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NITC 7-201: Network Edge Device Standard for Entities Choosing to Connect to Network Nebraska

Category: Network Architecture
Applicability: Standard for all state government agencies and entities electing to connect to Network Nebraska
History: Adopted on May 1, 2006. Amended on March 4, 2008 (by NITC 1-103) and November 15, 2011.

1. Technical Standard

All state government agencies, boards, and commissions, and entities electing to connect to Network Nebraska for purposes of transmitting data across the state shall comply with this standard.

1.1 Network Edge Device Specifications for new purchases

  • QoS capabilities
  • Sufficient ports for desired network design
  • Security and/or firewall features
  • Routing and/or routing protocol
  • Traffic shaping and rate limiting
  • VLAN (802.1q) support
  • Secure remote management (SSH)
  • Hardware based encryption acceleration
  • Performance to meet anticipated usage demand
  • Compatibility with central site router features
  • IPv6 capable

Option A: Layer 3 Router (for basic site deployment)
Option B: Enhanced Layer 3 Router (for larger site deployment or higher performance)
Option C: Layer 3 Switch/Firewall combination

1.2 Network Edge Device Specifications for existing equipment

  • QoS capabilities
  • Sufficient ports for desired network design
  • Security and/or firewall features
  • Routing and/or routing protocol
  • Traffic shaping and rate limiting
  • VLAN (802.1q) support
  • Secure remote management (SSH)
  • Hardware based encryption acceleration
  • Performance to meet anticipated usage demand
  • Compatibility with central site router features
  • IPv6 capable

2. Purpose and Objectives

The purpose of this standard is to set minimum standards and specifications for network edge devices that would perform the routing and switching functions of voice, video, and data across the network and assure that packets would get to their correct destination while maintaining the appropriate quality of service (QoS).

2.1 Background

Network Nebraska--Education currently has about 245 local school districts, educational service units and colleges that use interactive video and Internet services over high bandwidth fiber transport circuits. Network Nebraska--Education requires that intelligent edge devices be deployed at the school and campus levels to be able to ensure an acceptable quality of service, packet prioritization, better security and firewall features, and remote management. The Technical Panel of the NITC, in cooperation with the operational staff of Network Nebraska, are naming these edge device standards for entities seeking to connect to Network Nebraska in order to comply with the provisions of Neb. Rev. Stat. 86-5,100 and 86-520.01.

2.2 Objective

The objective of this standard is to prescribe the acceptable routing and switching device attributes that can be deployed at the local sites of Network Nebraska in order to achieve a multipurpose, converged network, capable of traffic prioritization and shaping, that performs reliably and ensures an expected quality of service.

The specifications for purchase of new equipment affects those Network Nebraska entities that will be purchasing new edge devices for connection to Network Nebraska. The specifications for existing equipment affects those entities that may have already upgraded to IP networking over high bandwidth circuits, have recently purchased or upgraded their edge equipment, and are connecting to Network Nebraska..

3. Definitions

IP: Internet Protocol. Packet-based protocol for delivering data across networks.

IPv6: Internet Protocol version 6 is an upgrade to IP version 4. While IPv4 allows 32 bits for an Internet Protocol address, and can therefore support 232 (4,294,967,296) addresses, IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses, so the new address space supports 2128 (approximately 340 undecillion or 3.4×1038) addresses.

Mbps: Megabits per second. A unit of measure of data of 1,000,000 bits per second.

Network Nebraska: Network Nebraska is the term used to describe the statewide multipurpose telecommunications backbone and all of its associated service offerings and support. Network Nebraska is made possible through a consortium of public entities working together to provide a scalable, reliable and affordable infrastructure capable of carrying a spectrum of services and applications. Network Nebraska shall meet the demand of state agencies, local governments, and educational entities. Network Nebraska—Education is the sub-network managed to serve the needs of public and nonpublic K-12 education, and public and nonpublic higher education.

QoS: Quality of Service. The ability to define a level of performance in a data communications system.

Router: A device or setup that finds the best route between any two networks using IP addressing, even if there are several networks to traverse. Like bridges, remote sites can be connected using routers over dedicated or switched lines to create wide area networks.

SSH: Secure Shell (SSH client) is a program for logging into a remote machine and for executing commands on a remote machine. It is intended to replace rlogin and rsh, and provide secure encrypted communications between two untrusted hosts over an insecure network.

Switch: A mechanical or solid state device that opens and closes circuits, changes operating parameters or selects paths for circuits on a space or time division basis.

VLAN: Virtual Local Area Network. Virtual LANs (VLANs) can be viewed as a group of devices on different physical LAN segments which can communicate with each other as if they were all on the same physical LAN segment.

4. Applicability

4.1 State Government Agencies

This standard applies to all state government agencies, boards, and commissions.

4.2 Other Entities

This standard applies to entities electing to connect to Network Nebraska--Education.

5. Responsibility

5.1 NITC

The NITC shall be responsible for adopting minimum technical standards, guidelines, and architectures upon recommendation by the technical panel. (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 86-516(6))

5.2 Network Nebraska Operational entities

The Collaborative Aggregation Partnership, composed of the University of Nebraska Computer Services Network, the Department of Administrative Services--Division of Communications, and Nebraska Educational Telecommunications, will be responsible for sharing the responsibilities of the network operations portion of Network Nebraska. The responsibility for identification and mitigation of non-compliant entities with respect to the Network Edge Device Standard resides with the Collaborative Aggregation Partnership.

5.3 Equipment Reporting

An education-related political subdivision shall provide notice in writing, as required by guidelines established by the University of Nebraska and the Chief Information Officer for participation in Network Nebraska, to the distance education director of the Educational Service Unit Coordinating Council, the University of Nebraska, and the Chief Information Officer prior to the use of any new or additional equipment that will impact the use of Network Nebraska by such education-related political subdivision or other education-related political subdivisions. Network Nebraska Equipment (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 86-520.01)