NACS to Host CENIC Emergency Backup Center at UCI

The Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) administers and supports the CalREN network, which UCI depends on for our connection to the commodity Internet and Project Abilene, the nation-wide Internet2 network. CENIC has selected NACS to host their disaster/recovery backup network operations center (NOC). NACS will provide space for CENIC staff and equipment, and will provide network connectivity and voice over IP (VOIP) phone service.

In the event of an incident at their primary NOC, the backup NOC will be activated at UCI and will stay in operation for up to 90 days. Users of the CalREN network include the California K-12 system, the California Community College system, the University of California system, the California State University system, the University of Southern California, Stanford University and the Information Sciences Institute to name a few. To get more information about CENIC or CalREN you can go to www.cenic.org

UCInet Backbone Upgrade Complete

As part of an ongoing effort to keep UCInet up to date and able to meet the research and instructional needs of the campus, NACS is pleased to announce the completion of the network backbone upgrade.

The upgrade consisted of replacing and configuring the routers in the four core sites as well as upgrading UCI’s border router. Collectively UCI now enjoys a 10 gigabit (10 billion bits per second) redundantly connected backbone core, including two 10-gigabit connections to the border router and two to the Calit2 building.

Some schools such as Engineering, ICS, Physical Sciences, Biological Sciences, and parts of the College of Medicine, already have Gigabit Ethernet (1 billion bits per second) connections to the backbone and will see an immediate speed boost in some applications.

The next network upgrade project will focus on the “distribution layer” which will allow many of the remaining buildings at UCI to take advantage of the high-performance network backbone. In addition to the increase in network transfer speeds, NACS looks forward to helping the campus use this new architecture for future network protocols and applications.

After the current distribution layer upgrade is complete, there will still be UCI building network equipment and cabling that requires upgrade over coming years. NACS will work with the administration to determine a funding source and timeline for these projects.

Mac Cluster Available

Apple has donated to UCI a small computational cluster based on its XServe product line.

This three-server cluster (two computational nodes and one control or “head” node) is built on the PowerPC chip. Each node features two 2Ghz PPC CPUs. The cluster also offers a 1.2Tb (1200 Gigabytes) disk array. The PowerPC architecture features high-performance true 64-bit floating point arithmetic, and is particularly well-suited for floating point and vector calculations.

Originally, NACS and faculty evaluated batch processing systems for the cluster under the Macintosh OS X operating system. Currently the cluster is running Linux, because faculty tend to be more familiar with that operating system, and to take advantage of the richer software development environment available under Linux.

GNU compilers for C, C++, and Fortran are available on the cluster, as well as the optimized IBM C/C++ compiler suite for PowerPC. Faculty may contact NACS for accounts, assistance with porting, and benchmarking.

Network Cabling Training

NACS hosted a half-day of hands-on training on communications cable installation on Thursday, March 31st. The class participants included fifteen UCI staff.

Gary Price, RCDD, of Nelson & Associates provided the Outside Plant electrical protection training. Wayne Brushett of Beach Wire and Cable, Inc., arranged for instructors from Superior Essex Communications LP.

The focus of the class was Outside Plant Copper Splicing and Outside Plant Fiber Optic Cable. Outside Plant cabling is installed in conduits below the ground which connects all of the buildings together and comprises the “backbone” of UCInet, the campus network.

Guest Wireless Registration

NACS now offers faculty and staff the ability to sponsor temporary wireless guest access. Guest registration is intended for use by faculty and staff who need to temporarily enable wireless UCInet network access for visiting colleagues.

To add temporary guest registrations, visit the current registration page:

http://www.nacs.uci.edu/mobile/registration.html

Click on the “Register to use Mobile Access” link, login with your UCInetID and password, and click the “Add Guest Registrations” link. You may register up to 25 systems. You may then select an expiration date of one day, one week, or four weeks hence.

For more information, please visit the UCInet Mobile Access main Web page at:

http://www.nacs.uci.edu/mobile/

Or, for additional help, please call or email NACS.