Qld Uni students return to high-speed networks

While University of Queensland's Ipswich campus students enjoyed the summer break, the university's IT team raced to install a new network before first semester.

And according to Warren Kerswill, manager of the Ipswich campus, the students still don't realise what back-room network engineering took place before they arrived. But students will experience faster network access speeds and have the flexibility of remote or on-campus access to information, Kerswill explained.

The Ipswich campus in mid February finished installing the network after the university moved into its new site, a former institution for remedial care.

The university spent more than $300,000 on a physical network infrastructure, courtesy of Nortel Network's Bay Networks division.

In addition, it spent $500,000 on a 155Mbit/sec microwave link between its neighbouring campus, St Lucia.

"This is a new campus, and as such it gave us an opportunity to put in the latest technology," Kerswill said.

The networking equipment consists of one Accelar 1200 routing switch with Gigabit links, 28 BayStack 450 Ethernet switches, one System 5000 with 5399 Remote Access Concentrator, and two Centillion 1200 ATM switches connected to the 155Mbps ATM microwave link to the Brisbane campus.

Kerswill said the network is providing around 500 users on the campus with 100Mbps switched access at the desktop across a 1Gbit backbone.

"They would notice a fairly fast response," he said of the students' new experiences.

The network is designed to cater for the campus's IT requirements over the next three years.

This includes a 'second stage' during which more classrooms will be built, increasing the number of users to 1500.

The Ipswich campus project follows a network upgrade last year designed to handle migration of the university's Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering faculties.

The university also completed the installation of a production ATM LAN Emulation (LANE) network in January this year using Bay Networks technology.

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