Success Stories - Case Study
Due to large expansion, we were contacted by the managers of a local aerodrome to assist with their IT requirements. After meeting with the client, we ascertained that the existing office building was going to be retired, and a new purpose built warehouse/office complex was under development. This new building needed structured cabling installing to allow computers and telephones to be connected anywhere within the premises.
Furthermore the network needed extending to the many other buildings around the site, for computer networking, telephones and CCTV coverage.
Our installation team completed the requirements as follows;
We installed a floor mounted data cabinet to the IT office and terminated all structured cabling that was laid throughout the premises. Fast network switches were installed to create a cat5 data network and by liaising with the telephone supplier, we also ensured that all cabling requirements for the phones were satisfied.
With buildings located more than 100 metres apart, Cat5 cabling would not be able to carry the network between them. Therefore fibre optic cabling was the only option. A carefully designed plan was developed to encompass all site buildings in the most efficient cable routes, but to give maximum network access speeds.
Rack mounted servers
The network would require hosted applications and network security. Therefore a network server was needed, and for the purposes of redundancy two were assembled for site. Both servers were configured to constantly mirror each other for minimal downtime in the event of single server failure. Both servers were installed into the data cabinet at site and were configured to mange the network, ready for client PC connections.
Our approach to this requirement gave the client various benefits.
Site-Wide network access
Because all buildings now share the same network, it is possible to access information anywhere on the site. With no need to phone or visit other buildings for information, staff and management at the site have seen significant improvements to productivity.
Fibre trained engineers
With fully trained fibre optic engineers, we did not have to sub contract the fibre terminations to a 3rd party. This meant we could keep full control over the project for the client, and gave us the flexibility to alter any plans immediately during site visits to overcome any unforeseen issues. Furthermore, with no sub contractors needed, we could keep the costs to the client as low as possible.
Common phone/PC network
By creating a common network around the site, any data point can now host a PC or telephone by simple connection. This has allowed the consolidation of BT phone points around the complex. Whereas over 30 separate lines were once needed around site, the client can now operate with just 8. This has allowed significant cost savings on phone line rental.
Furthermore, desk or office moves are as simple as moving the equipment to the required area.
Segregated CCTV network
It was important to look at the network performance overhead that CCTV integration would bring to the network. With such a large site complex, adding CCTV to the central network was a big consideration when designing the network.
By segregating the optic fibres at each site, we were able to build two totally isolated networks at each building. This allowed full resolution CCTV images to be transmitted back to head office in near realtime. With no data overhead to the data/phone network, the business critical applications could continue to function with no speed degradation.
After meeting with the client we soon realised that downtime was not an option. All items of failure were to be addressed as sensibly as possible. We advised to opt for multicore fibre optic cable, due to itís fragility. With cables buried deep underground it was obviously going to be a big problem if the micro thin cable were to become damaged in any way. By specifying multicore cable, it gave us the ability to build in redundancy from the start. Should a fibre cable fail, the client can re-patch to another fibre within minutes.
Having designed the entire site network together with the client, both parties have added knowledge on the site setup. Our engineers have detailed knowledge on how the client is utilising the network, and can support any part of the site quickly and easily. Furthermore, we can advice on future site upgrades and changes after getting a deep understanding on how the client operates their business.
From quotation to handover, this proved to be a big project. When installing deeply buried cabling, making technical mistakes is simply not an option. Although a significant outlay for the client initially, the BT phone line saving alone means that project will pay for itself within 5 years. Combined with the huge productivity advantages of staff having instant access to network data at any site, and it is easily seen that this project is a success.
Furthermore, having built a strong relationship with the client we are now responsible for all IT outsourcing needs.