Transitioning UW institutions to the next UW advanced research and education network

On June 27, 2013, the University of Wisconsin-Madison announced that it was withdrawing the intent to award a contract for network services, opting instead to provision and operate its own network to serve all UW institutions and their affiliated entities.  This decision resulted from discussions between the Board of Regents, UW System Administration (UWSA), and UW-Madison. UW’s research and education enterprise demands strong assurance of uninterrupted robust network functionality. The potential for ongoing appeals, litigation and legislative changes created too much uncertainty for our operations and the future of our network, requiring that we pursue a different option.

State of Wisconsin infographic depicting the progress of the new network
Status of the conversion to the new network, as of November 4.

The new UW network will provide services to the 13 UW System four-year campuses and the 13 two-year UW Colleges, as well as UW-affiliated entities including University Research Park in Madison, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Innovation Campus in Milwaukee, Pioneer Farm in Platteville, La Crosse Medical Health Sciences Consortium, and other like entities. These affiliates are key components of UW System’s research, education, and outreach missions, and they rely on a high-performance network to fulfill those missions.

For more than 20 years, the networking capacity of the university and the ability to perform research on the network elements and data flows have been a critical component of success for thousands of individuals in our research, teaching and outreach communities. Increasingly, network intensive users test the limits of current network technologies, while, at the same time, more of our research community is joining the ranks of researchers with big data needs.

The new UW network will anticipate and meet these needs.