In 2012, Brigham Young University’s Chemistry faculty faced the challenge described above. Network throughput demands had doubled in 2 years, and were projected to increase exponentially. A nationally recognized education leader since 1875, BYU’s 34,000 students receive the very best of education and resources available anywhere in the nation.BYU executive leadership is determined to maintain this standard. Robert Paxman, Academic Systems Administrator, was charged with upgrading the network infrastructure within the research department of the University. The legacy Cisco 4500-based network had been designated end-of-life and, therefore not supportable over the 6-year planning window. The broad requirements were
- a network “refresh” to a minimum 20-gigabit backbone;
- 20 gigabit uplink to the data center;
- 10 gigabit connectivity to IDF closets, supporting approx. 2,000 ports.
A key executive consideration was extendibility, eliminating “dead-end investment” and fixing operational costs. “No budget surprises” was the prime executive directive. I.T. standards and procurement practices required a minimum of three (3) vendor “proof-of-concept” and accompanying fixed cost quotations. Mr. Paxman was unaware of Amer Networks, but was immediately intrigued by the distributed “Spine and Leaf” architecture Amer submitted. Amer implemented a 60-day on-site verification system. During this process, Amer demonstrated three critical enhancements that exceeded BYU base requirements:
- Core network capacity at 40 Gbps, extensible to 160 Gbps with only simple component addition, (requiring no system decommissioning, re-configuration or re-deployment);
- Spine & Leaf architecture enables critical performance increases:
- Higher available bandwidth
- Built in redundancy
- Shorter paths between destination (lower latency), enabling near wire speed data transfer between nodes.
Spine & Leaf opens lowest-cost, least-overhead network expansion pathway for 6-8 year network planning process.