"100 G Backbone Network, 10 Gigabit Network To The Room", F5G All-Optical Campus of Central South University

Huai Jinpeng, the minister of the Ministry of Education, stated that we should promote education informatization as strong support for education modernization, promote the construction of new infrastructure, upgrade and optimize the national public platform for educational resources, and explore the construction and application of online education courses and resources The "Internet+ education" model should be used to better achieve effective and balanced education.

As a national key university directly under the Ministry of Education located in Changsha, Hunan Province, Central South University (CSU) is a pioneer in the development of educational informatization and smart campuses. As an A-Level "Double First Rate" university, it operates six campuses with more than 60,000 teachers and students, 30 secondary colleges, 103 undergraduate majors and dozens of research platforms and centers. In order to meet the increasing demands of teachers and students for information services and build a high-quality and efficient information service system, CSU has continued exploring ways to promote informatization construction.

Based on the work plan of the CSU's Party Committee, the Information and Network Center formulated the Three-year Action Plan for Informatization Construction (2021-2023), and put forward the "Five Ones" project: one network with wired and wireless, one cluster for all applications, one platform with data and services integrated, one stop service mode, and one system with integrated network and security technologies. The informatization construction focuses on infrastructure and data governance, and a number of construction projects have been established based on the "Five Ones" project. At present, some key projects have achieved certain results.

Optical campus network, the key to the digital transformation of CSU

As a large university, CSU is a demanding network user. Providing network support for more than 200 buildings, tens of thousands of teachers and students, massive services and widely distributed IoT devices across six major campuses is a huge challenge. In addition, the network needs to meet the demands of the university for easy O&M and effective management in addition to high performance and flexible scalability.

Therefore, digital transformation requires proactive planning. The university is determined to braze a trial in the digital transformation based on the new generation of the high-performance optical network. After in-depth research on various vendors, CSU chose H3C, a subsidiary of Unigroup, as the core partner for all-optical campus network transformation. We jointly planned and completed the construction of "wired and wireless devices on the one network". The outbound bandwidth of the campus network continued to increase from 10.8 G to 16.8 G. The wireless network construction of each campus has been fully launched. The wired and wireless all-optical network of 13,500 dormitories, 500 public classrooms and 5 libraries will be completed by the next winter vacation, networking the campuses via Wi-Fi 6 and Gigabit wired networks.

On-demand selection of intelligent all-optical campus network for diverse campus services

Digital services vary between different campuses. Therefore, different roles have different requirements for the capabilities of the campus network.

The teaching and research departments believe that ensuring and giving high priority to teaching and research service traffic is essential. Students feel that the campus network should be able to access the Internet as well as offer high-speed internet connections for smooth video playback and online classes. The network O&M team believes that the network should utilize FTTH technology, be straightforward and simple to operate, and be able to manage, control, and visualize all traffic and connections. The logistics department wishes that all types of IoT devices utilized on campus, including all-in-one cards, water and energy cards, entrance cards, and security cameras, should be networked via the campus network. And they all agree that Wi-Fi 6 hotspots should be available across the campus to provide access from anywhere at any time.

To meet the needs of all parties, H3C uses its highly advanced intelligent campus network solution, AD-Campus.

All-optical: a large-scale 10 Gigabit optical network

In order to meet the network demands for multi-campus distributed and massive services, H3C built a high-performance optical communication backbone ring network with 100 Gbps of both interconnection and outbound bandwidth across the six campuses of CSU, offering 10 Gigabit optical network access to each dormitory, classroom and office area. It is the largest 10 Gigabit optical campus network in Chinese universities, networking more than 13,500 rooms.

Compared with traditional network cable transmission, an all-optical network has a higher bearing capacity, lower attenuation, and longer transmission distance of single strand fiber. Besides, many network node devices, such as optical splitters, can operate in the pure physical mode without a power supply and are easier to maintain. In addition, thanks to the ultra-high bearing capacity of the all-optical network and the 10 Gigabit PON switch of H3C, the future network architecture change, node addition and rate change can be easily realized through simple device deployment or software control, greatly reducing the network O&M cost of the university.

Ultra-wideband: wireless first and full coverage of Wi-Fi 6 on campus

In the context of digital transformation, "wireless first" has become an inevitable trend in campus networking. Wi-Fi is indispensable to modern life and work. The rapid increase in the variety of IoT devices has made it necessary for CSU to build a new-generation digital campus network, increasing the demand for more convenient and flexible Wi-Fi access.

H3C provides various Wi-Fi 6 APs in different forms, specifications and applicable scenarios for CSU, realizing the full coverage of wireless network in public spaces, offices, teaching places and dormitories across the campuses. H3C Wi-Fi 6 products use the industry-leading OFDMA technology to increase the concurrent numbers of terminals while providing higher bandwidth, meet the service requirements of high-density scenarios, and provide more stable wireless connections with lower latency. At the same time, with the support of a series of technologies such as H3C iRadio, iStation, iEdge and iHeal, CSU can also implement RF optimization, terminal access management, link optimization, service support, network troubleshooting and AI analytics in Wi-Fi 6 environment in an automated and visual way.

Therefore, the new generation of Wi-Fi 6 campus network of CSU can not only realize the wireless coverage of the full campus scenarios and better meet the network demands of massive mobile devices of teachers and students and the subsequent IoT service expansion, but also provide high-quality wireless access featuring AI-driven optimization and AI analytics, paving the way for the optimization of digital and intelligent campus management and teaching.

Intelligence: intelligent O&M based on software-defined network technology

A higher bandwidth, more flexible networking, and more devices and traffic increase management requirements, work, and costs. The SDN technology of H3C simplifies the network O&M of CSU.

By deploying various agile H3C switches that support the SDN technology, CSU can have a panoramic view of the connection status inside and outside the campus network in the control center of network management. The network operation status, which was previously unknown, such as the overall network health, the number of devices accessing the network, services consuming bandwidth, as well as potential risks and ongoing operations, are now visible. The O&M team can generate and automatically deliver switch configuration files for various scenarios at ease according to management requirements. Network policies can be changed according to demands. This also greatly motivate the network O&M team of CSU.

In addition, using the embedded big data and AI platform of the AD-Campus solution, CSU can automatically predict and warn network bottlenecks, fault causes, and potential security risks. By doing so, network troubleshooting that used to take hours or even days can now be completed in minutes or hours.

With the comprehensive infrastructure innovation covering transmission, access and management, thanks to the new smart campus construction layout, CSU can easily address future changes with a stronger digital core. The AD-Campus solution also helps CSU maintain its outstanding position in the field of digital innovation in universities, allowing the university to explore new integration of digital education and digitalization based on a more advanced and solid infrastructure.

Century-old campus with innovative science and technology

CSU was established more than a century ago by merging the former Hunan Medical University (HMU), the former Changsha Railway University (CRU) and the former Central South University of Technology (CSUT). After experiencing numerous changes, CSU, with its new appearance, integrates and continues the traditions of the three universities. It has made continuous achievements and innovations in teaching and academic fields, becoming a model of the integration of knowledge and practice and utilization of practice.

The campus network built by H3C for CSU not only provides network services for all teachers and students, but also serves as one cloud for resources and services and a full-stack intelligent and full-coverage cloud platform based on the multi-service integration with the goal of standardized process service by cooperating with the cloud service IT platform designed by H3C for CSU. It further expands the scope of campus services and introduces new cloud services, to support the multi-campus teaching, research, management, social and campus services. Networked by this advanced network integrating all-optical, SDN, wired network and Wi-Fi 6, CSU and its teachers and students will usher in a new digital future.