Network reliability and speed (Spring 2010 Student Survey)

“Having adequate capacity when using the wired network” was the only question with a lower perceived level of service this year as compared to last year.  In addition, improving network reliability and speed was the second most mentioned improvement needed in the next 2 years.


  • Replace major network components to increase the overall capacity across the University’s primary network backbone.
    •  Update October 2010:
      • All major network components in the primary network backbone have now been upgraded to 10 Gb/second speed (with 1 Gb/second speed fail-over links), increasing the overall capacity of the network backbone within VCU 10 times over the previous capacity. This upgrade makes possible future improvements in capacity to and within individual buildings on campus.
      • Replaced, updated, and provided redundant packetshaper. New devices also connect at 10 Gb/second speed.
    • Update February 2011:  A network project is underway to move all Internet traffic onto its own router. This will improve throughput to the Internet.
  • Plan and begin implementing improvements to network devices to increase the network capacity from the backbone to and within individual buildings on campus.
    • Update October 2010:  Plan developed to start connecting buildings to the VCU backbone at at least 1 Gb/second speed, which will be a major improvement for these buildings -- up to  a 10 fold increase for some buildings. Funding for this year has been approved (from HEETF (Higher Education Equipment Trust Fund) or VCU allocation if HEETF is not funded by the state) to begin these upgrades.
    • Update February 2011:  The first round of network electronics, which will allow connectivity of 1 Gb to a number of University buildings, have been ordered. Installation expected to start late Spring 2011.
  • Work with Student Affairs to develop a plan to better support the networking needs of students in the residence halls.
    • Update February 2011:   Currently working with Student Affairs on a long term plan.  Initial efforts will concentrate on improving the wireless network in the residence halls and increasing the connection speed between the VCU backbone and each residence hall.

This article was updated: 07/2/2013