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Data Network


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Data Network

  1. 1. Data Network The intent of this document is to describe data network services provided by the Office of Information Technology’s (OIT) Network and Telecommunication Services (NTS) unit, define boundaries of the service, and identify levels of services customers should expect. NTS provides network services to thousands of customers and locations on campus. These services connect individuals and units to the Internet and to local network resources at the University. Availability of network services is critical to operations throughout the University. Definition of Services Provided Twin Cities Campus Network service – The University of Minnesota’s Gopher GigaNet (GGN) supports over 70,000 Gigabit capable Ethernet network jacks. Internet 1 and Internet 2 connectivity is received via the Northern Lights GigaPoP (please see description below). The network system is comprised of 21 Cisco 6509 routers linked together via a mesh of 10-Gigabit interconnections and nearly 4000 Cisco Catalyst 3750 stackable Ethernet switches. Switches are connected to the core using a minimum of 2 Gigabits of bandwidth when possible. A small handful of on-campus locations and most off-campus locations connect at speeds of 1-Gigabit or less due to physical limitations. The GGN architectural diagram can be found here: 1122.pdf Data Center Network Services For applications that require high network availability, NTS has deployed a high availability data center component for the GGN. The Data Center is designed with redundant routers, Ethernet switches, firewalls, support servers, and links so that in the event of a primary network element failure, networking services keep on running. Network Address Management IP Addressing and Domain Name Services (DNS) are provided to the GGN by a highly redundant and load-capable system. Each of our 17 core service locations have a DNS server with all servers acting as backup to each other in the event of a general failure. If, for some reason, a core location is separated from the rest of the network, the local DNS server will handle all requests for the partitioned area. IP Address assignment is self service via our Service Gateway product. For more information on self- service please see the Service Statement for Service Gateway. Office of Information Technology – University of Minnesota 1
  2. 2. Virtual Private Network - NTS provides a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service that allows approved University students, staff, and faculty a secure method to access services that reside within the University’s network, and the network itself, from remote or unsecure locations. Wireless - NTS is performing an upgrade to the existing University WIFI network. When the upgrade is complete we will have installed a new WIFI system supporting 802.11a, b, g and n. The new system will have redundant components located in each core location to ensure that Wireless continues to work in a network-partitioned area. NTS will be supporting all wireless internet access on campus using two primary Service Set Identifiers (SSIDs). One SSID will support open, unsecure access and the second will support highly secure network access using WPA2 and 802.1x. Guests to campus may use the "UofM Guest" SSID at no charge ( This SSID offers no encryption and is limited in bandwidth and capacity. A Simple SSID is also available for devices that cannot log into the network (e.g., projectors). Note that devices must be registered to use the Simple SSID. GigaPoP and Peering Northern Lights GigaPoP (gigabit point of presence – an access point to the Internet2 network) is an advanced regional networking initiative operated by the University. The mission of Northern Lights is the deployment of emerging applications and technologies to provide high performance networking for the research and education community. Organizations eligible to participate in Northern Lights generally include colleges, universities, and other educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and others that routinely collaborate with the research and education community on instructional, clinical, and research projects and services. For more detailed information: Boreas The Broadband Optical Research, Education, and Sciences (BOREAS) Network, a collaboration of four major research institutions in the upper Midwest: Iowa State University, the University of Iowa, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. BOREAS intends to build and operate a Regional Optical Network (RON) to service the advanced production and experimental network requirements of the research and education institutions in our region. High-speed optical network capability is essential for our researchers to move vast amounts of research data between researchers worldwide and to engage in collaborative research activities with peer institutions and national laboratories. This capability is also necessary for our institutions to compete effectively for research funding. Our universities also believe that BOREAS capability is needed for us to be able to recruit and retain top research faculty. Coordinate Campus and Off-Campus Network Connections NTS provides network connectivity to coordinate campus locations (U of M Duluth, Morris, Crookston, and Rochester) and other locations (Extension services and Research Outreach Centers). Connectivity is achieved through a partnership with the State of Minnesota. Office of Information Technology – University of Minnesota 2
  3. 3. Local offsite buildings are supported by individual contracts for fiber, T1 (1.5mbps) or cable modem connectivity depending on location and cost considerations. Firewall Services The University campus network is connected to the Internet over several high-speed data communication lines. This close relationship brings obvious benefits in terms of speed and access, but it also exposes the University network to many viruses and security threats. Many computer owners or administrators have installed anti-virus, anti-spyware, and personal firewalls on departmental computers to help mitigate these threats; others have not installed any security tools. Security vulnerabilities are reduced when a firewall is employed to protect a network. However, firewalls do not replace the need for host security; they are only an additional layer of defense. NTS supports and has deployed centralized firewall services in each core location. NTS maintains and operates these services as a critical component of the infrastructure. Service Performance The University network was not designed to support Fire, Life, or safety infrastructure or applications. To do so was too costly. The Gopher GigaNet (GGN) was designed to support critical business applications, basic connectivity, and to support research. Customers expect, and NTS strives for, 100 percent uptime with no service interruptions. However, this is currently not a reasonable expectation for the University campus. NTS has protected the core routers, data center routers, data center Etherswitches, firewalls, wireless controllers, address management servers, GigaPoP, and Boreas with Uninterruptible Power Supplies and built in as much redundancy and over-sizing as allowed by budgetary constraints. What we have not been able to protect against are building-specific power and cooling issues, due to high costs and aging buildings. On occasion NTS needs to schedule downtime for maintenance activities, like upgrading software and replacing failed components. Due to the large size of the GGN, some maintenance activities are scheduled over many days to allow for issues as they arise. Hours of Operation It is the goal of NTS to provide network services 24x7x52. System status is available at: Performance Measurement Description Availability Up time System Performance Response time Throughput Customer satisfaction Office of Information Technology – University of Minnesota 3
  4. 4. Service Delivery Performance NTS response and resolution Maximum amount of time before response is made to a service request times Maximum amount of time before a request is resolved Severity Response Time Resolution Goal Level* 1 2 3 4 Customer Satisfaction  Standard severity-level definitions for service interruptions are being developed by OIT Disaster Recovery Services Scheduled Maintenance Scheduled maintenance periods allow the NTS staff to perform routine maintenance and perform upgrades. Redundancies built into the network will ensure availability of network services during scheduled maintenance periods. When maintenance is required, e-mail is sent to the Net-ops mailing list two weeks prior to the maintenance period. The announcement will include start time, anticipated end time, and a description of the maintenance to be performed (upgrades, patches, etc.). Dependencies Network services are dependent upon power and environmental (heating and cooling) systems. The availability of those systems will have a direct impact on the availability of these services. Service Dependency on Service Service Provider Power There must be power to networking equipment in OIT data Network & centers and buildings throughout campus Telecommunications/Facilities Management Environment There must a room temperature environment for Network & networking equipment in OIT data centers and buildings Telecommunications/Facilities throughout campus Management Internet There must be a functioning connection through providers Time Warner, Qwest Provider to connect to Internet resources Service Provider and Customer Responsibilities Staffing Network and Telecommunications Services (NTS) is a large service unit within OIT that is responsible for operating, monitoring, maintaining, and repairing all aspects of the data network. Office of Information Technology – University of Minnesota 4
  5. 5. OIT Duties and Responsibilities NTS staff provides support to IT staff in local units in addition to the support offered by the University’s 1-HELP service. NTS consults with units about data networking needs and is available to help plan and implement specialized data network configurations. NTS communicates regularly with customers about network services via the NET-OPS and NET-PEOPLE mailing lists. NTS also participates regularly in monthly Net People meetings group at which issues related to the various services are reported and discussed. NTS will be expected to:  Communicate and coordinate with IT staff in local units to minimize disruption to end users.  Notify customers about all scheduled maintenance  Meet response and resolution times associated with service-related incidents  Generate and make available monthly service level reports Customer Duties and Responsibilities:  Adhere to any related policies, processes, and procedures  Report problems using reporting procedures described in this service statement  Provide input on the quality and timeliness of service  Fund larger projects and special requests Problem Management The status of University systems is available online at: Whenever possible, users are encouraged to check the System Status page before contacting technical support. Users are strongly encouraged to first contact technical support resources in their local unit if they are experiencing problems with computers or applications. Local technical staff will be able to resolve many problems or escalate them to the appropriate levels, helping to increase the speed and effectiveness of the service response. Response time is dependent on the local unit’s technical support processes and policies. If local technical support resources do not exist or are not available (e.g., outside of normal work hours) users are encouraged to contact the University’s 1-HELP service (  On-campus – 1-HELP (1-4357)  Off-campus – (612) 301-HELP (4357)  E-mail – 1-HELP hours are found at: Hours as of May 2009: Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Saturday: 11:00a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Sunday: closed Outside of these hours, or on University holidays, callers may leave a message, which will be responded to the following business day. Office of Information Technology – University of Minnesota 5
  6. 6. 1-HELP will escalate incidents, when necessary, to appropriate service providers. All incidents and changes reported to 1-HELP will be logged into Service Center, a tracking system. Disaster Recovery The data network is among the University’s critical services. In the event of a disaster, recovering network services is at the highest level of importance. Redundancies and auto fail-over capabilities are built into the networking system to minimize outages and to ensure that service is restored as quickly as possible in the event of a disaster. The highly distributed nature of the network helps to lessen the impact of many failures. Degraded or failed service receives immediate attention, and all available resources are brought into force to recover full operations. Communication Normal Operations The operational status of the service will be available via the System Status Web page. Planned updates and maintenance will be announced ten business days in advance via the NET-OPS and NET-PEOPLE mailing lists. Operational and support statistics will be reported monthly. Planned Service Interruptions NTS performs repair and maintenance activities. Many are not service impacting, however, upgrades are generally scheduled for early mornings when traffic is low and systems can be evaluated. Data Center upgrades typically are scheduled for Sunday mornings when possible. For scheduled upgrades NTS tests new software releases and features on test systems prior to implementing on the production systems. Upgrades and maintenance activities typically are scheduled and announced two weeks in advance. Unexpected Interruptions Service and emergency repairs will be acted on quickly and appropriately. In the event of unexpected service interruption, OIT will update the System Status page and send notification of service interruption to the NET-OPS and OIT-OUTG mailing lists within 15 minutes of service-loss identification. The NET-OPS and NET-PEOPLE mailing lists will be used to communicate interruptions. Status updates will be provided on an hourly basis to both the System Status page and subscribed individuals. A post-mortem analysis will be released 24 hours after the resolution of the interruption. Policies University of Minnesota Information Technology policies are available on the web at: Polices related to this statement include: Network policies are available on the web at: Office of Information Technology – University of Minnesota 6
  7. 7. Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources User Authentication for Access to University Computer Resources Service Statement Maintenance This statement of service will be reviewed annually. Last revision: May 2009 File Name: Data Network.doc Office of Information Technology – University of Minnesota 7