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Network Upgrade Project

In spring 2018, OIT embarked on a multi-year project to completely refresh the University's wired and wireless networks. The project is expected to be complete before the end of December 2021.

Goals and Benefits

This upgrade project is making OHIO's network capable of supporting an infrastructure that can be updated on a regular basis and is bringing the University's wired infrastructure up to speed, both literally and figuratively.

The upgrade features a number of benefits, including:

  • Increased speed for wired connections and Wi-Fi.
  • An increase in the reliability of Wi-Fi coverage.

In previous years, OIT had undertaken a massive upgrade effort over a brief period. This current initiative includes the creation of a continuous improvement plan for our network.  

Reasons

Modernization

Our last comprehensive wired network upgrade happened a decade ago. Much of that equipment remains in service and will be replaced.

Demand

Network demand continues to increase each year. Faculty, staff, and students expect our network to facilitate their teaching, learning, research, and on-campus living needs. We cannot continue to meet those expectations with equipment that is reaching the end of its useful life.

Preparing for a wireless future

Our network infrastructure needs to support the future expansion of wireless network coverage while providing acceptable performance for individuals who still need access to a wired connection. OHIO's wireless network is already significantly faster than the wired network, and that advantage will increase as part of this upgrade. Wireless devices can be moved around at will: no need to have a wired port activated in a new location. 

Our commitment to you

This network upgrade is a large project spanning multiple years with occasional service disruptions. Please bear with us. We make the following commitment to you, the faculty, staff, and students of Ohio University:

  • We will respect your work. Whenever possible, we will schedule disruptive changes during times of low demand, and we will keep the University's academic and administrative calendars in mind as we plan our work.
  • We will minimize the impact. Changes that may require an outage will receive close scrutiny. Given a choice between more effort for us or less impact for you, we will choose the former.
  • We will communicate. You will always know in advance what we plan to do and when we plan to do it. Communication methods will include OHIO News and OHIO Employee News stories, targeted email messages, physical signs in buildings where upgrade crews are working, and descriptive notes technicians can leave behind if they make any changes to a space while its occupants are away.

Notable achievements

May 2021 Data center firewall replacement successful
December 2020 Wired network upgrades completed ahead of schedule
July 2020 RFPs awarded for core routing environment and firewall upgrades
February 2020 Patch panel work completed ahead of schedule

 

Activity Status Timeline Description
Upgrades to core network equipment Underway

Apr 2019 - Oct 2021

We are replacing old equipment, reconfiguring existing gear, and installing new items across all campuses and at our network's core. 
IP address updates Completed Jan 2019 - Aug 2021 OIT technicians visited buildings to make initial configuration changes to devices. Roughly 2-4 weeks after the on-site work was completed, a brief network disruption occurred to finalize the configuration changes.
Wireless improvements Completed Jun 2018 - Jun 2020 Replaced and installed approximately 3,800 wireless access points across our campuses.
Cabling & patch panels Completed Feb 2019 - Jan 2020 Raised the standard of each building's cabling and infrastructure to support future higher speeds. Work involved reclaiming and repurposing existing equipment, running new cable, and installing fiber optic feeds.
Fiber optic cable work Completed Dec 2018 - Mar 2019 Added fiber optic capacity to the links between some buildings and our network core.
Wired jack preparation & consolidation Completed Apr 2018 - Sep 2018 OIT crews visited every room in every academic and administrative building on the Athens campus to verify locations of each jack, reconfigure connections as needed, and consolidated those connections to reclaim underutilized network infrastructure.