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.

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.

Service Request Form Now Online

NACS’s service request form (SRF) is now available on line. It is intended as a replacement for the current paper-based form. To use the new form, please visit:

http://www.nacs.uci.edu/service-request

Use the form to request new service or modify any of the telecommunication or network services offered by NACS. These services include, but are not limited to, telephone, voice mail, network, cellular service, and 800Mhz radio. You can track the status of a service request at:

http://www.nacs.uci.edu/tools/srf/

For more information on the services offered, please refer to the following:

http://www.nacs.uci.edu/telephone/
http://www.nacs.uci.edu/network/

The online form has several advantages over the paper version. Customers will see that it is easier to complete the online form than to print, fill out, and fax the paper form. NACS can streamline requests that are submitted electronically, and better track fulfillment.

NACS will continue to accept the paper service request form at least through June 30, 2005. Please direct questions or comments to NACS Telecommunications Customer Service at (949) 824-5123, or by email at NACS-TCS@uci.edu.

Leading-Edge Telecommunications for Calit2

CalIT2

CalIT2

 

The opening ceremony for the new UCI Calit2 building has taken place, and UCI researchers are starting to make use of the high-end network and telephone infrastructure installed there — the most advanced technology installed on campus.

The Calit2 building is the first building where NACS has installed high-performance category 6 cabling to every communications outlet to support gigabits/second network speeds to the desktop.

NACS installed the highest performance and most robust network equipment of any UCI building to date. Every network connection in the building will support gigabit speeds. This was accomplished by installing Cisco’s flagship Catalyst 6500 chassis-based switches on each floor. Communications between the floor switches and the main building switch, as well as between the building switch and the UCInet backbone are at 10 gigabits/second, unprecedented at UCI.

In addition to the Internet and phone wiring installed in any new building, NACS has also installed a separate, parallel network infrastructure which allows researchers to set up their own special-purpose network connections. And, as the building becomes more fully occupied, NACS will position wireless base stations so that all points in the building have wireless access.

Calit2 also benefits from redundant communications equipment and power supplies, so that the network and telephone can continue in the face of most equipment failures.

NACS installed the first full-production voice over IP (VOIP) telephone system available to UCI researchers. IP phones connect to UCI net rather than directly to the campus Ericsson phone system. This results in some immediate benefits to users as well as opening the door to ongoing software development to create new features.

NACS is confident that all of this leading-edge network and telephone technology in the Calit2 building will meet or exceed the research requirements now and well into the future. Based on experience gained with Calit2, NACS hopes to extend similar advances to other parts of the campus in the future.

UC Cable Infrastructure Forum

One of the ways NACS works behind the scenes to improve the quality of the technology infrastructure at UCI is to foster intercampus communication and cooperation.

NACS’s Todd Strand conceived of the idea of bringing together the Cable Infrastructure Engineers from all of the UC campuses (including UC Merced). He started these discussions via email and this later lead to several telephone conference calls. Eventually, the “UC Layer One” discussion group decided to meet together, in person.

The first UC Cable Engineering Forum was held at UC Davis in October. Todd spoke at the conference about “firestopping” methodology (the methods used to seal cable and conduit penetrations in buildings in a fire-safe way that meets fire codes.) Other presentations discussed seismic planning, disaster recovery, and inventory control.

Those interested can review Todd’s and the other presentations at http://www.engineeringlayerone.com/index.html