As the pandemic hit, like many other educational institutions, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) in Malaysia had to shift their physical lectures to online lectures.
Offering up to 121 academic programmes to more than 21,000 students locally and internationally, the use of remote online lectures has brought a tremendous increase in data traffic to the University's internal cloud server.
To cater for this huge surge in data traffic, UTAR has increased their internet bandwidth capacity with H3C as its internet service provider and upgraded its internal cloud server and network switches facility with the help of H3C.
UTAR first reached out to H3C in 2020 in search of improving and upgrading its campus network and wireless system. The COVID-19 pandemic created the need to take another step in UTAR’s digitisation transformation process.
In May 2021, UTAR acquired and deployed H3C's products and solutions on one of their campuses – the UTAR Kampar campus. H3C started strategic cooperating with UTAR to share its expertise and joint development of research, as well as facilitating exchanges of ideas and facilities.
Future ready Wi-Fi 6 set up
H3C provided a campus network, Wi-Fi 6 solution and Cloudnet solution to UTAR using the latest public cloud management platform to monitor and manage their network devices. H3C partner Extreme Broadband, a local internet service provider, has provided broadband internet service to UTAR.
Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman is a not-for-profit private university in Malaysia established under the UTAR Education Foundation and offers Foundation, Undergraduate and Postgraduate programmes.
Looking into the digital future, UTAR has acquired H3C's Future-Ready Wi-Fi 6, specifically designed to meet the challenges of the current and future wireless network users. It has helped UTAR to ensure they deliver seamless wireless connectivity to their faculty and students to conduct or attend daily online classes.
H3C's Wi-Fi 6 integrates Malaysia’s technologies such as AI, Big Data, Cloud, freeing networks with accurate, smart and simple operations and maintenance. It is also IoT-ready for multiple IoT protocols with flexible IoT expansion which reduces construction costs and simplifies O&M.
The Wi-Fi 6 campus network uses software-defined radio frequencies that ensures a signal wherever you go, even across densely packed lecture halls, electronic classrooms and large-scale campuses.
Remote online lectures have increased data traffic to the UTAR’s internal cloud server
Cloud empowerment provided adaptive features
H3C also provided to the campus Cloudnet, cloud-based unified wireless and wired networking management service. This management tool allowed UTAR to easily scale when the university shifted its classes to online.
The data is stored in the cloud, making it more secured and visible with the management of OpEx optimised OMs. The Cloudnet platform uses a full-containerisation solution and a fully distributed deployment architecture design. This enabled computing resources to be adaptively adjusted and allocated according to UTAR's business needs, and achieve flexible expansion and an user-unaware business iterative.
By managing and monitoring multiple network services, the Cloudnet platform was able to break data barriers between services caused by isolated and vertical service deployment, shortening the time spent for UTAR's internal operation to go online.
Moreover, AI empowerment enables minimal network operation and maintenance, intelligent network optimisation, fault prediction, and provides the University with an improved user experience.
Speeds that are now 10 times faster
The network infrastructure for the UTAR Kampar campus has been in place for more than 14 years with the network backbone capacity supporting up to 1Gbps connection.
After the COVID-19 outbreak, and with Malaysia imposing a nationwide lockdown, the faculty members and university students were forced to work or study remotely from home. As a result, UTAR's current capacity could no longer support the high amount of network needed for bandwidth-intensive activities such as online courses and video conferences.
To increase the bandwidth and speed of the network infrastructure, H3C provided UTAR with its latest generation wireless access points, WA6622, for a stable networking experience.
UTRA was able to upgrade its connectivity from 1Gbps to 10Gbps, aiding lecturers to stream online classes without interruptions. Lecturers can also forward assignment files to their students without the need to worry about the file size or internet speed.
At the same time, students can experience real-time online lectures while also receiving or downloading assignments at any time and at anywhere.
H3C WA6622 access points have dual-radio 802.11ax technology standards. They provide a transmission speed of at least two times faster than 802.11ac products. This makes the product suitable for high-density access scenarios, such as university campuses, e-schoolbag applications, and stadiums.
The high throughput and low latency of the WA6622 with built-in antennas also support multi-rate uplink ports with a maximum speed of 5Gbps or 10Gbps. The WA6622 access points are compact in appearance and support both wall and ceiling mounting.
Ever since the pandemic started, many educational institutions had to undergo digital transformation to meet the needs of online education and adapt to COVID-19 situation, said Professor Dr. Ewe Hong Tat, President and CEO of UTAR. "With H3C, we are confident that we will be able to digitalise our campus operations to adapt to Malaysia's rapidly changing economy and cater for the fast-moving ICT changes."
Going forward, H3C will work with UTAR to implement upcoming talent enablement programmes, including training certification programmes, H3C network laboratory and also internship training programmes.