University to span four sites with ATM net

Victoria University is integrating its voice and data services over a new ATM network spanning four sites. The new network supports around 2000 telephone extensions and 2700 computing devices, and provides new ways of managing different types of data.

Victoria University is integrating its voice and data services over a new ATM network spanning four sites.

The new network supports around 2000 telephone extensions and 2700 computing devices, and provides new ways of managing different types of data. Victoria’s infrastructure manager, Cathy Budd, says the university faced a significant problem with an increasing volume of network traffic.

When it became clear that a new network was required, Budd and network manager Russell Sharpe began looking at the capabilities of ATM, namely high speed and the ability to carry a variety of data types over a single network. The system chosen is based around a Xylan Omni-9 switch and was installed by Compaq Services to integrate with the existing data network and a PABX from NEC.

“The ATM technology means it is future-proofed and has a high level of fault tolerance. Of course, the fact that it’s a totally private network means it is very cost-effective and makes the network management process efficient,” she says.

The installation, which began in December 1998, was completed in about a month, in time for the cut-over of a new PABX network. This replaced the existing Telecom and Ericsson PABXes with an NEC multimedia PABX. Compaq Services partnered with NEC, and subcontractor Valley Telephones to provide a test bed environment to prove the interoperability of the technologies.

The nodes, which are installed across four university sites (two at Kelburn Parade, one in each of the Old Government Buildings in Featherston Street and Vivian Street), are linked over Wellington’s fibre optic CitiLink network, and were all configured in the test bed environment for easier deployment.

Budd says with the voice aspect of the network implemented, the university is waiting until March to go ahead on the new data component of the network.

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