capacity

Aiming for one of the best-served networks in Alberta

 

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.Network upgrade

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 help@uleth.ca or (403) 329-2490.

IT Services update for week of April 22, 2013

 

CRITICAL SERVICES (Banner, Moodle, Wireless, Internet, Telephony):

  • All critical services functioning normally.

KPI SPOTLIGHT:

Test Centre new peak usage

The University Test Centre successfully hosted students completing 726 exams on Thursday, April 25th.  This new peak level of usage was delivered while meeting service quality standards set for student experience.

University Internet outage greatly minimized

All Internet services experienced a five-minute outage April 25th at 8:51 am.  Off-campus connectivity, including the uleth.ca website, was impacted.  The recently implemented redundant Telus connectivity was automatically activated, mitigating service interruptions caused by a Cybera Telus 14.5 hour outage.  No client complaints related to the internet service outage were received as a result of the outage.

The graphs below illustrate service traffic.  The first graph provides a view of the end-user experience, showing only a slight interruption at 8:51 am.  Graphs 2 and 3 show the Cybera connectivity and the outage.  Graph 4 indicates our alternate Telus connection activating and carrying the load.

Service traffic graphs

SERVICE IMPROVEMENTS:

Penny Building network 20 times faster!

On April 26th, Information Technology along with the City of Lethbridge completed commissioning of the fiber network to the Penny Building.  The old network consisted of a 50 Mbps wireless connection with antennas on UHall and the Penny building roofs.  The new connection is all fiber and gives the network users a 1000 Mbps connection or 1 Gbps back to the U of L.

This will remove the barrier of limited network bandwidth at the Penny Building and allow the U of L to program the space just as if it was on the U of L property.  Life safety, wireless, Alumni Relations staff and Advancement’s call centre will all benefit from increased capacity and reliability.

The following graphic is a representation of  the differences:

Penny fiber upgrade