Ohio Christian University now boasts a mighty network thanks to recent upgrades and optimization by John Bocook; Assistant Vice President of Information Technology and Jared Bader, Director of Network Operations. With over 3,600 students – 80% of which are remote – a stable network connection is crucial for students and professors.
"There have been issues in the past where we have had to shut down our internet connection, which, in turn, shuts down our user authentication," Bocook said. "Our remote students couldn't login in to the learning management system. Because of this new redundancy that we put into place; we simply switch everything over."
The redundant connections are actually fiber service from two different providers, Frontier and Spectrum. These connections are then linked to the OARnet network is, which is a dedicated, statewide, fiber-optic network that serves Ohio K-12, universities and other organizations.
“We use Frontier & Spectrum to connect to the OARnet network. OARNet handles all traffic routing from there,” Bocook said. “Utilizing the OARnet fiber backbone allows us to replicate our entire infrastructure and data systems in real time to Metro Data, our co-located data center.”
The two providers are configured so both connections act as one and in the event there’s an outage, all traffic moves over to the provider that’s up.
“Without OARnet handling the public routing, we are limited to having to segment parts of the campus out of one connection or the other – which isn’t a feasible solution. Connecting to OARnet’s fiber backbone opens up new possibilities usually out of reach for an organization our size.”
This fiber backbone provides more than just redundancy, it has also significantly improved network speeds. Ohio Christian upgraded from a 250mb single provider feed connection to two load-balanced 400mb connections with redundant firewalls and core switches. Previously, nearly half of all bandwidth went toward media streaming services. Thanks to OARnet’s new content subscription service, Ohio Christian now has a dedicated 200mb connection assigned specifically for Netflix and other video streaming services. This allows business traffic to be uninterrupted by the heavy bandwidth demands of content streaming.
"This is something that I haven't seen many other schools do, regardless of size," Bocook said. "It's important for us to provide the best service we can to our students. Staff and faculty get the benefit of this too, so, we're all really excited."
Articles of Interest
Atlanta Site Honored by the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce
Published: July 16, 2019
Remembering D-Day 75 Years Later
Published: June 6, 2019
Published: May 22, 2019
Remembering Sarah Dorsey
Published: May 10, 2019
Archived Articles of Interest
OCU Breaks Ground on the Southern Gateway Economic Innovation Development Center
Published: August 19, 2015
OCU Looks to Future
Published: February 10, 2015
OCU Doubles Internet Connection
Published: March 31, 2014
New Career Services Website for OCU
Published: January 9, 2014
OCU Wins Federal EDA Grant to Develop Small Business Incubator
Published: October 1, 2013