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  • SPONSOR(S):  Raymond DeCristofaro
  • DEPT OR DIVISION: ITS Infrastructure and Operations
  • STATUS: In Progress
  • Project Theme: Building Capability

ITS continues to install high-speed fiber connections throughout campus, making our networks faster and more reliable. Projects underway include:

  • Curtis Media Center: This new run of fiber will connect the Curtis Media Center with Carmichael Arena and Memorial Hall.
  • School of Medicine: This project will add a new fiber backbone from ITS Manning to MacNider Hall. It will also move the tier one location from Isaac M. Taylor Hall to Marsico Lung Institute.
  • Tennis Center: This project will run high-speed fiber to the new UNC Chapel Hill Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center.

The 128 Project (Upgrading Connection Points)

In 1995 ITS installed a ring of fiber optic cable that included a 128-strand fiber backbone cable with termination points in 100 buildings on campus. The 128 Project is replacing the fiber cabinets and patch panels at the points where the old 128 strand fiber cable terminates. The fiber cabinets and patch panels are more than 25 years old and cannot handle the increased capacity of newer technology, which means local area networks in these buildings are not as fast as they could be.

Note: A patch panel is a piece of hardware that keeps large numbers of cables in a local area network organized and connected.

This project is expected to take years to complete, since each replacement takes time and must be done off hours so as not to disrupt the work of faculty, staff, and students.

432 Project (Adding a Backup Connection Between Data Centers)

Campus currently has two fiber pathways between ITS Franklin and ITS Manning, but the pathways are not completely separate. If the fiber were damaged at the point the two pathways converge, both pathways would go down, disrupting connectivity between the data centers in the two buildings. The 432 Project will run new fiber on the south side of campus to create an alternate path between ITS Manning and ITS Franklin, creating a completely separate pathway for this connection that is central to the University’s computing infrastructure.

Installing Second Connection to the MCNC High-Speed Fiber

The University’s internet service is provided by MCNC, a nonprofit organization that delivers internet service to local governments, schools, universities, and healthcare in all 100 counties in North Carolina. MCNC is partnering with Duke to install high-speed fiber in a ring that spans from Durham to Raleigh, Cary, and Chapel Hill. The University has one connection to this new network, but is researching options for redundant paths. When the backup path is selected, the team will coordinate with Duke Energy, the Town of Chapel Hill, and MCNC to run fiber to the new connection.