Summer months at the U of L provide the best opportunity for Information Technology Services (ITS) to delve into projects that improve efficiency.
A major network upgrade has been launched by the Infrastructure Maintenance and Support team and is expected to be completed over a three-year span. “We’re upgrading the University’s core network from 1 gigabytes (GB) per second, to 10 GBs per second – which means network speed between buildings will be 10 times faster,” says Manager Terry Kirkvold.
Researchers may receive the biggest value from the upgrade because, as the project unfolds, desktop network speeds will be 1 GB per second, he adds.
Piggybacking on the network upgrade, IT Services is enhancing classroom wireless by adding access points. “It’s not news that we’ve experienced a dramatic increase in wireless traffic on campus over the last three years, and it’s not just smart phones and laptops that need capacity. We have a lot of equipment now that requires wireless including vending machines and classrooms, for example. The faster network enables us to provide a greater capacity for this.”
One of the biggest users of network bandwidth is video streaming, such as YouTube and Netflix. These services are becoming a critical tool for teaching and learning, says Kirkvold. The upgrade will boost bandwidth capacity and provide greater access to web resources.
As the project matures, the campus can expect more communication around improvements. “By the time we’ve completed the entire upgrade, the U of L will have one of the best-served networks in Alberta.”
Other benefits of the upgrade:
- Faster response times for core services such as email and internet
- Increased capacity in wireless network, providing better coverage in classrooms and student spaces
- Enhanced technology, network upgraded to provide sustainable growth opportunities (next 5-10 years) as the needs of the University of Lethbridge change and grow
- Enhanced security: new network design provides a more secure infrastructure in which to model data security practices
Questions can be directed to the Solutions Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org or (403) 329-2490.