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Internet Caching Device

Last response: in Storage
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February 18, 2012 1:36:13 AM

Hello forum, I'm in the military currently deployed to Afghanistan, my platoon recently purchased a VSAT and are in the midst of activating it. One thing I've already noticed, primarily due to our extremely remote location, the bandwidth is snailing to say the least. My hope is to help my platoon out by doing research on a device I've heard of that will cache internet activity so as to speed the process by pulling from the device for certain items instead of the internet. I've tried finding such a device but to no avail. The closest I've come to anything was the QNAP, although I didn't see a FAQ for my exact purposes.

If anyone could please assist me in discovering what exactly I need to set this up on our network please let me know. It will be greatly appreciated! Just an idea of the setup, it's an X3 iDirect modem, that's hooked into a Cisco Managed Switch (PoE-48), that I however do not have access to atm because the previous owners changed the switch IP address and didn't leave the info, I'm pretty sure DHCP is disabled on the device as I've had no luck discovering the IP. Anyway, from the Cisco switch a Cat5e cable is ran to 2 other living quarters which then connect to switches in those living quarters and branch to the separate rooms.

If that setup will effect the device in anyway please let me know. I've posted this in the Networking forum but no longer see it, so I assume it was removed, perhaps because the overall idea is Storage, hence why I'm posting here. Again, thank you for any help that is given.

-SGT B.
February 18, 2012 5:14:14 AM

As someone in the Future Soldier program 3 months from shipping out, my respects to you. Anyways, on topic, a shot in the dark here as this is a bit beyond me. Doing a little searching myself, it seems you could be looking for an Internet Caching Server. Maybe not a specific device per se, but likely a generic server or proxy server you can install such software on is what you need. Basically, you are probably looking for software as opposed to hardware.

Is it also the possibility that it's simply just the technology that is slow? From what I understand satellite connections are quite slow, but I've never personally used it (let alone military satellite communications).

This site here looked kind of like what you might need:
http://www.squid-cache.org/

Hopefully someone more knowledge can give you a more specific answer. Good luck!
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February 18, 2012 5:51:27 AM

I feel ur pain.
When I was in the Navy we had 1 sat for a crew of 800... needless to say, the only one that got raw internet access was the captain and a select few others, while us peons only got email access....

Anyways..

If you are running windows 7 you can setup a BranchCache in a distributed cache mode, if you guys regularly use the same websites over and over again. It's as simple as telling one windows 7 computer to install IIS and then the rest of the computers on your network to go to that computer first. If the information is not on that computer then the call will go out on the sat.

Also, have you tried telling your ISP to pre block all ads and other junk on webpages? Anything that you can do to minimize traffic such as blocking ads and junk really helps out.

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February 18, 2012 8:31:12 AM

I appreciate both inputs, I need to look more into this squid-cache service, looks promising. Good luck in your service Genericuser!

Also, @memadmax, I'll check on the pre-blocking, I'm simply the person with the most computer experience in his background so I'm setting up all the networking, getting VSAT sig, etc. I am not the person who ordered the VLAN so I'll have to let them know to ask that ISP to do that, thank you.

As for the BranchCache/IIS, I have almost no experience with Windows 7 as far as setting up network infrastructures short of altering router/switch configurations. My question is does the Windows 7 computer that people will connect through have to be on the main switch or is it ok if it resides on one of the secondary unmanaged switches? Also on a network of approximately ~18 people, what size of an external storage device would you recommend for the system doing all the caching

And man, with 800 people I hope you guys were at least topping the bandwidth options... we're managing a semi mediocre connection with 18 =\
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