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Redesign of College Network to Support Public Wi-Fi


Midlands college with approximately 900 students using mainly wired devices over LAN comprising a Gigabit campus backbone with little or no resilience. Requirement was to add extra redundancy and increase the throughput to support up to 1,200 wireless devices within very tight deadlines but only making changes during college holidays.

The existing multi-mode fibre-optic cabling was upgraded to support 10Gbit speeds and a redundant topology. A pair of redundant chassis switches were implemented in the core to allow for resilience at both Layer-2 and Layer-3. The existing edge switches were replaced with PoE models to support the expanded wireless LAN, with each edge switch dual-homed to the core using a combination of multi-chassis link-aggregation and Multi-instance spanning tree. Re-design of WLAN and VLAN infrastructure to support the separation of differing traffic types and to maintain security between staff and students; college and public Wi-Fi traffic. Implementation and configuration of network management application to allow ITC staff to be proactively alerted to major network changes such as device unavailability and high traffic levels. Provision of customised training for ITC staff on both the network hardware and management application and full handover documentation.

Additional WAN redundancy provided link to second ISP with physical connection made to a backup location in the college. Redundancy put in place to allow the college to maintain reduced connectivity should one of the WAN connection and the main data centre fail.