Redefining Teaching with a Smart Campus Network Powered By Huawei Agile Campus and Agile POL Solutions
The University of Canada is Reborn
Cairo, the capital of Egypt, is a spectacular city that sets along the Nile River. Founded around 3000 B.C. in Egypt’s ancient kingdom, Cairo is a long-standing political, economic, cultural, and commercial center for the Middle East. The population of Cairo has increased from 3.6 million in 1960 to 20.4 million in 2019, with growth currently projected to reach 28.5 million people by 2035.
Cairo’s urban border has already expanded to the edge of the pyramids, and the chaotic city contrasts with this ancient ‘world miracle.’ The Egyptian government decided to build a new administrative capital for 5 million people in the desert 60 kilometers west of Suez and 60 kilometers east of Cairo — a development now known as ‘New Cairo.’ It is well understood that quality education is an important source for sustainable development in ‘New Cairo.’
The University of Canada in Egypt (UCE) is the first international Canadian branch campus in Egypt that will open in the New Administrative Capital. The students will get the chance to transfer and study in Canada and will be given equal opportunity to apply for internships in pursuit of their careers.
In 2018, UCE took a leading position in support of the new capital by launching a branch campus with the encouragement of the Egyptian government. With a total of 12 buildings, the new UCE campus has become a benchmark for attracting additional investment.
More than 1,000 information nodes have been deployed on the new UCE campus. The construction of new classroom and library buildings has been completed, and the installation of an ICT infrastructure comprised of an optical network, wireless coverage, small data center, and cabling services is underway.
All-Optical and Agile
Campus networks are developing toward smart, generalized, and shared networks; and teaching is transforming from infusion modes to interactive and social modes like Massive Open Online Courses (MooCs).
Office networks must now cope with increased traffic and O&M pressure caused by the heavy load of scientific research and management systems. Wi-Fi access points, such as those in stadiums and canteens, were facing the challenge of handling excessively high numbers of users. UCE needed a campus network capable of handling heavy workloads and large numbers of connected devices with high speed, wide coverage, easy maintenance, and the capacity to expand.
Considering the customer’s requirement for an innovative solution, Huawei proposed the AgilePOL solution for an all-optical and agile campus. Since no such solution had previously been deployed in Egypt, UCE’s consultants, technical teams, and local channels had concerns about AgilePOL’s technical capabilities, operating costs, and post-delivery performance.
The value of Huawei’s solution stood out among competing vendors with the following highlights:
Traditional Local Area Networks (LANs) are restricted to a 100-meter access distance from the Ethernet switches, which has a large impact on the number of required equipment rooms. The site selection, construction, supply point, and maintenance of the equipment rooms were a major challenge for network delivery. By replacing the copper cable with optical fiber, the coverage range has been extended to 20 km, which requires the construction of many fewer equipment rooms and power supplies.
Deployment is flexible and fast, which is suitable for a campus network with wide coverage and multiple scenarios. Huawei, the industry-leader in the optical access field, provided the AgilePOL all-optical campus solution based on Gigabyte Passive Optical Network (GPON) technology. With a simple optical fiber network, various services can be accessed, implementing functions such as unified carriers and O&M for campus services, long-distance passive coverage, plug-and-play, automatic service provisioning, type-B dual-homing protection, and on-demand upgrades. Those benefits have provided the university with a future-oriented campus network — reducing equipment needs, auxiliary cabling costs, and saving equipment-room space.
The agile campus network is based on Software-Defined Networking (SDN). The network’s core includes a smart policy host, Agile Controller, and S7700 agile switch. The agile campus network employs a flattened access-layer topology with a core layer enabled to distribute and manage services in a centralized manner.
The new campus had a wide range of requirements for its ICT infrastructure — and Huawei brought the advantage of offering a number of complete product lines, including wired and wireless networks, security, storage, and servers that when combined are able to provide one-stop ICT solutions. For the UCE project, Huawei proposed a combination of Passive Optical LAN (POL), Wi-Fi, next-generation firewalls, SDN controllers, small data center storage and servers, and a FusionModule500 modular data center, to meet the customer’s requirements. In contrast with competing bids that required the cooperation of multiple vendors, Huawei offered a single-vendor solution for delivering all the required features and benefits, including reliability, compatibility, and cost-effectiveness.
UCE’s construction consulting company, a key part of the delivery ecosystem, chose to create a differentiated consulting capability throughout the project lifecycle rather than taking a direct profit from the installation and integration — and since the ‘POL+IP’ solution was being introduced to Egypt for the first time, Huawei helped to improve the competitive value of the consulting service because of the ease of deploying the POL cabling.
Huawei provided onsite and installation services as a distributor, and helped channel partners conduct site surveys and joint designs that improved channel capabilities and helped to alleviate concerns regarding project delivery.
In addition, Huawei did not simply sell products, but established a long-term and cooperative relationship with the university, such as co-organizing ICT academies, adding the Huawei Certified Network Associates (HCNAs) curriculum into the Engineering College, and cooperating with POL innovation showcases for the purpose of jointly cultivating ICT technical talent within Egypt.
UCE chose Huawei to help build its new ICT infrastructure and make the institution a beacon for smart campuses from around the world.
Lighting New Cairo
Huawei’s AgilePOL agile campus solution is built to support campus network operations and provide excellent user experiences. The UCE campus has learned that it can now easily adapt modern teaching practices that will allow teachers and students access to various Internet education applications anytime and anywhere.
Saving space and reducing engineering costs: According to the site survey, the each floor of the university’s new library is more than 200 meters wide. A traditional solution would require two weak-current rooms per floor. When applied to new campus buildings, Huawei’s POL solution saves space, reduces overall engineering costs, and improves deployment efficiency.
Covering all scenarios: The newly deployed network meets high-bandwidth service requirements for downloading files and online videos. In addition, customized Wi-Fi products meet coverage requirements for classroom, conference room, student dormitory, and stadium scenarios..
The all-programmable switch has helped the university deploy an integrated wired and wireless network and implement unified user policies that ensure security. The Agile Controller provides navigation for virtual service network planning and automatic service configuration provisioning. New network services, such as all-in-one card access, take only minutes to provision. The AgilePOL solution enables one network to be deployed for multiple purposes with no need for multiple service networks, which reduces both construction and O&M costs.
Reduced energy consumption: Huawei’s solution saves more energy than typical traditional solutions. (HOW MUCH SAVINGS? THIS BULLET POINT WILL BE BETTER WITH REAL DATA)
Smooth evolution: The data capacity of a POL network can reach 10 Gbit/s with maximum 100Gb/s scalability. UCE’s existing Optical Data Network (ODN) was able to support the smooth evolution between 10G and 100G networks. This feature will allow the university to upgrade its bandwidth without rebuilding the physical network, which will greatly reduce initial investment costs.
“We are looking forward to the future development of the new campus,” Canadian International College (CIC) President Dr. Magdy M. ElKady said. “We hope that Huawei’s innovative ICT solutions can bring better network experiences to students and enable new jobs, education, and life in New Cairo.”
Successful network deployment for UCE’s New Cairo branch has provided customers and partners with a large amount of trust and expectations in Huawei’s AgilePOL solution for an all-optical and agile campus. In addition, Huawei has attracted the attention of hospitals, governments, and hotels with similar scenarios — lighting the beacon for the next phase of ICT construction in New Cairo.