ITS Department Makes Seamless Switch to New Network Core

Fairfield’s technology department is currently updating the school’s networking system, a process that has been successfully underway for the past couple of months.

The network update is a part of the 10 Fairfield 2020 task forces that the university has set out to complete by the spring of 2015.

On Wednesday, Jan. 14, the Information Technology Services department had made a successful and seamless switch over to the upgraded network, according to Fairfield’s Chief Information Officer Paige Francis.

Francis deemed the school’s current network infrastructure as long past the end of its life. She explained that the average lifespan for the equipment that Fairfield’s using is between five and seven years. Meanwhile, the current technology has been in use for almost 10 years.

In addition, the network’s inability to hold and work with the new technologies is becoming an interference with the school’s attempts to improve and progress technologically.

The current wireless system is built from a “Core” wireless router, which Francis called the main source, or the “nucleus” of all technology on campus. The signal from the Core router is sent through a set of delicately arranged fibers that connect each of the buildings. The project will replace both the Core router and the connecting fibers.

This process has been the highest priority project for the ITS department. Nothing seems to stand in their way of completing it, not even the issue of their capital funding request being rejected.

Although this may seem like an immediate roadblock, Francis explained how the department continued to pave their way by knocking out other high priority projects on their list, and using funding from those projects to help fund this one. Although they are still seeking the capital funding, Francis said that, if need be, they will continue to use this method as a backup plan for the future.

The most important goal of this project is to set up the University’s wireless network for the long haul, not just for right now.

Solidifying her point, Francis made sure to note that there will not be a noticeable improvement at first. However, it will certainly make an impact down the road, when the new equipment that is being put to use will be able to work smoothly with future technologies, she said.

Setting up a solid foundation for future endeavors done by the technology department is a necessity. Simply put, Francis said, “You need to build the road before the racecar.”

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