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How Loma Linda’s Fiber Enables Community Networking

Business Communications in Next-Century Loma Linda

New residential and commercial construction takes place in Loma Linda over one of the fastest communications infrastructures in the world, the Loma Linda Connected Community Project’s fiber optic-based network. This network provides communications throughput and services capabilities seen only on the most advanced university and commercial campuses in the world.

The business community in Loma Linda has often focused around the world-famous Loma Linda Hospital and the nearby Veteran’s Hospital, but an increasing number of organizations that need communications musculature are focusing on Loma Linda. This is a day in the life of two businesses:

 
Cameron Research* (*named changed for privacy)

Earl Hughes gets in early to his office to catch up on the east coast emails. His office, overlooking the retaining pond in the business park where his office is located, sensed that he arrived when his RFID tag passed through the front door. His office temperature has been brought down six degrees by the building’s intelligent temperature control building, and his PC started awakening the second he came through the door.

Earl is a researcher, and his company provides DNA sequencing and analysis services. His company also educates medical professionals and forensic experts on applications for his partner firm, Sunyen Diagnostics, who makes the hardware components of a DNA analyzing device.

Now that his computer is awake, he’s been able to check in on the results of some analysis running overnight on a cluster of computers using Microsoft’s new High Performance Cluster System (HPC-S) that’s chained together nine large systems, two in Loma Linda, and seven that are rented in San Jose and connected to his via an ultra-high-speed, secure channel that his associate, Benjamin, built from his home office last evening.

The HPC cluster linked together seven servers in a network operations center in San Jose, using a controller application in one server in his local office, and a large storage server that fed data to the seven servers. The seven for-hire clustered servers analyzed the data, feeding the results back to the controller application overnight. Because of the connectivity to the National Lambda Rail that Loma Linda has, the transaction times appeared as quickly as they would have if the servers sat in Cameron Research’s data center.

The results are in, and they’re clearly interesting to Earl. He clicks a few contact names on his computer’s screen, and conference calls four people, three by video and one by cell to share the interesting news.

Earl uses a video-enabled voice-over-IP system that uses the SIP and ENUM protocol to track down the people on his desired call list, Once they’re all tracked and available, the conversation begins using a digital PBX application that ties all of the virtual lines together, equalizing audio volume, and resolving video frame sizes. The frame rate and voice quality are very high, as there are no analog components in the system—save the very edge devices of speakers, microphones, and cameras.

Jane Martin, a home office employee of Cameron Research, uses VLAN technology to telecommute to her office frequently, she also uses video conferencing technology to make appearances at meetings that don’t require her physical presence. The Cameron Research virtual and digital PBX allows one of Jane’s phones to be connected to her company’s phone system at the business park, so that she can take business calls at home. In turn the cost savings that her company enjoys in low long distance toll costs and immediate connections to branch office in other states and countries permits Jane to keep in touch with her peers across the entire organization.

Jane’s email and collaborative applications, such as group document control and their organizations compliance applications are easily and securely accessed from her office near the Loma Linda Medical Center. As the conference call with Earl starts, Jane’s screen pops up the name of another caller, whom she sends to voice mail.

Jane’s company, a start-up organization, is located in a Loma Linda business park close to the university. They also have the ability to reach several of the technology centers within the university campus for research purposes at gigabit Ethernet speeds. The entire system is made reliable due to the use of redundancy in the city’s utility infrastructure. The office building’s web applications are hosted in a server located in the City of Loma Linda’s Civic Center, so that they can be tied to the National Lambda Rail (a high-speed fiber optic-based communications infrastructure) as well as Internet II—so that fast, nearly peer connections to the Super Computing Center at UCSD (University of California at San Diego) can be made.

Through the use of VLAN technology, the company’s fifteen worldwide office are connected together as a set of partitioned and secure LAN infrastructures. The same VLAN technology also runs the organizations internal PBX and mobile phone communications infrastructure. Gateways in each city allow VoIP calls to be trunked to local call centers based upon time of day. These virtualized call centers support both the organizations research, but also the combined administration of local area network functions, telephony, interactive voice applications, web applications, and many human resource and accounting functions.

But the “high energy application for Jane’s company take place on several simulation servers, and image rendering applications. Several terabytes of data are exchanged with university imaging servers, and are sent across the city utility infrastructure to be processed and put through simulations, then rendered into new images. The images are stored in another location that uses hard drive virtualization protocols to at once provide data mirroring (for storage protection) and archive data via hierarchical storage management techniques.

 

Public Service and Safety

Municipal communications services also ride the city’s communications utility infrastructure, adding various wireless voice and data bands. The city uses the utility infrastructure for public safety needs (red light cameras, security cameras, police network access, fire network access, Homeland Security infrastructure) as well as communications with residential and business alarm systems.

The city is also growing its ability to read utility meters, control traffic signals, provide environmental information, as well as connect in city library resources—and numerous other informational and educational resources for both personal and business resource use.

In all, Loma Linda’s communications infrastructure is one of the fastest, most flexible, and secure digital communications infrastructures in the United States. For business and residents, it’s an infrastructure that will last for many decades as shining and cost-effective public-private capital project.