News Release

Community College of Allegheny County Builds State of the Art Optical Network with Cisco Solution

New network provides high speed, high bandwidth capacity to support online workforce simulations, video on demand, streaming audio, and web-based services
Apr 05, 2005

SAN JOSE, Calif., April 5, 2005 - Cisco Systems, Inc. ® today announced that the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC), has built an advanced optical network using the Cisco ONS 15454 Multiservice Transport Platform (MSTP). The network will connect multiple campuses and support the technology needs for some 90,000 students across four campuses, seven college centers, and distance learning programs.

"We had requests from students, faculty, and administrators to support new technologies such as increased web-based services, video on demand, streaming audio, and online workforce simulations," said Dr. Christina Russell, Director of Technology and Information Services at CCAC. "Our old networking infrastructure couldn't support these new demands, so we decided the timing was right to build a new, cost effective optical network to meet our needs."

Dr. Russell and her team replaced their leased ATM wide area network (WAN) with Cisco's Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) optical solution, using the ONS 15454 Multiservice Transport Platform (MSTP) to provide the high speed connectivity and scalability they needed to meet current and future needs. CCAC can start with just a single wavelength and simply add additional wavelengths as throughput demands grow.

"Implementing a Cisco optical solution provided us with the most stability and flexibility," said Dr. Russell. "Now with our new high-speed, high-bandwidth network, we can better support our student and faculty population with a wide variety of new services, which also increases our competitiveness in the academic community."

To complement the new network, the college will also upgrade their core network with the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches for connectivity to the optical network connecting the campuses. To assure continuous operations the college will upgrade their data center to provide full redundancy of key systems and data using the Cisco Catalyst 6513. The college also plans to deploy Cisco's Intrusion detection Systems (IDS) Network Module at the data center and throughout the network to help assure data is secure and systems are operating smoothly. CCAC is also planning on implementing the Cisco Firewall Services Module at the data center to help enable granular security policing on their infrastructure.

About the Community College of Allegheny County

Located in western Pennsylvania, the Community College of Allegheny County includes four campuses, seven neighborhood centers, and online courses. CCAC offers 170 programs and awards the Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, and Associate of Applied Science degrees. For more information, visit