About

Our discovery exercises are designed to ensure and support the responsiveness of UW-Madison’s wired, wireless, and cloud-enterprise network needs. As technology changes, we must maintain legacy infrastructure while keeping pace with new instructional, research, and operational trends.

Key components of our focus include high-capacity network connectivity configured on-the-fly with support for cloud services, mobile applications, and IOT, with enhanced security and analytics-driven service management.

Problems Next Gen² Network will solve

Network Services continuously monitors bandwidth on both the wired and wireless networks and begins to plan for added capacity when the network averages 50% usage. By evaluating historical data we will define the upgrade roadmap for the next 5 years.

Re-architecting the departmental wireless network solution to eliminate bridging departmental wired networks to the wireless network core will improve wireless reliability so that “bad acting” devices on the wired network can not interfere with the wireless network.

The current campus network has worked to provide redundancy and resiliency to the campus core and access layers.  The greatest challenges here have been with adaptability and provisioning time needed to address dynamic changes.  The objective with the Next Gen2 Network will be to retain the redundancy and resiliency traits while adding dynamic provisioning mechanisms via automation and/or network overlays.

Research networking has significantly outpaced other demands placed on the campus network over the last 5 years leading to the current campus network configurations.  The commoditization of networking equipment capable of delivering these capabilities could again allow the unification of the network on campus.  The Next Gen2 Network will explore this as a future design consideration.

The Next Gen² Network project team is partnering with Cybersecurity Interoperability initiatives to build this functionality into the fabric of the network design, by investigating the use of role-based access and zero-trust strategy. 

The Next Gen² Network initiative will explore new opportunities for automation for network management, monitoring, and load balancing. The team will discover and evaluate new tools that will allow more comprehensive big picture views of the network reducing the need to jump from tool to tool to troubleshoot.

The current Trust Model revolves around securing the network perimeters. The departmental networks are bordered by firewalls and internal traffic is trusted by default. Once inside the border of the layer 3 network you have network visibility to almost everything with an “implied trust model.” We would like to move controls as close as possible to what is referred to as the “Protect Surface in the Zero Trust Strategy.”

Next Gen² Network makes your life easier

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Seamless connectivity, invisible to users across campus

As we increase the ease and simplicity of connectivity across the network, you will have a seamless user experience no matter where you are on campus or what you need to do.

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Responsive to changing research and instructional needs

Future investments in the networking infrastructure will increase the flexibility, speed and security of our networks in support of UW-Madison’s teaching and research missions.

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Greater security for you and your data

In a time of evolving cybersecurity threats, the Next Gen² Network is being built with greater security in mind. Keeping your data safer and easier to access for those who need it.

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Support for business and operational needs

The Next Gen² Network will be ready for the growth and scalability needs of a major university. Helping us move into the future with ease and efficiency.

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