HIPAs high-capacity switched network
To extend connectivity across its large campus, the Himachal
Pradesh Institute of Public Administration deployed an optic fibre backbone
with layer 3 switching for better performance
Part of the HIPA campus at Shimla
The Himachal Pradesh Institute of Public Administration (HIPA)
wanted to connect all the buildings in its campus with a reliable, secure, high-speed,
always-on LAN so that teachers and students got network access.
It deployed a network backbone based on optic 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
Says Neeraj Goel, Principal System Analyst at HIPA, We wanted to build
an IT infrastructure that could cover the campus 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 or 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
The network was planned and designed taking into account numerous factors. We
considered various aspects. Any person would have to be able to access the network
from anywhere on the campus, and there would have to be adequate scope for increasing
capacity and flexibility in future, recalls Goel.
The backbone was mostly optic fibre with Cat 5 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 only a little more time to complete
than planned, notes Goel.
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,
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 adequately, 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.