They will not even notice the transition

Published on March 31, 2015
31 March 2015

Even before the completion of DIFFER's new building, our colleagues are hard at work on the site: the ICT group installed the server and data storage centre, installed access points for the wifi network, and coupled the new network to the existing system in Nieuwegein via an optical link. Head of ICT Andries Broekema and IT architect Fred Wijnoltz designed the data and communication solutions for DIFFER's new building.

Left: IT architect Fred Wijnoltz, right: head of ICT Andries Broekema

Broekema: "Our big goal in this relocation is moving all the institute's ICT services while they are in use, without users or experiments noticing. During the move, people at both sites can access all their data via the same network and can be reached via their familiar phone number. We want a network so seamless that users cannot tell when we move their data or phone extension."

Wijnoltz: "We've prepared this for two, three years now. The idea is to stretch our computer network over a 10 Gbps SURFnet light path between Nieuwegein and Eindhoven. In effect, the new building in Eindhoven is treated the same as any other floor in the current building. That way we can set up a new server core and move data to it whi le it's being used."

Left: setting up the backup wifi access points, right: monitoring all wireless data from this pile

Broekema: "Because our new telephone solution runs over the network, users can be reached at either site via one and the same connection. We will also use this to connect more efficiently with our researchers stationed at for instance Fujifilm in Tilburg, or the fusion reactor JET in the UK."

Wijnoltz: "We chose Lync as an anywhere, anytime, any device telephone solution. As an example, colleagues can see immediately if you are available, in a meeting on or off-site, or working at home, and opt for chat, voicemail, phone or other contact options. All from the same device and without switching applications or devices."

2500 patch cables connect the building network ports to the server room

Broekema: Our new building will also feature some very visible ICT technology. I am thinking of the audio-visual system in our seminar room, where one press of the button prepares the entire system for a video conference or a presentation, with the microphone and laptop input automatically routed to the right place.

Wijnoltz: Touch pads outside the smaller meeting rooms will show or book the room's availability. Inside the rooms, digiboards will allow you to use a powerpoint presentation as a white board: new notes are exported to all meeting participants on the fly. You won't even notice the technology helping you.

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