DES: Increasing Network Efficiency and Security at Machakos University
Posted on:26 February 2018
A major restructuring of Machakos University’s network has reformed the University’s bandwidth consumption. In the past, the University could only consumed bandwidth to a certain limit as its network design could not handle more bandwidth. As part of capacity building initiatives, the KENET team visited the Institution, one of the four major Universities in Machakos County to carry out a Direct Engineering Support (DES) initiative. After the DES, the University could now subscribe to speeds of over 200 Mbps.
The Direct Engineering Support (DES) exercise conducted from 19-23 February 2018, was aimed at addressing network bottlenecks to improve the University’s network efficiency. The bandwidth at the University could not be managed as desired due to the old network design and over 20-year-old equipment that were constraining the Institution to enjoy their Internet subscription. During the five-day exercise, KENET worked with Mr. Watson Kanuku, the ICT Director at the University and Franklin Mutisya, a Network Administrator.
“Previously, the network was really not well managed and we had connection challenges. We had a lot of issues in accessing services such the portal and ERP system, especially when students came in at the beginning of a semester. Sometimes, 70% of these issues lied on the network because when we needed a service, it was not available because an equipment was not responding. That’s when we thought it wise to involve KENET to come and give us a solution and upgrade our network,” said Mr. Mutisya.
Mr. Frederick Mutisya, Network Administrator at Machakos University
The KENET team addressed a network snag at the University which was experiencing challenges with the existing core network devices. Major activities entailed redesigning the campus network and installing monitoring tools for easier network troubleshooting and curb any hitches as soon as they arise. During the DES, KENET donated equipment and deployed donated five switches to help optimize performance.
“With the strict budgets that we have, we are happy that KENET donated to us the equipment. We have been in the past trying to make request to purchase some of the high-end equipment but failing due to the strict budgets that we have to work with. The 5 switches that KENET gave us have really assisted us a lot,” said Mr. Mutisya.
Good network management has eased data congestion thus increasing bandwidth speeds. Students and staff can now utilize the Internet for accessing educational materials hosted locally and internationally. Efficient bandwidth has also assisted in the use of ERP systems in the various departments such as finance, procurement and asset management. During the Machakos University 1st Annual International conference, unlimited bandwidth from KENET helped in facilitating teleconferencing between participants at the Conference and their counterparts in the UK.
“Things are really good, as we are now able to easily identify problems whenever they emanate. Network security has also increased to about 60 per cent. Before the DES we could not really monitor the network, but now we can be able to tell how many users are logged in on our access points and what they are doing,” said Mr. Mutisya.
The ICT Manger at the University, Mr. Musyoki, noted the Institution has been at the forefront in seeking new ways of offering quality education using ICT to its 7,000 students. Among their initiatives is that they intend to roll-out an e-learning repository which will be enhanced by the good connectivity.