Computing on Campus

The computing environment at MIT supports an impressive array of information technologies and resources, many of them notable to MIT.

MITnet. MIT’s network infrastructure in the Cambridge/Boston area is made up of 7,288 miles of fiber, 5,500 wireless access points, and 3,000 switches that provide on-campus wired connectivity. The Institute also owns and operates the MIT Regional Optical Network—a 2,500-mile optical ring connecting researchers in Boston, New York City, and about 10 other locations across the Northeast. In addition, MIT has 10-gigabit dedicated connections to Internet 2, Akamai, Amazon, VMware, and the Energy Sciences Network, and a 100-gigabit connection to the CERN Large Hadron Collider.

Mobility. MIT is a fully wireless campus with an extensive mobile web featuring customized applications for the iPhone and Android platforms.

Devices. About 60,000 devices access MIT’s network regularly. Close to 90 percent of MIT students arrive on campus with a laptop or a mobile device (and often both), with a 1:1 ratio of Macintosh to Windows machines across the campus.

Kerberos. Kerberos was originally developed at MIT to secure network services on Athena, MIT’s main academic computing environment, and is now a widely adopted protocol for network authentication. Athena provides academic software, courseware, and public computing facilities, primarily to students.

Systems. Stellar/LMOD, MIT’s course management system, currently houses 1,000 sites containing course materials, assignments, and other resources. WebSIS, the student information system, provides access to personal records, course information, and scheduling.

Support. The central IT Service Desk handles approximately 160 telephone and email requests per day. Distributed Support Teams provides desk-side support to 42 departments, labs, and centers across campus. Additionally, an extensive knowledge base draws on the cumulative IT expertise at MIT to deliver over 8,800 articles of self-help information to the community.