A campus network is generally the portion of the enterprise network infrastructure that provides access to network communication services and resources to end users and devices that are spread over a single geographic location. It may be a single building or a group of buildings spread over an extended geographic area. Normally, the enterprise that owns the campus network usually owns the physical wires deployed in the campus.
College and university campus networks interconnect administrative buildings, residence halls, academic halls, libraries, student centers, athletic facilities, and other buildings associated with the institution in a specific town or neighborhood. Corporate campus networks interconnect buildings that house key departments and staff members. The corporate campus network forms the user-facing aspect of the larger corporate network within a limited geographic area.
In the ideal case, all of the nodes in a campus network are interconnected by means of optical fiber media, taking advantage of Gigabit Ethernet or 10-Gigabit Ethernet technology. In some cases, Wi-Fi hot spots or even a hot zone make up the user end of the network, for example in university student centers or libraries where numerous people simultaneously use portable and mobile devices such as notebook and tablet computers to conduct research and carry on communications.
Occasionally the term “campus network” is used in reference to geographically diverse Internet users with a common interest, such as the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, a national student initiative, or the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN), a forum that supports colleges, universities, and corporations in their quest for sustainability in research and teaching.
The design of modern converged enterprise campus networks should leverage the following common set of engineering and architectural principles:
The Campus networks usually use the:
- LAN technologies,
- such as Ethernet,
- Token Ring,
- Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI),
- Fast Ethernet,
- Gigabit Ethernet
- Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM).