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The UCT Network Renewal project

The UCT network connects various university sites to each other and provides storage, internet access, and other services – such as WiFi – to staff and students on all campuses. The current network infrastructure – which was implemented more than 10 years ago – has served us well, and continues to do so, but is reaching its end of life.

As a result, ICTS has embarked on a network renewal project. The project will enable us to not only maintain the current level of network quality, but also improve network performance and security, and equip the university for network-related applications and services that will become more prominent in the future.

Benefits for UCT

The new network will bring many benefits to the university, including:

  • Enhanced security: With major data breaches becoming more common, security is no longer an afterthought. World-class threat detection and security mechanisms will be built into all layers of the new network, helping to safeguard UCT data, devices, and systems.
  • Better performance: Technology is crucial to many facets of life at UCT – including core functions such as research and teaching and learning. The new network will cater to both current and future needs – including faster network links  and increased capacity to handle the ever-growing demand brought about by the rise in network-reliant devices.
  • Improved efficiency: Standardisation and automation will boost efficiency, while the new network will also lay the foundation for future smart technologies.

Timelines and project phases

Network renewal is a vast and complicated undertaking, so the work has been split up into various phases. The first phase – which kicked off in the Winter 2018 vacation  - will replace the network core. The entire project is expected to be completed by early 2020.

We will add further information on later stages as work proceeds.

Impact on staff and students

Some of the work will require interruptions to network services – such as printing, eduroam, and internet connectivity. However, to minimise the impact on the UCT community, we will strive to carry out most major work on weekends and outside of term time where possible. We will inform the UCT community prior to such work.

If you'll need these services during the work periods, please plan ahead so that you can minimise inconvenience. For example, if you rely solely on eduroam or wired internet access in or around UCT buildings, please arrange your alternate connectivity – such as mobile data.

The planned work schedule thus far is detailed below:

Date Location of work Services that may be interrupted

Saturday 7th July 2018
(08:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.)

Sunday 8th July 2018
(08:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.)

Bremner Data Centre
  • eduroam
  • Open cast lecture recording
  • Nashua printing services
  • Wired internet connectivity in Middle and Lower Campus residences

* Wired internet connectivity will still be available in buildings other than Lower and Middle Campus residences.

Saturday 21st July 2018
(08:00 a.m.)

until

Sunday 22nd July 2018
(11:00 p.m.)

Upper Campus Data Centre
  • eduroam
  • All internet connectivity (including wired)
  • All services hosted in the Upper Campus Data Centre
Sunday 29th July 2018
(08:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
Medical School Data Centre
  • eduroam

* Wired internet connectivity will still be available.

Sunday 5th August 2018
(08:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
Bremner Data Centre
  • eduroam
  • Wired internet connectivity in residences

* Wired internet connectivity will still be available in buildings other than UCT residences.

Sunday 12th August 2018
(08:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.)
Upper Campus Data Centre
  • eduroam
  • All internet connectivity (including wired)
  • All services hosted in the Upper Campus Data Centre
Later work will be added to this schedule in due course.

How to stay updated

Throughout the project, this web article will be your most comprehensive source for project-related information – including the latest progress updates and schedules for any disruptions that may occur.

Prior to any planned disruptions to service, we will send email reminders  to the UCT community. You can also get the announcements by following us on our social media channels (Facebook | Twitter).

If you have any queries about the project, please contact ICTS Communications.