A lesson in change management

A lesson in change management

The University of Auckland upgrades its Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences campus data network with EX Series Ethernet switches by Juniper Networks.

After five years with Cisco, the University of Auckland is upgrading its Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences campus data network with EX Series Ethernet switches by Juniper Networks. This data network serves the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Population Health and Medical Sciences, as well as four off-campus clinical schools.

The network upgrade took place alongside a major building renovation process taking place in the faculty’s main campus.

“We went through the usual process and Juniper worked well for us,” says John Askew, IT architect at the university, who is responsible for the upgrade.

The reason for the new network implementation is simple: data speed,

The network was last refreshed five years ago and a lot has changed since then. “We try to lead the way. There is a lot of research here, says Askew, adding that the university is “very good at creating data but, in isolation, it is not of much use”.

With this new deployment, the network will better allow students and researchers to collaborate with international projects electronically. Additionally, it will also facilitate sharing of information between researchers, even inside the campus. As Askew points out, rather than using the usual USB key to share large amounts of data, users will be able to do it through the network.

The University of Auckland has one of this county’s largest private data networks, with the upgrade paving the way for integrated security management and compliance with government data confidentiality requirements.

The new network is being delivered in partnership with IBM and leverages 10 Gigabit per second (Gbps) throughput, enabling the 5000 faculty network users to easily share research data.

The Grafton campus upgrade, in Auckland, is the largest upgrade in the university’s network and will go through to 2012. By the end of 2010, the university expects to have 2000 ports working in the medical faculty, with a total of 8000 to be working by 2012. These ports will be used by 38,600 full-time students in the university and 45,000 users in total, making it the biggest network here in terms of research, according to Askew. The university chose Juniper as it provided better cost of ownership.

The new network is done by Juniper in conjunction with IBM, with which the university has a long-standing relationship. The original budget for the upgrade was put together two years ago. Askew wouldn’t disclose the amount. It is in the order of “multi-millions of dollars”, he says. “But it has to be done.”

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