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SCLS Network Convergence: Part I

Back in the spring, when we thought that the fiber grant was ‘a go’ we began preparing for network convergence.  While the loss of the grant is a disappointment, we’ve continued to proceed with this project, albeit more slowly.  This article will be presented in two installments.  Phase I and II will be covered here and Phase III – V will be covered in a later installment.  

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In order to move forward with network convergence, we’ve evaluated each library’s BadgerNet bandwidth utilization to determine if there is enough unused bandwidth to accommodate the addition of non-LINK PCs and wireless users.  Of the 50 SCLS BadgerNet sites, we believe 15 of them have sufficient bandwidth to converge ‘as is’.   The remaining libraries will need to wait until the BadgerNet Converged Network contract is signed by DOA.  Once it’s signed, if the costs are affordable, we should be able to request more bandwidth for the remaining 35 libraries. 

Since every library is different, both in terms of building infrastructure and how the non-LINK devices are networked, we’ll be taking a phased approach for each library:

1. Phase I: PC/printer inventory.  Network cabling assessment.
2. Phase II: 3rd party ISP is released
3. Phase III: Migrating non-LINK staff PCs to SCLS network
4. Phase IV: Migrating non-LINK patron PCs to SCLS network
5.Phase V: Migrating wireless services to SCLS network (legacy wireless not Enterprise wireless)

To go into each of these with a little more detail:

1. Phase I: PC/printer inventory.  Network cabling assessment.
SCLS staff will come to your library to take an inventory and evaluate the number and types of non-LINK networked devices, how they are distributed and how they connect to the network.  Depending upon the nature of your building’s infrastructure, suggestions may be made to prepare your building for convergence.  

2. Phase II: 3rd party ISP is released
After building infrastructure issues are resolved (if there are any), SCLS will make some changes so that SCLS will provide Internet access to your non-LINK PCs.  After the cut over, we’ll monitor network bandwidth utilization on the SCLS network to make sure that your network connection to SCLS is not overloaded.  If bandwidth utilization looks fine, we’ll suggest that you consider releasing your 3rd party ISP (if your ISP won’t penalize you for this.)

During Phase II, PC support will primarily remain ‘as is’.  Non-LINK support through Dan and LINK support  through the Help Desk.

In the next TechBits network convergence installment, Phases III – V will be covered in detail.  In the mean time, please let us know what questions or concerns you may have.

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