Data Jack Policy

OIT will no longer keep every single data jack on campus active. This policy has already been in effect in all student housing and has had no impact on our students.  We anticipate the same result for faculty and staff.

Why are we doing this?

Currently we maintain over 800 data switches across campus in an effort to keep all data jacks in all buildings active at all times.  There are over 25,000 available data jacks on campus, but over the past year fewer than 6500 have actually had any network activity.  That is, only about 25% of jacks were in use over that period, and this is a typical percentage.

Our analysis shows that by reducing the number switches deployed with the goal of keeping approximately 8000 data jacks active, we can avoid replacing about 150-200 of the oldest data switches on our network.  This will have several notable benefits; in particular

  • It will reduce inter-switch network traffic will improve overall performance
  • The College will save over $100,000 every year in switch costs
  • The College will reduce its energy use by 110 MWh  every year saving approximately $13,000 every year

Will any active data jacks be deactivated?

We have a history of each data switch and which of its ports have had any recent activity. We will keep all data jacks that have been used (even once!) since 1/1/2014 active. In fact, there will be enough unused switch capacity to support about 25% more jacks than are currently being used.  If, over time, there is demand for a greater number of live jacks, that demand can be met by installing additional switches as needed.

What if I need a jack activated?  What do I do?

Data jack is not working that you want to be working you can contact the Faculty/Staff Support Desk (413-597-4090) or visit this link on how to request activating a jack.

When calling the Faculty/Staff Support Desk, you will be asked to provide the following information to activate a jack:

  • Building
  • Room #
  • Data Jack #
  • Full Name – Full name of the person that will be using the data jack
  • Phone – Phone number if there are any questions about this request
  • Availability – availability for us to have access to room (date/time)
  • Restriction – any special restrictions on when the work can be done

We ask that you plan ahead, if you think you want a data jack active give us a few days notice. We believe based on our normal work loads, we will be able to make a data jack active within 2-3 business days after receiving the request (often we will be able to get this done more quickly).

When is all of this happening?

We are currently developing a schedule detailing the dates during which each building will have this work done.