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University of Bern - Well connected

Thanks to ongoing modernization in partnership with BNC and Extreme Networks, the network solution at the University of Bern stays consistently up-to-date and in line with the latest trends

The University of Bern, as one of Switzerland's foremost academic institutions, bears a significant responsibility in the realms of teaching and research. To fulfill this mission with optimal efficiency and forward-looking strategies, the university relies extensively on a modern and high-performance IT infrastructure.

Seeking a comprehensive network solution, the educational institution in Bern aimed to manage its diverse IT infrastructure securely, user-friendly, and cost-effectively. Simultaneously, they aimed to ensure robust performance, particularly in the realms of proxy services and wireless connectivity.

Through the modernization of their network infrastructure, the university is poised to attain enhanced control and management over network traffic. This development is intended to adeptly meet the multifaceted demands of both research and teaching. Leveraging cutting-edge solutions provided by Extreme Networks, BNC has undertaken the responsibilities of planning, implementing, and maintaining the university's network infrastructure, encompassing all aspects of network management.


The University of Bern

The University of Bern, consisting of eight faculties and over 150 institutes, serves as a thriving educational nucleus hosting around 18,000 students and employing over 7,000 staff members. Its composition includes 10 Graduate Schools, 9 Competence Centers, and affiliated clinics associated with the Insel University Hospital, fostering a dynamic and interactive environment. The collective strength of over 40,000 interconnected systems bolsters its capacity to address a wide spectrum of academic and administrative responsibilities.



Similar to many higher education institutions, the University of Bern has witnessed the gradual growth of its technical infrastructure over the years, incorporating solutions from various providers. The Information Technology Services department is responsible for overseeing the central IT infrastructure of the entire University, catering to a workforce of approximately 7,000 employees and an enrollment of nearly 18,000 students. Furthermore, the department extends its services to provide internet connectivity to affiliated entities such as the Insel University Hospital, the Pedagogical University, and the Bern University of Applied Sciences.

The University's network, which spans across more than 130 locations and encompasses over 35,000 connections, has experienced continuous expansion, resulting in heightened intricacy. In the age of the Internet of Things (IoT), the peripheral zones of the network, known as the network edge, continuously welcome new devices. These devices need to be seamlessly integrated without compromising the network's security or stability. The gamut of integrated devices ranges from foundational university equipment such as PCs, printers, workstations, telephone systems, and parking systems, to personal laptops and tablets used by both educators and students.

Concurrently, the requirement for greater bandwidth and faster transmission speeds is an ongoing demand. Managing this diverse array of components, perpetually incorporating novel elements, all while upholding network stability and security, becomes an intricate endeavor without the assistance of a comprehensive management solution.


Project Overview


The central network control provided by ExtremeManagement™ enables seamless monitoring of the entire data traffic, utilizing flow information from core switches to identify resource-intensive clients or heavily utilized servers. Once established, role-based policy directives are centrally defined and managed through the application. These guidelines are automatically propagated to network components, significantly simplifying network administration while enhancing efficiency.

ExtremeAnalytics™ delivers nuanced insights into network activities, swiftly aiding in identifying potential causes for slowdowns. For many network administrators, ensuring network reliability without restricting user application usage is a formidable challenge. Extreme's analytical solution bridges this gap by integrating network data to establish context between users, devices, locations, and utilized applications. This addresses the complexity of such demands.

Network data is captured, aggregated, analyzed, marked, and correlated to generate corresponding reports. This holistic approach that integrates information across network management, security, and business analytics effectively bridges gaps. This empowers administrators to enhance user experience quality, meet the escalating demands of users, and elevate application performance.


"For over 30 years, we have relied on the innovative solutions provided by Extreme Networks, including the now integrated brands. BNC has been our trusted high-quality support partner for 20 years. It's been a pleasure to have direct access to decision-makers at both Extreme and BNC, who are always approachable. Together, over the years, we have continuously expanded and modernized our IT infrastructure. Our utmost priority is to ensure that our staff and students can work at a high level using these solutions, without having to worry about the performance, stability, or security of the IT system. Additionally, thanks to the flexible and straightforward scalability, we are well-equipped to tackle future tasks and demands." - Fritz Bütikofer, Head of IT Infrastructure Group at the Department of Information Technology Services, University of Bern


Another crucial aspect was the automation of specific functions. This encompassed the continuous enhancement of network switches' performance and security through updates. Provisioning was also significantly streamlined. Thanks to "Zero Touch Provisioning," an array of solutions can be seamlessly and securely integrated into the network, making the process user-friendly. The open design of Extreme Networks also allows for effortless integration of products from other manufacturers. This approach enables the managed network built with Extreme Networks to be maintained and expanded without requiring an on-site network expert. When a new device is added, it automatically integrates into the central management system. Configuration can then be chosen, and the device is ready for operation. Software and configuration updates are automatically transmitted from the template server to the devices, regardless of their location.

Support and the overall solution's monitoring are conducted internally by the University of Bern's IT department. For significant updates, personnel from BNC and Extreme Networks are present on-site, and they are also available at short notice as needed.

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