The College of Veterinary Medicine awarded the Educational and Communications Resources (ECR) department a $367,000 grant for technological advancements throughout the college.
“The funds will help us to deal with the frequent bottleneck experienced with increased traffic,” said Dr. Jim Snell, information systems manager.
In previous years, the ECR used cabling that allowed 72 computers to share a single 10MB space; however, this system can no longer support the large number of system users. In the past ten years the number of workstations connected to the college increased dramatically from 100 to 1500, with between 400 and 500 people logged-in at any one time. Audio and video streaming, workgroups, peer networking, and VMIS hospital database downloads have stressed the system creating a bottleneck, which affects all system users.
“The technology has served the college well over the last seven years, but with the steady increase in high bandwidth applications it is apparent that the existing infrastructure will not continue to meet our needs or support the college’s growth,” Snell said.
The ECR plans to combat the problem by installing fiber optic cables that will provide users with more network space and room to work freely during peak hours. Traffic from each workstation will be taken to its destination without interfering with other system users.
“The system provides an infrastructure that will last five years while accommodating the increased requirement for videoconferencing, distance education, higher bandwidth applications, and support future expansion,” said Rick Young of ECR Network Support.
The expansion will fully accommodate the increased demand posed by the VMIS system and provide equal access for all faculty, staff, and students of the college. The new system will allow system administrators to monitor computers and shut down those engaged in activities unrelated to work that cause the system to slow down, Young said.