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SIUC’s Network

Friday, December 5, 2008 ·

I currently attend Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and I am taking Digital Circuit Design with Dr. Weng who also teaches Network Processing Systems Design. Today in class he invited all his students to go a tour of SIUC’s computer network with his Network Processing Systems class. Of course I took up his often because it is not every day a regular student can walk into the core networking room and server mainframe of a large University. Basically, the network is system up on a three layer infrastructure (Core Layer, Distribution Layer, Access Layer). At the Access Layer (which is the layer that provides network access to client computers) the University uses Cisco Catalyst 2950 switches. Those switches are connected via cross-over cable to the Distribution Switch which is a Cisco Catalyst 3524. In turn, the Distribution switch connects via fiber wire to the Core Switch which is a Cisco Catalyst 6509. The entire can network runs at 1 Gigabyte; however, the internet bandwidth is capped at 300 Mb! Furthermore, only 90 Mb of bandwidth is dedicated to the Residence Halls!! All the Core Switches goto the student center where the internet point of entry is located. Also, internet traffic is filtered through a SourceFire firewall. Some more interesting networking facts: SIUC has 9 Wireless AP (I believe) which are managed by a Cisco Wireless LAN Controller, for access control they use Cisco 1111, for VPN they use Cisco VPN Concentrator 3000, and for their servers they use Sun System SunFire. A interesting security fact is that they only use SSH to configure switches remotely because the web interface has security issues. Lastly, you probably noticed that most of their networking devices are Cisco this is for compatibility reasons, they had problems in the past for using multiple vendors. Well thats about it, hope you enjoyed hearing about SIUC’s Network.

Typical Network Layout of a SIUC Building:

My Dorm’s Network Layout:


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