The Drexel campus network infrastructure is provisioned using state-of-the-art, high performance electronics that drive an optical fiber inter-building network. High performance wired network connections link students, faculty, and professional staff to this backbone using a Category 5E twisted-pair copper plant. A pervasive wireless network provides service inside and outside of campus buildings.
Each Drexel University office, classroom, laboratory, residence hall, and public space has at least one wired network station supporting up to two jacks connected to the campus network at a speed of 1 Gigabit per second.
The DragonFly wireless network has provided ubiquitous network access to the University community since 2000. In 2008, the network was upgraded to support the Wi-Fi industry's best performance and greatest level of security. DragonFly3 is the University's preferred wireless network, and is available to students, faculty, and staff. It operates in both 2.4 GHz (Wi-Fi b/g/n) and 5 GHz (Wi-Fi a/n) frequencies and reaches top speeds of 300 Mbps.
The legacy DragonFly network continues to provide service in the 2.4 GHz frequency (Wi-Fi b/g) to support older devices and those not currently capable of supporting the new Wi-Fi standards.
The Drexel Guest Network offers basic Web browsing for visitors and guests.
Demand for bandwidth to the outside world is always increasing. Connectivity outside of the Drexel campus networks is provided by multiple Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Internet2 connections, and peering arrangements with regional research and education optical networks.
The majority of the campus external network connectivity is provided by multiple commodity ISPs. These are similar to the providers that are used in your home network; however, these tier-1 providers have direct, unfiltered access to all other networks. Currently, Drexel purchases over 2 Gbps of commodity Internet service and can dynamically accommodate up to 20 Gbps of bandwidth to address any sudden demand.
Internet2 (http://internet2.edu) is a non-profit, advanced networking consortium, operating a revolutionary-class IP and optical network, led by the U.S. research and education community.
Drexel, in partnership with the Three Rivers Optical Exchange (3ROX) of Carnegie Mellon University, is one of twenty "connectors" to Internet2. Both Drexel in Philadelphia and 3ROX in Pittsburgh are connected to Internet2 using 5 Gbps links that can be expanded to 10 Gbps as demand warrants.
In Philadelphia, 3ROX/Drexel, as the partnership is known, provides Internet2 access to the 14 universities of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; the School District of Philadelphia; and the Drexel University College of Medicine. In Pittsburgh, service is provided for CMU, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC), the Pennsylvania State University, University of Pittsburgh, and West Virginia University.
Other Internet2 consortium members, which include 221 U.S. Universities, 45 leading corporations, 66 government agencies and laboratories, 35 regional and state research networks, and more than 100 national research and education organizations representing 50 countries, gain access to the Internet2 network through one of the other 19 Internet2 Connectors.
Internet2 member network traffic is exchanged or routed over a 10/100 Gbps high performance, low-latency national backbone in lieu of using the commodity Internet. This superior connectivity allows for the transfer of massively large data sets, communications using high-definition real-time multimedia data streams, and other advanced networking technologies that could not be sustained over the commodity Internet.
All network traffic at Drexel destined for an Internet2-connected member institution is automatically transported over the Internet2 backbone. There are no end-user or application reconfigurations required to take advantage of the benefits of Internet2 connectivity.
In additional to jointly operating an Internet2 Connector, Drexel University and 3ROX are privately connected to one another using a high-performance, fiber-optic link, provisioned with National LambdaRail's FrameNet service. This private link serves to provide redundancy for Internet2 connectivity between 3ROX's Internet2 connection in Pittsburgh and Drexel's Internet2 connection in Philadelphia. Organizations connected to 3ROX/Drexel may exchange cross-state traffic with one another using this 10 Gbps link.
Drexel University is a founding member of the Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education (KINBER). KINBER, a non-profit coalition of education, research, healthcare, economic development, and other non-profit based communities, received a 99 million dollar Federal Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) grant to build an optical network in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This network, named PennREN, will initially light over 1,600 miles of fiber connecting over 70 locations across Pennsylvania.
Drexel representatives serve on the KINBER board, its committees, and workgroups. The University City campus is one of the 70 PennREN locations and the collection of Drexel campus networks will be directly connected to PennREN network. KINBER expects PennREN to be fully operational by 2015.
Network Infrastructure and Telecommunications, part of the Office of Information Resources and Technology, provides first-level and second-level help desk services for voice, video, and data networking assistance to both end-users and other campus service providers.
The network operations center is staffed 50 hours per week with on-call services available 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Incoming requests our processed via trouble ticketing systems, email, and telephone.