Comms upgrade to boost Exeter ranking

The University of Exeter is about to embark on a major network upgrade it hopes will be a key building block in its strategic goal to move from 13th in the UK higher education (HE) rankings into the top ten.

The upgrade involves the deployment of a new 10,000-port network that will incorporate the latest wireless and mobile access, security and unified communications capabilities.

It revealed the project is announcing it had signed a multi-million pound contract with specialist IT services company, Data Integration to coordinate the upgrade work.

The upgrade will comprise Juniper Networks' EX Series switches, integrated Nortel and Microsoft unified communications and a campus-wide wireless network based on Aruba's 802.11n access points.

As well as introducing campus-wide secure, wireless access, the upgrade will deliver faster, more reliable network access and enable improved e-learning capabilities.

The university also plans to use it new communication resources to facilitate hot-desking and home working, as well as support the university's research and science strategy going forward.

Roger Snelling, Exeter University's head of networks said: "Understanding how the supplier would work with us to help us become a top 10 HE institution and how the proposed solution would help the university reduce its carbon footprint were key criteria in our evaluation."

He added that the systems integrator also offered best value for money. "Data Integration not only understood our requirements but translated them into a more superior technical solution whilst still making use of our existing investments," he said.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.