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California State University Monterey Bay

LaGuardia Aiport departures hall

California State University Installs Leviton Intelligent Network

Profile:  Built on the site of a former army base, California State University's Monterey Bay (CSUMB) campus helps students hone their skills across a wide range of diverse specialty fields, including marine sciences, radio and television, and business administration and management.

Industry:  Higher Education

Location:  United States

Challenge:  Need for a dependable intelligent network that will deliver reliable performance and support maintenance efficiency for years to come.

Solution:  Leviton Intact™ Intelligent Management System supported by ATLAS-X1™ Cat 6A connectivity.

For more than 20 years, California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) has specialized in helping students hone their skills and pursue careers in diverse specialty fields, including marine biology and other ocean sciences. CSUMB is one of 23 California State University (CSU) campuses. It was built on the site of a former army base, Fort Ord, which served as a training and staging facility for the U.S. Army from 1917 to 1994. While Fort Ord has provided a historical foundation for the campus to build on, the old barracks and military installations no longer have the infrastructure needed to support the technology demands required by a leader in higher education.

Tomorrow's Networks are Intelligent
In 2014, CSUMB broke ground on a new three-story high, 60,000 square-foot academic facility. The new Business and Information Technology (BIT) building will serve as the primary facility for two fields of study — the School of Business and the School of Information Technology — as well as support classes for many other disciplines. The BIT building depends on state-of-the art connectivity networked through five telecommunication rooms (TR) spread throughout the facility, and it will be the first building on campus to support a Cat 6A intelligent system. Currently, the campus is operating on Cat 5e and Cat 6 networks. However, concerns about future bandwidth and data demands led Justin Clausen, RCDD, CSUMB Physical Plant Analyst, Network Services, to determine that upgrading to a higher bandwidth is crucial to ensuring performance reliability for years to come. "It could be a long time before this building sees an upgrade," says Clausen. "We want to install the best network available now to handle whatever lies on the horizon." In addition to the need for higher bandwidth, Clausen wanted a network that incorporated an intelligent system solution for improved manageability, accurate reporting, and greater operational efficiency.

Leviton Provides a Smart Solution
After assessing all the market leaders in intelligent patching systems, Clausen chose the Leviton Intact™ Intelligent Port Management solution, supported by Leviton ATLAS-X1™ connectivity. "Other intelligent solutions I researched would have been problematic on the back end," says Clausen. "Intact is simple to use, flexible, self contained, easy to install, and will provide the level of accurate reporting I need to optimize network maintenance. In our current facilities, tracking network maintenance can be a difficult process. With Intact I anticipate much easier tracking capability, and our team won’t need to travel across campus to verify network status. Intact will allow us to more efficiently use our time."

The Intact system supports easy port monitoring and identification, sending alerts and real-time information back to IT managers so they can diagnose problems and handle changes faster using the Intact software. Plus, Intact's compatibility with the Leviton Secure RJ system supports interconnect patching topologies, providing flexibility for Intact to work within CSUMB's parameters and not requiring CSUMB to make special consideration for Intact. With the Leviton Secure RJ Copper solution, CSUMB benefits from physical layer security for critical network ports. Once connected, plugs can only be disengaged with the color-matching extraction tool.

Good Relationships are Key
While Clausen is happy with the performance and flexibility Leviton offers, he is most satisfied by the level of support he's received throughout the project. "The relationship I have with my reps (Walt Magdefrau, WestCal Technologies Senior Sales Engineer and Lerma Francisco, Arrow Branch Manager) has been key," says Clausen. "It's made this process easy. And the extra support Leviton provided with Intact has been exceptional."

To help with installation of the Intact™ Intelligent Port Management System, Leviton Senior Product Manager Mark Dearing, RCDD arrived on site and provided assistance with software configurations. "Intact is the ideal solution for meeting CSUMB's network requirements," says Dearing. "Intact's browser-based software offers a clean user interface that is mobile-friendly for tablets and smartphones. It doesn't require excessive training, and it's easy to install and upgrade. As CSUMB's network grows, simple updates will allow Intact to grow with them."

In addition to multiple Intact Device Mangers and Hubs, and more than 1,600 ATLAS-X1™ UTP QUICKPORT™ Connectors, connectivity for the new BIT building is supported by Intact Secure Cat 6A Copper Patch Cords, Leviton 24-port flat QUICKPORT patch panels, and Leviton OPT-X™ Ultra Enclosures and splice cassettes with pigtails. The BIT building also uses Berk-Tek LANmark™-10G2 Cat 6A UTP Plenum-Rated cable for improved network performance in a small outside diameter.

Clausen is no stranger to Leviton connectivity. Two buildings on campus, the Alumni/Visitor's Center and the Field House, are already supported by Leviton connectors, patch panels, and wallplates. Now, with the extensive color options available for the new Atlas-X1 high-performance connectors, Clausen was able to color code the BIT building to specific network preferences, using different colored connectors for phone, data, security, and building management.

"The Atlas-X1 provides dead-on quality and it's easy to install, saving us time on site."

The deployment of the new BIT network was handled by Innovative High Technology, Inc. (IHT), the first infrastructure contractor to install Leviton ATLAS-X1 UTP QUICKPORT jacks. "The ATLAS-X1 provides dead-on quality and it's easy to install, saving us time on site," says Bruce Ventura, owner of IHT. "My team loves them. They've already asked if we can install ATLAS-X1 on every job." Since IHT is a Leviton Authorized Contractor, all work can be certified and obtain limited lifetime warranty coverage, providing CSUMB with added peace of mind.

"My team loves them. They've already asked if we can install ATLAS-X1 on every job."

Looking Towards a Brighter Future
Once the new building is complete, CSUMB students and faculty will be able to take advantage of 10GBASE-T network performance. "Already we've had inquires from our Media Arts Department regarding the potential for moving 20 gigabit uncompressed video projects around the network," say Clausen.

CSUMB hopes to begin construction of several new buildings within the next 2-3 years, including another academic building, a student union, and a dorm facility. "We're seeing a lot of growth and expansion," says Clausen. "It's important to keep looking forward." The BIT building sets the standard for new facilities, paving the way for a high-performing, intelligent network campus wide.

"We're seeing a lot of growth and expansion... It's important to keep looking forward."gy savings.