Wired for strength: UAB investing in campus network

UAB is investing in technology to speed network connectivity across campus at least 20-fold. While many changes are focused on the research network, the improvements will boost network connectivity for all faculty, staff and students.

The most recent investments in network technology are $1 million from the university — including $500,000 from the Mission Support Fund — and $1.2 million from UAB IT.

“This is a critical strategic investment to help position researchers at UAB to be competitive for grants and to be more efficient in research endeavors as they communicate with colleagues across the country,” said Dr. Curtis A. Carver Jr., vice president and CIO.

With new cloud storage solutions UABbox and OneDrive deployed across campus, strengthening the network will help those solutions work more smoothly and responsively.

Among the initiatives to help strengthen network connectivity:

·      Increasing the raw fiber bandwidth from 10 to 100 Gbps to Nashville and Atlanta. “This project will give us the ability to shift our strategy regarding internet bandwidth from providing ‘just enough’ bandwidth to providing excess capacity to handle bust usage like Box,” said Shawn Ellis, chief technology officer.
Completion of the upgrade is expected by September.

·      Partnering with content delivery network Akamai to deploy an internet caching switch at UAB, which will increase internet bandwidth 20 to 60 percent across campus. The project is expected to be under way within 90 days.

·      Deploying a separate research network, or ScienceDMZ, which will increase speed tenfold.

·      Planning the funding strategy to deploy at least 1 GBps minimum wired bandwidth to every desktop at UAB.

In addition, UAB IT has been able to secure funding to add 6 petabytes of storage for researchers. Last summer, the department was awarded a $500,000 grant from the Alabama Innovation Fund for a 3-petabyte research storage array; new internal UAB funding has allowed the department to double that storage.

Last modified on February 29, 2016