Open and flexible, but closed and limited --- campus networks are built on these two conflicting concepts. They are accessed not only by students / staff but also by outside researchers, and sometimes by “guest access” people attending academic conferences. Since there are various types of terminals brought in, thorough access control as those for company networks cannot be expected. Accordingly, providing security that can appropriately protect information is essential to campus networks.

In addition, smart devices have become popular to the extent that almost every student and teacher uses them on campus. With new types of terminals emerging, we are facing new challenges (e.g., establishing environments for wireless LAN, improving quality / usability of IT infrastructures, etc.)

Further, there are many educational institutes that do not have their own certified network administrators, and in this case, teachers must engage in network management, thus required to have a network environment that enables easy and secure operation.

Key points for building user-friendly secure campus networks

  • Eliminating unauthorized users from campus networks
  • Determining an access level according to user attributes (faculties, subjects, etc.)
  • Secure operation that does not require expertise
  • Fast network that enables advanced research using IT

Advanced SSL for web authentication

As a measure to ensure the security of campus networks, web authentication is often used. Web authentication, which requires a user ID and password, is suitable for campus networks managing various types of OS and enables smooth authentication of smart devices. In web authentication, communication is usually encrypted by SSL. In recent years, SSL2048bit has been recommended instead of SSL1024bit, because SSL2048bit has a longer key length than SSL1024bit. However, this raises a concern over the capacity of a switch that performs authentication. To address this problem, ALAXALA offers the AX2500S, which has enough capacity for authentication using SSL2048bit and enables smooth authentication without reducing usability. Further, the AX2500S supports Stack (to be supported in future), by which authentication can be carried out easily just by adding stack member switches even if the number of PCs to be authenticated increases. This reduces time for configuration management and IP address setting.

Providing a security wall to shut out unauthorized access

In campus networks accommodating various users, from students and faculty members to people belonging to other organizations, the risk of information leakage is increased unless an access level for each user is appropriately specified according to user attributes. Further, although users will be able to have their own security policies, preparing a switch for each security policy is too costly and inefficient. As an effective security measure, ALAXALA proposes Network Partition, a network virtualization solution by which a single network is virtually split into multiple subnets so that each group (students, teachers, staff members, etc.) can use its own information securely, independently of each other. Further, Network Partition uses the techniques of the existing LAN switches ( VRF and VLAN ), thus making it possible to minimize investment costs.

Easy network maintenance

In the universities / colleges where teachers are in charge of network management, network systems that enable stable operation without using specialized skills and knowledge are required. Considering that operation stability lies in trouble-free redundant mechanism, ALAXALA proposes Fault Tolerant Network (FT network), in which you can use an FT switch or Stack (which one is better depends on a network size) for device redundancy and link aggregation for line redundancy. Since Fault Tolerant Network (FT network) is a protocol-free, simple redundant system, you can reduce errors associated with the complexity of protocols and enjoy stable network operation.

Further, the AX series provides other useful features: loop detection and SD Card Script. Loop detection enables quick detection of a loop fault and blocks only loop-associated ports to prevent full system suspension (this is useful in detecting a loop caused by cabling errors). These operations are automatically carried out so that troubleshooting can be performed smoothly.

SD Card Script enables automatic creation of backup files and quick information restoration. You can perform these operations just by inserting / removing an SD card into / from a switch without using commands, which means that even people who are not well-trained engineers can perform operations safely and securely.

Proactive measures to handle increasing traffic

In researches using advanced technologies, we are becoming more and more dependent on fast networks ( e.g., remote medical services through high-definition real-time images, large-scale scientific simulations, decentralized processing, interuniversity studies, collaboration with companies, etc. ).

In addition, growing popularity of smart devices is a cause of traffic increase. It is expected that these devices will come into wider use, both outside and inside the campus.

However, replacing a switch frequently to deal with increasing traffic within a limited budget is not easy. To address this problem, ALAXALA offers the AX3800S, a box-type switch that helps build low-cost 1G/10G networks and enables bandwidth upgrade just by adding / replacing optical transceivers.

Fast wireless LAN

To connect wireless APs, a PoE switch must be used. The AX2230S, a PoE switch supporting Gigabit Ethernet, provides enough performance even with the next-generation standard IEEE802.1ac.

Energy saving

The dynamic power saving function is useful for power conservation; for example, you can put unused floor switches into the sleep state or degrade the performances of core switches when networks are not in use (during nights/holidays).

As the ALAXALA switches are low power products, you can enjoy the great effects of energy saving just by replacing your switch with the AX series.

Network configuration image

Network configuration image


Layer 3 chassis-type switches

AX6300S Series

10 Gigabit Ethernet switches offering carrier-grade high reliability that enables non-stop networking, suitable for mission critical enterprises

(Network partition, FT switch)

Layer 3 box-type switches

AX3800S Series

Layer 3 box-type switches for accommodating multiple 10 Gigabit Ethernets, suitable as a core switch in medium/small-scale enterprise LANs and data centers

(Network partition, Stack, 10 migration)

AX3600S Series

Gigabit Ethernet layer 3 switches offering high reliability and rich functionalities equivalent to those of carrier-grade routers, suitable as a core or distribution switch in enterprise networks

(Network partition, Stack)

Layer 2 box-type switches

AX2500S Series

Layer 2 Gigabit Ethernet switches offering high reliability and feature-rich functionality, suitable as a distribution or floor switch in enterprise layer 2 networks

(Web authentication, Stack, loop detection, SD Card Script)

AX2200S Series

High-performance, cost-effective layer 2 Gigabit Ethernet switches, suitable as a floor switch in enterprise mobile networks

(PoE, loop detection, SD Card Script)

AX1200S Series

Fast Ethernet switches offering robust security for network edges, suitable as a floor switch

(PoE, loop detection, SD Card Script)