Edith Cowan University is using Nortel as its preferred supplier for a next-generation data network to support its academic program over the next five years.
The new network is estimated to be worth more than AU$5 million and replaces the existing data network with the aim of delivering a high performance, secure network environment for more than 2,500 staff and 22,500 students in Perth, Australia. It will also connect 4,000 personal computers, 600 Apple Macs, 120 servers and hundreds of devices such as scanners and printers.
The network will complement ECU's Wireless Mesh network, also from Nortel, which in 2004 was Australia's first wide-area WiFi network, and one of the only networks of its kind in the world. The University has been using Nortel's WLAN and Wireless Mesh for mobile communications.
Initial installation plans starting this month include network equipment for the University's new Joondalup Campus library building, improvements to the wide-area network in the main Perth campus and upgraded firewall and security capability.
"ECU now operates an 'always-on' 24x7 campus that demands new levels of business continuity," says Steve Johnston, manager, IT Infrastructure, ECU. "Our new network must deliver this basic but important requirement, which was a key differentiator in our choice of Nortel."
"The new network will have additional redundancy built in, and will introduce new and different ways for users to connect their devices. For example, the network will allow staff and students to bring any computer on campus, and connect to the network in a manner that protects both the network and the computer. Overall network speed will increase 10-fold to allow for an increasing volume of high-speed voice and video services," says Johnston.
In addition to its technical benefits, ECU will also benefit through the Nortel Development Fund (NDF), established in 2004 to provide funding for academic, research and industry projects of common interest to ECU and Nortel. As a preferred technology partner, Nortel donates a percentage of every dollar invested by ECU to the NDF.
"The combination of converged IP communications - wired and wireless, seamless security, and business-grade reliability are the cornerstones of any solution designed to meet the challenges of a diverse technological ecosystem like ECU," says Mark Stevens, president, Australia and New Zealand, Nortel. "In an openly competitive tender we were able to demonstrate technical advantages that translated directly into business benefits such as high resiliency, higher performance and better functionality that together make it easier to operate, maintain and grow the network for future use."
The 10 Gigabit network uses Nortel Ethernet Routing Switch (ERS) 8600s at the core with 10 Gigabit and 1 Gigabit links to Nortel ERS 5500s at the edge. ECU will ultimately adopt 1 Gigabit links to the desktop with new and enhanced security and network access mechanisms using Nortel's Secure Network Access Switch, Switched Firewall and SSL switches. Servers will be load-balanced across the main campuses using Nortel Application Switches, with remote access via Nortel VPN Routers. Nortel's Enterprise Network Management System will manage integration with the wireless and wireless mesh networks.