labels: it news, cisco systems, indian institutes of technology
Cisco expands IIT-Kharagpur''s campus-wide IP converged network news
Our Corporate Bureau
31 January 2005

Mumbai: Cisco Systems today announced the expansion of its IP Converged Network at The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur. Cisco has deployed more than 4,000 points of access connecting every student room in the hostel with high-speed converged network based on Cisco technology that enables new video / multi-media based services.

IIT-Kharagpur in West Bengal is the first IIT in the country, having been established in 1950.

The new network, based on Cisco solutions, offers a multi-layered switched ''quality of service'' (QoS) IP network to the student''s hostel rooms and is capable of delivering full-featured multimedia applications for educational technology such as video-on-demand, multi-cast video, IP telephony ,etc.

The IP-based network spans across 14 students'' hostels spread over distances of four kilometres using single mode fibre connectivity and a high performance, and high availability core switching network at the network operations centre of the Computers and Informatics Centre, IIT Kharagpur.

The network enables IIT Kharagpur to deliver a complete e-learning package comprising of video-on-demand and multi-cast video and lecture and laboratory content right to the classrooms and to students'' hostel rooms. Each student with a multimedia Intel based Pentium4 PC has access to lecture materials, virtual classrooms and can conduct several projects and exercises on-line over the network. The 24/7 network is also designed to cater to the quality of service requirements for IP telephony.

The network is to be configured to enable students to make voice calls on Cisco and IP phones and soft IP phones within the campus community initially on a trial basis.

Speaking on the deployment, Prof. M N Faruqui, formerly ''chair professor'', IIT Foundation, USA, responsible for the network project implementation, said "IIT Kharagpur, as India''s leading technical education institute, was faced with the latent need to provide a state-of-art IP networking technology which could enhance the quality of student education experience. Being the leading Indian Institute of Technology, this was the one key objective that drove our initiatives. We worked closely with Cisco Systems - who provided the necessary technical wherewithal to build and deploy such a network infrastructure".

Each hostel has around 14-16 access VLANs for the individual wings hosting 32-48 rooms. Considering full streaming multimedia (full frame MPEG-2 video lectures) and distributed e-learning computing programs providing shared whiteboard, chat, video etc. simultaneously for multiple rooms at peak hours, the network has been partitioned with smaller collision domains to provide high availability of network resources for both Integrated Services and Differentiated Services based QoS applications.

The entire network planned with implementing multiple VLANs and QoS policies uses the latest standards in delivering content to the individual users'' rooms at the best possible data rate and latency required for the applications.

The network has specialised equipment capable of generating and distributing such content. IP TV servers-broadcast, archive and control servers, from Cisco provide the streaming audio and video content at data rates up to 80 mbps on MPEG2 and MPEG4 in both unicast and multi-cast formats for the entire network. In house e-learning content servers have also been developed in the Centre for Educational Technology using the MPEG-4 standards on the same network.

In addition, a content distribution management system has been implemented using the content and cache engines based on the content delivery network platform. The implementation for e-learning and sharing of content in the network uses a bandwidth managed content distribution with this technology.


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Cisco expands IIT-Kharagpur''s campus-wide IP converged network