Egypt’s Ministry of Higher Education develops bandwidth strategy with FVC

Higher Education Enhancement Project was looking for ways to better monitor bandwidth capabilities

Tags: BandwidthFVC - First Video Communications IncorporationMinistry of Higher Education (www.egy-mhe.gov.eg/)
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Egypt’s Ministry of Higher Education develops bandwidth strategy with FVC The Ministry of Education in Egypt implemented FVC’s ipoque PRX-1100 to solve its bandwidth issues.
By  Georgina Enzer Published  March 14, 2013

Higher Education Enhancement Project was looking for ways to better monitor bandwidth capabilities.

The Ministry of Higher Education in Egypt has been working over the past two decades on improving higher education through developing and implementing a comprehensive strategic plan for reform. This has taken place in three phases.

Between 2005 and 2008, the Higher Education Enhancement Project (HEEP) consisted of six major projects. These projects included:

- Improving the IT infrastructure in universities to support teaching, research and Management
- Establishing an integrated network infrastructure
- Enhancing and implementing the management information system (MIS) for universities and technical colleges
- Establishing a portal for universities and technical colleges
- Utilising IT for e-learning
- Establishing a union catalogue index for the university libraries
- Establishing a national digital repository for theses
- Training employees and staff members on IT usage

Challenges

All of these initiatives, however, depended on secure, additional bandwidth and so HEEP looked for a partner who could help ensure the infrastructure would meet the new requirements.

According to Dr Tarek El Ahmady Eltobely, executive director of HEEP’s ICTP project, “Due to the constant need for additional bandwidth for the universities, ICTP was looking to monitor their traffic and explore the behaviour of different applications in order to determine the actual usage of available bandwidth and then optimise utilisation. Our challenge was to provide a solution that could work smoothly with other network active components. Above all, it had to be stable, easy to manage and deploy.”

The ability of staff to prioritise bandwidth usage and allocate higher bandwidth to critical applications required a device  both to analyse and to evaluate network traffic usage through both application monitoring and internet traffic management.

Solution

Raya IT, a Subsidiary of RAYA Holding and FVC’s authorised partner in Egypt for ipoque, was selected out of a general tender between competitors. The technical specs in this tender relied on the most advanced features and open standard protocols – Raya’s offer of ipoque PRX-1100 won because it’s technical and financial offer was the best.”

The PRX-1100 is an entry-level deep packet inspection (DPI) bandwidth management system suitable for link speeds up to 400 Mbit/s and 32,000 subscribers. It is a particularly suitable solution for budget-constraint network operators who require a near-instant ROI but cannot afford to sacrifice performance nor reliability.

“Due to the constant need for additional bandwidth for the universities, ICTP was looking to monitor their traffic and explore the behaviour of different application in order to determine the actual usage of available bandwidth and then optimise its utilisation,” said El Ahmady Eltobely. “We have better network performance, as well as improved stability and reliability. To quantify the benefits, just by limiting peer to peer applications, we have saved around a third of our daily Internet bandwidth.”

Implementation was  fast and easy. “It was completed in all 17 datacentres across the universities in October 2010. The installation in each site only took about two hours,” said Eltobely. In each site, the PRX-1100 was installed in front of the UTM device, allowing staff to analyse which applications are consuming Net bandwidth and prioritise allocated bandwidth according to business needs. As part of the implementation, IT staff received three days of training.

Result

As well as ensuring bandwidth is allocated to critical applications, university users are enjoying higher quality services. “By controlling applications such as peer to peer, DDL (dynamic downloads) and Flash, we can provide a suitable priority to important traffic such as scientific computing, digital libraries and Net 2 applications,” Eltobely said. “So users of our universities networks have higher quality for provided services. We have better network performance, as well as improved stability and reliability.”

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