UNL Network

The UNL Network

The UNL network is a high speed and high performance network that focuses on high network availability across three campuses in Lincoln.  During the past 3 years the network has evolved to this high availability structure with many more improvements to come.  Among the key points for the network today are:

•    All core links are at least 10 Gbps
•    98% of users are 1 Gbps
•    Core nodes are redundant and diverse
•    Distribution nodes are completely redundant & diverse
•    Internet 1 & 2 are completely redundant
•    All UNL buildings are connected at 2 Gbps
•    Failover architecture and redundant fiber paths between all key facilities

UNL’s network diversity and redundancy has provided UNL a network core and distribution availability of 99.98% over the course of the last year.

UNL Housing Network

UNL networking supports high speed networking to all UNL residence halls.  This network is redundant and diverse providing high speed connection service to all residence halls.  Using this redundant and diverse network as a base networking provides high speed wireless to housing’s 8,000+ residents.

UNL Internet 2 Research Network

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln is connected to GPN (the Great Plains Network) at 100Gbps, GPN is in turn is connected to Internet2 at 100Gbps.  This high bandwidth connection allows the Holland Computing Center (Schorr Center location) and UNL research to move big data quickly to and from other research institutions.

Internet 2

The Schorr Center of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln peers directly with ESNet (Energy Sciences 
Network) at 10Gbps.  This connection allows the Schorr Center access to FERMI Labs and other ESNet facilities.  As soon as a connection is available at GPN, UNL plans to upgrade this connection to 100Gbps.

The University of Nebraska also takes advantage of some of Internet2’s NET+ services, including Box and AWS (Amazon Web Services) as examples of just a few that are utilized. The University of Nebraska uses a Netflix Cache located at GPN via a 10Gbps connection. This moved 600Mbps off of UNL’s local ISP links.

Box for Education

UNL’s Internet 1 Peering Services

UNL has redundant and diverse Internet 1 peering services available on both campuses.  With this configuration UNL is able to experience a service interruption at one location and the other maintains service with its service routed between the two campuses.  The two campuses should not see a service interruption.

UNL connects to WiscNet that does direct peering with some of the largest providers of service and companies in America.  Some of these direct peers include:  Google, Apple, Netflix, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Pandora and many more.  This direct peering allows the path to access these vendors and services to be much quicker than traditional routing over the Internet.

UNL’s VPN Services

At UNL, there are a variety of campus network resources (e.g., protected applications, servers, services, etc.) that can only be accessed by campus-based computers. When you use a commercial Internet Service Provider (ISP) such as Time Warner or Windstream, your network traffic carries an Internet Protocol (IP) address from that provider, which may prevent you from accessing these protected resources.

The UNL SSL VPN (Secure Sockets Layer Virtual Private Network) allows users to remotely access protected network resources even though they are using a commercial ISP.  The UNL SSL VPN accomplishes this by establishing an encrypted tunnel between your personal device and the campus network.  All campus-bound traffic is routed through the encrypted tunnel giving the appearance that the user is on the UNL campus network, regardless of geographic location.
The UNL SSL VPN accomplishes this by encrypting the data while it is in transit, both through regular and wireless networks. Since wireless networks are generally designed around mobility and are notoriously insecure, using the UNL SSL VPN provides another layer of security and protection, particularly when you’resending sensitive information or working with data that is considered non-public or confidential.

The UNL VPN is available for use by faculty, staff, students, and external vendors/collaborators.  Access for faculty, staff, and students is accomplished by using the My.UNL ID to sign into the VPN.  Access for external vendors/collaborators is provided via the UNL affiliate process.

By default, the UNL SSL VPN provides a dynamically assigned IP address, meaning that you will get a different IP every time you log in.  The UNL SSL VPN offers three different profiles for use dependent upon the needs of the user and the type of data being accessed.  The three profiles are listed below:
UNL-My.UNL - For access to UNL Department resources, SAP, and SIS.
UNL-Secure - For access utilizing two-factor authentication.
UNL-Vendor - For third-party vendor access.

Access the UNL VPN