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Best Networking Strategies

From IU’s Brian Voss, a networking line of attack for 2004-2005

With nearly 20 years of leadership experience across the IT field, Brian D. Voss, associate VP for Telecommunications in the Office of the CIO and VP for Information Technology at Indiana University, has the inside track on campus networking strategies.

In his current role in the executive leadership of IU’s telecom organization, Voss has responsibility for voice, data, and video networking. He also represents IU in national and international high-performance, advanced networking initiatives including Internet2 and National LambdaRail (NLR), and is co-principal investigator on IU’s TeraGrid project. Not surprisingly, Voss can offer solid direction to higher ed networking leaders. Right, his Top 10 best practices countdown.

10 - VoIP “isn’t soup yet.” Wait and see, but continue to actively
investigate the technology.

  • Data networks aren’t as reliable as voice
  • Let the applications emerge
  • Long distance may be the potential application

9 - Continue to deploy a 10-megabit pathway to the user’s desktop.

  • Internet apps cater to the weakest link
  • Allow a differential in desktop speeds
  • Handle streaming media with compression

8 - Extend the campus network to the Internet border.

  • Globalization influences connectivity
  • Most traffic is to and from the external Internet

7 - Reach out to the high-speed research-focused infrastructures.

  • Cyber infrastructure for R & D is critical to higher education
  • Build connections to Internet2/Abilene and NLR

6 - Build out your institution’s wireless infrastructure as part of your network strategy.

  • Wireless and mobility are common expectations
  • Try to establish ubiquitous wireless coverage

5 - Fiber to the desktop is not a good idea—don’t upgrade throughout.

  • Copper is cheaper than optical
  • Use fiber to the desktop in isolated cases

4 - Modem pools are dinosaurs. Get out of the biz of being an ISP.

  • Encourage commercial broadband ISP services
  • Free up money from modem pools for other uses

3 - Town-and-gown wireless and broadband availability projects are worth some investment.

  • Especially true in college towns
  • Get involved with the local community

2 - 10-gigabit campus backbones should be in every CIO’s one- to three-year horizon.

  • Connections are evolving to higher speeds
  • The aggregate traffic going off campus is increasing
  • The time is now to begin planning for that next step

1 - Pay attention to network security—the most critical need facing CIOs and telecommunications officers today.

  • Security problems sap time for other advancements
  • The security may have to override certain freedoms
  • Have one foot on the gas and one on the brake—a counterbalance. Don’t stop completely and go nowhere, or barrel headlong over a cliff!

To submit a Campus Technology ‘Top 10 Countdown,’ send your countdown and brief background/bio summary to [email protected].

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