University of Ballarat touts Nortel network upgrade

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University of Ballarat touts Nortel network upgrade

To support increasing staff and student demands for high-bandwidth applications like IP telephony and videoconferencing, the University of Ballarat has increased the capacity of its Nortel data network tenfold.

The university joins RMIT, Macquarie and Edith Cowan in its deployment of Nortel’s high-bandwidth voice and data infrastructure, the demand for which is said to be driven by hyperconnectivity in Australian higher education campuses.

The upgraded Nortel network connects the university’s main campus with a data centre located at a nearby technology park, as well as a second data centre that is located on another campus.

All the applications and administration systems on the university’s network of 25000 students and 2300 staff operate from the institution’s data centres, which also support students who may be accessing facilities such as the library database from remote locations including Melbourne, Sydney and throughout Asia.

“The biggest challenge we had was ensuring our data network could not only scale to support the extra traffic generated by the second data centre, but also support future projects, such as campus-wide IP telephony,” said David Edwards, manager, Network Infrastructure, University of Ballarat.

“This not only meant upgrading our existing network switch capacity from one gigabit to 10 gigabits, but also ensuring the fastest, most resilient network infrastructure for moving high volumes of information through 18 main campus buildings and across five other campuses spread across an area of 200 kilometres.”

The network upgrade builds on a longstanding relationship between Nortel and the University of Ballarat and is based on four Ethernet Routing Switch 8600s, which each feature Nortel’s unique Split Multi Link Trunking (SMLT) technology.

Working together, the infrastructure is expected to provide the functionality of a high-speed terabit cluster that can provide sub-second failover in the event of hardware malfunction, supporting applications like CRM, ERP, IP telephony and collaboration tools.

“The most important – and yet frequently overlooked – component of a successful wide-area multimedia communications network is the data infrastructure because organisations don’t take into account the additional load of these bandwidth-hungry applications,” says Mark Fioretto, general manager, Enterprise Solutions, Australia and New Zealand, Nortel.

“This is particularly true in a university environment where the volume of data traffic brought about by hyperconnectivity – where anything that can be networked is connected – can be astronomical, and where multimedia communications like video are increasingly playing a crucial role in the education curriculum,” he said.

“Without a resilient data network, and enough bandwidth to support new applications, the quality of multimedia communications can be severely degraded, let alone the stability of other business-critical applications that already reside on the network.”
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