In related news the university has also been sued by the RIAA. In a writen statment the spokesman for the RIAA said "Of course were sueing What the hell else do you think theyll use that network for besides stealing our intelectual property."

    This suit is the first in a series of legal actions that the RIAA hopes will solve the P2P dilema. The longterm goal of the law suits is to return everyone to 9600kbps modems or as the same spokesman was quoted saying "If users cant handel the responsibility that comes with a broadband connection we'll have to limit it to corpate america, the last bastion of trust and integrity in america today."

  • *Can* they use it? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Monday July 22, 2002 @09:15AM (#3929903) Homepage Journal
    Everyone seems to forget that network bandwidth is just part of the equation. How many people at Case Western have systems capable of processing that much data?

    Where I work, we just got around to upgrading the network from 10BaseT to 100BaseT. Things did get faster -- but not ten times as fast. In a few extreme cases, apps that transfer umpteen megabytes in a short span were maybe 2 or 3 times as fast. Fifty percent was more typical.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Monday July 22, 2002 @09:20AM (#3929931) Homepage
    Case was into networking very early, but not too successfully. In the late 1960s, Case was briefly on the ARPANET, but became the only site to be kicked off by ARPA because their R&D project didn't produce much. An early laser link (helium-neon, in air) carried 2400 baud synchronous data for a card reader/printer across Cedar Avenue.

    Case was once famous for doing the wrong thing really well. Just as interactive computing started to work, Case developed one of the best batch operating systems of the era. This was so cost-effective that it kept Case studends on punched cards much later than other comparable schools. The entire school ran on a 1 MIPS machine, with enough free time to support a private company selling excess time to commercial users.

  • by dcigary ( 221160 ) on Monday July 22, 2002 @09:28AM (#3929971) Homepage
    .....must...not state...obvious.... .......Arrrrrrrrrrggggggghhhh!

    (snap)

    Wow! Can you image the Beowulf cluster they could set up with this???

  • Sounds like a backbone for Sony's Cell Computing [slashdot.org].
  • Administrators aren't sure what anybody needs that kind of bandwidth for yet, but they are curious to see how it gets used.

    At a wildly conservative estimate of $75 per run, that's over $1 million being spent "to see what happens." I'm all in favor of the experimental nature of the University and I'm strongly in favor of trying to buy ahead of the curve where possible.

    But...couldn't an experiment to see what everyone might do with 1 Gbps fiber be scaled to a quarter of that size or even a tenth of that size and the rest of the money spent on other equipment or infrastructure needs?

    It might future-proof them, but AFAIK Gbit ethernet is running just fine on four pair Cat 5, which they probably already have installed. The annoying nature of fiber optics has IMHO kept it from being "the next step" in end-user distributive network technology -- it's fragile, complex to fix and the interfaces are more expensive and non-standard on most equipment that 16k people would use.

    Given the budget crunches that most states are feeling, it seems strangely inappropriate to blow at least $1 million to see what happens (yes, CWRU gets money from Ohio).
    • There's no Cat5 because we already have the fiber network in place. It's been in place since the late 80s for the most part.

      It isn't necessarily more fragile (Ever tug too hard on a cat5 cable and have the whole thing come apart?), but, you are right, it tends to be more expensive.

  • Case Western used to have an ATM network available to all of its students which was all super fast and had high bandwidth. However, they found that a pure network of ATM was too unstable (there were numerous random outages that got really annoying) and started switching back to ethernet.
    However it looks like they are not going to settle with 100mbps and just go straight to Gigabit.
    I guess they like to have their network be as fast as possible.
  • If Ihad a GB network connection and was at collage I'd make sure I could get the leatures pumped through to my bed room.
  • Can you say "solution in search of a problem"?

    One of those "our school is better than yours" type of things, I guess.

  • My wife is getting her Ph.D. at CWRU, so I've had a chance to check out their infrastructure. CWRU jumped on the ATM bandwaggon in the early 90s, back when ATM was the holy grail of networking (was there any Byte edition that didn't have an article on ATM?), so they deployed ATM-over-fiber to every office and every dorm room on campus. Talk about misreading the future. Now I guess since they've got all that fiber in place already, they're probably thinking they might as well capitalize on it and move to gigabit. I can only assume that they're making use of the same fiber, otherwise they'd be out a whole lotta money. This is more of a case of a lucky second chance than exceptional foresight.

    I'm also not particularly impressed with their IT department. They like touting their computing horn, but my wife wasn't able to obtain one of their elusive ethernet-over-ATM adapters for two summer sessions now, being forced instead to connect via their notoriously flakey PPP dial-in at glacial modem speeds--while on campus. So much for their leadership in advanced campus networking. Oh, but they do have 802.11b in their main library, so I guess they get one point for that.
  • What kind of moron can't take an eduated guess as to what some 19 year old away from home able to stay up all night without anyone yelling at him will do. He'll buy a few 100 gig drives and load up on pron to last him the whole semester. He'll stay up all night and play his newly pirated version of UT2003. He'll have a permament ftp connection downloading hordes of mp3s and more than likely run his own ftp server filled with mp3s.

    How it will be used. Get real use your brain and think what it was like being 19 and away from home and without a girlfriend cuz your a geek.

  • "You lucky, lucky bastards!"
  • by Jandar0 ( 594961 ) on Monday July 22, 2002 @10:08AM (#3930211) Homepage
    As a current CWRU student who is currently living in the dorms over the summer and currently has his computer hooked up to the network I can try to clear up any confusion on this =) The network does, indeed, feature fiber running to every desktop. As several individuals have stated previously, the University ran fiber optic cable to every dorm room and office several years back (longer back than I remember). That same fiber is now being used to provide gigabit connections to every room. Every student was (or will be) provided a Netgear GA621 [netgear.com] gigabit fiber optic network card for their personal computer, which does, indeed, equate to "fiber to the desktop" =)
  • Immersive Video Conferencing? (cough)pr0n(cough)

  • I would have loved fibre in my dorm room back in college, as kicking back X applications to one's PC wouldn't have been a chore. It was ok with 10Mbit, but the latency drop and bandwidth boost with fibre would have made it seem like I was really in the engineering labs.
  • Of course, most of their machines will most likely be configured such that they can't use that full bandwidth over anything but a subnet anyhow, so this is kinda ridiculous...
  • by Betelgeuse ( 35904 ) on Monday July 22, 2002 @10:29AM (#3930343) Homepage
    There are a lot of people on here complaining that gigabit just isn't good for anything and no one needs a connection that fast. While I agree that is true in general, there are (non-porn) uses for the connections that universities can really use. For example, I'm a student in an astronomy department. An image from an average-sized digital detector is, oh, 300 MB. Before people start yelling about compression, realize that we have to retain all the information. Of course, this doesn't take into account the fact that there are mosaic cameras that put out a few gigs per image. So, as you can see, a night of 40 images or so can really add up. For us, it makes sense to not only have lots of storage space (mmmmm. . . 1 TB array), but also to have fast connections. We are just starting to experiment with gigabit-over-copper now, and I must say that, so far, it seems to be totally worth it. Having to wait 30 seconds for an image to display on your screen (because it's stored on the disk array at the other end of the office) is a huge pain.

    So, I'm not saying that CWRU needs to wire all of their dorms, but gigabit certainly makes sense in some areas.
  • A few points to note (Score:5, Informative)

    by sinnergy ( 4787 ) on Monday July 22, 2002 @10:36AM (#3930383) Homepage
    I've been reading a lot of the posts here and, likewise, have been posting a lot (in fact, more than I've posted in years). There's a lot of points I find that I keep making and figured I'd wrap them all up in one post to save me time. For the record, I am an employee of CWRU as well as a part-time graduate student. I work in the EECS department (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) and am currently involved with the gigabit networking upgrades in my buildings to some degree.
    • The article isn't clear about the fiber networking here at CWRU. The fiber network has been in place largely since the late 1980s. This isn't a new installation. New buildings are getting both Cat5 and fiber, but most of the older buildings already have both single and multi mode fiber already installed. Cat5 wasn't even a standard until after the current fiber infrastructure was already in place!
    • Yes, the name of the school is Case Western Reserve University.
    • CWRU implemented an ATM network in 1995/1996 that failed miserably. I know because I was one of the first people on it. At the time, ATM was an unproven technology. Vendor support just wasn't there. Gigabit is less of a gamble because we know it works and has much better support and a much brighter future.
    • The article does not mention anything of the thousands upon thousands of wireless access points that will be installed as well. While 802.11 certainly does not provide anywhere near the performance of a wired connection, most laptop users will probably find the wireless network more useful in the long run
    • CWRU isn't the greatest school in the world, but I know that the many people, including myself, work tireless to try to make it better. There are many bitter people (and rightly so) out there who have had negative experiences with the school in the past. However, things have changed and are continuing to move in a very positive direction. I know because I'm living it.
    • Presti's is still open and they still sell delicious bakery.
    OK... enough ranting for now. I'm going to hop out of this discussion. If anyone has any serious questions, they can email me. I can't guarantee I'll know the answer, but I'll certainly try.

Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay

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