HIPAs high-capacity switched network
The Himachal Pradesh Institute of Public Administration wanted
to extend connectivity across its large campus, so it deployed an optic fibre
backbone and used layer 3 switching for better performance. by Soutiman Das
Himachal Pradesh Institute of Public Administration (HIPA) wanted to connect
all the buildings in its 42 bigha campus with a reliable, secure, high-speed,
always-on LAN so that teachers and students had network access.
It deployed a network backbone based on optical fibre and
copper, and used managed layer 3 and layer 2 switches to build a LAN that caters
to the current information access and sharing needs of the institute, with room
for future expansion.
NETWORKING THE CAMPUS
HIPA felt the need to offer its students and members of the faculty easy access
to its resources and the Internet for training and research.
According to Neeraj Goel, Principal System Analyst at HIPA, We wanted
to build an IT infrastructure that could cover the campus distance, and
provide information access at every residence, hostel and conference room.
The institute decided to build a campus LAN to provide the much-needed connectivity.
THE DESIGN CHALLENGE
The campus comprises terraces, three office blocks, six classrooms, two conference
halls, two guesthouses with about 100 rooms, two cottages, and seven residential
blocks that have about 48 flats.
There are 12 faculty members and up to 210 resident/non-resident officers on
training in any given week. In addition, there are 78 staff members and approximately
46 families on campus.
The challenge was to design an infrastructure that encompassed the vast
geographical spread, and allowed access to all areas in the campus, says
PLANS ARE MADE
HIPA selected D-Link as its
solutions provider based on the promised
levels of reliability and local support
The network was planned and designed taking into account numerous
factors. We considered various aspectsany person would have to be
able to access the network from anywhere on the campus, network access would
have to be available in residences, and there would have to be adequate scope
for increasing capacity and flexibility in future, explains Goel.
The backbone was mostly optical fibre with Cat5 copper in
places; it was built on a combination of star-and-ring topology with support
for redundancy. The major buildings were interconnected with fibre; copper was
used in other areas. The layout was planned keeping in mind the hilly landscape
of the location.
HIPA began evaluating various solutions in December 2004 and finished the deployment
process by January 2005. It selected D-Link as its solutions provider based
on the promised levels of reliability and local support.
The infrastructure has been built around a layer 3 managed standalone switch
that has six 1000 Base-SX SC multi-mode ports and two GBIC ports. A 1-port GBIC
1000 Base-T copper transceiver is used with the switch to provide fibre-to-copper
Eight 24-port 10/100 Mbps layer 2 managed stackable switches
are used as departmental edge switches. The switches and structured cabling
components are from D-Link.
The institute also used servers from Compaq and PCs from
Dell on the NT and Windows 2000 platforms.
Bad weather conditions in Shimla delayed work, which was the only issue
faced during the deployment. The project took a little more time to complete
than that planned, comments Goel.
|<In a nutshell>
HIPA was set up in 1974
at Fairlawns, about 12 kilometres from Shimla, by the Himachal Pradesh
Government. It was established to provide training to elite officers of
the public administration in areas of human resources, public administration,
IT, rural development, disaster management and accounts services. The
institute strives to be in the forefront of innovation and adoption of
The solution provides several benefits to HIPA.
It offers easy, reliable and convenient access of the institutes
resources to people including officers undergoing training, faculty members,
and administration personnel, affirms Goel. High-speed Internet access
is available to all clients, staff and guests of the institute from all areas.
It also prepares government officers and various officials
for the technology-savvy world outside the institute where they will take on
their responsibilities, Goel adds.
The network infrastructure can be centrally monitored as it uses managed switches.
Goel states that he doesnt need extra manpower to manage the infrastructure.
The current solution meets the requirements of the institute well, and HIPA
feels that future needs will also be met easily. Concludes Goel, In future,
we will upgrade our technology if our infrastructure needs any technology advancements.
Soutiman Das Gupta can be reached at