Network Services

ILRI NAIROBI ICT NETWORK

The ICT network infrastructure is main communication pathway for data, voice and video signals at ILRI Nairobi campus. The cabling infrastructure is mainly setup using CAT 6 Siemon cabling as the organization network cabling standard

The network can be broadly categorized into two;

i. The Local Area Network (LAN)

ii. The Wide Area Network (WAN)

Local Area Network

The Local Area Network (LAN) is built on physical and wireless connectivity platforms. The LAN is designed for high services availability using HP switches at access layer and core modular switching level. The HA (High availability) is achieved through implementation of switch port bundling and trunking in some areas. The main links to the LAN segments is done using single mode multi core fibers. This is for better segment performance and redundancies and to overcome distance constraints.

The wireless connectivity is implemented using LINKSYS AP and configured using specific channels so as to ovoid signal interferences from other gadgets using 2.4GHZ unlicensed frequency band. The wireless solution is very useful especially in meeting rooms and other areas that don’t have physical connectivity.

The LAN Network is also logically divided into two networks;

i. Corporate LAN
ii. Guest LAN

This is achieved by use of IP commander. For a node to be in corporate LAN it has to be registered else it gets an IP address from guest LAN.

For procedure on wireless connectivity follow this link http://ict.worldagroforestry-ilri.org/node/184

Ongoing Network project;

i. Virtual LAN

The current LAN is on flat design. So as to ensure more availability through traffic broadcast s management the ICT infrastructure plans to implement VLANs based on segments and other security consideration. The plan is to have the project fully implemented by end of this year.

ii. LAN Upgrade

The ICT infrastructure is working on network design that will be able to support an an oncoming IP telephony. The first step is to ensure proper structured cabling in the remaining areas of the campus and also decide on the best switching design and platform to support this VOIP technology.

iii. Improvement on Wireless Connectivity

ICT recognizes the vital role wireless connectivity plays in LAN connectivity. The ICT infrastructure is working on a solution that will minimize the current number of APs by a longer range solution. The solution will also support roaming connectivity phenomenon and enhanced wireless connectivity security.

iv. LAN link redundancies

Considering the high availability requirement in uplinks when the LAN will be supporting both data and Voice (IP telephony) signals redundancies links are being setup in remaining areas. The appropriate switching configuration is being researched on to ensure backup links remain connected but in passive mode. This will ensure an automatic failover should the main link fails.

v. IP commander

The IP commander configuration are being fine tuned and researched on to fully support the ILRI VLAN implementation with the complexity scenarios of various subnets for Guest and corporate LAN in mind. An IP telephony project addressing scenario is also a new phenomenon that is being considered for integration in this test environment.

For more information contact Harrison Gatumu or kindly send an email to ilrikehelpdesk(at)cgiar.org

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