College adds new server for gamers
4 years ago Triangle 0
by Michelle Barger
Bryan College recently added a gaming server for resident students to connect their gaming consoles.
With more students bringing gaming consoles to school with them in the last few years, there has been an increasing demand for a gaming server, said John Glenn, network administrator.
“In the past all of those [gaming systems] used the same network a laptop would use, so for [students] to be able to play a game they would have to give us the game, and it would take us a while to find out what ports we needed to open [for the game],” he said.
The campus’ internet network has a multitude of ports (doors that connect devices to the internet network) locked by default for students’ protection. According to James Sullivan, director of I.T. services, the limited number of ports works fine for computers because most computer activities use four or five ports; however, video games use about 20,000 ports and the regular network does not have enough to support video games.
In the past, students could not play a new video game online the same day it was release. This was because I.T. would have to figure out which ports needed to be opened in order for it to be playable, Glenn said.
That process would normally take a week. Some games would be harder to unblock because they would not have good documentation, which meant I.T. would have to track down the information to make those games playable online.
One of the differences between the gaming server and the internet server is the number of available ports.
“The gaming server starts out with most things unblocked by default,” Glenn said.
This allows students to play games without contacting I.T. to unblock them.
Glenn said that, while the gaming server uses the same internet network, it should not affect internet speed for people on campus because the school’s network has enough capacity to support current internet and gaming activity.
Glenn said that I.T. is currently talking about ways to improve the server.
“We’re working on a way for students to go online and register [their gaming consoles] themselves. . . it’s going to be a lot faster for them than to have to email us and wait for one of us to take care of it,” he said.
He and Sullivan said they hope to have this ready for the upcoming fall semester.
There is also talk of creating an unblocked network specifically for computer games; however, Glenn said this idea has more red tape that needs to be worked through.
“The reason we haven’t done that yet is because the college is under a legal requirement to block illegal file sharing. We’re trying to find a way so that we can meet those legal requirements for PCs, but unblock games,” he said.
Right now, students can play their computer video games. However, they will have to contact I.T. to unblock them first.
“Personally, I would like to have a network where everything works without talking to I.T. If we could find a way for that to legally work, that would be really nice,” Glenn said.
Students interested in connecting their gaming systems to the new server will need to email the helpdesk at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up their systems. Sullivan said that once students email the helpdesk they will be connected to the server within the hour.