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Chuka University Gets Connected

Chuka University College is a public institution established through a legal notice No. 161 of 2007.

It is a constituent College of Egerton University and the successor of the former Egerton University Eastern Campus College, Chuka. The Campus College was established on 27th September 2004, by Egerton University Council to enhance access to high quality and affordable University education to the people living in the Eastern region and Kenya at large. Being a relatively new university compared to other universities in Kenya, Chuka University has experienced phenomenal growth in the last couple of years. With the increased growth, came new challenges. The university’s infrastructure was inadequate to meet the students’ needs prompting the university’s board to seek the help of a company with a long, proven track record. CBS was brought on board to design, implement and commission an integrated systems infrastructure that would be able to meet the university’s current and future needs. The solution to be implemented had to be scalable, cost effective and offer its owner the lowest cost of ownership. For close to three months our engineers were on site modernizing the university’s ICT infrastructure. They went about this task by linking the buildings in the university’s compound with a single mode fiber optic cable. The laying of the fiber optic cable required our engineers to carry out considerable amounts of civil works to construct and install underground conduits. Also manholes were constructed and covered wherever they were required. The fiber optic cable was designed to act as the backbone and to be used to transmit huge amounts of data between the various distribution points. Within the buildings, metal trunking that was used to pass Cat 6 and electrical power cables was installed. For ease of administration, the network was segmented into 3 layers; the Core, Distribution and Access layers with Cisco 5500 Switch acting as the Core Switch. To allow for seamless voice and data communication, CBS deployed the Cisco Unified Communications Manager 6.x with over 30 Cisco desk phones being installed and configured for users to use. To boost the strength of the network’s wireless signal, we installed 12 Cisco Aironet Wireless Access Points within the buildings and a further 8 Cisco Aironet Outdoor Wireless Access Points mounted outside the buildings in strategic areas. No solution is complete if users cannot share files or send emails to each other. CBS installed and configured an email server to allow the institution’s users to send and receive emails. The deployment of this solution involved the installation and configuration of the Domain Controller, the DNS server, the DHCP server, the anti-virus server, the web proxy and the backup server. To optimize the network’s performance and do away with unwanted traffic, a logical solution in the form of VLANs was sought and implemented. A Virtual LAN groups devices on one or more LANs so that they can communicate as if they were attached to the same wire, when in fact they are located on a number of different LAN segments. Because VLANs are based on logical instead of physical connections, they are extremely flexible. To keep intruders out and block internal uses from unauthorized data, CBS engineers configured a firewall whose main purpose was to ensure the network and its users were secure from all manner of attacks. Lastly, as a parting shot, CBS is extremely proud to be associated with Chuka University. Not only did the project bring both our organizations closer, but it also gave us the opportunity to be part of shaping Kenya’s future leaders through their access and use of ICT systems.

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