The University of Hong Kong (HKU) is the territory's oldest university with a history that stretches back nearly a century. HKU is a dynamic university offering ten faculties and numerous research centres. Its reputation as a centre of intellectual excellence is recognized around the world.
HKU Computer Centre is the University's main IT services provider. It runs high-performance computer servers to support computational-intensive research activities. General and technical software packages needed for advanced research are installed for use by staff and students. A sophisticated Intranet links up the campus, including public areas and residential halls.
The Computer Centre expects to encounter significant growth in network bandwidth demands over the next several years due to the increasing number of residents and users in the school’s hostel system, as well as the upcoming 3+3+4 curriculum. A more powerful network, which is driving network expansion requirements such as replacing aging equipment and deploying an infrastructure for migration to VoIP and IPv6 development is therefore expected to facilitate the teaching, learning, research and administration, and enable anytime, anywhere access and exchange of information through excellent campus network to provide the best quality IT service.
Upon formal tendering, HKU Computer Centre selected H3C to support its program to renew legacy systems to improve performance, security and to prepare the network for expansion and growth. H3C’s demonstrated professionalism and good understanding of HKU Computer Centre’s expectations and requirements were strong factors in the selection process.
H3C has offered a comprehensive edge to core network solution. The upgraded network solution includes Intelligent S3000 and S3900/H3C S3600 Power-Over-Ethernet (PoE) and non-PoE switches at the edge, while a S8500/H3C S9500 series10G multi-service core routing switch and S6500/H3C S7500 high-end multi-service switch were installed at the core. This network upgrade would both address the network scalability and laying a foundation for future deployment of a wireless LAN, VoIP and new multimedia teaching and research services along with a clear migration path to IPv6. H3C’s scalable solution is capable of handling more than 4,000 users.
To meet HKU Computer Centre’s needs, H3C designed a comprehensive infrastructure for its hostel network, beginning with connecting a new hostel building, that will both address immediate bandwidth and performance issues and offer a clear upgrade plan for future-proofing their network investment.
HKU Computer Centre network administrators and H3C technicians worked closely to design and deploy the new network infrastructure based on H3C’s edge to core network solution. HKU Computer Centre can now take advantage of a comprehensive roadmap for network product upgrades and IPv6 integration. H3C also provided complete professional consulting and technical services during and after the implementation process. In addition, H3C had to provide strong cross-competitive technical support and interoperability as HKU Computer Centre’s core systems were still running on older competitor hardware.
HKU Computer Centre needed a faster, more secure and future-proof network to meet the bandwidth needs of their rapidly growing student resident population and to lay the foundation for future network upgrades. H3C designed a switched network solution providing an interoperable network with a flexible future upgrade path. Additionally, the traffic control, overall speed and accessibility of network services have been improved offering a more reliable, scalable, cost-effective and manageable network.
Key new security features help HKU Computer Centre’s IT administrators provide STP protection, prevent illegal DHCP server access and provide broadcast suppression of network access points. With the deployment of PoE switches in each hostel, it also paves the way for the implementation of full coverage for a wireless LAN service on the hostel network.
“Huawei-3Com’s edge to core network solution has provided HKU with the high performance, availability and flexibility for network expansion that we required. The cost savings have been immediate in terms of lower manpower costs for network management,” said Dr P. T. Ho, Deputy Director, University of Hong Kong Computer Centre. “We anticipate continued benefits from the system as we are in an excellent infrastructure position to support future deployments like 10G and IPv6 etc.”