Newport City Homes has completed the implementation of a new network (wired and wireless) from Dell, replacing its previous end-of-life network and reflecting its need to handle higher volumes of data.
Owen Barrett, information systems manager, Newport City Homes, said, “If the wireless network went down, we had to contact our supplier and wait for its engineers to resolve the issue. At one point, we were without wireless access for three months.
“The network itself had never been easy to scale or simple to manage. Of the three-person senior IT team at NCH, only I had the technical skills to administer the network. Other members of the team had to be able to manage the network if there was an issue while I was out of the office.”
NCH decided to address the wireless network first. Barrett approached Dell and outlined the challenges with its current system and NCH’s plans to ‘flood’ its offices with wi-fi connectivity.
“I talked to Dell about how wireless connectivity will play a greater role in our daily operations. In just a couple of days, we were given a Dell wireless solution to test and we installed the network in no more than 15 minutes after deploying the access points.”
NCH built the new wireless network around Dell Networking W-AP135 access points with a Dell Networking W-Series Mobility Controller for centralised management.
Barrett said, “We were able to give staff fast, secure access to the data they needed through our Dell solution. We were also able to offer wi-fi connectivity to guests. We had everything up and running the same day as the access points were delivered.”
With the wireless challenges resolved, NCH’s attention moved to its wired network. The existing Cisco-based network had come to the end of its life and the IT team expected a significant increase in data traffic. NCH asked for proposals from the incumbent Cisco, as well as HP and Dell. Comparing the options, NCH an open standards solution rather than the Cisco offering.
Barrett said, “Given an alternative, we always try to avoid vendor lock-in from proprietary solutions. We received a networking proposal from Dell that met our requirements and ensured an open standards-based solution for a more cost-effective networking environment.
“We installed the new Dell network in three days, whereas we’d normally expect a project like this to take weeks. Plus, we can meet increasing data traffic and provide stable wired and wireless access to data for NCH as it expands over the coming years.”