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KACST rolls out high performance network

Brocade provides switches and load balancing for campus-wide network at KACST

The network connects the whole of the KACST campus.
The network connects the whole of the KACST campus.

King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) has completed the roll out of a new campus-wide network based on Brocade enterprise class switches and application delivery solutions.

The network, which links 16 buildings including the data centre, on the University's campus in Riyadh, provides a high-performance, future proof network, with load balancing capabilities, for bandwidth intensive research applications.

The network was deployed by Brocade partner Nesma Advanced Technology, and includes a Brocade FCX Series switch at the edge connected to a Brocade FastIron SX Series switch with 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) in each building, connected to Brocade BigIron RX Series core switches in the data centre. KACST also deployed Brocade VDX 6720 Switches to provide reliability and performance.

The Brocade FastIron SX switches support Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology, which reduced the cost of cabling, and simplified the integration of IP security cameras and finger print attendance systems.

A wireless network has also been deployed to handle load from mobile devices.

Eng Hasan Alhowimel, assistant of IT Directory and Network Engineer at KACST said: "Factors such as an increasing number of employees, and deployment of bandwidth-intensive applications like Oracle ERP, wireless applications as well as external services, led to tremendous strain on the underlying infrastructure. We had plans to go wireless to increase user productivity, but were being held back by the limitations of a network that could not deliver the kind of performance we required. The need for a more stable, high-performance network was becoming increasingly obvious to us, and we knew that the success of a number of our future initiatives would depend on a strong and reliable foundation."

"The cost of the Brocade solution was exactly half that of the equivalent competitive offering, but delivers so much more in terms of performance," he added.