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IT Project: Campus Wired Data Network Refresh

Project Status

August 6, 2021: Northwestern IT is currently in Phase 1 of the network switch consolidation and deployment. In addition, the Network Group is continuing to work with our vendor, Pier Group, in the buildout and deployment of the network routing sites.

This overall project timeline is expected to conclude in February 2026.


The Campus Wired Data Network Refresh Project requires the upgrade of current network routers and switches. This work is necessary to replace switches nearing their end-of-support and to improve network security, performance, and management capabilities with new technology.

Benefits to the Northwestern Community

The upgrade of network hardware will create the opportunity to redefine how users can access their data. In addition, Northwestern IT will be able to provide a more similar end-user experience for clients accessing data across both wired and wireless networks.

Goals and Objectives


The project will be delivered in annual phases over a targeted five-year period. The initial phase will involve creating a lab to replicate the various scenarios in which hardware will be deployed and to test and validate the network design. As the project moves forward, year one will focus on replacing the Cisco 3750x switches along with planned upgrades to routing sites. After year one, Northwestern IT will review the work completed and adjust the deployment schedule as needed. As the project moves into each calendar year, Northwestern IT will identify the appropriate schedule and scope of upgrades to occur in that year based on budget and resources.

Project Timeline

Date Description Status
February 2021 -February 2022

Testing, design, router deployment

In progress

February 2022 -February 2023

Switch deployment, RBAC design

February 2023 -February 2024
Switch deployment, RBAC pilot
February 2024 -February 2025

Switch deployment, RBAC implementation

February 2025 - February 2026

Switch deployment, RBAC implementation completion


Last Updated: 9 August 2021

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