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Georgia State Cranks Up Network with 10 GbE Upgrade

Georgia State University in Atlanta, which expected 31,000 students on campus this fall, will be upgrading its switches to 10 gigabit Ethernet. For the upgrade, the university is using equipment from Extreme Networks. Georgia State has been an Extreme customer since 2005, when it last renovated its network. The Technology Operations Center will be purchasing Extreme's newer 8900 series 10 gigabit Ethernet blades for its BlackDiamond 8800 chassis and Summit X450 and X650 fixed switches.

According to Harpreet Chadha, senior director of product management for Extreme, the company worked with university IT in designing a network topology, implementing the correct protocols, testing network fault tolerance, and other tasks.

The new gear will help upgrade the compute and storage capacity of the university's virtual server infrastructure as well as switches in the campus network, for supporting edge connectivity such as phones, PCs, and wireless cameras; or for data servers in server farms.

Eventually, the university may upgrade to 40 gigabit Ethernet by adding Extreme's VIM3-40G4 modules, a product line introduced in April 2010 that works with the Summit X650 switches. The new switch module is expected to be released sometime this fall.

High availability and network virtualization capabilities topped the university's priorities in selecting a switch vendor. Extreme licenses software for its switches that provides network management of a virtual environment. That software, XNV VM Lifecycle, which is part of the company's EPICenter suite, will help administrators provision, monitor, troubleshoot, and manage virtualized data center environments.

"Virtualizing our servers along with a major network upgrade provides a more stable and reliable infrastructure. The virtualization of the network also offers a significant cost savings to the university and reduces our expenditures for ongoing maintenance," said J.L. Albert, associate provost and CIO. "Taking these proactive measures to optimize operational efficiency, enhance security, and increase the availability of our systems will benefit the entire campus."

The network delivers video for course use as well as security, automated building control systems, and other multimedia applications.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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