The University of Rennes 1 would like to implement a Virtual Learning Environment in its facilities as well as a new computing center accessible from all buildings spread over 60 ha [148 acres].
The OM2 fiber link, between the core server and a laboratory building, is 457 meters long. Limited at 1 Gb/s, the link does not support sufficient bandwidth and requires an upgrade. However, the university is concerned about disrupting the students and staff and cannot afford a new fiber deployment.
CAILabs’ passive solution AROONA enables a retrofit of the university’s existing fiber link, satisfying its need for minimal disruption and the absence of construction work. This favorably differentiates AROONA from new fiber deployment.
Founded in 1969, the University of Rennes 1 is spread out over 3 campuses in Rennes, France, with 26,000 enrolled students and 40 research laboratories, making Rennes the “University capital” of western France.
To live up to this image, the University is working on two axes of improvement. The first is the deployment of a Virtual Learning Environment, an advanced portal for e-learning, lecture webcasting and remote collaboration tools for students. The second axis consists of implementing a new computing center with a larger computing capacity for better productivity tools for research labs.
The campus is spread over 60 hectares [148 acres] and scattered across remote buildings, with OM2 (50/125 µm) fiber links in between. These fibers have an intrinsically limited capacity and cannot support the bandwidth required for the deployment of the two projects.
Fibers going across campus, through parking lots, recreational areas and laboratories are difficult to upgrade and also require construction work. Even if downtime is not an issue, the university is concerned about causing a disruption. In addition, new fiber deployment may prove too costly for the university which is currently suffering from funding pressure.
« Deployment on our premises clearly demonstrates very interesting potential to meet the ever-increasing need for higher bandwidths. AROONA’s ease of implementation is key to avoiding new fiber deployment. »
Arnaud Mérel, Infrastructure Manager
University of Rennes 1
The core server is located in the main building of the campus and connected with the most limiting fiber link to a laboratory located 457 meters away in a remote building. This OM2 fiber link can only support 1 Gb/s, which is insufficient for the Virtual Learning Environment as well as for the new computing center that the University would like to implement.
Deploying a new single-mode optical fiber is a solution.
However, given the size of the site and the distance between the buildings, the IT managers at the University of Rennes prefer avoiding this arduous work.
The deployment of new fibers for this 457 meter-long link would definitely cause a significant disruption.
CAILabs has a research partnership with the Institute of Physics of Rennes, which is located at the university’s Beaulieu campus.
In addition, CAILabs is supported by the Rennes 1 Foundation, whose goal it is is to connect the university with the business world. When CAILabs launched the AROONA solution for LAN, it was a natural decision to promote it to the IT managers of the university.
Upgraded optical multi-mode fiber link
The installation took place during the annual conference of the French Optical Society, an im-portant conference for the French photonics community, which is held at the University of Rennes 1. The deployment of the solution during the conference demonstrated the university’s ability to integrate innovative solutions on its campus.
Only 3 hours were needed to upgrade the limited fiber links with the passive AROONA solution, without any disruption to the students and staff. The investment costs were 3x less than what the deployment of a new generation optical fibers would have cost. The AROONA solution enabled sufficient bandwidth to bring ENT and access to the computing center.
The fiber capacity has been increased by 40 thanks to the multimode fiber upgrade. They can now transport 4 x 10 Gbit/s on fiber links as opposed to the previous 1 Gb/s. With the capacity having thus been increased, the University of Rennes 1 now has the liberty to deploy other services in the future, such as the video conference tool or higher-bandwidth Wi-Fi across campus.