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City University Prepares to Meet the Demands of the Hyperconnected Youth with Nortel Solution


New Campus LAN Supports Bandwidth and Security Requirements of Technology-Hungry Students
LONDON – With its data network already at full capacity, City University, one of the UK’s most prestigious universities, knew it was unable to meet the demands of its hyperconnected students who wanted to be connected, anywhere, all the time, on a variety of devices. The University turned to Nortel* [NYSE/TSX: NT] to replace its existing infrastructure with a new LAN capable of providing the bandwidth, security and network reliability that is essential for the future deployment of unified communications and multimedia applications that students expect.

Students selecting a university today don’t only look at the quality of the courses and teaching staff, they also look at the facilities available, including IT capabilities. When trying to attract revenue-generating overseas students, having a campus-wide WLAN, video conferencing or web collaboration application can make a difference to a university’s bottom line worth hundreds of thousands of pounds of revenue.

City University has over 10,000 students from almost 160 nations studying business, health subjects, law, computing, engineering, journalism and the arts. Not only was its network struggling to keep up with demand, the University was also facing security concerns caused by students plugging devices into the network with no user authentication. Management concerns existed as there was no single network management suite in place. And, bandwidth concerns abounded as the University could not deliver the type of unified communications and multimedia applications that students were expecting. The University worked with Nortel and channel partner, Redstone Converged Solutions**, to replace the existing LAN with a full Nortel campus LAN solution, providing Power over Ethernet, single sign on for user authentication, Quality of Service and a single management system to monitor and control the network.

“You cannot underestimate the importance of a solid data infrastructure if you want to deliver multimedia applications,” said Carl Stokes, director, IT Operations and Infrastructure, City University, London. “With our new LAN in place, we are now planning to implement wireless capabilities across the campuses and investigating the possibility of introducing video applications.”

“Today’s students want to be constantly connected with a device, literally, in each hand,” said Mario DiMascio, vice president, UK enterprise sales, Nortel. “We were able to help City University find a balance between enabling student desire to be hyperconnected and protecting the security and integrity of the University’s network.”

City University’s new LAN comprises the Nortel Ethernet Routing Switch 8600 (ERS 8600) at the core, which supports up to 384 one-gigabit or 24 ten-gigabit ports. The ERS 8600 provides full Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities as well as non-stop operation through Nortel’s innovative Split Multi-Link Trunking (SMLT) technology, which provides sub-second redundancy for link and switch. Nortel Ethernet Switch 5520 is used for the server stacks and edge devices providing high-density Gigabit desktop connectivity and Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability. Nortel Secure Network Access allows students to use their normal windows login but actually be authenticated to the University network at the same time. Nortel Enterprise Network Management System enables network administrators to identify and resolve problems and performance bottlenecks before they impact network services.
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