Community College Upgrades Network for Video Collaboration

Bucks County Community College in Newtown, PA has upgraded its data network and installed Extreme Networks switches to support video collaboration applications. Additionally, all servers were upgraded to Gigabit speeds. Extreme BlackDiamond 8800 switches support the core of the network, and Summit X450 switches outfit the edge. These switches feature Power over Ethernet (PoE), as well as routing capabilities. PoE enables network devices to run off a single CAT5 Ethernet cable that carries both data and power.

The 10,000-student campus replaced its Ethernet network to support video conferencing via Internet2. Internet2 is a global, non-profit organization consisting of universities that develop and deploy advanced network applications and high-speed networking technologies. Members of the consortium are testing new forms of network capabilities, such as IPv6 and multicasting, both of which the campus needed for its video collaboration initiative.

In a statement the school said one reason it chose Extreme products was because the company's switches support both IPv6 and IPv4 routing in the hardware. Another reason was price.

"Our new network really shines. It provides critical routing and convergence at a very compelling cost," said Ron Smith, IT Director for the college. "We saved 40 percent on the cost of the hardware compared to the other potential solutions we looked at, and we have seen improvement in our network and application availability by as much as five times. Overall, the transition to IPv6 with Extreme Networks has been very simple."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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