NUS upgrades campus network

SINGAPORE - Upgrade of National University of Singapore (NUS) campus network provides more reliable,higher bandwidth for data and multimedia traffic and implements Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) solution. Theseamless integration of teaching, learning, research and administration across the high-bandwidth network has dramaticallyenhanced learning productivity and places NUS firmly at the forefront of the e-learning revolution.

SINGAPORE - Upgrade of National University of Singapore (NUS) campus network provides more reliable, higher bandwidth for data and multimedia traffic and implements Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) solution. The seamless integration of teaching, learning, research and administration across the high-bandwidth network has dramatically enhanced learning productivity and places NUS firmly at the forefront of the e-learning revolution.

To further strengthen this computing and communications infrastructure, NUS, Cisco Systems and SingTel Aeradio today signed a memorandum of understanding which will provide for an upgrade of the University's network, making it even faster and more reliable. The project, NUSNET-IV, will:

1. Ensure gigabit networking performance;
2. Implement Internet Protocol telephony solutions (VoIP); and
3. Introduce a policy-based network management system.

NUS's long-term objective is to provide the best computing and communications infrastructure. Professor Lawrence Wong points out that this can be acheived by continuously upgrading and strengthening the IT infrastructure. This will enhance the students' learning experience and facilitate the development of borderless communities. NUS is also looking at the long-term improvement of voice communications through the widespread use of VoIP."

"NUS is a perfect example of New World e-learning in action and we're proud to be associated with the NUSNET-IV project," said Bill Chang, Cisco Systems Managing Director for Singapore. "The project will bring tremendous benefits and, especially by implementing a VoIP solution, NUS has taken a significant step towards the network of the future."

The NUS network provides for a huge variety of learning enhancements, from one-stop access to IT-based teaching and learning resources, to online application for hall admission and online student career and employment services. Almost half of all courses offered are now available online with sophisticated multimedia online courseware and archives of broadcast lectures and seminars.

Staff and students can gain access to the campus network services any time, any where, by plugging their personal notebook computer into any SPnP (Secure Plug-and-Play) outlet in study rooms, lecture theatres, open lobby areas, corridors, libraries, canteens or Halls of Residence rooms.

The NUS network also offers the most Internet bandwidth (23 Mbps international, 4 Mbps local, 14 Mbps SingAREN, and 155 Mbps S-One) of any network among institutions of higher learning in Singapore. The network upgrade will ensure a dedicated 100 Mbps access to network resources for staff and students, representing a ten fold increase from the present system.

The addition of VoIP to the network will soon allow students roaming with notebooks or Internet phones to make calls from the same access points, or through wireless LAN connectivity. The introduction of VoIP in NUSNET-IV will be done on a trial basis, to gauge the feasibility of utilising a single integrated network for data, voice and video.

In phase one of the VoIP trial, SingTel Aeradio will implement a Cisco VoIP trial for the University over the upgraded network.

Utilising special desktop IP phones and personal computers, the trialists will be able to make phone calls over the Intranet to each other.
In phase two of the trial in October 2000, 6000 software phones will be installed in Halls of Residence. Eventually this will lead to a campus-wide deployment that will significantly improve overall voice communication services.

To ensure service-quality across the network, the NUSNET-IV upgrade will guarantee all users 99.99 per cent network uptime and higher bandwidth for data and multimedia traffic.

The policy-based network management system will also provide the NUS Computer Centre with a flexible configuration of network policies for service differentiation, security and accountability for different categories of users.

The NUSNET-IV campus network upgrade preserves its existing three-tiered campus network design, while improving its performance, scalability and robustness.

A full-mesh of four Gigabit Ethernet multi-layer switches forms the core network backbone at the first tier, providing an aggregated bandwidth of 24 Gigabits per second (Gbps).

Another 15 Gigabit Ethernet multi-layer switches form the second, or distribution tier, with each switch connecting to two different core switches for resiliency and load-sharing. The distribution switches fan out to 646 Edge switches to give a total of 28,612 network points. The Edge switches provide all users with 10/100 Megabits per second (Mbps) ports with a Gigabit Ethernet uplink connection.

For resiliency purposes, a second Gigabit Ethernet uplink to a different distribution switch is provided for the administrative offices, the dean's offices, the library terminals, and the Computer Centre building.


About The National University of Singapore
The National University of Singapore (NUS) is one of Singapore's tertiary institutions. It is firmly committed to supporting Singapore's development as a knowledge-based economy.

About Cisco Systems
Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide provider in networking for the Internet.

About SingTel Aeradio
SingTel Aeradio is a member of the SingTel Group. The principal activity of the company is to provide info-communication systems integration services and facilities management to the aviation industry and the commercial market, as well as telecommunication service providers.