Core Backbone

UNC-Chapel Hill utilizes a basic “hub-and-spoke” design for the campus data network, with a dual network core located in two ITS data center locations that each feed a number of Tier 1 distribution layer switches, each Tier 1 switch then feeding anywhere from 6 to 20 downstream buildings. Each Tier 1 switch connects to the core via dual gigabit or 10-gigabit Ethernet links. The core and distribution layer backbone hardware consists of Enterasys S-series switches and Cisco 6509 routers.

Inter-Building Backbone

Buildings are connected to their associated Tier 1 distribution switch via gigabit or 10-gigabit Ethernet. Ethernet switches are deployed within buildings to provide a scalable building interconnection. Backbone speeds and technologies are upgraded based on changes in bandwidth utilization and strategic applications.

Intra-Building Wiring Strategies and Standards

Cat 6E UTP wiring to the desktop (as described in the Campus Wiring Plan) continues to be the wiring standard. 10/100/1000 Ethernet switches are deployed within closets for all new wiring initiatives. Furthermore, as the older models of network switches are upgraded/life cycled within a building, pervasive wi-fi coverage is also being added.

Internet Connections

The primary connection to the commodity Internet and Internet2 networks, as well as the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN), is presently served by two separate diverse routed 10-gigabit links to MCNC from different ITS data centers on campus. At the present time, one link terminates in RTP, the other in Winston-Salem.

Off-Campus Departments

Off-campus University-owned sites (such as the Rizzo Center and the Giles Horney facility) are directly connected to the campus fiber backbone. Connections to off-campus rental properties are achieved via Metro Ethernet service from Time Warner or AT&T or dark fiber leased from AT&T (a service which is no longer available for new facilities). The monthly charges for these commercial services are paid for by the end-user department.