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Network Connectivity

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This page summarises the network connectivity used between Informatics sites, to the rest of the University, and to the rest of the Internet.

Informatics operates a unified network across five sites: the Forum, Appleton Tower, Wilkie Building and JCMB.

Within Informatics

The Forum and Appleton Tower are connected together over our own private fibre, which was run through ducts under Crichton Street when the Forum was built. There are currently four separate links between the Forum and AT core switches, for resilience.

Wilkie Building is run as "virtual floors" of Appleton Tower for simplicity. It connects back to our AT core over a "dark fibre" link, which was installed for us when the University refurbished the buildings. When we move back out, IS will then take these over to provide network service for the next occupants.

Our JCMB presence connects to the rest of Informatics using private VLANs over EdLAN (see below), and is therefore dependent on EdLAN functionality as well as our own network switches.

The Rest of the University

IS run the EdLAN network, which connects the various parts of the University together. Informatics attaches to EdLAN in three places:


  1. Our main central-area connection is in Appleton Tower, where one of our core switches has a link to the EdLAN-AT router. This is our primary central-area connection. It runs at 10Gbps, and carries phones and wireless traffic as well as routed IPv4 traffic from our wired network.

  2. We have a second central-area link from the Forum to the EdLAN-OC router in Old College, running at 1Gbps. This is primarily a backup link, though it does carry some DNS and VPN traffic to exercise it for fault-detection.

  3. Our JCMB presence has one 10Gbps bridged link to the stacked pair of IS switches in the JCMB server room; that stacked pair then has redundant links back to EdLAN-KB router. In addition to all external traffic, this link also carries our private VLANs between JCMB and AT. For redundancy, - i.e. in case our primary bridged link fails -, we have two additional routed links from our own routers to the stacked pair of IS switches.

Wireless

Wireless networking within the Informatics buildings is actually part of the IS-run University-wide service, providing the "eduroam" and "central" SSIDs. There is a separate page which describes this and how to use it.

World-wide

Connectivity from the University to the rest of the world is provided by the Janet UK-wide academic network. Janet itself then connects to the rest of the world at several UK Internet Exchanges.

Informatics Network Technical Documentation

Our technical documentation on the Informatics network, including diagrams, is here. It's primarily intended for the Computing staff and the Technicians, but you're welcome to browse it and ask questions in the usual way.

Last reviewed: 
06/10/2017

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