Colleges of the Fenway Control Student Use of P2P and Internet Applications to Assure Critical Application Performance

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Exinda helps Mass College of Art and Design, Wentworth Institute of Technology, and Wheelock College prioritize and control network usage by students, faculty and administration

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Exinda, a global provider of next-generation WAN optimization and application performance assurance solutions, has been selected by three colleges in the Colleges of the Fenway (COF) collaborative to help them manage the growing strain social and peer-to-peer (P2P) internet traffic is placing on their network resources and ensure a predictable user experience for vital academic applications used by students, administration and faculty.

The COF is a collaboration of six Boston-based colleges located in the historic Fenway neighborhood. The colleges – Emmanuel College, Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt), Mass College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS), Simmons College, Wentworth Institute of Technology and Wheelock College – are linked to each other by a shared fiber infrastructure and a 2 Gbps area network, which each college pays for based on its bandwidth requirements and consumption. MassArt, Wentworth Institute of Technology and Wheelock College are each using Exinda solutions to help better control their share of bandwidth based on specific application and user policies.

The colleges’ collective bandwidth needs have grown considerably from only 400 Mbps in 2011. As students use more devices and higher-bandwidth internet applications to power both their academic and social experiences, demands on the network continues to rise. But simply adding bandwidth is not a feasible solution, which means the colleges need to prioritize and protect their strategic applications like administrative enterprise resource planning (ERP), faculty research and classroom applications, and have the ability to throttle back recreational traffic when needed.

“Exinda was able to assess each school’s current needs and incorporate expected future requirements to provide individual solutions that worked for each of the three colleges,” said Deborah Pepper, director, operations and collaborative services for the COF. “The customer service and flexibility Exinda provides is excellent.”

The COF implementations are part of Exinda’s ongoing strategy to assure the performance of the Learning Network – networks at schools, colleges and universities that must meet the academic requirements of their institution while allowing for social interactions by students. Today, six million students rely on the Exinda Learning Network worldwide because more than 700 educational institutions have turned to Exinda to assure application performance, improve the end-user experience, contain recreational applications, and reduce network operating costs.

Exinda’s WAN Optimization 2.0 solutions integrate WAN optimization and application assurance technologies into a single suite. Building on the belief that different types of networks have different “personalities” as defined by both the users that access it and the applications that ride over it, Exinda has created a series of application packs for its Exinda Edge Suite containing collections of Layer 7 application signatures that speak to the personality of the specific network type. Exinda Edge delivers actionable performance insights, policy-based service level assurance, and profile-driven application optimization in an easy-to-use package across a variety of powerful hardware and virtual appliances.

“The traditional approaches to network optimization – expansion, acceleration and basic quality of service (QoS) – do not work well in an educational environment because they fail to take into account the personality of the network or the profile of the user consuming bandwidth,” said Brendan Reid, vice president of product marketing at Exinda. “In a college or university setting, it’s critical for network administrators to know what application is being used, who is using it, and why they are using it. That granular insight – powered by Exinda – can help to contribute to an ongoing balance between learning and social applications for educational institutions such as the Colleges of the Fenway.”

About Exinda

Exinda is a proven global supplier of next-generation WAN optimization and application assurance solutions. The company has helped more than 2,500 organizations in over 80 countries worldwide assure application performance, improve the end-user experience, contain recreational applications and reduce network operating costs for the IT executive. For more information, please visit

About Colleges of the Fenway (COF)
Colleges of the Fenway is a consortium that includes six neighboring Boston-based colleges. This collaboration was created to add value to student academic and social life while seeking innovative methods of investing in new services and containing the costs of higher education. Collectively, the colleges represent more than 22,000 students in total, and comprise 16.2% of the total Boston population of undergraduates attending four-year colleges, including more than 700 full-time faculty and 2,300 course offerings.

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Sue O'Keefe
Connect2 Communications
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