Montana State University
MSU STRATEGIC INVESTMENT PROPOSAL FOR INSTITUTIONAL PRIORITIES
PROPOSAL OVERVIEW
TitleInternet Connection Backup Request Date2012-11-29
DepartmentITC Emailaedelman@montana.edu
RequestorAdam Edelman Phone994-5091
INSTITUTIONAL BENEFIT
Campuses Bozeman Billings Havre Great Falls FSTS Extension MAES
Cross Depts All departments.
TIMEFRAME
Proposed Dates Start: February 1, 2013 End:  
PROPOSAL SUMMARY
We are proposing the installation and operation of an alternate Internet circuit to serve as a fully redundant backup to MSUís existing Internet connection. This circuit will provide Commodity Internet connectivity for the Bozeman, Havre, Great Falls campuses as well as the Bozeman Extension office, the 7 Montana Ag Research Stations and the Fire Services Training School in Great Falls. This backup circuit helps to mitigate the significant level of risk associated with the current single point of failure.
STRATEGIC ALIGNMENT
Objective D.2: Enhance infrastructure in support of research, discovery and creative activities.
Objective S.2: Physical Resources. Enhance aesthetic appeal and functional quality of MSU physical resources to support high quality learning, research and work environments.
MSUís Internet connectivity provides access to critical services for students such as DesireToLearn and Google Apps. Faculty and research staff rely on collaborations that are facilitated through our Internet connection and an increasing number of critical cloud-based services will be provisioned in the near future. This proposal increases the robustness and reliability of our Internet connection in order to support these critical services.

Objective A.1: Educate more students while maintaining the quality of programs.
Metric A.1.4: By 2019, the number of credits and courses delivered online will increase 40 percent to approximately 20,000 credits and 225 courses.
MSUís Internet connection provides essential infrastructure for online courses Ė providing connectivity for on-campus students as well as back-end connectivity required for DesireToLearn operations.
COST AND REQUIREMENTS
Funding Type: One-Time Only Funding Base (3-yr Recurring) Funding
  FY13 FY14 FY15 Base ($) OTO Startup ($)   FTE;
Salaries              
Benefits              
Materials & Supplies              
Travel              
Contracted Services              
Capital         25000     
Other Operations       35000  35000     
TOTAL 35000  60000     
Please comment, if necessary, regarding cost and requirements.
PROPOSAL SCOPE
Describe the Proposal

Currently, MSU’s commodity Internet connectivity is provided through the Pacific Northwest Gigapop (PNWGP) in Seattle on the Northern Tier physical fiber infrastructure. MSU currently has limited redundancy for this connection provided by Blackfoot Communications (formerly Cutthroat) over a wireless connection. All physical fiber infrastructure occupies the same path, leaving the MSU campus on the West side across 19th avenue. Internet services for Great Falls College MSU, and MSU Northern are provided on this same circuit.

The significant risk associated with this single point of failure has been realized on more than one occasion, with physical fiber cuts and extended maintenance windows affecting this essential service. In addition to DesireToLearn and Google Apps for students, MSU continues to move critical services to cloud-based providers further increasing the impact of an interruption to our commodity Internet service. In short, our connection to the Internet cannot go down without significant impact to 4-campus operations.

We are proposing implementing a full capacity redundant Internet connection across physically separate fiber infrastructure leaving the MSU campus on the East side of campus.

 
Describe the broader impacts and benefits of this proposal

MSU’s Internet connection is used not only by our primary constituents, but also by prospective students, faculty, and staff as they research MSU through our Web site which relies on our Internet connection. Content associated with outreach activities (Extension materials, etc) is also available on MSU systems and accessed through our Internet connection. As a top tier research institute continually working to attract top faculty, MSU is expected to have robust and reliable Internet connectivity for research and other collaborative scholarly activity.

 
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Implementation Plan

An Invitation For Bid to top providers will be published with the expectation for delivery of service to the MSU Bozeman point of demarcation in Renne Library within 2 months of the award of the funds.

 
Assessment Plan

Commodity Internet traffic will route along the backup path upon successful installation of the circuit. The new circuit will accommodate a minimum of 1 GB of commodity traffic with burst capacity to 2GB. Testing will be planned for scheduled maintenance windows.

 
If assessed objectives are not met in the timeframe outlined what is the plan to sunset this proposal?

Failure to deliver contracted circuit within the timeframe will require the selection of an alternate vendor.

 
SIGNATURES
Executive/VP: Dewitt Latimer (dewitt@montana.edu)