MIT Network Upgrade

The most strategic IT asset that MIT operates is the Enterprise Communications network which links all sites and data centres. It also provides connectivity (wired and wireless) to staff, students and visitors for access to enterprise services (voice and data including telephony) and outside services (Internet).

To meet the immediate requirements/increasing demands (security, video conferencing) and improve the redundancy, management, monitoring and reporting capabilities for this asset, MIT will improve the performance, capacity, resilience and redundancies of the network at Otara.

At an MIT enterprise level (Otara, Manukau, remote sites and internet connectivity) ICTS will implement the ability to manage, monitor and report from the edge to the core (data centre) and understand the impact one component has on another within this environment. Plus it will improve security so that ICTS can maintain a view of what is happening when and by whom.

ICTS will also continue the agreed IT strategy of rolling out the Skype for Business Unified Communications environment and the Citrix BYOD capabilities to the Otara Campus community (both staff and students).

For the delivery of the above, it is absolutely essential that the Otara network infrastructure is resilient, secure, has no major single points of failure, meets the performance, capacity and capability parameters required to deliver the increased throughput in a sustainable fashion.

Currently the Otara network operates on an aging network topology. There is old network infrastructure in both fibre and network equipment (5 years or older) with major single points of failure in both the core and distribution switch layers. (This poses a high risk to MIT business with the possibility of an entire Otara site outage of many hours or even days).

To resolve the above, ICTS will change the network topology at Otara, upgrade the physical infrastructure to new fibre, add additional wireless access points to provide N+1 wireless coverage and refresh the old network switches to enable the capacity and resilience (single points of failure) required for the enterprise mission critical services.

To ensure ICTS can meet the above requirements, MIT will invest capital in;

  • Upgrading the network fibre throughout the Otara campus. The current fibre has limited capacity, performance issues and is now failing due to age. (Q2, 2016)
  • Eliminating single points of failure. Both the network core switch and distribution switch layers at Otara are well over 5 years (some components over 10) and when they fail, outages will be measured in hours, possibly days to replace and return to service. For the core switch, an outage will impact the complete Otara campus and for the distribution switch layer, any outage will impact a building or group of buildings. (Q3, 2016)
  • Upgrading aged network technology (edge switch technology) throughout the Otara campus (many components over 7 years in use) which are not capable of providing the required capacity and performance. (Q3, 2016)
  • Additional wireless access points to improve wireless resilience in the event of individual access point failure (2017)
  • Security appliances which will enable the trapping and monitoring of any security exposure throughout the network environment from the trusted environment (data centre) through to the end user device (untrusted). (2017)

In addition, the enterprise network must be secure and will be able to be managed and monitored from a central location as a single service, as well as at a location and component level. (Q4, 2016)

This project is an Investment Fund project and was approved by MIT’s Council on 24 March 2016. MIT’s PMO will provide reporting to Council on the progress of the project.