Guantanamo Bay gets high-bandwidth makeover

Kenn Devine on creating an efficient WAN at one of the world's most controversial military facilities.

Because of the limited copper infrastructure at the base and because the copper is in poor shape, 512Kbps is the top speed BRSC can afford. But six of the sites have significant amounts of traffic that warrant larger connections, he says. So he looked around for WAN-acceleration gear that could make the 512Kbps connections behave as if they were larger.

He considered equipment from Peribit, now part of Juniper Networks, because it supported caching to speed up transfers. By the time the network was upgraded, though, Expand also had caching, and it made appliances for smaller connections for about 30% less than Juniper equipment would cost, he says. "Expand was designed more for a trickle," he says.

The Expand boxes make the 512Kbps links seem like 2Mbps pipes, with some spikes in throughput where they behave like 11Mbps links, he says.

BRSC had trouble getting the data center Expand box to take in all the branch traffic and feed it directly onto the satellite, so it installed a second Expand box there. Traffic flows from one Expand Accelerator to the other via a Layer 3 ProCurve gigabit switch, into an IPSec VPN tunnel created by Cisco ASA5510 router and over the satellite link.

Both the VPN tunnel and the Expand optimization tunnel are terminated in Virginia Beach, where traffic bound for the Internet is decrypted and dropped onto dual T-1 Internet access lines.

Devine says that with the company's WAN and LAN settled, he is focusing on better management of endpoints by locking them down and tightening up on who has administrative access. Using Citrix thin clients will allow him to centralize most applications at the Guantanamo Bay data center, making maintenance simpler.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tim Greene

Network World
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?