Case Study

Building a Secure Data Center Interconnect

The highly acclaimed London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) shares data centers with other universities and taps into the Janet academic network.

“Now we are running bigger, better, and faster. We have 10 Gbps wherever we need it, end-to-end. We can support more applications, and the whole system is far more robust.”

Matt Bernstein, Senior Network Architect, London School of Economics

Overview

The LSE campus in central London serves 9,600 students from 140 countries, and its staff numbers more than 3300. The school connects to other higher-education establishments and a regional academic network with a strong focus on security and future-proofing.

Business Challenge

LSE needed to interconnect a campus network securely and resiliently with data centers to support increasing demand for more applications. It also wanted to create a foundation for network automation and to retain its virtual LAN architecture while protecting against the operational risks of large Layer 2 networks.

Technology Solution

Using Juniper MX240 3D Universal Edge Routers, LSE created a resilient mesh of VPNs between campus and data centers running Ethernet VPN (EVPN) services over generic routing encapsulation (GRE) over IPsec tunnels. The Juniper SRX5400 Services Gateway acts as a data center firewall, and QFX5100 switches provide a virtual data center fabric.

Business Results

A secure 10-Gbps network supports more than 200 applications, enabling better research and teaching capabilities. The Ethernet VPN lets LSE retain its virtual LAN design while mitigating the risks of large Layer-2 networks. Automation makes it easy to implement network configurations.

“We can’t know what our academics will need from the IT infrastructure in a few years’ time, so we built in a future-proof network from day one. The solution anticipates future capacity, topologies, and automation technologies like SDN, because we believe we can do more or less anything we need to on the Juniper equipment.”

Matt Bernstein, Senior Network Architect, London School of Economics

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