Keio University

Topic : Virtualization
2500+ Employees
Networking

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"We have great expectations for the evolution of Avaya SDN Fx architecture that is based on Avaya's Fabric.”

— Mr. Yasuo Miyamoto Keio University ITC Headquarters

Benefits

Network Scalability
Increased Productivity

WITH INSPIRATION AS THE NEW CONCEPT, SDN FX ARCHITECTURE SUPPORTS LEADING-EDGE RESEARCH AT KEIO UNIVERSITY

Keio University was established in 1858 with the name "Rangakujuku". It changed its name in 1868 to Keio University in memory of the era. In 1871, when it moved to Mita they set the cornerstone that would become the institution that it is today. In the "Gakumon Susume" issued by university-founder Yukichi Fukuzawa, the year after the move, the founder reasoned that there was a pricelessness of freedom and equality, as well as an importance of scholarship, which was widely accepted in society. The spirit of Mr. Fukuzawa was to devote himself to the discussion of independence in the hopes for national independence, and to firmly maintain his faith in those principles. There is no replacement for spirit of independence and self-respect (protecting your own dignity, and acting on your own judgment and responsibility). These founding principles continue to exist today at Keio University.

Today, the university has expanded nationwide to include six main campuses, at Mita, Hiyoshi, Shinano Town, Yagami, Shonan, Fujisawa, and Shiba Kyoritsu. There are also town campuses that conduct leading-edge research and dissemination of information through tie-ups with integrated educational institutions from elementary schools to secondary schools, and local societies. As an infrastructure for supporting human resource development at Keio University, they are utilizing an information-environment network. The Information Technology Center (ITC) is in charge of operating the necessary networks and computer environments.

ITC's are setup in each of the six main campuses and are composed of an ITC that controls the technological environment in each campus, and ITC headquarters that supports operation and control between each campus. Mr. Yasuo Miyamoto at the ITC headquarters in Keio University said: “The ITC headquarters is an organization positioned in parallel to the ITC at each campus.”

“In addition to the networks between campuses, we are in charge of supporting utilization of the ITC environment at six satellite campuses, such as the Tsuruoka town campus (hereinafter, TTCK), and others.”

The ITC headquarters decided to adopt the Avaya SDN Fx architecture when renewing its TTCK network environment. Avaya Fabric Connect, which is a main component of the Avaya SDN Fx architecture is based on SPB (Shortest Path Bridging), a technology that has been standardized as a virtual network technology, by IEEE and IETF.

They needed a new network environment at TTCK that enables simple settings, stability, high extensibility, and shortens the amount of time until we can start offering network services.

"We became interested in Avaya and were inspired with its great evolution, and with the new network concept, which is different from vendors who have proposed other conventional network technologies."

- Mr. Yasuo Miyamoto, Keio University ITC Headquarters

A Long Road to Network Stability

In 2001, through a tie-up with Yamagata Prefecture, and the cities and towns in the Shonai region, TTCK setup as the core, the Institute for Advanced Biosciences for Keio University, which is an industry-government-academia tie-up in Tsuruoka City, Yamagata Prefecture.

TTCK has produced a variety of useful research results including research into technologies for diagnosing cancer using saliva, or producing a commercialized venture business by developing next-generation “artificial spider thread” which NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) in the United States is said to have abandoned.

Regarding the network environment that supports TTCK research and education, Mr. Miyamoto reflected back on that time, and commented: “The environment that we built in the previous renewal was composed of network devices from multiple vendors. Composing the network using network devices from one manufacturer offers high stability and serviceability. However, we felt that it was necessary to reconsider whether it was really appropriate to continue replacing the same devices for the same configuration.”

A leading-edge research and learning tie-up square was established at TTCK. This was a branch for an industry-academia-government collaboration to expand business focusing on promoting new industries and new businesses, and to contribute to society, and to advance leading-edge research and learning activities. The reason was that it is constantly necessary to experiment in undertaking new fields, and to build a network environment with multiple vendor configurations. However, four years after they built the network, they experienced many different technical problems in terms of operation and usability.

“Many problems frequently occurred that were associated with the configuration, specifications, and aging of the devices. The network would behave unexpectedly and sometimes disconnect. Our environment was based on multiple vendors so it was extremely difficult to identify which problems were related to the devices we installed, or whether a problem was related to a certain combination. Identifying the causes took a long time. A multi-vendor environment was a deeply interesting test, but we experienced many hardships in its operation.” (Mr. Miyamoto)

ITC decided to renew the TTCK network environment to solve the problems of frequent bugs that occurred in the network environment as well as the maintenance required. ITC considered whether to use a multi-vendor configuration, or to go with another configuration. Their decision was to adopt a network environment that uses Avaya Fabric Connect.

CHALLENGES

  • Since the campus was first built, multiple technical and operational issues have existed
  • Limited availability of IT resources on each satellite campus made support difficult
  • Complex network configurations led to issues when handling failures, conducting maintenance and investigating problems
  • Managing the complexities of network issues resulted in increase costs

VALUE CREATED

  • Stable and highly reliable network operations
  • Simplification and reduction of number of settings and commands leads to quicker problem resolution and reduced chances of human error
  • WOS-based Wireless LAN 9100 settings and status can be centrally controlled from remote locations

Building a New Network Using Avaya Fabric Connect

TTCK is composed of two branches that sandwich JR Tsuruoka station. At the south side is the campus center building, and on the north side is the bio-lab building. These two buildings are connected by fiber optics. The Internet can be connected to via the academic network.

This time, for the campus center building, ITC installed Avaya Virtual Services Platform 8284 (VSP 8284) as the core switch. For the edge switch, the Avaya Ethernet Routing Switch 4826 (ERS 4826) was installed. Conversely, at the bio-lab building, the Avaya Virtual Services Platform 4450 (VSP 4450) was used as the core switch, and for the edge switch, they installed the Avaya Ethernet Routing Switch 4850 (ERS 4850).

Furthermore, ITC adopted the Avaya Wireless LAN 9100 series (Wireless LAN 9100) as a wireless LAN access point.

Mr. Miyamoto describes the reasoning behind adopting Avaya Fabric Connect to build TTCK's network. “Actually, from a walk-in sales-like proposal, we became interested in Avaya and were inspired with its great evolution, and with the new network concept, which is different from vendors who have proposed other conventional network technologies. We also visited Avaya's office where we were able to learn more details about the technical theories. Our feeling of inspiration changed to a feeling of certainty once we were able to confirm the behavior of the actual system through demonstrations. We thought immediately that we definitely want to try this technology! That is the main point that led to our decision. Their installation support was also thorough and careful, so we are certain that Avaya is a vendor we can trust.”

Mr. Miyamoto added: “In a development period of only three months, we were able to switch out our network devices - allowing us to implement the changes in an extremely short amount of time. After we started operations again, there were no problems. Everything runs smoothly and is very stable.”

 
 

Keio University

 

Results: Smooth Migration and Stable Operation

Regarding the effects of building a network environment that adopted Avaya Fabric Connect, Mr. Miyamoto said: “Nothing happened”. What he means is that stable operation was possible. He went on to say: “Staff at TTCK told us that the migration was smooth (compared to the previous time), and that communication was stable; it's very good!”

Large volumes of data are transmitted between sites at TTCK, and solid performance has been made possible, with no network interruption. This time, they selected a box-type switch, and not a chassis-type switch, so it will be easy to extend the network to accommodate future increases in the number of branches, and volumes of data they can handle; another example of the value of the new network.

Furthermore, because TTCK is a satellite campus, it does not have specialized staff on-site to control the infrastructure. Operations are normal, of course, but, in the event that trouble occurs, it is now possible to change settings or repair a device from a remote location. Mr. Miyamoto said: “We highly value the fact that network operation is intuitive, and that operations are easy. Because these devices do not require you to learn all the settings from scratch, we feel secure in operating the network”.

In the prior setup, it was very difficult to check the logs at our wireless LAN access points to capture the flow of traffic, and what kinds of authentication were occurring. However, by using Avaya WLAN Orchestration System (WOS), it is possible to remotely control the status of wireless LAN 9100 access points in TTCK.

Selecting wireless LAN architecture was also a very important point. Because wireless LAN access points were a controller type, there had been an issue with not being able to install flexible authentication systems. However, the Wireless LAN 9100 is an autonomous type, so it is possible to avoid a situation in which the entire wireless LAN becomes disconnected because of a controller failure. Authentication can be conducted easily by connecting to each access point, offering the benefit of connecting to the network. Furthermore, centralized control is possible using WOS while still being a self-distributed type.

Mr. Miyamoto added: “Wireless LAN 9100 flexibly supports a variety of authentication methods, so even if a problem were to occur, this system offers the major benefit of being able to connect to the network with another authentication method. We are in an era where being able to use the networks is a given, so it is essential to be flexible in offering quick support, and to ensure redundancy.”

SOLUTIONS

  • Avaya Fabric Connect
  • Avaya Virtual Services Platform 8284
  • Avaya Ethernet Routing Switch 3524
  • Avaya Virtual Services Platform 4450
  • Avaya Wireless LAN 9100 series
  • Avaya Ethernet Routing Switch 4826
  • Avaya WLAN Orchestration System
  • Avaya Ethernet Routing Switch 4850

Anticipating Expansion

This time, Avaya SDN Fx architecture's Avaya Fabric Connect was adopted for TTCK's network. Mr. Miyamoto stressed that in the future, it is a solution with high extensibility that supports an even larger campus network, or inter-campus network, including utilizing operation know-how. He said: “Our ITCs at the six main campuses built and run our network based on the policies at each campus. The Avaya Fabric solution promises the possibility of adequate application even to these environments. We anticipate further optimization in the aspects of control and operation”.

Mr. Miyamoto also stated, with regard to TTCK's network environment: “I want to search for possibilities to fully install SDN if it is effective in renewing the inter-campus network environment.” He went on to add: “It is the mission of the ITC headquarters to provide a stable network environment that can connect to the Internet between all campuses. It is the most desirable situation for all users to utilize a stable network. However, we want to constantly have a system ready that will enable us to quickly support the insatiable demand for faster speeds. As part of that, we have great expectations for the evolution of Avaya SDN Fx architecture that is based on Avaya's Fabric.”

CUSTOMER PROFILE
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  • Japan

Keio University was established in 1858 with the name "Rangakujuku". It changed its name in 1868 to Keio University in memory of the era. In 1871, when it moved to Mita they set the cornerstone that would become the institution that it is today. In the "Gakumon Susume" issued by university-founder Yukichi Fukuzawa, the year after the move, the founder reasoned that there was a pricelessness of freedom and equality, as well as an importance of scholarship, which was widely accepted in society. The spirit of Mr. Fukuzawa was to devote himself to the discussion of independence in the hopes for national independence, and to firmly maintain his faith in those principles. There is no replacement for spirit of independence and self-respect (protecting your own dignity, and acting on your own judgment and responsibility). These founding principles continue to exist today at Keio University. Today, the university has expanded nationwide to include six main campuses, at Mita, Hiyoshi, Shinano T

What our Customers are saying
"We thought immediately that we definitely want to try this technology! That is the main point that led to our decision. Their installation support was also thorough and careful, so we are certain that Avaya is a vendor we can trust.”

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  • Mr. Yasuo Miyamoto

  • Keio University