Introduction

Information Technology (IT) is making an impact in virtually every walk of life. The continuous explosive growth in the use of the Internet and World Wide Web, the rapid development of interactive multimedia technology, the worldwide trend of introducing IT into schools at all levels, and the current deliberations on borderless universities are indicative of the direction of change with the unfolding of the new era of information revolution.

As IT penetrates more deeply into our society, it is certain to have a great impact on all aspects of our education system: the schools, the learning process, the teachers, and their students. A multimedia environment which combines texts, sounds, voice, graphics and videos makes the computer an ideal teaching and learning tool. The Institute is, therefore, convinced of the need to take a lead in using IT and in bringing it into the teaching process. In short, the EdUHK views IT as a central component in its strategic plan for future development and plans to establish a computing environment and facilities which can match with its objectives and functions as well as with the pace of development in the IT industry.

The core of any computing environment is its network infrastructure. The Institute has chosen the most advanced networking technology: the Gigabit Ethernet as the campus backbone. The new backbone will now be able to support very high bandwidth applications, and provides Quality of Services (QoS) support which is particular important for multimedia, time-sensitive data such as voice and video. Furthermore, OCIO will continue to work with our networking partners so that technologies that are beneficial to EdUHK can be incorporated into our network as soon as they are ready.

The network infrastructure allows members of the Institute to communicate effectively with each other and to access library catalogues and digital repositories of educational materials all from the desktops. It also provides the cornerstone upon which our faculty members and students can learn, develop and deploy multimedia technology and applications in teaching and learning.

The Network Infrastructure

The campus network backbone consists of several Gigabit layer 2/3 Ethernet switches, which are installed in the Central Machine Rooms (CMR) of Tai Po Campus & Tseung Kwan O Study Centre and are connected together via high speed links. Network switches located in each computer network exchange rooms all over the campus have two 1 Gbps fibre optics based uplinks to the Gigabit Ethernet switches in the CMRs and provide high-density 100 Mbps switched Ethernet connections to desktop PCs and other desktop equipment including IP phones. All the Student Hostels and the Senior Staff Quarters were connected to our campus network in mid-1999; and the Operational Staff Quarters also joined our network in Sept 2000. Furthermore, JCSQ (Jockey Club Student Quarters), the new student hostel that is built in the existing Senior Staff Quarters joined our campus network in Sept 2001 as well. In these few years, the network was upgraded to increase the performance and reliability. Furthermore, in 2008, Wifi network was set up in Tai Po Campus and Town Centre. Currently, the Wifi network is being extended to our hostels & quarters area and can be used by our colleagues and students, effective from Sep 2009. Figure 1 shows the campus network fibre cabling system. Figure 2 shows the campus network infrastructure.

Network Fiber Cabling System
Figure 1



Network Infrastructure
Figure 2

 

External Connections

The computer networks of all eight UGC-funded tertiary institutions are being connected via Ten Gigabit Ethernet communication links to the Hong Kong Academic and Research Network (HARNET). Currently we are accessing the global Internet through the high speed international link via HARNET (shared speed of 3.7Gbps bandwidth) as well as through another link of 100Mbps bandwidth.

The Tseung Kwan O Study Centre has a high speed link of 1Gbps connecting to the main campus network and has another link of 100Mbps to the Internet. The Pak Shek Kok Sports Centre also has a broadband internet link connecting directly to the Internet.

The dedicated link for the student hostels provides 300Mbps local and up to 200Mbps international bandwidth.

Figure 3 shows the overall network connectivity of the University.

Overall Network Connectivity
Figure 3

Overall Network Connection Speed

Connection

Speed

A 3.7G (shared with other institutions)
B 1G (campus network) + 500M (hostel network)
C 1G
D 6M
E 100M