Extreme Networks – a fast and efficient network for the Faculty of Physics, Astronomy and Applied Computer Science at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow

The Faculty of Physics, Astronomy and Applied Computer Science is a modern research institution established in 2003 as the result of the division of the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science. At present the Faculty consists of the Astronomical Observatory, the Institute of Physics and three IT departments. The mission of the Faculty is to integrate visionary research projects with the modern interdisciplinary education programme.

THE NEED

Due to dynamic development, the Faculty of Physics, Astronomy and Applied Computer Science at the Jagiellonian University decided to extend its ICT system. The academic network required equipment capable of handling high network traffic with minimum delays. Solutions with a switching capacity of up to 40 Gb/s were taken into consideration. In a ring topology network, several dozen VLAN subnets can be created. After testing the market’s cutting-edge solutions, the Extreme Networks equipment, which ensures switching with the required speed, was chosen.

IMPLEMENTATION

The system included 21 distribution points and a configuration of primary and back-up connections using a ring topology at 40 Gb/s and 10 Gb/s. The advanced Extreme Black Diamond X8 switch, 21 Black Diamond 8810 switches, one Summit x670V-48x switch, 15 Summit x460-24p and 13 Summit x460-48t switches were used. The Extreme Networks Ridgeline software, which enables a complete insight into the network structure, was employed. The network monitoring and control system is easy to use, enabling the full use of the capacity of advanced switches.

The devices which were provided allow the handling of 60 ports at 40 Gb/s, 130 ports at 10 Gb/s, 5592 ports at 10/100/1000 (including 1752 PoE (Power over Ethernet) ports). Zakład Systemów Komputerowych (Computer Systems Ltd), which implemented the solution also provides 8-year support and service for the technologies used according to the Faculty’s specification.

The implementation included the configuration of about 40 VLANs, and rings with the EAPS (Ethernet Automatic Protection Switching) technology were used. This is a unique technology developed by Extreme Networks to enhance the switching reliability and efficiency. EAPS is an alternative to STP Layer 2 switches that do not meet the requirements of modern fast networks. With EAPS, it is possible to achieve a performance, which has only been available for dedicated video connections, up until now.

TECHNOLOGY USED

According to independent tests, the BlackDiamond X8 switch belonging to the Extreme Networks Open Fabric product group is even 10 times faster than competitive solutions at a similar price level. It is also characterised by the lowest delays and the best energy efficiency ratio per port – key factors in datacentres (physical and in-cloud), operator systems and HPCC. BlackDiamond X8 is considered as the best choice in its class for high-efficiency networks. The Black Diamond X8 switch offers the largest number of 10 GbE and 40 GbE ports to support even 768 connections at 10 GbE in 1/3 42 RU rack or up to 2304 servers in a rack cabinet. It offers a capacity which enables the complete contents of Apple App Store to be sent within 2 seconds (500 000 applications * 5.0 MB = 2.3 TB). The device provides an average delay of 2.3 microseconds for Layer 2 traffic at a low energy consumption of 8.1 W per 10 GbE port under 1/3 load, and is estimated to be 5 W at full load. This solution also guarantees 100% lossless capacity for all ports.

– We would like to propose an efficient solution that meet user needs not only today, but also over the next several years. Our experience shows that Extreme Networks switches are the best solutions. This choice is supported by such arguments as performance, stable firmware, reliability and quality-price ratio. The implementation of ring solutions in EAPS technology has proved important for improving the reliability of the whole infrastructure, while speeding up Layer 2 switching. At the same time, EAPS allows the data flow direction to be managed in individual VLANs, thus enabling full use of the links provided, both main and back-up ones. In addition, the network is fully prepared to implement MPLS protocols and SDN type solutions – says Piotr Piejko from Zakład Systemów Komputerowych.

For many years, Extreme Networks has been one of the top manufacturers of innovative network solutions in the world. Extreme Networks owes its current position to the best-in-class Ethernet technologies, broadly understood security (e.g. NAC and SIEM systems) as well as advanced infrastructure management and monitoring. Due to the full control of endpoints, it is possible to optimise services for individual users. ExtremeXOS, a fully modular operating system, enables intelligent network management, regardless of network complexity levels, including access to in-cloud services.

The Extreme Networks solutions create a platform that allows network connections to be optimised and customised, enhances the implementation of a complete and safe infrastructure and enables applications to be optimised. Due to their high reliability, they guarantee the stability of network infrastructure and allow network providers to offer competitive multifunction and customized services – says Maciej Stawiarski from Veracomp SA

We wanted to create a very fast ring topology, while assuring security and lossless data transmission. The Extreme Networks solutions not only fulfilled the expectations trusted to them, but even significantly exceeded them in some aspects. Our employees got a valuable tool that will be used in everyday scientific and didactic works – says Professor Andrzej Warczak, Dean of the Faculty of Physics, Astronomy and Advanced Computer Science at the Jagiellonian University.

SUMMARY

Due to the implementation of Extreme Networks equipment, the Faculty of Physics, Astronomy and Applied Computer Science at the Jagiellonian University uses highly efficient network solutions that ensure trouble-free communication at present and in the future. The innovative Extreme Networks solutions and software guarantee that the Faculty’s network infrastructure is prepared for even the biggest challenges and can be easily extended and adopted for the tasks to come.