ComTech to upgrade network switches to facilitate research

OIT Communication Technologies (ComTech) will soon install more than 50 high-performance network switches to facilitate leading-edge research both on and beyond NC State’s campus.

In 2013, ComTech was awarded a National Science Foundation Campus Cyberinfrastructure – Network Infrastructure and Engineering (CC-NIE) grant that provided nearly $500,000 to purchase the switches that will be installed in Engineering Building 1, Engineering Building 2, Engineering Building 3, College of Veterinary Medicine Research, Mann Hall, Partners III, Venture Center III, Ricks Hall, Riddick Hall, and Thomas Hall.

ComTech will migrate more equipment from 10/100 Mbps ports to 1Gbps ports on switches with 10Gbps uplinks to the campus network.  

The switches will support software-defined networking (SDN), a new network architecture, to permit certain researchers to access a regional SDN test bed that is currently under development. A joint effort involving NC State, MCNC/NCREN, Duke University, UNC-Chapel Hill, and the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI), the testbed will also be used to transfer large research data sets, provide 10Gbps links to participants and provide connectivity through a 100Gbps link to the Internet2 Advanced Layer2 Service (I2 AL2S) to other partnering universities and national labs.