New data network already
installed on campus' east side
The manner by which Emory units transfer data is in the process of an
upgrade. In this case "data" refers to information primarily sent
and received via electronic mail and the Internet.
For four years our core network has been a fiber distributed data interface
(FDDI) supporting top data transfer speeds of 100 megabits/second. The typical
"blueprint" of an FDDI network looks like a circle with stations
or, in the case of Emory, entire buildings attached to it. Communications
are passed around the ring in the form of "tokens," and only one
token can be present on the ring at any time, preventing data "collisions"
on the network. FDDI technology certainly has proven its reliability, but,
unfortunately, it only tolerates a certain amount of expansion-and in the
world of networking you're only as fast as your slowest link.
To improve performance of established network applications such as e-mail
and the World Wide Web and to provide the infrastructure required for new
and future applications, ITD has been converting the Emory network to a
155 megabit/second asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) network. The increase
in data transfer speeds, however, is due to more than just the bit/second
rate. The ATM architecture allows Emory to allocate bandwidth better on
the core network. What's more, ATM is a data transfer method that is based
on fixed-length "cells" that can carry voice, video and data transmissions.
Unlike FDDI, an ATM network can be continuously upgraded to handle higher
speeds. The conversion to ATM should be transparent to the user, except
for improved performance.
Emory's migration to an ATM network has taken place over the past 12
months. Today all data communication to and from the "east campus"
is taking place over an ATM network. This has tripled the available bandwidth
to the Goizueta Business School, the Data Center, the law school, the math
and computer science area and other facilities. The core ATM infrastructure
will be in place by September.
For more information on Emory's ATM installation, visit the network operations
web page at <http://www.emory.edu/ITD/NETOPS/EMORY-ATM>.
Linda Erhard is senior multimedia developer in Information Technology
Division's Administrative Services.
to April 13, 1998 Contents Page