Juniper Networks, a network equipment company, recently honored Paul Schopis as a “Master of IT” for building one of the first dark fiber academic and research networks in the nation.
Schopis serves as the associate director of OSCnet, a statewide communications network managed by the Ohio Supercomputer Center. OSCnet is the nation’s most advanced dedicated high-speed fiber-optic network for education, research and economic development.
OSCnet links Ohio colleges and universities with federal, state, health care and corporate-partner research facilities, as well as primary and secondary schools. It also connects educational institutions across Ohio to the NewNet Network, the Internet2 high-performance backbone. Internet2 enables the development of advanced Internet applications and services to member universities around the country.
Because OSCnet provides more than 88 organizations with multiple network services – many of which often involved restricted access – the solution to Schopis’ challenge of cost-effectively consolidating network operations, while maintaining premium services, required forward thinking.
Schopis and his team acquired dark fiber, which is the technical description for available space on existing networking cables, and moved OSCnet services onto the new line. While technology operations routinely use dark fiber today, OSCnet was one of the first adopters when the plan was implemented in 2004. This foresight and innovation enabled OSCnet to create one of the most comprehensive state-wide networks in the United States.
Schopis incorporated logical routing into the new system, too. Logical routing, which also was in its infancy at the time, enables OSCnet to serve its different constituents, with their very specific needs, via the same network infrastructure.
Ohio Supercomputer Center: Celebrating 20 years of service, the Ohio Supercomputer provides reliable high performance computing and high performance networking infrastructure for a diverse state and regional community including education, academic research, industry, and government. OSC promotes and stimulates computational research and education to enable the state to achieve its aspirations in information systems and advanced technology and industries. For additional information, visit www.osc.edu.