2009/11/28 - Internet Quota System Adjustments (december Vac)
As is customary at this time of year, we've made some adjustments to the demand-side scaling factors that affect the Internet quota system. The intention of these changes is to allow staff and postgraduate students who remain in Grahamstown to make better use of the Internet bandwidth that is available over the December vacation.

This vacation we'll be making adjustments between Sunday 29 November and Friday 29 January 2010 (inclusive). Except for the University shutdown, during this period the following scale factors apply:
  • Monday–Friday
    • 00:00–00:59 — scale factor of 0.1
    • 01:00–07:59 — scale factor of 0.02
    • 08:00–16:59 — scale factor of 0.5
    • 17:00–23:59 — scale factor of 0.1
  • Weekends
    • 00:00–00:59 — scale factor of 0.1
    • 01:00–07:59 — scale factor of 0.02
    • 08:00–23:59 — scale factor of 0.1
During the University's annual shutdown (from 17:00 on Friday 18 December 2009 until 07:59 on Monday 4 January 2010), a scale factor of 0.01 will apply at all times of the day.

You'll notice that, unlike previous years, we're not making extra bandwidth available gradually over the course of December. We expect that the above values will remain in force for the duration of the vac without further change. However, as has happened in the past, it is possible that during the course of the vacation we may make further adjustments (either up or down) depending on the absolute demand on the University's Internet bandwidth. Any adjustments that reduce the Internet quota available to users will be posted to this noticeboard topic in advanced. You are encouraged to check here for up-to-date information rather than making assumptions.

Please be aware that we take the above adjustments into consideration when evaluating applications for quota credits at this time of year.
By way of an experiment, we have temporarily disabled proxy authentication on the University's caching proxy servers. The effect of this change is that all downloads that occur during the period where authentication is disabled will only count towards your computer's per-host quota (i.e. it disables the per-user quota for new downloads).

The requirement for proxy authentication may be turned back on without prior warning (if your browser starts prompting you for a username and password again, it has been re-enabled). It is expected that this will happen on or around 4 January 2010, but this is not guaranteed as we will immediately re-enable it if we notice operational problems as a result of the change. If you install or make changes to software that uses the proxy servers during the period when authentication is disabled, be aware that you will need to make sure it is correctly configured once the authentication requirement is re-enabled -- if you fail to do this, it is likely that you'll see the ERR_UNAUTHREQ proxy error message soon afterwards. Once it is re-enabled, per-user quotas will be enforced again and all subsequent downloads will count towards your per-user quota.

Please note that you may have to close your web browser and re-start it in order to take advantage of this change.

We've decided to continue our authentication experiment for a bit longer. At the moment we're uncertain when we'll re-enable the requirement for proxy authentication, but it'll certainly be before the start of term (you'll know it has happened when your browser starts prompting you for a username and password again). The previously mentioned conditions still apply.
Please note that Internet quotas have been increased by roughly 35%. These increases, unlike the demand-side management changes, will continue beyond the end of the vacation.
The requirement for proxy authentication will be re-introduced on or before Saturday 23 January.
You're reminded that normal term-time DSM values for the quota system apply from midnight on Saturday 30 January. In addition, some of the other restrictions that have been lifted (such as the warning about high traffic sites) will be reintroduced during the course of tomorrow. This marks the end of the quota system adjustments for the December vacation period sad.gif