Duke’s data center is being moved to a new network.
The University’s present network has been working well since 2007 but the new network is designed to be faster and more secure, Bob Johnson, senior director of communications infrastructure and global strategies at the Office of Information Technology, wrote in an email Wednesday.
“This upgrade provides a platform that can scale up to 200 gigabits per second, more than 10 times faster than Duke's legacy network,” he said.
By the end of this week, 75 to 80 percent of the campus database will be on the new network. The remaining part of this ongoing project, however, is expected to transition in the next six months. Many of the University's high-bandwidth networks—including wireless networks and research efforts —have already moved to the new core, Johnson wrote.
Increasing security from external sources is a leading asset of the new network.
OIT collaborated with Duke security teams to achieve improvement in network security measures, Richard Biever, the University’s chief information security officer and director of identity management, wrote in an email Wednesday. The improved security measures will protect Duke from external attacks as well as detect attacks originating from compromised computers on the Duke network—such as infected laptops in the University system that connect to the visitor wireless network.
“Just like other higher education institutions, Duke constantly evaluates our security posture and tools to make sure that we are adjusting to the changing threat landscape and protecting Duke appropriately,” Biever said.
The goal of this upgrade is to support the University’s overall aims in education and research.
“[The project] is all part of ongoing efforts to ensure that Duke's IT infrastructure is positioned to meet the ever-increasing bandwidth needs and security concerns in support of Duke's research and educational mission,” he said.
In addition to upgrading the University’s network, the office also recently improved the coverage of wired and wireless network on campus, including increasing network connectivity and spreading Wi-Fi coverage.
“We are beginning work on outdoor Wi-Fi, with Duke Gardens coverage completed in late May,” Johnson wrote.
Members of the University community were warned that brief interruptions of 10 to 15 seconds could occur in IT services during the operation, which primarily occurred June 10 and 11.