Central Funding for Wall-Plate Network Services

Published: November 3rd, 2006

Category: Memos

Marc Hoit, Interim CIO

Colleges, departments, and administrative units are responsible for providing local network connections within their buildings. As an alternative to “do-it-yourself”, CNS began offering Network Services to the Wall-Plate for a monthly fee. About 40% of the network ports on the main campus (10,000 of 25,000) are now managed by CNS under the Wall-Plate program.

Based on the need for robust network connectivity and end-to-end network security, the Provost has provided central funding for Wall-Plate Network Services. A 2-3 year project to convert the remaining 15,000 ports on the main campus will begin next fiscal year (July 1, 2007). Goals for the centrally funded Wall-Plate project and program are:

  • Upgrade an aging network infrastructure – electronics and (some) wiring.
  • Establish an equipment replacement life cycle – probably every 5 years.
  • Enforce security policy and standards — end-to-end across the network.
  • Support the transition to VoIP – by removing network costs from the telephone charge.

Site surveys to determine network infrastructure readiness – building by building – will begin immediately. Usage profiles to determine network equipment needs – unit by unit — will begin in January. Based upon the site surveys and unit profiles, preliminary plans will be developed describing project scope, schedule, standards, and staffing. Meetings will then be held with the ITAC Committees and other user forums to discuss these plans and to receive additional input on any special needs or priorities. Scheduling will be primarily organized on funding availability, efficiency of implementation and workload balance.

In the meanwhile, for new customers who have already signed up for Wall-Plate this fiscal year, work-in-progress will continue. Billing to current customers ceased on September 30.

Most academic and administrative support units on the main campus will be eligible for the centrally funded Wall-Plate program. For example: IFAS, Bridges, and PPD are included.

Most externally funded auxiliary operations will not be eligible for central funding. For example: Business Services, Athletics, and the Foundation are excluded. Fraternities and sororities also will continue to pay monthly fees for service.

Three large local networks, providing an additional 25,000 network connections, are already centrally managed and self-supporting. These are: Housing, Shands, and the Health Sciences Center. None of these networks will be included in the Wall-Plate program.

Interested and eligible units will be asked to OPT-IN by completing a unit/usage profile. Other units may OPT-OUT and continue to manage their own local networks at their own expense.

For additional information regarding the Centrally Funded Wall-Plate program and project, please contact Tim Fitzpatrick at 392-2061, or email him at timf@ufl.edu.

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