About the Network and Information Security Upgrade

What is the Network and Information Security Upgrade? 

The Network and Information Security Upgrade is a McGill-wide initiative to enhance the University's IT network by replacing its core technologies and hardware. In addition, this project will implement industry standards for IT security in order to further secure data on the network. The upgrade will result in improved quality of service, security, and reliability for the McGill community.

The project will affect the Wired and Wireless IT network across the entire University. This will include work within buildings throughout the Downtown, MacDonald and Gault Estate campuses over the next few years.

Leveraging the upgraded infrastructure, enhanced security features will also be integrated, including new next generation firewalls and other security processes, policies and technologies.

Later in the project, improvements will also be made to the network infrastructure in the data centers (i.e. server hosting facilities).

Why does the network need an upgrade?

This upgrade is essential in order to replace core technologies and obsolete hardware for which support is no longer available. These components are vital to the McGill IT environment in order to support the University’s daily activities. Following the upgrade, the McGill network will be better equipped to:

  • Prevent and mitigate IT security events on the network
  • Sustain the growth of the institution's research and academic activities 
  • Provide improved IT services to the community

In addition, the upgraded network will provide the foundation necessary for upcoming enhancements to McGill’s telecommunications system (i.e. Unified Communications) and other initiatives.

What are the benefits of the upgrade? 

The upgrade will result in:

  • Improved indoor and outdoor Wireless service quality
  • Increased network speed and data transfer rates
  • Greater security for IT devices
  • Better speed, reliability and security of McGill’s data centers (for server hosting and enterprise applications) 

When will the upgrade take place? 

The Wired and Wireless network upgrade will be deployed, building by building, over the next three years. Onsite activities will occur in all buildings. During this period there will be scheduled service interruptions for Wired and Wireless network access in each building.  Communications will be sent in advance to advise of work being done. In addition, IT Services will host a series of information sessions for Local Area Network Administrators (LAN Admins) and other support staff periodically during the upgrade to share information about the upcoming changes and project status. 

What happens during a building upgrade?

Building occupants can expect the following when their building receives an upgrade: 

  • Advance communication to advise of when the work will be done in their building
  • Technicians entering the building and working onsite during scheduled times
  • Cables pulled throughout buildings including common areas
  • Wireless access points (the devices enabling wireless connectivity) installed or replaced
  • Service interruptions during "migration windows" (the time period when the old network infrastructure is updated to the new technology) - note that the migration windows will be scheduled outside of standard business hours in order to minimize impact on occupants.

 

Who is directly involved?

Project team structure