OUHSC Information Technology Department

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Networking Standards

 1 Overview
This document presents networking standards for the OUHSC campus. These standards have been developed by Information Technology Infrastructure Services in cooperation with many colleges and departments at the Health Sciences Center.

Campus-wide standards can assure the best and most effective use of existing technology while developing strategies for long-term growth and continually phasing in newer technology as it becomes most cost effective.

1.1 LAN Standard Goals
These standards were developed to provide a road map for departments to purchase Local Area Networking (LAN) equipment. These standards have the following goals:
  • Provide a common foundation for meeting business and technology needs.
  • Ensure technical system interoperability throughout the campus.
  • Define requirements and technical specifications.
  • Provide a technical resource for procuring and implementing LAN hardware.
  • Simplify the technical decisions required to implement LAN technology.
  • Allow for standardized technology implementations though out the campus
  • Minimize total cost of ownership

1.2 Scope
This document specifies standards and design criteria for network devices and LAN protocols that connect to the OUHSC campus backbone network.

Other documents should be referred to for desktop hardware and software standards.

2 Definitions

2.1 Departmental LANs
Departmental LANs consist of cabling, workstations, and servers connected to each other by a switch, wireless access point, or router and usually confined to an office suite or single building.

2.2 Campus Backbone Network
The campus backbone network consists of fiber-optic cable, routers, and switches that interconnect building LANs to each other and to the Internet.

2.3 Wide Area Network (WAN)
Wide Area Networks connect geographically distant networks together. The HSC Oklahoma City campus maintains a WAN connection to the Tulsa HSC campus and various clinics within the state of Oklahoma.

2.4 Hubs
Due to network overhead caused by repeater devices, hubs will no longer be permitted on the OUHSC IP space.  OUHSC owns the entire Class B network of 157.142.X.X.

2.5 Switches
A switch is a high performance multi-port bridge that transfers packets between its different ports based on the destination address. Packet transfers may simultaneously occur on different ports, which increases aggregate throughput on the network. A switch divides the LAN into multiple collision domains, increasing available bandwidth to the users on each segment and extending the network diameter. Switches may also provide a combination of 10, 100 and 1000 Mbps Ethernet speeds, allowing for flexible migration strategies and backwards compatibility. Switches can also provide Quality of Service features that provide mission critical applications with priority bandwidth and minimum delays.

2.6 Quality of Service
Quality of Service (QoS) is the ability of a network to provide better service to selected network traffic. The goal of QoS is to provide better and more predictable network service. QoS prioritizes traffic to ensure that mission-critical applications get the service they require, while simultaneously servicing other applications.

3 History
In the past standards were established for centralized computing systems within IT but not for distributed systems at colleges, departments, and agencies on the Health Center Campus.

Departmental LANs were designed to meet the immediate needs and mandates of each individual department. They were typically small in size and delivered low bandwidth applications and data to the local user. Most of the applications and data traffic was local to the LAN segment. LANs used simple non-intelligent hubs to connect end stations to the network.

4 Driving Forces

4.1 Growth of LANs
Departmental LANs have grown to include hundreds of users at many locations. IT Infrastructure Services installs between 800 and 1000 new network connections per year. Typically each departmental computer must share access to the network with other computers within the same building. Too many devices sharing the same LAN segment cause local congestion.

Departmental LANs are connected to each other to form large LANs of several thousand computers. There are over 8,200 computers on the OUHSC campus network.

4.2 Growth of Enterprise Business Applications
Local low bandwidth applications are being replaced by distributed high bandwidth applications that require Quality of Service (QoS).

Distance learning applications such as Video on Demand require high bandwidth and management capabilities of the LAN and campus backbone. Video conferencing applications also require high bandwidth and low latency.

New enterprise applications such as PeopleSoft HR and Financials are now being implemented. These applications change traffic patterns from the local LAN to the campus backbone.

4.3 Growth of Intranets and the Internet
Access of departmental web sites and the Internet shift traffic to the campus backbone.

4.4 Change in LAN Technology
LAN speeds are increasing to keep up with faster desktop computers. 100 Mbps Fast Ethernet is replacing 10 Mbps Ethernet.  Our backbone speed is increasing from 1000 Mbps to 10,000 Mbps (10 Gigabit Ethernet).

Switches versus hubs: Hubs (repeaters) require each user to share access and bandwidth of the wire with other users on the LAN. A shared LAN segment operates like a party line telephone, only one person or computer can talk at a time.  This can cause network congestion as well as probable HIPAA violations.

Switches provide more bandwidth per user by allowing multiple conversations to occur simultaneously ("private line") rather than the single conversation ("party line") limit of hubs. Bottom line is more bandwidth per user, with less network congestion.

Switches also can have an operating system capable of delivering Quality of Service (QoS) features. QoS prioritizes traffic to ensure that mission-critical applications get the service they require. Application and networking equipment standards for QoS are now available to make sure critical business application traffic receives priority.

Data and video may now be integrated on the same wire and may reduce the need for costly dedicated video lines.

5 Direction
Changes in technology and business are accelerating at an ever-increasing rate. Converging voice, data, and video on the same network are replacing previous methods of accessing data and video on separate networks. Faster network speeds and increased connectivity are allowing for distributed applications and worldwide collaboration.  Wireless connectivity is also emerging as an integral platform for roaming communication.

Strategic planning within IT can help gain maximum technology and business advantage.

The Network must support new applications such as Multi-media to combine voice, data, imaging and video. This includes applications ranging from desktop video conferencing, video on demand, and transmission of video images for medical diagnosis. Demand for accessing remote databases and large collections of on-line images, data, journals and other publications are currently driving the need for high-speed network access to the desktop.

New LAN technology is a factor that is driving standards based networking. New interconnecting devices must provide end-to-end solutions. Each device from the source to the destination must be compatible and manageable.

Campus-wide policies and procedures concerning these issues need to be established to provide end-users and managers with the guidance they need to effectively manage their systems. Formal system standards and procedures which would assure a coherent and cost effective direction in information technology acquisitions must be developed.

6 Standards

6.1 Introduction

These standards describe the functional, architectural, protocol, and management standards for the OUHSC campus network. This high-speed digital network consists of over 30 building LANs with 8,200 plus devices.

6.2 LAN Types

  • 10 Mbps Ethernet
  • 100 Mbps Fast Ethernet
  • 1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet
  • 10 Gbps Ethernet (coming soon)
  • 802.11 a/b/g wireless Ethernet

6.3 LAN Topology
  • Physical star/bus for existing LANs
  • Physical star for new LANs

6.4 LAN Media Access Control Method
  • IEEE 802.3 Ethernet LAN technology

6.5 LAN Transmission Speeds
  • 1000 Mbps (Gigabit Ethernet) or 10,000 Mbps (10 Gigabit Ethernet) for backbone connectivity and future desktop deployment
  • 10/1000 Mbps for existing equipment

6.6 LAN Media Segments
  • Switched 100 Mbps Fast Ethernet technology
  • Switched 1000 Mbps Fast Ethernet technology backbone connectivity and future installations
  • 802.11 a/b/g wireless Ethernet

6.7 LAN Cabling and Wireless
  • All cabling must be installed by IT Infrastructure Services.
  • Category 6 with targeted CAT 6A cabling and jacks are the current standard for twisted pair.
  • All wireless deployments, ie. Access Points, Routers, Repeaters, etc. must be installed by Infrastructure Services.
  • Three wireless configurations are supported to provide different levels of security
    • OUGUEST – non access to OUHSC domain/ no authentication needed
    • OUBASE – access to OUHSC domain/ authentication needed

6.8 LAN Hubs and Switches

Switched 100 Mbps Fast Ethernet technology for new purchases and connection to CRIMSEN (Campus-wide Redundant Interconnected Metropolitan Ethernet Network) FastEthernet backbone as detailed below.

Shared 10 or 100 Mbps Ethernet hubs will not be allowed to connect to the OUHSC network.

6.8.1 General workgroup switches:
  • Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) compliant.
  • Speed: 10 Mbps, 100 or 1000 Mbps
  • Installed in a secure equipment closet that is accessible by Infrastructure Services personnel.
  • Dedicated power and uninterruptible power supply preferred
  • All network gear attached to the OUHSC network must be approved by IT Infrastructure Services

6.8.2 General workgroup switch specifications for new purchases and required for connection to the CRIMSEN FastEthernet backbone:

  • SNMP manageable
  • Telnet or SSH support for multiple sessions
  • IEEE 802.1q (VLAN standard)
  • IEEE 802.1p (frame prioritization standard to support IP video applications)
  • Multicast support via CGMP(IGMP)
  • Speed : 10/100/1000 Mbps
  • Supports Remote Monitoring (RMON)
  • Installed in a secure equipment closet that is accessible to Infrastructure Services personnel.
  • Dedicated power and uninterruptible power supply preferred
  • Approved by IT Infrastructure Services

IT Infrastructure Services must approve all network devices and designs. Just because device meets the standards does not mean the device will be appropriate or approved for use on the network. Departments should contact IT Infrastructure Services during the proposal phase of projects and we will provide consulting services.

Please consult IT Infrastructure Services for help on choosing and ordering network devices.

We are currently recommending the Cisco 29XX Series Switch for departmental workgroup switches.

6.9 LAN Network Layer Protocols
  • TCP/IP

6.10 LAN Network Model
  • Client/Server model

6.11 LAN Addressing
  • DHCP: IP numbers should be assigned dynamically by Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server. Select "Obtain an IP address automatically from a DHCP server" on the IP configuration menu.
  • Static IP addresses: Hosts needing static IP numbers should fill out the IP Reservation Form.

6.12 Network Entry Points
  • All connections to or from the network must have prior approval from IT Infrastructure Services. This includes any network devices such as hubs, switches, wireless access points, routers, WAN lines, remote access servers, desktop modems, and any other methods of access. Departments should contact IT Infrastructure Services during the proposal phase of projects and we will provide consulting services.
  • Dial-in to desktop modems should not be used to access network resources. Secure dial-in access is provided through the OUHSC modem pool. HelpDesk
  • NT Remote Access Services (RAS) should not be used to access network resources, unless approved by IT Information Security

Implementing these standards will help support the creation of a highly secure computing environment.

Connections to the Campus Network causing disruption in service will be disconnected.

7 Compliance

The overall reliability of the HSC Network is the responsibility of IT Infrastructure Services. Yet every college, department, and customer is responsible for meeting standards that will help ensure this reliability. We hope that each customer will follow the standards for the good of the whole network. We do, however, reserve the right to remove any equipment attached to the Campus Network that may be causing problems.

We thank you for your cooperation in helping make the HSC Network the best it can be.

Date last revised: 6/29/2009