City University London has appointed Redstone Converged Solutions, provider of complete networking and communications infrastructure solutions, to redesign its network to handle increasing demands and student numbers.
The existing network had grown with the University but lacked the reliability, flexibility and security to keep pace with the requirements of students and staff, who upload lecture details, submit coursework and take exams online.
“The data network provides a virtual learning environment making the University more accessible to students, staff and visitors. As coursework and exams run through the network, it is vital that it operates at its optimum rate,” says Carl Stokes, City University London Director IT Operations and Infrastructure.
“The new network will cater for students who want a variety of learning options supported by technology. One example is the high definition streaming, at 30 frames per second, of video material used to accompany lectures,” Stokes continues.
Redstone was chosen out of 30 applicants following the original tender, and was the only provider to propose a complete technical solution and vision based on Nortel technologies. The Nortel Secure Network Access (NSNA) solution is a hardware and software security layer implemented to strengthen City University London’s local area network, and is the first time the NSNA solution will have been implemented on such a large scale within the UK.
Redstone Converged Solutions’ pre-staging and testing facility played a major role in reassuring the University about the successful deployment of the chosen system. Redstone Converged Solutions has also secured a five year contract with City University London to support and maintain the new LAN infrastructure following completion of the installation.
The new security solution gives a higher degree of access control and flexibility for 20,000 users across 9,000 ports. This is in line with the SuperJANET research and education network, which requires educational institutions to track individual device internet use.
At the core of the new infrastructure are four Nortel 8600 Ethernet Routing Switches with 339 Nortel 5520 – 48 port Edge switches in stacks of up to four, providing Power over Ethernet (PoE) to attached devices.
The infrastructure has been installed within the main campus and the new firewall is already operational. Roll-out of the infrastructure to the University’s remote sites has commenced and the whole network is scheduled to be operational in September 2008.
“Redstone has demonstrated that it has the necessary flexibility, project management skills and experienced engineers to successfully undertake an implementation of this size, but also that it understands how a university’s needs,” says Stokes.
Rick Marshall, Redstone Converged Solutions Managing Director, says: “A project of this scale gives the University a complete technical solution that will cope with the demands of growing student numbers. Working with secure solutions specialist Nortel provides the high degree of access, combined with the reassurance of security, modern universities require.”
About Redstone Converged Solutions
Redstone Converged Solutions (redstoneconverged.co.uk) offers complete networking and communications infrastructure solutions that aim to enhance business performance, deliver real benefits and maximise the potential of new and existing ICT investments for private and public sector organisations throughout the UK. Redstone Converged Solutions enjoys a strong leadership presence in the following market sectors: enterprise, corporate, public sector, intelligent buildings and Building Schools for the Future.
About City University London
City University London (city.ac.uk) is a principal provider of undergraduate, postgraduate, professional and vocational education in the United Kingdom. The University is committed to leading London in education, research and knowledge transfer for businesses and the professions and is renowned for its international focus and the employability of its graduates.
The University teaches across a range of subjects in arts including journalism and music, informatics, social sciences, engineering and mathematical sciences, business, law, health and community sciences.
The University attracts over 23,000 students from 156 countries, while teaching staff are drawn from nearly 50 international locations, ensuring that the University has a truly international outlook.
City University London was founded in 1894 as the Northampton Institute and was awarded full university status in 1966.