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Overview of department network access
The majority of Mathematics Department offices, meeting rooms, and laboratories are situated in Lockett Hall and Prescott Hall. Both buildings have excellent bandwidth. Each building is fed by two 10Gb fibers that connect that building back to two different campus core routers with full fail-over capability. Within each building, the two incoming fibers go to a building router that is connected by bonded pairs of 10Gb fibers to various end-point access switches (typically several per building floor, located in a closet somewhere on that floor). The bonded pairs allow 20Gb of simultaneous intra-building traffic and each such link automatically fails down to 10Gb if either fibre malfunctions. The end-point access switches in turn provide 1Gb ethernet to end-user room locations. (Exception: the server room access switch has 10Gb ethernet capability to each server.) Finally, the campus itself is connected with redundant 10Gb links to LONI (Louisiana Optical Network Initiative), which in turn is connected to various public sector and private sector internet backbones including Internet2 and Time-Warner.
How to register equipment and connect to the network
- State property equipment (i.e., purchased with department funds or obtained through a grant) is typically permanently registered with campus networking by Mathematics IT staff at time of purchase/installation. The department covers the cost of one physical network port per office. Additional network ports incur a monthly recurring charge that is currently $18/month. (Campus policies forbid the use of commodity switches to connect multiple pieces of equipment to one port.)
- Personal equipment may be connected via an ethernet cable to the wired network, assuming you have an available network wall port in your location (see prior paragraph on costs for that). When you open a web browser and attempt to go to any website, you should get redirected to "NetReg". Follow the instructions to enter your LSU PAWS ID and password, and you will obtain a network registration that is good for one year at a time. (You repeat the process each year.)
Both Lockett and Prescott have excellent wireless coverage. Every room and common area in each building has dual-band wireless coverage with support for 802.11a/b/g/n; in addition, half the access points in Prescott, and all the access points in Lockett, speak the latest 802.11ac protocol. In other words, we have great wireless connectivity, and your equipment will automatically negotiate with the access points to choose the best available protocol.
How to connect
Choose the network “eduroam”. When it asks for credentials, enter your complete LSU PAWS e-mail address (which looks like “email@example.com”) and your PAWS password (which may be different from your e-mail password). In other words, you are essentially entering your PAWS credentials but you must include “@lsu.edu”—the reason is that eduroam is a world-wide network and someone at another institution might have the same ID but they would have a different @ extension. Note that the first time you connect to eduroam, you will be asked to approve a security certificate. If you are having difficulty connecting, please consult the LSU ITS GROK article on connecting to wireless, which has step-by-step instructions for most devices and operating systems.
- Many visitors from other institutions will already have an eduroam account. Their eduroam account will work on LSU campus
- For short-term guests who do not already have an eduroam account, visit https://netguest.lsu.edu/ and create a temporary guest account for the "lsuguest" network
- Longer-term guests will typically have appointments through HR and thus receive an LSU account. This account will allow connection to eduroam.
- For smaller events, multiple "lsuguest" accounts can be created. Per IT instructions, each lsuguest account will allow up to ~ 10 people per-account to connect simultaneously. So, 50 people, create 6-7 lsuguest accounts and distribute that username and password among the 50 people evenly. They would then connect to the "lsuguest" wireless network.
- For larger events, LSU ITS will need to be contacted. Special accounts may be created, and ITS may need to setup temporary Access Points to allow a larger crowd to connect without overwhelming the wireless infrastructure.
Since many institutions around the world use the same “eduroam” network as used here at LSU, your guest's device likely already connects to wireless correctly! If your guest discovers otherwise, you may at any time automatically create temporary guest wireless access credentials by visiting http://netguest.lsu.edu/. Those guest credentials work on the “lsuguest” network (not on “eduroam”) and expire after 30 days. For longer-term guest credentials, you may request an LSU Extended Guest Account, but most long-term visitors would receive a university appointment of some kind (through the department's HR manager), making them eligible for their own PAWS ID, with which they can then use “eduroam”.
Avoiding wireless interference
- Wireless operates in the 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz ranges.
- Older cordless telephones operating at 2.4GHz or 5.8GHz are not allowed. Cordless office phones should be of the latest "DECT 6.0" variety (which operates at 1.9GHz).
- Every microwave oven operates in the 2.4GHz range and causes measurable interference with wifi while the oven is operating. If you have wifi connectivity issues while you or nearby offices are operating a microwave, for example during lunch time, there is nothing that can be done aside from waiting until the microwave usage is complete.
- Some common devices like cell phones, laptops, and wireless printers may be misconfigured to advertise themselves as a wireless access point, presumably for convenience in the context of a small home network, but a source of trouble in a managed enterprise environment. These are referred to as “rogue access points”. Another example is an actual wifi access point brought in to campus from home (a violation of campus policy), perhaps with the seemingly harmless intention by someone of making say wireless audio function with their computer in their office. The majority of rogue equipment is operating without users being aware of it, or at least being unaware of the trouble it is causing. To police this, we periodically work with ITS to scan the buildings for sources of wifi interference. If any equipment sending rogue signals is discovered, we will work with you to get it reconfigured in a way that continues to reasonably meet your needs while no longer interfering with your neighbors on the network.
- To learn more about wifi signal penetration and interference: http://blog.serverfault.com/2011/12/12/a-studied-approach-at-wifi-part-1/.