Common Network Initiative

Campus Network Initiative Projects

The Common Network Initiative (CNI) is an ongoing effort to maintain campus baseline network infrastructure as technology advances and user needs evolve. The program is funded by the Chancellor’s Office. It provides for the refresh of each campus network infrastructure on a cyclical basis to ensure that the network infrastructure continues to keep pace with technology and to meet the changing needs of CSU students, faculty, and staff.

CNI 2015/2016 Projects

As part of the Common Network Initiative (CNI) program of the CSU Office of the Chancellor, Infrastructure Services will be performing major campus network infrastructure upgrades. This work is expected to last through Summer 2016.


Four main drivers contributed to the creation of this project:

  • Equipment life cycle - Though the campus network has been very reliable, some of the central equipment is approaching the end-of-support by its manufacturer. Migrating to new equipment ensures, that in the event of problems or equipment failure, timely support continues to be available.

  • Technology Life Cycle - As networking technology continues to evolve, electronic manufacturers mature at different rates. This requires the campus to look at other opportunities and manufacturers that have evolved to better meet the needs of the campus.

  • Capacity - The current campus network performs well, but additional capacity (bandwidth) is needed to support the ever-increasing campus requirements.

  • Support cost - As part of this migration, the CSU is moving to a new equipment vendor (from Cisco to Alcatel-Lucent), with very different support and equipment costs. The annual support cost of the new equipment is so much lower than the existing, that portions of this upgrade will pay for themselves in a couple of years.


The upgrade work occurring over the next six months will consist of:

  • Core/Server Farm/Border Routers Upgrade: The current campus Cisco Core switches as well as Server Farm switches will be replaced with Alcatel-Lucent switches. The campus core will have 10GB bandwidth to the internet.
  • Border Firewall Refresh - The Juniper Firewall equipment will be replaced with Palo Alto Networks (PAN) Firewall solution. PAN has a more robust tool set that is better suited to connecting to the internet.


Upgrade activity that will require service interruptions are expected as follows:

March 28 – April 29, 2016

All campus buildings will be connected to Alcatel-Lucent core switches. The migration will take about 5 minutes. The building networks will experience  brief outages during the 5 minutes period.

June 6 – June 8, 2016

All server farm switches will be upgraded and all servers will be moved to new Alcatel-Lucent SF core.

Summer 2016

The campus border firewalls will be migrated to Palo Alto firewalls. Migration schedule is TBD.

Project Schedule

Project Schedule
TRDay or After HoursPossible Day for MigrationDateComplete
Wireless ControllersAfter HoursThursday4/28/2016 
Welch Hall Network SwitchesAfter hours, 8-12 pmFriday4/29/2016 
Server FarmAfter HoursWednesday - Friday6/8/2016 - 6/10/2016  
Border Network/RoutersAfter HoursFriday - Sunday6/24/2016 - 6/26/2016  
Border Firewall MigrationTBDTBDTBD