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Re: who offers cheap (personal) 1U colo?

  • From: John Kristoff
  • Date: Mon Mar 15 09:00:48 2004

On Sun, 14 Mar 2004 01:29:29 -0500 (EST)
Andrew Dorsett <zerocool@netpath.net> wrote:

> This is a topic I get very soap-boxish about.  I have too many problems
> with providers who don't understand the college student market.  I can

There are certain environments where it would be nice for people to have
spent some time.  Working at a university would be one good experience for
many people, particularly in this field, to have had.

> think of one university who requires students to login through a web
> portal before giving them a routable address.  This is such a waste of
> time for both parties.  Sure it makes tracking down the abusers much
> easier, but is it worth the time and effort to manage?  This is a very

In most implementations I'm familiar with, the time and effort is mostly
spent in the initial deployment of such a system.

> legitimate idea for public portals in common areas, but not in dorm rooms.
> In a dorm room situation or an apartment situation, you again know the
> physical port the DHCP request came in on.  You then know which room that
> port is connected to and you therefore have a general idea of who the
> abuser is.  So whats the big deal if you turn off the ports to the room
> until the users complain and the problem is resolved?

As someone else mentioned, an AUP may be a reason for such a system.

In addition, these systems often allow an i.d. to be notified, restricted
or disabled and not just from a single port, but from any port where this
system is used.  Also know that some schools' dorm resident information
is not populated nor easily accessible in network connectivity records.

The portal systems are often used as a way to be proactive in testing a
dorm user's system for vulnerabilities and allowing minimal connectivity
for getting fixed up if they are.  This is often referred to as the
quarantine network.

Many institutions have tried to simply turn off a port and deal with the
problem when a user calls.  Sometimes the user moves, but even if they
don't this doesn't scale very well for widespread problems such as some
of the more common worms and viruses that infect a large population.  A
lot of institutions don't have 24x7 support to handle calls from dorm
students who are often up til midnight or later doing work.

Many systems can have the connection registration pulled, forcing a new
registration immediately.  This may be due to proactive scanning or simply
to refresh the database at the end of a school year.

> I guess this requires very detailed cable map databases and is something
> some providers are relunctant to develop.  Scary thought.....

Correct, this is a problem for universities too.  Especially when many
of their cabling systems are old and have often been managed (or not) by
transient workers (e.g. student employees) over the years.

John




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