Building an Always-on Infrastructure

Availability, flexibility and security are the hallmarks of UB's always-on infrastructure. Critical systems have redundant links across multiple data centers, complete with 24x7 support and monitoring to keep institutional data safe and systems running.

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Some steps UBIT follows to keep our systems secure include:

  • Continuous scanning for security vulnerabilities and unauthorized configuration changes
  • Whitelist security posture: Only enable access and services to authorized clients
  • Three layers of firewalls: Perimeter, network and host
  • Encryption in flight and at rest
  • HIPAA certified systems available
  • NIST 800-171 compliant research environment
  • Restricted access to locked, alarmed data centers

The university's infrastructure is further supported through:

  • Containers that deliver an efficient way to quickly deploy resources
  • 2.5 PB of redundant SAN storage
  • A multi-platform environment that supports Linux, Unix and Windows
  • Cloud-based services such as Google Mail, UBbox and Slate

VMWare

VMWare offers highly available virtual servers for central and distributed IT staff.

There are currently over 2K virtual machines in use across UB.

The advantages of running VMWare include:

  • Optimizing physical space
  • Centralized management with simplified maintenance
  • Ensuring full compatibility with enterprise applications
  • Peace of mind from greater availability and easier recovery in case of disaster

Our network

UB distinguishes itself with three interconnected campuses, highly-trained network engineers and support staff and access to some of the fastest Internet infrastructure available.

High-capacity fiber optic networks connect each campus. UB has constructed and owns an extensive regional fiber infrastructure that provides robust inter-campus connectivity with ample capacity for growth. The available capacity on this strategic asset can be easily leveraged to support special purpose dedicated circuits for high-bandwidth connections.

UB maintains redundant connectivity to the Commodity Internet via dual redundant 10 Gbps links to separate providers. This connectivity is  distributed to the campus via a highly redundant 10 Gbps backbone network with dual-building aggregation links, 10 Gbps connectivity for servers and 1 Gbps connections to the desktop as a standard. Wi-Fi connectivity is provided throughout the campus and supports eduroam federated access for visiting researchers.

eduroam

eduroam logo.

eduroam hosted 867 devices from partner institutions and authenticated 3,853 devices for UB account holders traveling the US and abroad.

eduroam is an encrypted Wi-Fi network used by UB and hundreds of participating universities. It allows students, faculty and staff to connect to encrypted Wi-Fi using their UB credentials at participating universities worldwide.

Wi-Fi Boost

Between 2015 and 2017, UBIT worked with the campus community to build a better Wi-Fi network across all three campuses as part of the Wi-Fi Boost project.

UB made a major investment in Wi-Fi infrastructure, allowing UBIT to double the campus’ access points and upgrade UB’s networks to the latest, fastest standard.

As a result, customer satisfaction with Wi-Fi has significantly increased according to the student IT survey and UBIT-led focus groups. Connectivity while roaming throughout the campus has improved, and outdoor Wi-Fi capacity is enhanced.

In the future, we look ahead to next generation Wi-Fi with expansion to outdoor spaces and exploring the impact of 5G cellular service.

Wired network upgrade

A full-scale upgrade to UB’s wired network infrastructure is underway with an expected completion date of Spring 2019. The wired network upgrade will ensure improved availability, performance, speed and reliability for years to come, while eliminating single points of failure.

In addition, the wired network upgrade will elevate the university’s information security profile by making it easier to deploy services and solutions designed to keep the university’s data safe. Since the university depends on the network for virtually all educational, research, business and operational functions, this upgrade will enable support for future infrastructure needs and capacity. This is especially important as the number of wireless and Internet of Things (IOT) devices relying on the university’s network continue to grow.

Finally, the wired network upgrade will distribute functionality to the university’s IT staff. This will empower IT staff across  decanal units to move wired devices independently of central IT support, resulting in faster turnaround for network changes. In the future, software-controlled networking has the potential of meeting the continually diverse needs of faculty and students as well as offering granular optimization of different types of services.

UB Wi-Fi boost logo.