KSCD first tried software-based solutions such as Novells BorderManager and SurfControls Cyber Patrol, but discovered implementation issues, cumbersome processes and time-consuming updates of content filters and blocked sites. Next, KCSD turned to hardware, purchasing 30 Kentrox ServicePoint Service Delivery Units (SDUs) to serve as DSU/CSUs and to provide the ability to monitor and control bandwidth at the application level by setting policies for use. The systems also supply monitoring as well as real-time and historical reporting based on LAN and WAN availability, utilization, service quality, and application performance statistics.
Further, ServicePoint included remote diagnostic and configuration capabilities to eliminate technician visits.
The initial implementation process took about six months and involved using the systems for termination only. Once the final version of the software was in place, Hill and his team observed traffic usage patterns and anomalies. Next, the staff began tweaking bandwidth and providing limitations by protocol. If users complain, they are shown reports of how their use impacts the entire WAN.
V. Unanswered Questions
Although KCSD views its implementation of Kentrox ServicePoint a success, there are many unanswered questions:
Isnt KCSD violating government regulations required for funding by using maximum utilization limits instead of blocking out certain unacceptable Web sites?
The Kentrox ServicePoint SDUs were cheap, but what is complexity of use and the ongoing cost and maintenance of these 30 servers?
Does dedicating 512 Kbits/sec to video traffic as opposed to a T1 line provide acceptable performance? Why give data greater access speed than video?
Should the goal be to shape or limit peoples use of bandwidth as in KCSDs case or to encourage it?
Although software solutions such as Novells BorderManager and SurfControls Cyper Patrol are cumbersome and time consuming, they are a necessary reality for limiting violent or obscene content, as required by government regulations for schools.
The functionality of product such as KSCD is still necessary for performance monitoring and remote diagnostics, but can be obtained in a single-server solution to reduce complexity and ongoing maintenance and support.
To maximize bandwidth capacity, network routing optimization techniques will be essential to help balance demand between low and high usage schools. Placing video on T1 is far more preferable than relegating it to 512 Kbits/sec access. And, it todays Internet age, its unwise to discourage its use. Instead, organizations must come up with new ways to keep up with demand.
Clark, E. (2001, December 5). Business case: Oregon school district provides higher (bandwidth) learning. Retrieved.