ITS Blog

The Network "Core" Gets an Upgrade

The “core” of the Binghamton University data network just received a major upgrade. The planning to replace the three router/switches, referred to as the “core” because they lie at the center of the network, began in October of 2015.

The original core of the University network was based on the Cisco Catalyst 6500 product line and went through several iterations of this architecture over a fifteen year period. While this network hardware was stable, reliable and well supported, the age of the original hardware coupled with the increasing demand for network bandwidth and feature sets lead Network Administration to begin the planning and design of its replacement. After several months of planning ITS Network Analysts eventually settled on the Cisco Catalyst 6800 product line and a design for the new backbone (or router interconnects) that offers 40 Gigabit per second of capacity, as opposed to the original 10 Gigabit per second.

The implementation of the new network core began in May of 2016 and wrapped up in January of 2017, with several groups across ITS contributing to the project. During this nine month period ITS Operations staff installed a new network cabinet and power distribution, new segments of fiber optic cable were installed by Telecommunications, and Network Administration staff installed new wireless controllers (centralized WiFi hardware), new central firewalls and moved over 80 fiber optic connections to the new network core.

 The net gain of the new infrastructure at the center of the Binghamton University data network is the added capacity for communications, additional feature sets that allow Network Administration more flexibility in its services, and fresher network hardware that will help ensure the future proofing of the University’s communications platforms.