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SUNY knows networks.


Making sense of a network that literally reaches into every corner of New York State is no easy task.

Back when the network was just a twinkle in the designers' eyes, they knew planning and reliable vendors were going to be the keys to successful delivery. Tom Neiss, telecomm coordinator for the Research Foundation of the State University of New York (SUNY), is happy to report the network is up and doing well.

SUNYNet's hearbeat is a T1 backbone network that connects University Centers and Health Science Centers.

Major nodes are at Albany Central, Stony Brook, Binghamton, and Buffalo, as well as the Health Science Centers at Brooklyn and Syracuse.

There also are a series of 56-kb/s DDS (Dataphone Digital Service) lines in the network and a few 9.6-kb/s analog lines. Twenty-one smaller campuses connect to the backbone network. The routing was set up so all the smaller campuses are on intraLATA service. They are served by the 56-kb/s lines, linking them to the nearest T1 node in their LATA. Substantial cost savings are realized by keeping the service within one area.

A Doelz Elite One multi-point fast packet switch used at the smaller campuses provides remote access over digital or analog lines to the Esprit One high-speed virtual-circuit fast packet switches at the T1 backbone hubs.

Protocol Independent

Data goes through the Elites ove virtual circuits, which are bidirectional and independent of media, speed, devices hung on the network, or their protocols.

SUNY system protocol diversity shaped Neiss' product selection. The network must carry over 13 different protocols including TCP/IP, SNA, IBM 3270, And DECNET. The ability of the fast packet network to handle all protocols transparently eliminates the need for a large number of protocol converters of different types.

Not all protocols are used at every campus, but every campus can use any protocol that it needs now or willneed.

They are gradually phasing out the 17 Burroughs systems operating on BNA in favor of SNA and TCP/IP.

"The reasons," Neiss syas, "are simplicity and OSI standards." He sees TCP/IP emerging soon as an OSI standard. "When we get the protocols sorted out there will be nothing we can't connect. That will make management simpler."

In three years, the network has handled its multiple protocols withouth the need for any protocol converters.

Virtual circuits are created instantly without interfering with other circuits. They can be permanent or temporary, point-to-point or multipoint.

Each Elite 2700 has two internal modems for use on the network link. They provide digital-to-analog conversion for data. Data received at the modem is converted for use within the node.

LAN Routers

Each T1 node has a LAN router. There is 112-kb/s bandwidth available for the router backbone.

SNA runs between the University Centers on DCA 9000s at 56 kb/s--all managed from SUNY Central at Albany, where Neiss is located.

In addition to the backbone network, they also are providing foreign exchange from Stony Brook, on Long Island, to Brooklyn. "That lets Stony Brook draw dial tone from Brooklyn," Neiss says. "They also access long distance via the Brooklyn node."

Other voice traffic is handled on tie lines between the Northern Telecom SL-1 and AT&T system 75 at Binghamton and Albany Central.

Routers for the whole network are provided by Wellfleet.

They all go into the Elite switches.

The Elites, at remote sites, serve as the main connection to the node where the Esprit is located.

Routers go into a Doelz port.

The multidrop capability of the Deolz Netlink is used to provide network service to two samller campuses in the far northern part of teh state.

These campuses, at Canton and Potsdam, are linked to the T1 backbone at Syracuse by a 56-kb/s netlink.

DCA equipment allows fully dynamic rerouting of the T1 backbone.

"the instant it brings up an alarm, everything is rerouted," Neiss says.

The network was designed so each link generally runs at less than 50% capacity.

That gives plenty of space on any link for carrying traffic from interrupted links.

"When we add voice, the data traffic will have priority," Neiss says.

The reason is simple.

"We can always put the voice on the public swithched network," he maintains.

Now, most data is administrative.

"But," Neiss explains, "there is a good volume of research data, and there will be more."

Neiss is enthusiastic about the vendor support he has received, especially with some of the odd configurations he's tried.

"I've hooked up a Ricoh fax with a leased-line card through the Doelz fast packet and made it work," he says. "I've hooked up virtually everything you can imagine and made it work with some support from the vendors."

Satellite Trial

The innovation at SUNY still is growing.

SUNY is concluding beta testing of Contel ASC's new EDB 100 one-way data broadcast satellite system.

It will be used to upgrade certain links in SUNY's existing data broadcast network.

Currently SUNY is using the C100 interactive system to gather lightning strike information on their network.

Information comes in from sensors across the U.S.

The EDB 1000 is an updated version of the C100.

While the C100 runs at up to 19.2 kb/s, the EDB version goes to 76.8--four times as fast.

Both units can be statistically multiplexed.

This is yet another way that SUNY is keeping its user community on the leading edge of technology.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Nelson Publishing
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Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes a related article on a student training boost from Northern Telecom'; State University of New York
Author:Harler, Curt
Publication:Communications News
Date:Jun 1, 1990
Previous Article:Six-second verification: McKesson's PCS gets near-instant turnaround.
Next Article:Outsourcing is the lazy way out.

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