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UAE University rolls out a new network

Designed and built to support UAEU’s current and upcoming needs for High Definition (HD) Internet Protocol television (IPTV), voice, video and data with real-time intelligent infrastructure management, content delivery via virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), IPv6, Telepresence-based Video Conferencing, remote high definition virtual classes over IP, HD video and lecture capture, cloud based content delivery in each classroom and on-demand helpdesk, the new network will provide a robust delivery platform for UAEU’s classrooms, labs, library, lecture rooms and other spaces to provide an integrated and high performance ICT architecture.

At the heart of the new 120-hectare campus is the UAEU data centre, housed at the Faculty of Information Technology (FIT) building that was designed jointly by UAEU’s IT Services Group and Visionaire, the appointed design and build systems integrator. The FIT building hosts over 20 of the world’s most advanced IT laboratories, which includes an 8.3-teraflop super grid computer that is the fastest in the region. The laboratories also include the latest interactive humanoid technology, enabling students to perform experiments in speech recognition, vision and motion capture. Six laboratories dedicated to IT security provide the students hands-on experience in security systems ranging from intrusion detection to biometrics. A further five laboratories dedicated to the field of networking provide the students an opportunity to learn about wireless networks, VOIP and other exciting new concepts in networking.

UAEU also chose to brand its network access with relevant names aligned to specific functions: SpaceNET, a robust network designed and built for research, SkyNET for the wireless network and EarthNET, which brings together all the IT services, including education and learning IT services leveraging collaboration capabilities available through VoIP and IPTV.

EarthNET consists of two Brocade MLX-32 routers with more than 130 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) downlinks. SpaceNET also consists of two Brocade MLX-32 core routers with more than 64 10 GbE downlinks to research buildings and 80 robust two-tier links to the labs, which are terminated on Brocade TurboIron® switches to provide high-performance access for research applications and connectivity to Internet 2 (Ankabut).

Following a fully routed design from Access to Core to offer high performance, non-blocking links each distribution room hosts a redundant, resilient pair of Brocade FastIron SX 1600 aggregation switches with a capacity to support 33 10 GbE uplinks and downlinks. There are 430 Brocade FastIron CX access switches, which support Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+), deployed in the wiring rooms.

Nick Choban, CIO of UAEU, was delighted with the results: “[Of the network going live] This was a day that will stay with me for the rest of my life. An interesting fact, Internet bandwidth utilization has nearly tripled in the past year, and thanks to a great design and implementation, I can sleep well tonight. The unanimous consensus around the new campus today was that a great achievement was accomplished”

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