This is the web site of Charles E. Spurgeon

I am a co-author of the book "Ethernet - The Definitive Guide," along with Joann Zimmerman.

My job title is Senior Network Architect at the University of Texas at Austin, and I've been involved in developing and managing large campus computer networks for several decades. My first email account ran on UT Austin mainframes in 1979, and I got my first Unix account (Berkeley Software Distribution v4.0 for the VAX, IIRC) while working at Stanford University in 1981.

At Stanford my first job was with the Stanford Medical Center with a group called SUMEX-AIM (Stanford University Medical EXperimental computing--Artificial Intelligence in Medicine). That group created the first version of an internet router, which was further developed by multiple groups at Stanford and became the key technology used to build the campus network.

An internet router is a device used to route packets of data around a network system. The data in those packets make up the content shown in Web browsers, the sounds heard in Skype phone calls or the video display for Netflix movies, making routers essential to the operation of complex networks and the worldwide Internet. The Stanford prototype router became the originating product of a startup company called cisco Systems (the lower case "c" is not a typo).

Cisco grew into a company that spelled their name with a capital letter and developed many networking devices. However, I never worked at Cisco. Instead, I returned to UT Austin in the late 1980s where I have worked ever since, building and managing a rapidly growing campus network at one of the largest research universities in the country.

To provide some idea of the size of the place, there are 50,000 students and 20,000 full and part time faculty and staff at the University of Texas at Austin, located in 200 buildings and sites covering over 20 million gross square feet of indoor space. The university budget for 2015-2016 was roughly $2.5 billion, including research and contract grant funding of over 650 million dollars.

The UT Austin network supports roughly 160,000 computers in a given year, and the wired network includes 135,000 Ethernet ports in 3,250 switches and routers. There is a large Wi-Fi system with 10,000 radios in over 5,000 access points. In 2011 the wireless system supported a peak of 25,000 concurrent users during the busy hours of the day. The UT Austin data center, based on Cisco Nexus equipment, supports around 1,000 servers and many hundreds of virtual machines. For anyone interested in even more details, the UT Austin 2010-2011 Campus Network Report can provide them.

In my abundant free time I like to write, travel and take photographs.

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