UIndy IT to conduct major network upgrade in May

UIndy IT to conduct major network upgrade in May

Campus encouraged tounplug and reconnect

IT has been busy preparing for a physical upgrade of the University’s network switch hardware, which will result in periodic outages from May 11-June 2. Users will see intermittent disruption as the upgrades are rolled out to enhance the user experience and add an extra layer of network security.

@UIndyTech will provide users real-time updates on Twitter, and email notifications will be distributed prior to any outage. Steve Herriford, vice president and chief technology officer for Information Technology, said the maintenance is a great time for the campus to “unplug and reconnect.”

“Unplugging and reconnecting the network switches is the essence of the upgrade process. But we also know that people need to take the time to do the same thing: Unplug from their devices and reconnect with their roommates, friends, office, neighbors etc.,” said Herriford, adding that users can follow the progress at @UIndyTech.

After each outage, IT staff will work through a checklist to ensure devices are connecting to the network again. Not every device in every location will be tested, but a sample group of items will be checked. IT will post updates on Twitter once the network is back online, and users are encouraged to contact the Help Desk immediately if they experience problems after that notification. The project team includes full-time staff as well as student employees. Datacom Connect, an IT contract partner, will assist to ensure all outages are as brief as possible.

IT leases the hardware for the campus network and replaces it every four to five years, ensuring that UIndy keeps up with software and security releases from the hardware vendor. With each upgrade, IT can implement new features not available on older models and make adjustments to match the physical changes that have occurred on  campus.

Fast facts about the upgrade

· Work on the project started this past fall and will continue until the end of June.

· 181 switches to be installed across 23 buildings on campus.

· 5 years: How often the network hardware must be replaced.

· 3 weeks: How long it takes IT to prepare the new switches, including inventory, labeling and preparing the software for each one.