Distribution Layer Switch (DL) Replacement Project

Project to Connect Buildings to the New Core Network

For the past few years, ITS has worked to improve the foundation for all U-M network and telecom systems enabling them to be more robust. The substantial expansion and enhancement of our outside fiber optic plant in particular will enable high reliability and increasingly high performance for decades to come. The U-M Core Network Upgrade project contributed to this by enabling any building on campus to connect to the network at 100 Gbps.

Now that the majority of the work to build the new core network is complete, the next step is to begin connecting in-building networks to the newly-upgraded core network. The transition requires replacing the first network switch in each building. This first switch is sometimes referred to as a distribution layer (DL) switch.

This project to Connect Buildings to the New Core Network is estimated to take about 3 fiscal years to complete. ITS has drafted a timeline to connect close to 200 buildings across these three years to the new core network. This timeline can be found on the Building Status page of this site. The proposed schedule reflects both a desire to complete the project on schedule and fit within capacity limits. ITS prioritized buildings based on the following data:

  • End-of-life date of the existing network switch
  • Known bandwidth bottlenecks
  • Imminent research needs