Title:Collaboration, Dark Fiber, and the Challenges of Deploying Mobile Infrastructure
Authors:Rich Cherry
Publication:MW2011: Museums and the Web 2011

The Balboa Park Online Collaborative (BPOC) was created to lead technology-focused cooperation between 20 Balboa Park institutions. One of the challenges BPOC quickly uncovered when it began, was a serious limitation to supporting collaboration caused by the lack of IT infrastructure necessary to network the institutions together. As a result, BPOC has installed the infrastructure necessary for a high speed (1GB/second) connection between the organizations, provide a 100mb internet connection and also provide a connection to CalREN, the California Research and Education Network to which the vast majority of the state's K-20 educational institutions are connected.  The connection to CalREN also provides connectivity to non-California institutions and industry research organizations such as Internet2, high-speed networks in Mexico and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities Networks. In the park, this network will allow BPOC to prove the concept of centralized storage and backup, server virtualization, and shared application resources. Outside of the park, BPOC members will be able to provide and access content with all of the educational institutions on the various networks, opening up the knowledge that resides in the member institutions while enabling them to utilize resources typically only available at the university level.  This Paper will describe the park environment, the options reviewed for connecting the institutions together, different vendor solutions to the problem, the deployment and lessons learned.