Network management for community networks

Wells, Daniel David. (2010) Network management for community networks. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.




Community networks (in South Africa and Africa) are often serviced by limited bandwidth network backhauls. Relative to the basic needs of the community, this is an expensive ongoing concern. In many cases the Internet connection is shared among multiple sites. Community networks may also have a lack of technical personnel to maintain a network of this nature. Hence, there is a demand for a system which will monitor and manage bandwidth use, as well as network use. The proposed solution for community networks and the focus within this dissertation, is a system of two parts. A Community Access Point (CAP) is located at each site within the community network. This provides the hosts and servers at that site with access to services on the community network and the Internet, it is the site's router. The CAP provides a web based interface (CAPgui) which allows con�guration of the device and viewing of simple monitoring statistics. The Access Concentrator (AC) is the default router for the CAPs and the gateway to the Internet. It provides authenticated and encrypted communication between the network sites. The AC performs several monitoring functions, both for the individual sites and for the upstream Internet connection. The AC provides a means for centrally managing and e�ectively allocating Internet bandwidth by using the web based interface (ACgui). Bandwidth use can be allocated per user, per host and per site. The system is maintainable, extendable and customisable for different network architectures. The system was deployed successfully to two community networks. The Centre of Excellence (CoE) testbed network is a peri-urban network deployment whereas the Siyakhula Living Lab (SLL) network is a rural deployment. The results gathered conclude that the project was successful as the deployed system is more robust and more manageable than the previous systems.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Internet, Computer networks, Broadband
Subjects:Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Computer Science
ID Code:2609
Deposited By: Mrs Carol Perold
Deposited On:16 Apr 2012 12:07
Last Modified:10 Jan 2013 06:11
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