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 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 10 or 40 gigabit Ethernet links. The core and distribution layer backbone hardware consist of Cisco Nexus 7706 routers, Cisco 6807s and Extreme S series chassis.

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 6A UTP wiring to the desktop (as described in the Campus Wiring Plan) has been changed to the new wiring standard for all major capital projects. Cat 6e is still supported and installed on smaller projects. Ethernet switches are deployed within closets for all new wiring initiatives. We support 10/100/1000 Mbps as standard operating speeds for end users. Pervasive wireless coverage is provided throughout office space for on-campus buildings.

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 dual 10-gigabit links to MCNC from different ITS locations on campus (40Gps total). At the present time, one pair of connections 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 services, P2P VPN services through business ISP connections, or dark fiber leases. The availability of these connection options varies based upon location and any monthly charges for these services are paid for by the end-user department.