cables

Network upgrade at full throttle

Did you know?

  • Portions of the University’s current network date back to 1995 when the first fiber connection went live.Fiber_optic_illuminated
  • More than 5,500 wired users are connected to the network.
  • There are more than 600 wireless access point on campus.
  • On an average day, the wireless network is accessed 17,000 times.
  • If the network cables were attached end-to-end, they would stretch out 27 kilometers—the distance from Lethbridge to Welling.

Why are we telling you this?

IT Services’ Infrastructure team has been working on a major network upgrade project on the Lethbridge campus during the last nine months, and now is preparing to do the heavy lifting required to move all users from the old network to the new, says Terry Kirkvold, Infrastructure and Maintenance Support Manager.

For the next two months, Infrastructure staff will be visiting more than 70 network closets situated throughout campus to completely overhaul (move and/or replace) the switches and cables. This may or may not impact individual users. (see schedule below)

As buildings and areas are scheduled to be switched over, Information Technology will be emailing notices to users, posting up-to-date information to the Notice Board and sending out reminders of installation and completion dates. It will also provide an explanation of the changes, suggestions on how to fix known issues, and who to contact with questions or concerns.

Kirkvold adds that the upgrade will only affect devices attached to the current network. IT Services is aware of most but there are some that will be discovered as part of this migration process. “For example, we have to find all of the non-central printers that are hidden away in many offices in campus. We do not have a good idea of how many exist or where they are – but we’ll certainly be finding out once the new network is configured; these devices may need IT’s assistance with new configurations.”

By completing these upgrades during the day…we will be better able to respond to issues as they arise.

The other expected issue may only require a simple reboot of machines in order to bring them online with the new network. If users are experiencing any connection issues, they should first try to reboot their computers to see if the issue resolves. If not, IT Services will be available to assist. “While we have attempted to minimize the impact of this change on University clients there is always the risk of unanticipated issues.   By completing these upgrades during the day in manageable chunks we will be better able to respond to issues as they arise.”

Although exact dates and times are not yet confirmed, below is a rough schedule of the work. Service Notice updates will be sent to users as they are known.

Please contact Terry Kirkvold at kirkvold@uleth.ca, or 403-329-2720, with questions or concerns.

Go here to see what the current network closets look like, and read the full story on the network upgrade.

Planned migration dates:

University Hall……………………July 8 – 31
Centre for the Arts………………August 4 – 7
LINC………………………………….August 10 – 14
Students’ Union Building……. August 17 – 18
Turcotte Hall…………………….. August 24 – 28
Anderson Hall…………………… August 31 – Sept 1
PE……………………………………..September 2 – 4
CCBN……………………………….. September 7 – 9
Water Building………………….. September 10 – 11
Markin Hall………………………. September 14 – 18

NOTE: As of October 19th, this schedule has been updated. Please view it here.

IT Services Weekly Update

Critical Services (Banner, Moodle, Wireless, Internet)

All services functioning normally.

KPI Spotlight

Our wireless network infrastructure provides us with detailed monitoring of all access points on campus, including any “dead spots” where coverage isn’t adequate as well as access points that are under heavy load (>25 connections).  An example of the latter is shown below.

This allows us to identify trouble spots and pro-actively address them.

CCBN_wifi

Service Improvements

We have been working to improve the routing of computer cables in our student computer labs in order to create a more orderly environment, and to ensure that cables are routed safely in all cases.  This process in complete in the E6 labs and Learning Commons (Study Centre), and we are currently completing this work in the B5 and B7 labs.

cablemgt