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University Network Keeps Students Up to Speed

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University Network Keeps Students Up to Speed

Background

Peking University’s legacy network was part of the China Education and Research Network (CERNET). To ease bandwidth pressures, links were added that connected with the public networks offered by China’s big three institutions that supplemented the original 10G CERNET link, raising the total bandwidth for outgoing traffic to 4.3G or above. 

Challenges

Campus network traffic isn’t a one-way street. For outgoing traffic, the difficulties of acceleration lie in the defining of routing policies, including the balancing of bandwidth among different links, choosing the right egress links, and putting in link redundancies. What’s more, Network Address Translation (NAT) was required to support specific FTP and SIP applications. For the incoming traffic from public networks, the same link must be used to route back the response to an incoming message. The link that routes back the response is usually determined per destination and might not be the same link used for the incoming message.
To accelerate network speed, equipment at the intranet-Internet link must improve efficiency, allowing sufficient scalability for the University’s foreseeable future. Record-breaking traffic at Peking University’s campus network calls for an upgrade to a reliable, robust network that delivers higher access speed, and sufficient scalability.

Solution

Huawei’s USG9500 platform brings Peking University’s campus network into the 21st century, creating a cutting-edge learning experience for this prestigious institution. In 2011, Peking University’s computer center started the network upgrade project with Huawei’s USG9500 firewall products, deploying them later that year.
The USG9500 hardware platform features a distributed architecture. Its SPU uses multi-core CPUs and a multi-threaded architecture, with each core integrating an application acceleration engine. The USG9500 enables a maximum of over one million new connections per second and over eight million concurrent connections overall.

Peking University’s fiber network now connects over 300 buildings, including classrooms, offices, dorms, and staff housing, providing 80,000 fixed access points with wireless coverage for classrooms, libraries, and other common areas, to create one of the largest networks of its kind in China. Each day, the system assures services for over 40,000 students and staff, providing resources via both intranet and Internet. 

After deployment, both outgoing and incoming traffic speeds for the USG9500 have increased the university’s networking capabilities. Now, by connecting over 90,000 computers, the campus network does not sleep, with 25,000 users online during peak hours, totaling 8G of bi-directional traffic. Recent years have seen the public and private elements intertwine on the campus network to adequately handle network traffic and offer users more services. Intranet visits from public networks are greatly enhanced, covering more than 300 intranet sites and homepages. 

Benefits

The USG9500 accelerates network access, enhances each user’s experience, and ensures mission-critical services. The network also promotes sharing of Peking University’s educational resources with the outside world, enabling the free interchange of ideas and knowledge to raise the bar for higher learning. Further, the USG9500 increases speeds for both outgoing and incoming traffic throughout the campus network.

With its advanced IPS detection engine and mature signature database, the USG9500 guards against various threats to enhance both network security and simplify management. Additionally, policy-based routing is supported, with sufficient flexibility to accommodate complex scenarios. This enables NAT ALG for common applications. In the case of a link failure, once identified, the concerned routing policy will automatically become ineffective, with traffic switched to other functional links. As for incoming traffic, interface configuration for the USG9500 enables the same link to be utilized for both an incoming message and its response, with no change for the server.

Finally, the USG9500 also provides multiple expansion slots to fully meet the needs of future traffic growth and capacity expansion. As we evolve from IPv4 to IPv6, the USG9500 will provide an effective, flexible, reliable, and cost-effective solution during this time of transition.

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