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The University's Data Network

The data network underpins the provision and delivery of all IT services in the University. The network comprises connections both within and between buildings and gateways to the external network. ITD is responsible for:

  • The planning, installation, configuration, maintenance and support of the data network.
  • Monitoring the performance of the network and ensuring that the network configuration is adequate to meet the University needs.

The network comprises :

  • The fibre and copper cabling upto and including the data outlet on the desktop
  • The active network switches, hubs and routers
  • The wireless infrastructure
  • The associated naming services
  • The associated proxy servers

Structure

The network at UL geographically covers all University buildings on campus (including student villages) and is interconnected to the Internet using HEANET. Each building is equipped with a high performance switch interconnected to two switches (via fibre) located within the LIS building - this star infrastructure is called the backbone. The backbone is interconnected to the student villages and the internet using two dual connected routers and is controlled by access control lists, determined from service policies, stipulated from time to time.

Individual user PCs (referred to as end-node devices) are connected to switched hubs (called edge hubs) using either 10 or 100 MB / 1GB Ethernet. These switched hubs are then connected to the backbone switches , normally via 1gb Ethernet.

A variety of protocols are supported on the network, the main one being TCP/IP.

Fibre and Copper Cabling

Category 6 cable is now used for all new projects but the University stioll has Category 3 and 5 wiring in use. Multimode and Monomode fibre is used for inter and intra building linkages.

Management

The network is managed by a contracted company called COMMNET.

Availability

The data network is intended to be available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year, except for scheduled down-time needed for the maintenance of hardware or software, maintenance of the environmental plant, essential building work, operational maintenance, unavoidable outages and operations house-keeping.

ITD will endeavour to minimise downtime and disruption to the network at all times. In the event that preventive maintenance is required (for example to install or replace switches) then users will be notified of such outages at least one week in advance and the outage will be scheduled between the hours of 20h00 and 9h00 or during weekend hours and bank holidays. A maintenance window has been assigned on each Wednesday morning between 7h30 and 8h30 for any urgent work to take place.  Users can expect availability of at least the following:

Service Monthly Average Availability during Agreed Contract Hours
Backbone 98%
Edge Devices 96%
Individual Ports 96%

Serviceability

In the event that a fault should develop within the data then the following table details the response time and the target maximum repair time. It is not possible to guarantee the target maximum repair time as occasionally the nature of a particular fault may lead to longer repair times. ITD does not provide cover for the network outside of the hours 08h30 to 18h00 each weekday. In the event that a fault should develop during this time it will not be addressed until the following weekday.

Service Service Contract Hours Response Time Target Maximum Repair Time
Backbone 08h30 - 18h00 weekdays 20 minutes 3 contract hours
Backbone 18h00 - 20h00 weekdays none none
Backbone Weekends/Public Holidays none none
       
Edge Hubs 08h30 - 18h00 weekdays 20 mins 3 contract hours
Edge Hubs 18h00 - 20h00 weekdays none none
Edge Hubs Weekends/Public Holidays none none
       
Individual Ports 08h30 - 18h00 weekdays 1 hour 4 contract hours
Individual Ports 18h00 - 20h00 weekdays none none
Individual Ports Weekends/Public Holidays none none

In event that a call reported during the 08h30 to 18h00 period relating to a problem effecting a significant number of users is not resolved by the end of that period, COMMNET will make all reasonable efforts to continue to work to resolve the problem.

Installation of new edge equipment (provided such spare equipment is available on-site) will be completed within 3 contract days and the connection of an existing data outlet to an existing network device will be completed within 1 contract day of the request being made.

Fault Notification.

All suspected network faults should be notified to the ITD service desk , ext 2999.

Monitoring.

The above defined service levels are monitored at monthly between ITD and the contracted company COMMNET.

New Network Connects.

Please note that ITD cannot accept requests to the data network where such a request requires money being spent to enable it - e.g. Where addtional cabling is required or where a new hub/switch would be required.

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Dial 2999 to report an IT related fault
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If you need to report a computer problem https://itdservicedesk.ul.ie
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