Marine base switches routers
- By George I. Seffers
- Oct 06, 2000
To ward off major messaging bottlenecks, a premier Marine Corps base is
switching from software- to hardware-based routers.
Camp Lejeune, N.C., is switching from software-based Cisco Systems Inc.
routers to hardware-based SmartSwitch routers from Enterasys Networks. The
routers support network functions for critical base operations such as police,
fire department, hospital, utilities, school, airport and marina services.
Rochester, N.H.-based Enterasys announced the deal with Camp Lejeune on
Wednesday. An Enterasys spokeswoman said the Marines paid about $30,000
for three routers and six accompanying power supplies.
The Marine base is making the switch in part because the Cisco routers are
reaching the end of their support life cycle and were starting to create
bottlenecks of data, according to Terry Maxwell, Camp Lejeune's information
Also, Camp Lejeune has had a long working relationship with Cabletron Systems
Inc., from which Enterasys is a spinoff, Maxwell said, and the base network
infrastructure is largely made up of Enterasys equipment. The Marine base
has installed two of three routers and hopes to install the last in the
"The Enterasys routers are an extension of the infrastructure. This is a
relationship we've had for years, and they are able to provide the capability
we're looking for at a price we can afford," Maxwell said.
Camp Lejeune's network supports nearly 150,000 people — military and civilian.
Besides critical operations, such as police and hospital services, the network
supports shops, gas stations and recreational facilities. The day-to-day
applications are supported by an infrastructure consisting of 10 major network
The SmartSwitch routers will support such applications as 911 services,
complete with a geographic information system for police, fire and ambulance
services and a military logistics system. The GIS provides details about
the telephone, sewer, transportation, and heating and air conditioning infrastructures,
as well as hazardous waste materials information.
"The speed and security of our network infrastructure is essential to maintaining
the flow of critical base operations," said Frank Toth, a Camp Lejeune computer
technician. "Due to the special considerations of a major military base
such as Camp Lejeune, our network must be seen as a core base utility demanding
high performance with zero downtime. On a military base, people come and
go quite frequently, but the service is always there."