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What is BUNET?

The Baptist University computer network system (BUNET) is a combination of several networks, which are interconnected within the University and function as a network system. This network system is further connected to several external network systems, such as the Joint Universities Computer Centre Ltd. (JUCC) HARNET system (Hong Kong Academic and Research Network) and the international Internet system by high speed Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) Links.

The general principle of our University network system is that users and their Personal Computers (PCs) should not be directly connected to computing resources. Instead, they should be connected to a network first which provides connectivity to a variety of computing resources. The central notion of the network is to provide switching capabilities so that the individual user can alternatively connect/switch his/her PC to a variety of computing resources upon different requirements.

The concept of our network between the user and the computing resources is illustrated in Figure 1. For easy understanding, the network is depicted in a cloud shape to symbolize the obscure individual connection exists at any time between a user and the computer resource he/she is using at that time. The essential point is that the network enables these connections to be changed frequently and easily. The cloud shape is intended to be obscure at this time in representing the exact topology of the network. Whether it is physically a star, ring, or bus configuration will not be discussed here.

The computing resources connected are host computers, network servers and external network services outside our University through high speed leased lines and MODEMs. Host computers are multi-user computers such as our University's ALPHA computers, IBM RS/6000 and AS/400 computers, as well as PC platform network servers (such as our Novell NetWare network servers). These computers have traditionally been called host computers to indicate simultaneous provision of services to users. However, a more recent term "client/server relationship" has been used to describe the interaction between a host computer and a PC or workstation. It means both the server and the client have to cooperate in carrying out computing tasks and the processing capabilities of both the host server and the client computer (PC or workstation) determines how effective it will be in completing the task. Another term which is often used in this regard is "Local Area Network" or simply, LAN. A local area network or LAN is generally implemented in a way to facilitate client/server computing relationships. The host server computer is often called a "LAN server" or simply a "network server".

The BUNET is an example of local area networks, LANs, although some of the components may not conventionally be considered as typical. Our University's connection to the JUCC HARNET is an example of a connection to a Metropolitan Area Network (MAN), and our connection to the Internet is an example of a connection to a Wide Area Network (WAN). The connection to the international Internet is an example of how networks can be connected to form larger network systems, so that we can connect to more computing resources and support a wider community of computer users.

Within our University, many LANs are interconnected to comprise BUNET which is an example of a local Internet network or an "Intranet", a term is now becoming popular.

The BUNET is centred upon at the Office of Information Technology's (ITO) main computer room on level 3 of Sir Run Run Shaw Building. From this location, a structured wiring network provides cabling to all Ho Sin Hang Campus buildings, Shaw Campus buildings, Baptist University Road Campus buildings and the Wai Hang Sports Centre. This wiring system terminates at a "Telecommunications Services Point" (TSP) installed in all offices, classrooms, laboratories and the like. Physically, the TSP is consisted of two conventional telephone jacks installed side-by-side, or one over the other in each office, classroom, etc. By convention, where the two jacks of the TSP are installed side-by-side, the left-hand jack is for telephone services and the right-hand jack is for data services. Where the jacks are installed one above the other, the upper jack is for telephone services, and the lower jack is for data services. However, most of the older TSP's in Ho Sin Hang Campus have been upgraded to AT & T Category 5 standard and a dual-outlet plate consists of two RJ45 sockets is used for voice and data communications. Dual-outlets can be configured to support either two phones, two PCs, or one phone and one PC combinations.

In the Shaw Campus and the Baptist University Road Campus, the same AT & T Category 5 cabling system is being used. The dual-outlet plates are used throughout these campuses.

General Network Conceptual Scheme
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