4CNet Backbone Upgrade: Status Report
A significant enhancement to the 4CNet backbone has been planned and is in the early stages of implementation. 4CNet's backbone upgrade will substantially increase the overall reliability of the network and accommodate anticipated bandwidth growth.
In addition to the backbone circuit upgrades and the backbone node changes outlined below, 4CNet has also greatly enhanced the network's monitoring capabilities with the recent implementation of Cabletron's Spectrum network management software. This system will allow 4CNets Network Operations Center and Customer Support Services staff to assume a more proactive network management role than it has in the past.
Moreover, 4CNet will implement Remedy's popular Action Request System for trouble ticket management and enhanced Customer Support Services capabilities.
As a move to significantly increase 4CNet's network reliability and redundancy, most of the backbone node equipment currently located on CSU campuses will be moved into Qwest Points-of-Presence (PoPs) where space is available. 4CNet will be moving and co-locating network backbone equipment in seven Qwest PoPs: Anaheim, Fresno, Salinas, Santa Clara, Chico, Stockton, and San Diego. Where Qwest is currently unable to provide co-location, equipment will remain on CSU campuses in Bakersfield, San Luis Obispo, and Sacramento. Current backbone upgrade plans call for Qwest to provide long-haul 155Mb (OC-3) and 622 Mb (OC-12) circuits and for Pacific Bell to provide local loops. Minor design changes may be possible if additional Qwest POPs or secondary MPOEs become available during the initial phases of the planned upgrades.
As an added move to increase the reliability of the network, the configuration of the ATM switches at the backbone node sites will change from their present single switch configuration to a two or three fabric Fore ASX-1000 ATM switch. Separate power supplies plugged into separate circuit breakers and software upgrades are part of the equipment upgrade. Hot backup routers will be installed at each node as well, which will eliminate what has been a potential single point of failure at each of the node sites.
The overall design of the backbone upgrade will also allow the network to provide connectivity to several pending Internet2 and vBNS projects.
The affected T-1 circuits for CCC campuses and district hubs will be relocated from their existing CSU campus connection to the 4CNet/Qwest co-located backbone nodes as these sites become ready.
The timeline above reflects 4CNet's current plans but is subject to revision based on circuit availability and final installation dates from Qwest and PacBell.
Progress of the backbone upgrade is available at http://www.4c.net/backbone-upgrade, and will be kept updated for the convenience of all 4CNet subscribers. This page is also accessible via a link at the main 4CNet home page (http://www.csu.net). Community college subscribers are encouraged to visit this web site to access a wealth of information, including links to test connectivity and bandwidth utilization of 4CNet router.