Army War College has deployed networking solutions to
deliver training applications with real-life war environment,
in preparation for future warfare. by Minu Sirsalewala
Army War College (AWC) at Mhow, Madhya Pradesh, is one
of India's leading training institutes for officers
of the Indian army. It prepares one to handle the strategic
and tactical tools of warfare. The Army War College
has deployed networking solutions like LRE (Long Range
Ethernet) to enable training applications through the
use of technology aids like smart cards, video conferencing,
e-books, interactive whiteboards, video projection systems
etc. The college wants to provide its students with
real-life war environments of the future through real-time
Army War College at Mhow, Madhya Pradesh is one
of the premier training institutes of the Indian
Army. It prepares officers of the army on the
strategic and tactical tools of warfare.
The college wanted to provide the best training
applications to their students to prepare them
for future wars and war exercises. For this it
needed to exploit the latest networking technologies.
Cisco's LRE broadband solution extends the reach
for traditional Ethernet from 100 meters over
normal (copper) lines to up to 1500 meters.
The network provides converged voice and data
to a distributed population on the campus. The
campus has WAN connectivity with services like
e-books, OLAP, LDAP based smart card systems,
server farm, IP-based video conferencing, learning
labs and host of other programs.
War College, Mhow - LRE Connectivity
on image for larger view
War College, Mhow - Main Bldg.
on image for larger view
two years back AWC-Mhow realized the need to enhance
and optimize training utilizing the potential of IT
and related tools. "The very first step to address
this need was to network our campus," says Col
S.P. Kochhar VSM (Sigs and IT), Army War College, Mhow.
AWC-Mhow has introduced a number of new technologies
and innovative applications on its campus in the past
one year. It undertook a communications infrastructure
upgradation exercise aimed at making the campus one
of the most advanced ones in India.
AWC had considered xDSL solutions from various vendors
before finalizing on Cisco. The college now has a gigabit
fiber optic network with a Cisco Catalyst 6500 layer
3-core switch and Cisco Catalyst 3500 layer 2 edge switches.
These are coupled with Cisco's network management solution
and LRE solution, and VSAT-based Internet and leased
lines for wide area connectivity.
The college has a thin client stand-alone network to
provide classified material to authorized personnel
in controlled and secure environments. The college campus
has implemented a converged voice, video and data solution
to provide Internet access and training applications
to over 300 users at the college offices, instructional
area and residential quarters within the campus.
Connecting the campus
Maheshwari Computers carried out the implementation
at the campus that was spread over a period of five
months with back-end support provided by Tata Infotech
the design involved some first time concepts/installations,
implementing the solution did throw up several challenges.
This being the first time, there was no precedent to
fall back on. The widespread physical layout of the
campus too proved to be a daunting task for the implementation
process. However, we did our research and came out with
designs that have now proved successful," explained
One reason for selecting LRE was the simplicity of the
CPE (customer premise equipment) coupled with the bandwidth
delivered, and manageability features.
avoided solutions that have a high overhead in terms
of common equipment and/or management/administration.
Except for some hardware failures no major problems
have been faced since acceptance of the installed system,"
said Col Kochhar.
Applications and services on the network
There is a layer 3 end-to-end fully managed network.
The network provides converged voice and data to a distributed
population in the campus, which consists of buildings
that are widely separated and outside Ethernet range.
The network also provides WAN connectivity, Web services,
e-books, OLAP, LDAP based smart card systems, server
farm, Net purchases, IP-based video conferencing, learning
labs and a host of office automation programs.
The college can now provide adequate bandwidth and converged
services to students and instructors on a 24x7 basis.
This has helped to make the training more realistic
Future war fields have been effectively created to
prepare students for real-life future encounters.
Smarter training aids like docking stations, interactive
white boards, and video projection systems for every
Internet access at speeds of up to 15 Mbps for AWC's
staff and residents by means of a LAN connecting labs
to a VSAT-based line.
Enterprise-wide smart card systems aimed at providing
graded access and other multifarious services to authorized
personnel like analysis data and reports.
The network has helped spread the culture of automation
and use of facilities like multi-point videoconferencing
and e-books which has enhanced the quality of research.
Optimal multi-tier security solutions (including biometrics
and digital identities).
campus is justifiably proud of using the latest and
relevant peripherals that aid in training. AWC had decided
on a time bound plan to introduce IT on the campus not
only to aid in training, but also to provide decision
support systems akin to those that will be existing
in the future environment. The benefits are already
visible and the college intends to continue to
grow its IT infrastructure," said Col Kochhar.
Efforts are being made to exploit the facilities provided
and the projects continue in consonance with the vision.
"There are major plans for expansion. Plans include
extending the converged network to all student residencies;
converting large volumes into e-format; installing surveillance
networks; introducing knowledge based expert systems;
introducing IPV6, and more," expressed an elated
The college has also appointed an on-site engineer to
manage all key projects coupled with centralized end-to-end
management, Intrusion Detection System (IDS), proxies
Minu Sirsalewala can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org