Community college students testing the waters of higher education, academic achievers at tier one universities, and researchers that collaborate on groundbreaking science and technology studies all depend on networks. But the primary network requirements of these communities aren’t the same. Each institution is challenged with meeting their own specific needs with solutions that are cost-effective today and can readily adapt to a sometimes difficult-to-foresee future. Brocade solutions for higher education address these challenges.

University of New Mexico upgrades network to support leaps in education and research

Diverse needs

Community colleges often have limited IT budgets that require a cost-conscious approach to network investments. They value flexible options with strong scale-out economics, so they can purchase only what they need and expand capacity as necessary.

Four-year colleges and research universities striving to attract top-tier students, sought-after educators, and world-class researchers leverage their networks as a differentiating asset. These institutions tend to have significant IT budgets and choose best-of-the-best components. They want a high-performing, highly reliable infrastructure with the latest software and services while meeting current needs, and there is always an eye toward what the future brings. Their network is, essentially, a foundation that future technology innovations can be built upon.

With students and staff demanding better, faster access to online applications, and our research projects consuming more bandwidth and network resources, we reached our limit due to an IT environment that could no longer cope with demand. The Brocade solution has provided us with a solid foundation and offers attractive expansion options for the future.

Fritz Butikofer, University of Bern

Brocade solutions

To support higher education needs in the classroom, on the quad, and in the dorms, we offer Brocade ICX campus switches with a range of capacity and capabilities. Network administrators especially appreciate the ease of management and scalability provided by the switch family’s HyperEdge Architecture. Scaling is a simple matter of adding switches anywhere in the campus—even in locations without power outlets. The new switches automatically become part of a single, centrally managed, logical switch, reducing administration time and accelerating resource deployment to users. Expanding network capabilities with more advanced features is also easy and cost-effective. Entry-level switches automatically gain premium switch features when a premium switch is added to an entry-level switch stack.

The ICX premium switches are also ideal for engineering, computer science and similar departments that require their own high-demand network environments. These feature-rich switches can scale to support large numbers of wired and wireless devices with high performance.

Departmental environments with more centralized needs and the school’s data center will most likely select our highest performance Brocade VDX data center switches and Brocade MLX Series core routers. These solutions help universities innovate faster by enabling an always-on, software-driven, open infrastructure that scales and adapts to application requirements.

Brocade VDX switches have an embedded Ethernet fabric that we call Brocade VCS Fabric technology. The fabric enables zero-touch provisioning that eases scalability by automatically configuring any Brocade VDX switch that is added to the network. And the fabric is managed as a single switch, whether it contains a few or a few hundred physical devices.

Brocade MLX Series core routers feature a programmable architecture and terabit-scale switch fabric. MPLS/VPLS support provides connectivity between sites, while collapsed core and aggregation layers reduce network complexity and ease management. Security is provided by inline, wire-speed encryption that assures data privacy without compromising performance or requiring complex deployments.

Scholars who push the boundaries of knowledge and collaborate with peers worldwide are ready for the next generation of network technology. They want a standards-based environment that supports best-of-breed components and provides fast access to the latest tools and technologies. This community will be well-served by Brocade products that support the New IP network paradigm.

The New IP is an open, innovation-centric, software-enabled approach that gives users fast access to a vast ecosystem of products and technology development resources. We support the New IP with SDN enabled switches and an extensive virtual services platform that includes the first commercial edition of the OpenDaylight controller, which is the leading open source SDN controller. Our virtual router is a first as well. It’s the only virtual router and network software suite designed from its inception to run on an Intel chip, instead of being ported from its original design.  

Higher goals for higher education

Whether an academic institution is looking for basic campus connectivity or a global network using the most advanced technologies for the world’s brightest minds, Brocade has solutions to fit the bill. Institutions of higher education are an important birthplace of the innovations that provide immeasurable value to us all. And Brocade is all-in on investing development resources to help support their goals.

The network is fundamental to our business operation. We can’t run the college or the curriculum without the network. It has to be there and perform reliably and efficiently without outages. It is key for educating our students and providing skilled employees into the local workforce.

Rosie Quelch, Network Manager, Isle of Wight College

PRODUCT FOCUS

Brocade offers a diverse portfolio of physical and virtual networking devices that addresses the needs of the local community college through the largest Tier 1 Research Universities.

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