Data Integration designed and implemented a resilient, high performance Extreme Networks solution for Isle of Wight Council. The new network enables reliable delivery of applications and services to the council's employees, members and citizens right across the island.
Isle of Wight Council provides services aimed at 'Improving Island Life' by:
- Giving excellent service
- Working in partnership
- Listening to people
Data Integration has worked with the council for five years, initially on a project delivering secure, fast network access for third parties and the council's many remote sites. The company also won a significant contract with the Isle of Wight's social services department, helping to deploy SWIFT, a dedicated social care application across a Citrix thin client environment for 450 users located all over the island.
When the council decided to implement a new council-wide, electronic document management system to improve the efficiency of its operations, Roger Brown, ICT Operations Manager, knew that the LAN would need to be upgraded: "The previous network infrastructure had been in place for some years, and like most organisations we were trying to squeeze maximum value out of that investment. However, we knew the LAN needed upgrading and the new document management system provided the driver we needed to create a business case."
So Roger started the process of inviting tenders for the contract to upgrade the council's LAN. Extreme Networks was one of four vendors selected because their switches met the council's size and performance requirements. Data Integration was recommended to the council as Extreme's preferred partner to bid for the project because of the integrator's status as one of the top five Extreme partners in Europe and their extensive experience working with public sector organisations.
Data Integration considered two Extreme Networks solutions, single chassis and dual chassis. Having analysed the costs and benefits of each, the dual chassis option was found to offer far more flexibility, as well as greater long-term value.
Data Integration specified modular BlackDiamond core chassis switches for their advanced scalability, resiliency and security features, with stackable Summit fixed configuration switches delivering high performance multilayer Ethernet switching to the network edge.
Following the competitive tender process, Data Integration's Extreme proposal was chosen as the solution that most closely matched the council's requirements and provided 'best value'.
Aiming for zero downtime
The Isle of Wight Council's tender asked for a high performance, flexible network offering 99.999 per cent availability and high levels of network-wide quality of service, enabling users to work as efficiently as possible without service disruption.
As Roger Brown explains: "Extreme Networks offers 'hitless failover' where, in the event of a problem, switch management control is transferred to a back-up module without any traffic being dropped. This is a major advantage as even tiny periods of downtime can cause serious problems. And with Data Integration's skills in integrating Extreme's products with a range of networking and systems technologies we had complete confidence in their technical expertise and ability to deliver."
Data Integration has an ethos of developing customer partnerships which last way beyond the sales and installation phases of a project. Having assisted in developing a first class, trouble-free network which can grow and develop in response to Isle of Wight Council's increasing demands, the company continues to provide ongoing support.
Roger Brown highlights the benefits of the new network: 'Implementing this Extreme Networks core solution has provided high performance, scalability and the flexibility to meet the future needs of our user base. It should also deliver an excellent return on the Council's investment because of the lower total cost of ownership compared with other products on the market.'