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Network Overview

The University of Kansas operates enterprise class voice, video, and data transport systems in support of the needs of its faculty, staff, and students. They are operated as "production" systems/networks, as compared to research systems/networks, in order to minimize downtime and maintain maximum operational stability.

KU owns and operates its own telephone switching utilizing Avaya S8710 and G3si technology. The voice network provides dial tone to an on-campus population of 12,000+. Services include analog and digital telephone service; automated voice recognition directory assistance; long distance services, voice messaging (faculty/staff only); call center applications, cellular integration; and Caller ID for digital lines and Residence Hall occupants.

Transport of video on KU's network is provided by compressed video over telephone lines, fiber optic cable, or microwave (to the Edwards campus). Services include satellite downlinks; microwave; cable television signal transport; video conferencing; distance learning; and point-to-point interconnection of on-campus video-enabled class and conference rooms.

The data network provides connectivity to some 17,000 workstations, many dozens of servers, high performance computing platforms, several remote sites, regional networks, the commodity Internet, and Internet 2.

10/100BaseT and IEEE 802 Ethernet protocols provide basic LAN support. Our current standard calls for 10/100M capable Ethernet switches; the campus is in the process of replacing legacy Ethernet hubs/repeaters. Both 3Com and Cisco Ethernet switch products are deployed.

The backbone of this network consists of five multilayer switches in a layer 3 "routed" environment. These devices are currently interconnected in a mesh topology via singlemode fiber optic media operating at gigabit Ethernet.

KU's data network is assigned its own Autonomous System (AS) number, and controls its own class B IP address range. IP v4 is the only routed protocol at layer 3. Multicast is also available to/from Internet 2 and at selected locations on campus.

KU connects to the Kansas Research and Education Network (KANREN) for communicating with other State educational institutions and the commodity Internet (Internet 1) and also peers with the Great Plains Network (GPN) for regional communications with other state networks and access to Internet 2. The University’s border router currently provides all of this connectivity over Ethernet using Virtual LAN (VLAN) technology to separate I1 and I2 traffic. Information Technology also provides remote connectivity to several other KU remote sites using links operating at T1 speeds. A sizable, but shrinking, dial-in modem pool with speeds up to 56 Kbps is also supported.

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