Newsfactor.com reports how Howard University — a research-oriented college in Washington, D.C. — embarked on a plan to upgrade its campus network that would allow it to support high-end research projects, increase collaboration with other universities, and join the Internet2 consortium. By 2003, Howard was ready for widespread campus technology that would enable a collaborative culture and navigate the university past a period of frequent network failures and islands of LANs. The network connected 72 buildings on the main campus and eight off-site buildings, and it had evolved into a mismatched jumble of components. The university’s campus-wide fiber-optic network, internet connections, and Microsoft Outlook and Exchange Server eMail system availability often were unreliable; in response, academic departments and students set up their own LANs and wireless access points. In addition, a shortage of campus network storage limited eMail accounts to 25 MB. Howard’s network was also vulnerable to security attacks–more than 90 percent of them caused by student peer-to-peer downloads and internal hackers who exploited an outdated, unsupported Microsoft Exchange environment. Howard chose advanced 3Com security and switching solutions to increase the availability of networked applications, reduce complexity and associated costs, and produce a fast return on its investment. Within two weeks of the 3Com intrusion-prevention system (IPS) deployment, the network’s performance and availability improved dramatically, according to John Shettel, project manager…

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