|Institution||Presidency College, Kolkata|
|Type||Higher education, general degree|
|Business Challenge||Building a campus wide network foundation for inter-department collaboration and communication, and to facilitate future programmes such as e-classrooms|
|Solution||Secure, cost-effective, scalable, redundant, and high speed Campus Network|
|Benefits||Campus-wide wired and wireless access. Better security, e-Learning, inter-department collaboration, ability to get foreign facility|
One of the leading educational institutions in India, Presidency College boasts of a long and illustrious history. The institute was established as Hindoo College in 1817, in Calcutta, the capital of British India. It was renamed Presidency College and placed under the aegis of the University of Calcutta in 1855. The illustrious history of academic excellence of the college is intimately entwined with the intellectual
history of Bengal and India.
More recently it has been accredited as an A+ rated college in India by NAAC. Further, it was ranked the number one liberal arts college by India Today in their 2006 survey.
Presidency College wanted to establish itself as an all-round point of excellence by laying a foundation for adopting new teaching and learning methods in the future while retaining the unique culture of the college. The plan was to use state-of-the-art, modular and scalable technology that could not only meet present needs but also future ones. Specifically, it was looking at implementing a highly secure, cost-effective, and redundant Campus Area Network that would be a pioneering model amongst Indian educational institutions.There was no existing Campus Area Network or proper IT infrastructure at the College and the whole project had to be implemented within tight deadlines. The business challenges and requirements included—
- Establishing connectivity between various departments as well as buildings. These links needed to be redundant, expandable, and scalable using the latest technology and products.
- Facility for fast data transfers and communication between departments and buildings.
- WAN (Wide Area Network) connectivity for communication, knowledge and data transfers with other universities, colleges, organisations, researchers and students across the globe. Easy access to the world wide web for information and knowledge gathering.
- Creation of an e-library to make available library resources to students, researchers and professors from other authorised universities, colleges and organisations.
- Departmental mail access.
- WLAN access at specified locations such as the principal’s office, auditorium, conference rooms and e-classrooms.
- Information kiosks to provide detailed information about the College’s activities.
- Establishing a foundation for future e-classrooms and virtual learning.
Presidency selected Forte India for this project. Forte partnered with Cisco to get the right solutions—
CABLING: After discussions it was decided that the network be configured in a Ring Topology and use structured cabling. The backbone was designed with 12 and 6-core fiber optic cable, and the rest of the distribution was done with eCAT5 UTP cable.
Given the requirements, the 10/100Mbps network was configured with Cisco Active Components and sufficient redundancy was provided for network safety and future expansion plans.
SWITCHING: Forte recommended Core Switches (CISCO 3750G) for administering the entire infrastructure, two Distribution Switches (CISCO 3508) for the next level, and 14 Access Switches
(CISCO 2950 SX) for departmental connectivity.
WLAN: For making the entire campus a Wi-Fi zone, four Wireless Access Points (CISCO 1310g) were spread across the College campus.
ROUTING: High end routers (CISCO 2811) were recommended not only for high bandwidth leased lines, but also for the future e-classroom.
Security was a major concern. To make the network secure at the entry point, CISCO IDS 4215 was proposed. In addition, PIX 5151E UR as the firewall and PIX 515E FO for ensuring fail-over protection of the existing PIX 515E UR were recommended. Cisco software was implemented to prevent internal threats.