Minnesota Case Study Collection
The University of Minnesota is dedicated to teaching and learning, research and discovery, and public engagement. The University serves more than 70,000 students and faculty. It offers degrees in more than 370 fields of study through its four campuses (Twin Cities, Duluth, Morris, and Crookston), a collaborative center in Rochester, extension offices, and research and outreach centers.
Keeping its distributed community well-connected 24x7 is vital to the University’s Office of Information Technology (OIT). OIT’s Networking and Telecommunications Services (NTS) group operates and manages the Twin Cities campus network. It provides front-end voice, data, and video communications services, including telephone and data connections and remote access services.
“The ability to integrate leading edge emerging technologies into our network infrastructure to support and improve it for future growth and sustained availability is crucial,” states Pete Bartz, Manager Data Network, Design and Operations within the Networking and Telecommunications Services group. Reliable access to the network for its entire community helps the University in its overall goal of providing premier research and educational services. An in-depth review of the University’s existing infrastructure highlighted that the Twin Cities campus data network, installed in 1997, had outlived its life expectancy of five years. “We were hitting a ceiling – we could not easily extend and add new technologies and services to the network to effectively support our community,” explains Bartz.
The NTS group determined a major upgrade of the Twin Cities’ campus network infrastructure was required. With a distributed and expanding network that already included 150,000 ports, the NTS group also determined it required a more effective and proactive means to monitor and manage the upgrade to a new network. The NTS group developed a detailed Request For Proposal (RFP) for the network upgrade, including a thorough section on network management, to replace the outdated systems.
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