Newer Switches Faster

Dec. 13, 2019
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UITS tech connecting cables to new switches

Up-to-date technology.

Custom automation.

Ahead of schedule.

These are the kinds of phrases that sound pie-in-the-sky for a public institution. But the UITS Network and Field Technicians & Warehouse teams recently delivered all this and more in their campus-wide data switch replacement project.

Switches are the small piece of hardware that transfers data from device to device on a network—in this case, from individual ports to the larger campus network system. The new, state-of-the-art equipment packs in more operational information and security capabilities with less power consumption.

Overall, UITS techs replaced 125 outdated switches located in 97 telecomm closets across 44 buildings.

And they finished three and a half weeks early. The project was scheduled to end before Christmas was completed just before Thanksgiving.

UITS coordinated with departments to minimize downtime while working on their buildings.

With so many switches to work on, UITS network engineers wrote custom automation. This programmatically generated the files they used to test and configure the switches.

The warehouse distributed the switches to field technicians, who went to work across the university—including as far away as Phoenix and Yuma. They replaced large chassis switches with multiple smaller switches with a horizontal “pizza box” form.

University faculty, staff, and students now have faster, more reliable network connections, thanks to:

  • Network: Joel McGuire, Aaron Finocchiaro, Dustin Mouton, Ryan Lopez, Shannon Byrnes, Chris Gery, Andy Monteverde, Tatiana Stoutmeyer, Jeffery Northcutt, Andrew Northcutt
  • Field Technicians & Warehouse: Karen Egertson, Gene Timmons, Dominic Michalsky, Fermin Garcia, Freddy Perez, Guillermo Robinson, Ian Casanova, Jorge Romero, Marcel Bechamp Jr., Michael Urquidez, Jose Bustamante, Sergio Madrid

NetOps Video 2019 from UofA UITS Communications and Mar on Vimeo.