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  • fastmoney_2011 fastmoney_2011 Oct 24, 2012 1:37 AM Flag

    California State University Expels Cisco, Saves $100 million

    CSU is the largest four-year university system in the United States. Its network is used by almost 430,000 students and 44,000 faculty and staff across 23 campuses, which stretch from Humboldt, Calif., to San Diego.

    CSU sought to standardize on a single vendor and operational infrastructure for its IT, Davidoff says. It will also enable CSU to add hybrid public/private cloud computing over time, to make operations more efficient and less costly.
    The OmniSwitch 6900s will serve as the core and data center switches at all 23 campuses. The 6850s and 6450s will be on-ramps to the 6900 10G core, Davidoff says.
    The network is simple, Davidoff stresses. It will be supporting common business and administrationapplications, such as HR, finance, student/faculty/staff administration, and Web surfing for the students. It, for now, is not supporting any sophisticated virtual machine mobility or software-defined networking capabilities.
    "There is nothing fancy to what we are doing," Davidoff says. "We are using pure Layer 2 with itssecurity and high availability features -- redundancy, load balancing. It doesn't sound sexy.
    "CSU's job is to train the workforce in California," Davidoff adds. "UCLA, Berkeley, their mission is research and development. There's very little research done at CSU."

    That said, CSU is experimenting with OpenFlow to gather analytical data to see if it can make its 10G links more efficient, Davidoff says.

    According to an Alcatel-Lucent study of more than 6,000 enterprises, 45% of educators said they would prefer to use cloud-based solutions that allow multiple devices to access data independent of where it's located, rather than having the application tied to device specific storage.

    Alcatel-Lucent landed a major private cloud win with Illinois' Advocate Health Care earlier this year. That project also replaces a Cisco infrastructure.
    Four campuses are expected to complete the transition to Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitches over the next year.

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