10 Mar MITCON Fiber Project
In 1999, Midland, Michigan launched MITCON, a project designed to rebuild the Michigan Molecular Institutes IT platform. Since then, it has blossomed into an organization that provides technical support and service to more than 40 local non-profits, mainly human services and health agencies. Yet, this network has a major weakness.
The Midland County Services Building serves as the focal point of the M.Co.Net fiber-optic network. This building is the connection point for a majority of MITCON member organizations. Currently, two local data centers only have a single line to the Midland County Services Building. This is a critical failure within the system because if the line were cut or a disaster struck severing the line, many member organizations would be cut off from the data centers.
Fortunately, the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation to the Midland Information Technology Consortium came in with a $34,000 grant that will allow MITCON to partner with Northwood University to build additional data centers and expand the fiber optic network, so it features redundancies within the system.
The grant will finance two new data centers, which will be located far enough apart to reduce the risk of failure to the entire system if a disaster hits. The grant allows MITCON to design a fiber optic ring throughout the network that supports multiple paths between all the data centers. Even if one line goes down, data will still be able to flow continuously.
“MITCON will be able to use redundant fiber-optic connections to the Northwood data center to create a ring topology on our backbone network,” MITCON Program Director Ed Haycock said on the Midland Daily News. “This will allow us to increase our overall capacity and protect ourselves from environmental damage to the fiber-optic network. This will mean far fewer interruptions of service for our customers when minor disasters occur, as they have in our recent past. ”
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