FreeClix were contracted to replace the legacy unmanaged data network spanning the four Technology Park buildings. FreeClix led on the design and implementation of a new combined Data and Voice network capable of gigabit speeds to the network edge with 10 gigabit core switching.
The project mandate stipulated that the Technology Park rents office space to over sixty small businesses (referred to as tenants from now). To identify any complex network configurations and extended change windows of these tenants, FreeClix issued each tenant with a digital ‘SurveyMonkey’ questionnaire and collated their responses into quality controlled work packages on the project plan. The mandate also specified that guest WiFi network was required. FreeClix provided the customer with a detailed proposal covering legally compliant social WiFi through our preferred supplier.
At the project scoping and planning stage FreeClix discovered that the existing ISP would need to allocate a different Internet address subnet for the new network. To mitigate this risk, FreeClix designed and implemented the second network alongside the existing one. This ensured that the small businesses were able to continue their BAU activities while the new network was physically installed and tested. This resulted in two active data networks where tenants were able to perform acceptance testing in good time prior to the changeover date.
FreeClix proposed that the Technology Park should be provided with a resilient primary and secondary Internet link through one of our carriers to replace the existing single point of failure at the project scoping and planning stage. However, the customer chose not to proceed with this work due to internal affairs.
As per the FreeClix Quality statement, we ensured that an excellent working relationship with all parties was cemented through unambiguous, open communication. This greatly assisted with managing the existing Voice provider’s work package to migrate the onsite IP telephony system onto the new network. This supplier was also subcontracted to replace the campus’s network cabling. We used our positive relationship with them to ensure that only the structured cabling that failed testing was replaced. This resulted in a significant cost saving for the customer and reduced the project’s timescale.
To satisfy the varied IT needs of the tenants identified through our questionnaire, FreeClix installed a secure wall mounted network cabinet containing a Gigabit capable PoE access switch (uplinked to the Park’s new ten Gigabit core switch infrastructure) and patch panel in each office space during the project’s implementation. We also used the tenants’ information to scope and configure the Technology Park’s new firewall and bandwidth management hardware to allow tenants choice in their network implementation. FreeClix provided tenants with the ability to access the Internet securely with or without their own firewall. We identified those tenants with their internal IT companies and planned in site visits and conference calls to ensure their transition to the new network was painless.
FreeClix provided inter-building network links using full duplex gigabit Microwave links. We used a single brand and model that we have successfully implemented at many other sites including our own core network in Norwich. This communications medium provides a very cost effective, high bandwidth solution that does not require expensive maintenance or civil engineering works to install.
The new data network utilised a single brand of enterprise switch hardware that FreeClix are very familiar with and have used in other installations and our own network for over 15 years. This maximised device compatibility and so the implementation activities were quick to complete and test. This also allowed preconfigured redundant equipment to be held onsite that can be quickly installed in the event of physical hardware failure.
Ongoing relationships with tenants and the customer are very good due to our proactive support driven by the industry standard network monitoring platform that we installed and configured at the Technology Park, our knowledge of the network technologies at the site, remote management and FreeClix’s desire to engage with the tenants to provide excellent customer service.