Agile Campus Comes to Lincoln University
In the face of ever-changing ICT technologies, such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), cloud computing, and Big Data, Lincoln University near Christchurch, New Zealand, needed a modern campus network to better serve teachers and students. After careful study and a comparison of multiple vendors, the university chose to deploy Huawei’s agile campus network.
With roots in agriculture and environmental engineering, the university last upgraded it’s network system in 2004 when the school’s legacy network had become outdated. Though relatively modern, it lacked the bandwidth and functionality to handle 21st century operating requirements due in large part to limited wireless coverage, severe interference, and complicated network policies that created a difficult O&M environment.
Campus Network Reliability
Network reliability is vital to online teaching, mobile education, and High-Definition (HD) video services. Moreover, the reliability at the core layer is a top priority because core switches perform wired and wireless user authentication and policy control. The Huawei S12700 series of high-capacity core switches is built specifically to support next-generation campus networks. Delivering 4 μs inter-chassis transmission latency — the lowest in the industry — to smooth traffic transmission, the S12700 employs proprietary Cluster Switch System Generation 2 (CSS2) and 1+N Main Processing Unit (MPU) backup technologies for improved reliability.
Wired and wireless devices were deployed separately in Lincoln’s legacy network. Legacy devices using the 802.11b standard delivered only 11 Mbit/s of bandwidth and slowed down the wireless network. Independent Access Controllers (ACs) create wireless traffic bottlenecks that consume significant amounts of maintenance and troubleshooting time by network managers and technicians.
Huawei S12700 comes pre-integrated with native ACs that use Huawei’s programmable Ethernet Network Processor (ENP) to enable AC functionality. The S12700 achieves unified wired and wireless traffic forwarding, service management, and user authentication. More importantly, the S12700 eliminates bottlenecks and simplifies device management by sharing wired and wireless bandwidth resources to centrally control network traffic.
In addition, Huawei’s campus solution capitalizes on its Super Virtual Fabric (SVF) technology, which contributes to effective network management by enabling operators to easily locate and rectify faults. SVF is a vertical virtualization technology that allows low-cost fixed-configuration switches to act as remote interface cards for a parent switch. This technology turns APs into ‘super devices’ by increasing the port density of the parent switch and facilitating centralized switch management.
Mobile Service Experience
Huawei’s campus network solution is particularly focused on mobile network availability. Are teachers and students who are working and studying remotely able to experience the same level of service as those using wired networks? With the Huawei solution, the answer is yes. Huawei helped Lincoln University deploy optimized Wi-Fi solutions for classrooms, lecture halls, offices, and dormitories that improved wireless coverage by 95 percent. Based on the integration of agile switches and ACs, the Huawei campus network solution provides Lincoln University users with a consistent, high-quality experience regardless of location or device.