News from NGN: Project Update for December 2018

What's new with NGN graphic

Next Generation Network (NGN) project teams are continuing to make progress across all five University of Minnesota campuses.

Wired Network (Distribution/Edge)

Wired network upgrades have been progressing on the Twin Cities St. Paul campus throughout September, October, and November. Field teams have refined and expedited their processes, and have been moving quickly yet thoroughly through the schedule, upgrading between two and eight buildings each day.

Additionally, upgrades on the Saint Paul campus have shown to have a much smaller impact on users than anticipated. Most conversions are not causing more than a minute or two of disruption for users in a building where work is being conducted.

There have been more than 8,000 ports cut in Saint Paul, over 900 WiFi APs, and the total incidents reported to Technology Help is approximately 30. Most of the reported issues have been a result of a slow-speed device or bad wiring and have been or are being addressed.

Both the lower-than-expected user impact and faster-than-expected cutovers have attributed to the overall successful progress of this NGN segment.

The NGN teams will be continuing to upgrade buildings in St. Paul throughout December and will be advancing to the West Bank in early 2019. The schedule will be updated as dates are set, but is subject to change. If you have any questions about the schedule, please contact [email protected].

Data Center & Firewalls

The next phase of the Next Generation Network (NGN) project is scheduled for December 22, 2018. At this time, new firewalls will be placed in the path of traffic coming and going from the Data Center. Learn more.

Firewall customer conversions

247 converted core firewalls have been completely cutover and are now live on the new NGN equipment. Any remaining firewalls should be completed this week.

With the help of the Academic Health Center, 70 firewalls were consolidated into a single one, which considerably sped up the cutover process and eased administration.

The NGN team held 9 training sessions over the course of the summer and fall, where 80 firewall administrators learned about the new firewall management and administration tools, Fortimanager and FortiAnalyzer.

70 Data Center customer firewalls have been converted and staged on the new equipment. NGN teams will be starting to coordinate cutovers within the next several weeks.


The NGN team will be upgrading cores router software for all campuses on January 5, 2019. This upgrade is expected to have very minimal impact for users because of the designed redundancy of the network.

Crookston, Duluth, Morris & Rochester Updates

Network progress continues on the system campuses as well. Core cutovers for Rochester and Morris are being planned and are targeted for spring 2019.

At the University of Minnesota Duluth, firewall upgrades are being planned and distribution/edge work is being coordinated in advance of the wired network upgrade.

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