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U Wisconsin Adopts 100Gb Packet Filtering

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has gone public with its choice of switch technology to perform packet filtering and traffic aggregation on its research network. The solution, from Gigamon, will be used in a portion of the campus network that has been set aside for high-performance scientific work. In 2012 the university received a $491,000 National Science Foundation grant to upgrade its hardware, software and staffing to support 100Gb network connectivity to this "science DMZ" and provide comparable connectivity to national networks, including Internet2.

The university lacked a means of monitoring a 100Gb link. So the scope of the packet filtering project was to identify a solution that could copy data packets to "multiple 10G interfaces" in an environment where multiple overlapping traffic policies exist and provide load balancing and "intelligent" aggregation of traffic to security and performance monitoring tools.

U Wisconsin-Madison specifically chose the company's GigaVUE-HD4 fabric node, a 5RU, rack-mountable switch.

"We awarded the contract to Gigamon in part because it enabled multiple teams to have visibility into the traffic on our 100Gb link and across the network," said Jeff Savoy, campus information security officer.

"Gigamon has been highly cooperative and responsive as we have pushed the envelope of our 100Gb science DMZ," added Bruce Maas, CIO and vice provost for IT. "We value partners who engage with us in joint problem solving, and Gigamon clearly did not hesitate as we overcame early challenges together. They responded with adaptations that worked."'

Noted Greg Padden, university network engineer, "We are now able to send traffic from any point on our network to any team that needs it."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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