Data Integration builds network for Lifelong Learning at the University of Reading

25 Apr 2005

Having experienced significantly increased demands on the network from staff and students over the last three years, the University of Reading chose Extreme Networks, Inc., (Nasdaq: EXTR) and channel partner, Data Integration, for the complete refresh and development of its IT infrastructure. Three projects have been put in place to replace the existing infrastructure and improve access to what is now a resilient, highly available network in order to support the growth of the University.

The initial project saw the replacement of the core and distribution layer of the network with Extreme Networks®’ BlackDiamond®, Alpine and Summit® 200 switches, creating a highly resilient, high performance network core. readingConnect, the second project, extended the campus network into the halls of residence, providing 100 Mb connections into 5,000 rooms which formerly relied on slow dial-up access.

With Extreme Networks’ BlackDiamond® 6808 core switches driving the Halls of Residence network, the readingConnect project is able to deliver fast services to the University’s students, allowing them to work more flexibly without compromising the security of campus resources. The current e-Infrastructure Project, scheduled to complete in Spring 2006, aims to deliver high-performance, highly reliable, QoS access to the desktop throughout the University.

“The Extreme Networks equipment has enabled us to link together all the departmental networks within the University that previously were using their own equipment. Standardising the network has made supporting it consistent and manageable, and we have 9,000 Extreme Networks ports currently spread across the network with the aim of growing this to 14,000,” said Mike Roch, Director of IT Services at the University of Reading.

For the University of Reading, total cost of network ownership is of paramount importance and it needed a network solution that delivered performance, without complex management and administration. With its solution based on a single hardware, software and management architecture and managed by its EPICenter suite, Extreme Networks has provided a network that can be easily configured and managed from a central location.

In addition, the University also sought to protect its corporate systems, such as payroll and financial applications, from access by unauthorised users. “With Extreme Networks’ Layer 3 switching capabilities, we can take advantage of wire-speed access control lists without degrading network performance, and we get the benefit of unparalleled security,” continues Mike Roch. “We can stop unauthorised network access in its tracks using firewalls, VPNs and access control lists for off-campus users.”

“More and more of our customers place the network at the core of all that they do. This reliance on the network demands a new class of flexible, scalable and always-on enterprise networking technology. It is a great testament to our technology that the University of Reading has trusted Extreme Networks to support its vision of the learning environment of the future,” said Nick Roullier, UK Country Manager at Extreme Networks.

About the University of Reading

The University of Reading is one of the top 20 most research-intensive universities in the UK, a major contributor to the knowledge economy, and internationally recognised for the excellence of its teaching on a broad range Arts, Humanities and Sciences programmes. The University offers taught degree programmes in more than 60 subjects, and in excess of 250 part-time adult education (public) courses.

In the 2001 RAE, fifteen departments were awarded an RAE rating of 5, and five departments were designated 5*, emphatically demonstrating the University’s international research strength and leadership in areas such as Environmental Science, Psychology, English, Archaeology, Modern Languages, Agriculture, Plant Sciences, Food Science, Business, Town Planning, the Built Environment, Law, Applied Mathematics and Electrical Engineering. Nearly 60% of academic staff are in departments rated 5 and above, and this research excellence provides a firm foundation for taught degree programmes.

The University of Reading’s educational heritage dates back to the end of the 19th century and it received its Royal Charter in 1926, the only university to do so between the two world wars. It is based on 3 campuses, all within 10 minutes of Reading town centre – the beautiful 320 acre Whiteknights parkland campus, and the campuses at Bulmershe Court and London Road. With a student population of more than 15,000, and a staff of 4,000, the University makes a significant contribution to the town.

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Extreme Networks, Inc.

Extreme Networks is a leader in open converged networks. Its innovative network architecture provides enterprises and metro service providers with the resiliency, adaptability and simplicity required for a true converged network that supports voice, video and data, over a wired and wireless infrastructure, while delivering high-performance and advanced security features. For more information, please visit

In the UK, Extreme Networks clients include: Trader Media (Auto Trader magazine;, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Land Securities, Warwick University, Sanger Institute and London Borough of Richmond.

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