Circle has completed the migration of its network infrastructure to a hosted service at Claranet’s datacentre, with 12 offices and over 200 Circle sites now connected by an MPLS network. With the project starting in 2010 and having taken around 18 months to complete, the new Claranet hosted infrastructure is expected to save Circle around £130,000 per year as well as improving IT performance across the company.
Circle originally engaged with Claranet in 2006 when, following the merger of Circle 33 with Anglia Housing, it needed an MPLS network to connect numerous sites and give employees and scheme managers better access to centralised information. At the same time, Circle rationalised its plethora of service providers down to just Claranet, making the network simpler and easier to manage.
Further expansion and acquisitions (Mercian Housing in October 2009 and Merton Priory Homes in March 2010) resulted in Circle again needing to rationalise its service providers and improve network performance across even more sites. Against 11 other companies, Claranet won Circle’s tender for a consolidated MPLS network to connect all of Circle’s offices and sites.
ADSL network across 200 sites
Claranet’s solution was a new network linking over 200 sites with ADSL connectivity and feeding into a core MPLS network, replacing a legacy point-to-point topology with a hub and spoke design for greater redundancy. In addition, Circle’s existing servers were moved to Claranet’s datacentre to reduce risk and increase security.
James Pitt, head of infrastructure, Circle, said, “This was a big project – it took 18 months to migrate to the new network. However, by consolidating our suppliers and upgrading the network, we expect annual savings of £130,000.
“Plus with ClaraCare Vision for network monitoring and analysis, we can easily manage bottlenecks and congestion on the network. We can see exactly what applications are causing congestion and where this is happening.”