News from NGN: Project progress and segment updates

NGN What's New

Work is underway on the University of Minnesota’s Next Generation Network (NGN) upgrade. The NGN project will upgrade all components of the University's network, both wired and WiFi, over the next three years. The new network will increase speed and throughput capacity, improve wireless access, and improve security management. The Next Generation Network will maintain excellent network stability and reliability and implement an advanced security infrastructure. This upgrade will be system-wide, including all campuses and satellite locations across the state. The Next Generation Network project has been thoroughly planned and vetted, by an open Formal Community of Practice (FCoP), the Office of Information Technology, and the University of Minnesota Board of Regents.

Installation testing for the WiFi AP replacements began in April on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities St. Paul campus. The install process proceeded better than expected and field contractors were performing their work efficiently and accurately. WiFi APs were powering up and providing faster than expected services. WiFi AP upgrades were successful in Hodson Hall and the Cargill Building during the week of April 17.

The full St. Paul WiFi AP replacement timeline is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. The full schedule is available on the NGN website. Please note that the schedule is subject to change.

After the St. Paul campus WiFi AP replacements have been completed, the NGN field teams will move to the West Bank, East Bank South, and East Bank North to continue replacing WiFi access points.

Progress is being made in other NGN segments as well.

Core locations are being prepared for physical installations and a GigaPop Core upgrade was completed successfully on April 22. The campus core upgrades are scheduled for July and August.

The NGN team is finalizing integration and functionality details with firewalls and security infrastructure. The security team is working with the core team to implement the security infrastructure alongside the new core. The Data Center migration team is defining the conversion processes, and equipment for the Data Center upgrades is anticipated to begin arriving throughout April and May.

The Distribution/Edge segment of the RFP is on hold, pending deliveries of test equipment from finalists. We anticipate awarding this segment before the September University Board of Regents meeting. The right-sizing of the current network is being implemented.

The network monitoring and orchestration RFP process is slated to begin in January 2018, with implementation planned towards the end of the primary NGN upgrade project.

We thank all of our University partners for their collaboration and assistance. Please contact [email protected] with any questions.