Miami Utilizes OARnet Service for Dalai Lama Visit

Dec 8, 2010

(December 8, 2010) - This fall, Miami University welcomed His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet to the stage at Millett Hall. Before greeting the Tibetan state and spiritual leader, Miami had to make certain its bandwidth could handle whatever amount of press coverage the speech might garner.

“Honestly, we really didn't know what to expect. With so much media and attention focusing on the university, we wanted to be sure the last thing we had to worry about that day was our Internet bandwidth,” Chris Bernard, director of network engineering and telecommunications at Miami, explained in an e-mail.

Bernard contacted OARnet client services representative TJ Sandor with a written request for Miami's bandwidth to be expanded to its full capacity.

“Even though we talk with our clients on the phone, for bandwidth changes or other revisions to a service contract, we ask clients provide us with details in writing,” Sandor said.

Sandor set to work, coordinating with Bernard, OARnet engineers and the Network Operation Center support staff to boost the university's bandwidth to its full potential. Miami required a couple of changes to the network because of its fairly unique network design.

“We have multiple layers to our network. The optical layer pushes through a set amount of bandwidth, and then the actual equipment at the endpoints control the amount an organization is allowed to have,” Sandor explained.

The night before the speech, Network Engineer Vincent Gerardi remotely configured Miami's circuit, provisioning it for more bandwidth.

This preemptive action increased Miami's commodity Internet from its everyday 200-megabits to a 800-megabit capacity. The statistics during the Dalai Lama's visit show a significant deviation from the average usage, increasing by 10 percent or about 100-megabits of traffic.

Miami's Experience

While more than 10,000 people saw the Dalai Lama speak in person, about 1,300 others watched a video stream broadcasted at four Miami auditoriums and over the campus cable system. Miami later made the video available to its students, faculty, staff and alumni.

“We had very positive comments about making the video available. Because this was a sold out event, the video allowed many individuals, who were unable to get tickets or otherwise unable to attend the event, the opportunity to hear the Tibetan spiritual leader,” Bernard wrote.

Bernard recommended that other universities consider taking advantage of OARnet's resources when planning large events like this.

“A simple e-mail and a few configuration changes and we had adequate bandwidth, ” Bernard said.“It is one of the many reasons we obtain all of our state/academic bandwidth from OARnet.”

OARnet members interested in increasing bandwidth for a special event should contact your client services representative, call (800) 627-6420, or e-mail