Notes from an internet chair: offloading network services to the cloud for a low budget conference wireless solution

By: 
Richard Charles Gass, Damien Saucez
Appears in: 
CCR July 2013

The ACM 8th international conference on emerging Networking EXperiements and Technologies (CoNEXT) was or- ganized in a lovely hotel in the south of France. Although it was in an excellent location in the city center of Nice with views to the sea, it suffered from poor Internet connectivity. In this paper we describe what happened to the network at CoNEXT and explain why Internet connectivity is usually a problem at small hotel venues. Next we highlight the usual issues with the network equipment that leads to the general network dissatisfaction of conference attendees. Finally we describe how we alleviated the problem by offloading network services and all network traffic into the cloud while supporting over 100 simultaneous connected devices on a single ADSL link with a device that is rated to only support around 15-20. Our experience shows that with simple offloading of certain network services, small conference venues with limited budget no longer have to be plagued by the usual factors that lead to an unsatisfactory Internet connectivity experience.