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More than petty cache

New on-campus bandwidth-saving technology released

Games are fun to play, but downloading them isn’t always as enjoyable. (Photograph by Ruth Flores-Orellana)

Games are fun to play, but downloading them isn’t always as enjoyable. (Photograph by Ruth Flores-Orellana)

By Braden Ochs | Echo

As of Monday, Jan. 29, Taylor’s Information Technology department has released a new on-campus bandwidth saving technology called LANcache, a tool that stores downloaded information locally so students do not have to use as much bandwidth for downloading.

Director of Enterprise Infrastructure Services Steve Elwood and Infrastructure Systems Analyst Brent Gerig thought of ways of saving on-campus bandwidth after the video game Destiny came out in 2014. The game took a lot of bandwidth to download (three times the daily quota size), and Elwood and Gerig decided they needed a solution since video games were growing in size and downloadable content.

So, Gerig started to test ways of saving bandwidth.

In November 2015, they released an older generation of LANcache server as a test, which students could connect to if they wanted access to the cache. However, it was only available for Steam, a digital distribution platform developed by Valve Corporation, which offers digital rights management, multiplayer gaming, video streaming and social networking services.

Any kind of entertainment helps get through the stress of college. (Photograph by Ruth Flores-Orellana)

After testing and a complete rebuild of LANcache, it is available for any student on campus, and it is available for more platforms than Steam. It is available for Apple, Arena Networks, Blizzard, Glyph, Origin, Playstation, Riot Games, Steam, Tera, Uplay, Wargaming.net, Windows and Xbox.

“Personally, I love that Taylor was innovative enough to incorporate this, as it saves quite a few people from using all the data we have,” said junior Chris Arpin. “Before I knew about the DNS server, it would sometimes take up to (three) days to download a game. Now it can be done in anywhere from (five to 20) minutes, depending on the game size.”

Elwood and Gerig check the statistics every morning, and in the last two weeks, they have saved three and a half terabytes of bandwidth.

As LANcache continues to work, Gerig will continue to update the server as the game world updates.

“We want to help (the students),” Elwood said. “This is our attempt to make things better. We want them to have a really good experience online, and we want to give them the tools to do that.”

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