Data Center Network Upgrade

Posted on: February 2, 2018

The network upgrade for the university’s primary data center was completed January 14th, and hardly anyone noticed!  And that is just how we planned it.  It is a great example of teamwork between campus IT and ITS.

While several ITS teams have been working on the project for over a year, data center customers became involved as their servers were migrated beginning in November and finishing in January.  Here are some of the numbers:

  • Nearly 1,500 ethernet connections had to be physically moved and reconnected across 700-plus devices.
  • This involved 77 customer groups.
  • This supported thousands of virtual machines.

These changes were scheduled before the campus would start business; it was a lot of early mornings for our Networking, Systems and UDC staff. It required careful planning, communications, and relentless attention to the details.

On January 14th, after the ethernet connections were all moved, Networking took the final step to move routing for over 400 networks from the old core routers to the new ones.  The team also took the time to apply necessary security patches and upgrades. Retaining connections through the move required a lot of preparation, testing, and utilization of industry-leading data center network architecture.

What is the value for campus in all of this effort?  First, it gets us the reliability of an up-to-date data center core network and extends its life for another 5-7 years.  In addition, we get ten times the network speed for all our servers, with the capability to go even faster in the future for those with the need.

I’d like to first thank our data center co-location customers for working with us throughout the upgrade. We know these are sometimes disruptive and we strive to minimize the frequency and impact on your services and your time.

A special thanks to the project team members who have set a high bar for others to follow.

  • Core Project Team:  Jermain Albert; Larry Andrews; David Breese; Shawn Keogh; John Lovelace; Andrew Manhein; Chris Murphy; Julio Puente; Aaron Wilson.
  • Support Team members:  Pug Bainter; Brad Fawver; William Green; Nhan Pham; Clint Todish; Charles Spurgeon; Jason Wang.

Excellent job team… and thank you to the many others in ITS who helped with migrations of the university’s many critical IT systems.