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The Recabling of CERN

  The CN/CS Internal Network Team

The existing general purpose network at CERN consists of an FDDI backbone infrastructure which interconnects a number of Local Area Networks of different types:

  1. Ethernet is the main LAN and is used for workstations, servers and PCs. In most buildings Ethernet runs over 10Base2 thin coaxial cables. The following protocols are mainly, but not exclusively, used over this medium:
    Internet (TCP/IP),
    DECnet (Phase IV and Phase V),
    Other DEC proprietary protocols (LAT, MOP etc.),
    Novell Netware (IPX),

  2. In addition to its backbone role, FDDI is used for connecting high-performance workstations for high energy physics data analysis, mainly using Internet protocols.
  3. Apple equipment (Macintosh personal computers and Apple printers), is today mainly connected to LocalTalk or TurboNet cabling rather than Ethernet.
  4. ASCII terminals are connected via RS232C to terminal servers attached to Ethernet.

Each type of connection has its own cabling system.

The number of user devices connected to the network is growing regularly and is conservatively estimated as follows:

more than 6500 Ethernet (of which >4000 in office buildings),
more than 2000 LocalTalk/TurboNet,
about 3000 ASCII RS232C terminals.

This situation must be changed for a number of reasons:

scalability of size and performance.

To cope with future conditions, the existing general-purpose network must be changed to a more manageable system, installed by industry and with proper industrial support.

Janne Saarela
Mon May 22 15:43:10 METDST 1995