Institutions of higher learning have to deploy a network infrastructure with the necessary hardware and software to provide the resource intensive research and end user requirements they need for the faculty and students. And increasingly, software-defined networking (SDN) and open networking is the strategy universities are applying to enable new network services. Feng Chia University has taken this approach by deploying Brocades's carrier grade routers and switches.
Feng Chia University has a total of 21,000 students, with close to 5,000 that live on campus. In order to provide new network services to everyone, the school selected Brocade (News - Alert) and its proven SDN OpenFlow protocol for open networking with its product line. This includes SDN-capable core, aggregation, and access devices from Brocade with an open-standards SDN controller using Brocade MLXe 4 Core Router, Brocade ICX (News - Alert) 7450 switches and Brocade ICX 7250 access switches.
"The university model of teaching and learning has changed a lot as a result of Internet technologies, and it is now critical that students have top-quality network access from their dorm rooms in order to leverage online educational resources. Our project is not only designed to provide a more robust and scalable network for our student accommodations, but also to have much more fine-grained management control over network service delivery through SDN," said Bing-Jean Lee, President of Feng Chia University.
The carrier-grade Brocade MLXe 4 Core Router is part of the MLX series built for failsafe, nonstop networking with advanced, redundant switch fabric to ensure very high availability. This type of reliability is essential for organizations such as Feng Chia University that are adopting open networking. The MLXe 4 can operate at peak performance even during switch-fabric module failure by automatically tuning to the remaining fabric capacity.
It has total system performance of more than 1 Tbps with up to 128 port support of 10 GbE and embedded IPsec encryption at wire speed with Suite B, which is one of the strongest cryptographic suites for IPsec in hardware.
"SDN is a revolutionary concept but its adoption, of necessity, must be evolutionary. The Brocade solution delivers the SDN OpenFlow protocol in true hybrid port mode, allowing the university’s network administrators to progressively integrate OpenFlow, giving them programmatic control over specific network flows while the remaining traffic is forwarded as usual," said Jeff Tsai, country manager for Taiwan, Brocade.
The Brocade ICX 7450 switch has a six form factor with powerful modularity to deliver high performance and security options so organizations can scale-out with enterprise class availability. In addition to SDN support, it also provides a service module for IPsec VPN, and 40GbE uplinks in a stackable design that allows for the addition of more switches and services anywhere in the network while managing them as a single device.
Edited by Maurice Nagle