Main Switch Replacement Project for 10Gb Support

Below is an explanation of the project to upgrade the main switches to 10Gb speed

Main Switch Replacement Project for 10Gb Support


The Inter-University Computing Center (hereinafter: IUCC) provides the communication for all the universities in Israel. In recent years, the bandwidth that IUCC itself receives and can provide to universities has increased, and therefore the university has received an increase in network bandwidth to a speed of 10Gb. In order to transport 10Gb to the various faculties, a project started to deploy optical fibers from Tel Aviv University's Computing and Information Technology Division to the various faculties using Single Mode technology (in contrast to the Multimode technology that was used until now from the Computing and Information Technologies Division to the main communication cabinets in the buildings). To allow the various buildings in the faculty to connect at this speed, the project of upgrading the main switches to switches that support a data transfer rate of 10Gb has started.


So why 10Gb?

Nowadays, the need to transfer data at maximum speed from point to point has become an essential need - especially for research that uses Big Data, AI, Imaging and more.


So why do you even need to upgrade the switches?

The switches in the Sherman and Britannia buildings are old switches that are not under warranty (from 2007) and cannot handle this speed. Even the newer switches in the Green Building, the Institute for Cereal Crops Research building (which also provides communication to the Botanical Garden) and the Zoological Garden do not have the capability to receive a 10Gb line and spread the information at this speed. To enable the transmission of data via optical fiber to the main switch, the faculty purchased a new Cisco C9300 main switch, which supports on the one hand the reception of the optical line at 10Gb directly, and is able to spread the information further to the switches on the different floors using the copper cables you are familiar with (hereafter communication ports or RJ-45 sockets).


Where will the upgrade take place?

The upgrade of the main switches has been carried out in the following buildings (in the following order):

  • Green Building – completed on 6/4/2022
  • Sherman building – completed on 10/8/2022
  • The Zoological Garden – completed on 28/12/2022 (pay attention to the note detailed below regarding the zoological garden)
  • The Britannia building – completed on 25/1/2023
  • Institute for Cereal Crops Research/Botanical Garden - planned for 8/4/2024


I am in the building on the day of the upgrade, what does this mean for me?

During the upgrade work we will have to turn off the building's main switch for several hours to carry out the work. It is important to note that even if you have a communication cabinet in the laboratory, the communication that reaches it comes from the main switch located in the building's main cabinet, and you will also be affected during its replacement.

Replacing the switch and rearranging the cabinet will take about 3 hours. We make sure to do the work in the afternoon hours, usually between 4PM and 7PM, so as not to disrupt the work of the office and laboratory workers in the middle of a working day. A preliminary notice will be sent at least two weeks before the shutdown.


The communication in my building has been upgraded to 1Gb! Can I use it now?

Not yet. In principle, the project enables the reception of the 10Gb line from the Computing and Information Technology Division to the main communication cabinet in the building. The main switch can transmit communication only to other switches and not to the equipment directly. To enable 10Gb communication to your office or lab, the following things are necessary:

  • A switch that supports 10Gb (which should be in the main cabinet of the floor, or in exceptional cases in a communication cabinet in the laboratory).
  • A communication port that is paved using a CAT 6A cable or higher.
  • Communication cable of CAT 6A or higher to connect the equipment to the network card of your equipment.
  • A network card on a computer/device that supports receiving data at 10Gb.

In addition, the number of ports in which 10Gb can be connected directly to the main switch in the building is limited to only 12 (the Sherman building has a double switch, so up to 24 are possible).


Will we feel an improvement in communication in our building even on the regular computers?

The answer is yes! Up until now, 1Gb of communication was distributed between all the switches in all the buildings, so if a particular computer took more bandwidth, the whole building would be affected and experience slowness. With 10Gb bandwidth, the chances of such a problem occurring again are slim, since communication is initially limited to 1Gb at the level of the normal switches found on the floors' communication cabinets.


What about 10Gb communication at the the Institute for Cereal Crops Research building, the Botanical Garden, and the Zoological Garden?

The infrastructure at the Botanical Garden comes from the Institute for Cereal Crops Research building, and therefore the main switch that must be referred to in the Botanical Garden is the switch that is located in the Institute for Cereal Crops Research building. The main switch will be replaced on 8/4/2024 and with that the switch replacement project will be completed.

In addition, as of this moment, the communication infrastructure that reaches the Institute for Cereal Crops Research building, the Botanical Garden and the Zoological Garden is the old infrastructure that transmits data by optical fiber using Multimode technology and currently there are no plans from the Computing and Information Technology Division to upgrade the infrastructure there to single mode (which will actually allow receiving 10Gb of communication).

In the Zoological Garden, the switch will be replaced for future preparation as part of the project, but the line that will be received at the moment will remain 1Gb (also true for the Cereal Crops Research building and the Botanical Garden). When a Single Mode optical line will be established in the zoological garden, we will also be able to connect the main building of the garden to the new infrastructure. It should be noted that the bat laboratory and other buildings that receive multimode communication from the garden's main switch will have to move to a single mode infrastructure in order to connect at 10Gb when the line is established.

Please note: after the establishment of the infrastructure from the Computing and Information Technologies Division to the main building of the zoological garden, you will need to change the infrastructure to one that supports 10Gb from the main building to the endpoints that need 10Gb connection. It is necessary to purchase appropriate equipment. Please consult with us before purchasing.

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