by Danielle Harris | November 30, 2011 11:17 am
Steven Duckworth, Assistant Director for Network Services, contributing writer
In April 2004, Information Technology Services (ITS) moved from the now-defunct Hardy Hall into its current home, University Hall. With this move came the challenge of relocating a data center full of routers, switches, and servers as well as upgrading some aging components. Among these upgrades was the replacement of network hardware known as the network “Core.” This critical equipment was almost eight years old, which in electronic years is virtually ancient. We have reached that time again as the shiny new core of 2004 is almost eight years old, and retirement is calling.
What is the “Core,” you ask?
The “Core” is essentially the hub of the network universe on campus. All servers and campus buildings are connected to this hub in a star-like configuration. Without the hub, there is no connectivity to the Internet, Email, Banner, PeopleSoft, GeorgiaVIEW, or any other network resource. In order to continue providing a robust and reliable campus computing experience, replacing the “Core” is essential. ITS has been preparing for this task for many months, and now it is once again time to “future-proof” our network.
When will this upgrade take place, you ask?
There is never a perfect time to cause a major disruption of service; however, after consulting with campus officials, we have determined a time that we feel works best. So, after all final exams have been taken, after all grades have been submitted, and all of the daily work is done, ITS will take the network away for a brief interruption of service. On Tuesday, December 20, 2011, at 4:30 p.m., we will begin replacing the “Core” electronics. We expect the outage to last several hours as we migrate out the old electronics for the shiny new gear. Testing will follow and no “snow day” will be required the next day as business will continue as normal.
What does this upgrade provide the campus, you ask?
Replacing the “Core” will provide the capacity needed to keep up with the campus computing needs. Technology changes rapidly, and our campus network has grown tremendously since our last “Core” upgrade in 2004. In recent years, wireless computing has exploded, and it is not unusual for users to carry multiple devices that connect to our campus network. This usage trend will only continue as we look to expand our Wrightsboro Road campus. We need to be ready, and the “Core” is critical to the successful growth of our university network.
While we can’t predict the future, we can prepare for it. By upgrading our “Core” electronics this December, we are providing an updated backbone to our network to ensure reliable communications for years to come. Our goal is to safeguard the use of current technologies while preparing for emerging ones. There is never a great time to disrupt our network universe; however, there is certainly a great need to do so.
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