Preparations under way for October start 

Project team to replace aging hardware and cabling, install fiber where needed

Saturday, August 22, 2009
Sean O'Malley, photo by Dave Dupler  

Bill Harris and Jim Perry prep new Juniper network switches for deployment starting in October.Ohio University is about to begin its first comprehensive network upgrade in eleven years.  

On October 1, 2009, the NextGen Network project will begin work in buildings and network hub sites.  When the upgrade finishes, all buildings on all campuses will have 100 Mbps wired Ethernet to the desktop and high speed, single mode fiber optic connections to the campus network's core. 

According to OIT director of infrastructure Rick Manderick, the upgrade not only will address long standing networking needs but also will provide consistency across all campuses. 

Close to 80% of Athens campus buildings currently depend on network hardware that was installed during the original 1998 upgrade.  The NextGen project will replace that aging equipment with modern switches and routers from Juniper Networks.  

The project also will deploy matching networking equipment and designs on all regional campuses.  As a result, individuals who travel between campuses will have a consistent user experience.  

Starting in October, OIT field crews will begin visiting individual buildings to replace network hardware, upgrade wiring where needed, and install the necessary fiber optic feeds.  At the same time, work will continue behind the scenes to provide improved reliability, better network management tools, and wider, more secure access to network services.

Planned features of the NextGen Network project include:

  • Improved network capacity
  • Better reliability through redundant building feeds
  • An enterprise-class VPN service for secure access to university services from off-campus
  • Faster connections between existing wireless access points and the network core
  • Increased wireless capacity via new 802.11n access points

Future NextGen Network articles will examine the above benefits in more detail.

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