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Infrastructure service networks

The CUDN provides connectivity to a wide variety of devices beyond traditional desktop computers and servers, usually supporting infrastructure such as building management sensors and controllers, room monitoring systems, telephones and wireless access points.

This page lists the various infrastructure service networks in use and the requirements for institutions to support them. Often the specific details for each network are given elsewhere and linked to.

Contents

Background

Data networks have evolved to become the universal way to interconnect a number of different devices beyond desktop computers and servers.

These devices often have special networking requirements, usually involving some degree of isolation from the rest of the devices on the network (including desktop computers and the internet in general).  Also, as the devices are often managed by a third party, other than the institution in which they are located (such as Estate Management or the Telecoms Office), they are best separated onto different networks.

On the CUDN, this separation is done by placing such devices onto different VLANs, with their own IP addresses and access controls.  This allows the network to be fed through the same physical infrastructure as other equipment, but be isolated from them.

Procedure for setting up a new site

The request to set up the network at a particular site will usually come from the service owner (e.g. Estate Management).

Where the institution has a PoP switch, the UIS will then set up the new VLAN with the required address range and routing, DHCP services and access controls and feed it to the PoP.  The UIS will then contact the institutional IT staff to advise them of the VLAN ID and ask how they wish for it to be presented on the PoP (which port(s), tagged or untagged, etc.).

Where an institution has a more complex arrangement (such as a BGP connection with no PoP switch), the UIS will contact the institution to enquire as to how they would like it to be set up.

As requests to set up the network must come from the service owner, it is simplest to leave the request to them, rather than for institutions to contact the UIS directly about their individual sites.

Requirements of institutional networks

Institutional networks will usually be required to carry additional VLANs across their networks, from their CUDN PoP to the devices.

Some services may require special treatment, in terms of Quality of Service (QoS) or security.  These will be described on the individual service pages, below.

Institutions with their own firewalls or routers may prefer to route the special networks on their own routers.  In this situation, they will need to set up and maintain the configuration of the VLAN according to the supplying party's wishes.

List of current service networks in use

Below are the lists of special networks currently in use, with links to the pages describing the special configurations required for each one.

ServiceUserPurpose / nature of devices
Building management Estate Management The Building Management System (BMS) is used to monitor and control heating, cooling and other building plant functions.  It connects building sensors and controllers with central infrastructure.
Car park barriers Estate Management Some University car parks have network-connected barrier control and intercom systems.
Managed Cluster Service (MCS) UIS Desktop Services The Managed Cluster Service provides computers for staff and student usage with a range of desktop applications.
Mobile telephones UIS Telecoms The Telecoms Office can supply "boost boxes" to improve mobile coverage in poor signal areas with backhaul over the CUDN and the internet.
Room monitoring Estate Management This system monitors the occupancy of shared spaces in University buildings, using the network to upload summary reports to central infrastructure. 
Security/CCTV Estate Management (Security) The University Security Office CCTV system makes use of the network for transporting video, audio and control data.
Video UIS Telecoms Video conferencing systems provided as part of the the University Telephone Network (UTN).
Voice UIS Telecoms The University Telephone Network (UTN) is a Voice-over-IP (VoIP) system, which carries voice calls across the data network rather than dedicated telephone lines.  Telephone handsets, FAX adapters and analogue gateways in institutions are interconnected and back to the central infrastructure.
Wireless access points UIS Networks (Wireless) The University Wireless Service uses the service network to provide the wired backhaul for WiFi access points.

Some of the above pages may be restricted to members of the University for security reasons.

Note: this page is currently (as of April 2016) in development.  Some of the above pages may not yet exist.

New services

Where a service network is limited to an individual institution or site, it is usually simplest for that institution to handle it locally, using a local VLAN ID from the CUDN VLAN numbering scheme.

However, if new services are to be deployed across the CUDN and might require separation onto a special service network, institutions are encouraged to contact the UIS to discuss their requirements  It is best to do this prior to the deployment of any systems (except, perhaps, a very limited proof of concept trial) as it can be difficult to retrospectively configure equipment.

Last modified: 22 April 2016

Contact

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