Nortel Prepares University Of Ballarat Network For High-Bandwidth Traffic Explosion
Existing Nortel Switches Upgraded To Carry Broadband Data For 25,000 Students
MELBOURNE, Australia – The University of Ballarat in regional Victoria, Australia, has increased the capacity of its Nortel* [NYSE/TSX: NT] data network tenfold to meet demands from its 25,000 students and 2,300 staff for new high-bandwidth applications like videoconferencing. The network upgrade will also support a planned campus-wide migration to IP telephony.
With power and air conditioning problems in the existing data centre, a steady growth in its network traffic, and an increased use of high-bandwidth services expected, the University needed to physically relocate its main data centre to a nearby technology park. It has also opened a second data centre on another campus to provide additional capacity and redundancy for its core applications. The upgraded Nortel network will ensure the communication links into the data centres will have sufficient bandwidth to handle the expected increase in network traffic.
“Our data centres run all the applications and administration systems for every student and staff member on all of our main campuses, and support online services such as the library database for students further afield in Melbourne, Sydney and throughout Asia,” says David Edwards, manager, Network Infrastructure, University of Ballarat.
“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,” says Edwards. “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 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,” says Fioretto. “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.”
Nortel’s solution for the University is based on four Ethernet Routing Switch (ERS) 8600s featuring Nortel’s unique Split Multi Link Trunking (SMLT) technology, the combination of which creates a highly resilient terabit cluster – high-speed transport links that can provide sub-second failover in the event a switch, card, power supply or chassis malfunction. Working together, these switches provide the reliability required for applications like CRM, ERP, IP telephony and collaboration tools.
Two recent reports from InfoTech and Tolly Group show Nortel’s ERS solutions to be significantly faster, more resilient and more cost effective than their main competitors.
“We’ve been working with Nortel for more than a decade, so the results of these reports don’t come as a surprise to me – although they might to some people who thought the market leaders also dominated in the performance and reliability stakes,” says Edwards. “I’m confident that the extra capacity and proven reliability of the Nortel switches will help us deliver the advanced services and learning resources we’re planning for the next five years and beyond.”
Nortel is also in the process of deploying a multi-million dollar data network at Melbourne’s RMIT University to support its planned migration to unified communications.
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