Computers have come a long way from performing complex calculations at fast speeds. The personal computer "revolution" started in the mid-1970s with bulky hardware that had a steep learning curve. Over the past 30 plus years, we have moved to smaller devices and easier to use interfaces. The Internet explosion in the 1990's and the broadband growth of the 2000's has moved us to a point where we always expect on high-speed communications as much as we expect our lights to turn on when we want them to.
The Internet now provides us with video, audio, games, photos, software, storage, telephony, video conferencing, and when we're really bored, information. Business networks are used to process payroll, procurement, billing, security, building-control, HVAC management, and many other back-end functions most people never see.
Technology Infrastructure is responsible for installing and maintaining the campus network infrastructure. Our network is made up of over 10,000 ports and 140 network devices. This includes the main campus, residence halls, and remote sites. Technology Infrastructure also maintains the campus wireless infrastructure and Internet connectivity.
Our campus Internet connection is provided by the PeachNet. We have a 90Mbit connection to the general Internet and an additional 50Mbit to other sites within PeachNet. The Clayton State residence halls and apartments have their own separate Internet connection.
Campus traffic passes through our campus firewall systems. The firewalls will block any incoming traffic to non-approved servers. It will also block some outgoing traffic such as SMTP e-mail, which is required to go through the campus mail gateways.
The campus makes use of bandwidth management tools to make better use of our limited connection to the general Internet. Some protocols may be limited in the amount of bandwidth they can consume or their priorities may be lowered in order to allow academic and business use to take priority.
The campus physical network is an Ethernet based network. While the campus standard is 10/100/1000Mbit connections with Power over Ethernet, with 140 network devices, it takes time to phase out older equipment. All campus ports support at least a 100Mb connection.
The campus provides wireless access in all of the campus buildings and residence halls. Technology Infrastructure is adding additional capacity in many of the heavily used classroom areas. Wireless is a shared medium and the more people on an access point, means that shared medium will appear slower to each user. By adding more access points, we are able to balance the load. The campus supports 802.11 a/g/n - 802.11b is no longer supported.
Network Access Control
In order to help protect our network, the campus makes use of a Network Access Control product from Enterasys, known as eNAC. eNAC requires you to register your device before you can access the Internet. Depending on the device type, users may also be required to install an agent on the device that will scan to make sure your device follows network security policies. If the user does not have a network ID, minimal guest access is also available.