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Note: Information contained in archived ITSS newsletter articles was current at the time of publication, but may not reflect the present state of technology or ITSS.

September 2002

Network Upgrade Information

During the summer ITSS network staff have been busy working on several projects to improve the campus backbone and our access to the Internet. What follows is a short list of major improvements made during the summer:

  • The main backbone was moved from older equipment onto newer equipment. The main backbone is composed of two extremely fast combination switch and router systems, located in different buildings for both security and redundancy reasons. Compared to the old equipment, the new backbone is higher speed (1 gigabit instead of 100 megabit), has a higher switching speed, has a higher routing speed, and has a backplane (very high speed) connection between the router and switch. We had some overload conditions last academic year which this upgrade will minimize this year.
  • The main backbone now supports something the industry calls "Quality of Service" (QOS). This allows certain information to have a higher priority than other information, which allows UMD to start using some protocols that require reliable high bandwidths. Some applications are video (interactive video for example), or telephone conversations.
  • ITSS staff completed a pilot project to test Internet Protocol (IP) telephone service on campus. As part of this the voice mail system for the campus was upgraded to the latest hardware and software. IP telephone service will augment the current telephone service on campus, and is likely to be our telephone switch replacement mechanism. You will hear more about IP telephone service during this academic year.
  • The bandwidth to the Internet and Twin Cities (TC) campus is about 30 megabits, a small "pipe" compared to the campus backbone. ITSS staff worked with TC staff to upgrade and reprogram a device (Packeteer) which sets up 'flows' of information. We've given high priority to flows related to campus programs (teaching and learning), and a low priority to recreational computing (basically recreational media exchange).

Many other projects could be highlighted, but we'll briefly mention just two more:

  1. The authenticated network will be extended into the general purpose classrooms;
  2. Additional wireless access points were installed in several areas and classrooms.

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Last modified on 09/09/02
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