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Wide Area Network Bandwidth Management Options for NDUS Institutions

February 2002 letter to HECN campuses



This document contains options to enable the campus to manage the institutions' wide area network and bandwidth.


The bandwidth management working group has developed a web site ( that interfaces to a number of tools that are used to measure bandwidth:

  • State network Internet circuit statistics
  • HECN usage by protocol/application
  • Institution usage by protocol/application
  • Institution base bandwidth and current usage

The HECN statistics indicate that the campuses have large amounts of peer-to-peer data transfers. Peer-to-peer applications share files (e.g. music or video files) with each other. On a peer-to-peer network each machine acts as both a client and a server. These peer-to-peer applications utilize large amounts of HECN network resources - namely Internet bandwidth.


We have implemented and tested a number of solutions that control bandwidth usage both inbound to the campus and outbound from the campus. These solutions are implemented at the Information Technology department's (ITD) router, which is where the campus network meets the state network. Below are three boilerplate solutions that can be implemented individually or in any combination depending on the needs of the campus.

  1. Create a bandwidth cap that shapes (i.e., controls) all traffic to and from the campus. This cap can be set to the base specified by HECN or to some number as determined by the campus. Creating a bandwidth cap would prevent network traffic from exceeding the cap either inbound to the campus, outbound from the campus, or both.

  2. Identify and shape the amount of bandwidth that individual peer-to-peer applications (e.g., Kazaa/Morpheus) or other known applications utilize. This would be configured at the state router. For on-going effectiveness, new peer-to-peer applications would need to be identified and limited as they are developed. In most cases, network bandwidth for specific communities or segments of the campus population (e.g. residence halls) can be shaped by application.

  3. Prioritize applications by specifying the applications that would not be limited (e. g. web, telnet, ftp Email) and then bandwidth shape all remaining applications. This scenario could limit some less commonly used non peer-to-peer applications, which may impact the end users negatively. This option potentially could be used to limit communities instead of entire campuses.

These various solutions should meet the current bandwidth management needs of the HECN institutions. NDSU is working with the HECN on implementing solutions for bandwidth management. If an institution has a special request or need, the HECN network steering committee will evaluate the feasibility and repercussions of the request.

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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North Dakota State University
IT Help Desk Phone: +1 (701) 231-8685
Administrative Calls Only: +1 (701) 231-7961 / Fax: (701) 231-8541
Campus address: Quentin Burdick Building 206
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Last Updated: Monday, June 15, 2015 11:16:16 AM