Improving the network to bring faster, more secure Internet connections to uOttawa

Posted on Monday, June 3, 2019

Investments in technology are important to students, professors, researchers and staff members alike, but the adoption of new technology requires network upgrades to ensure the best digital teaching, learning and user experience. A fast, reliable and secure Internet connection is paramount. Moreover, upgrading the campus’s network infrastructure also improves security, which is a priority.

Since early May, IT has been improving the network at the University of Ottawa by replacing the 600-plus network switches on campus that allow communication between various devices on a single network. Users can now expect better Internet broadband speed, and the Wi-Fi network will also see a boost in speed.

The right IT resources can be vital to research. Professor Lora Ramunno, who works in the Department of Physics and leads the computational nanophotonics lab at uOttawa, explained: “For our research, we run simulations on remote computer clusters at SOSCIP and Compute Canada. We absolutely need a reliable network to run and control our simulations and to transfer large amounts of data in a reasonable amount of time. Although we often use the wired network for this, a reliable Wi-Fi ensures that we can access our simulations and data anywhere on campus in real time, such as during research meetings or when we are working away from our desks.”

Prof. Lora Ramunno working in front of a computer screen

Prof. Lora Ramunno discussing the results of a computational electrodynamics simulation.

Mr. Jarno van der Kolk is uOttawa’s Senior Scientific Computing Specialist; in this role, he assists many researchers across all faculties with their high-performance computing needs. He emphasizes that dependable and constant access to the network is crucial. “A reliable network is essential since no connection means no work can be done. Furthermore, the output from simulations can grow quite large, so a fast connection ensures we can transfer data back and forth.”

These campus network upgrade and maintenance activities will take place in late evening or on weekends to reduce the impact on researchers, staff and students. The network equipment in several buildings on campus, including the Social Sciences building (FSS) and Vanier Hall (VNR), has already been upgraded.

The project will take a year to be completed, so check our website for the maintenance activity schedule and updates.

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