Sydney Water sub upgrades token ring for bandwidth, performance

A recent network upgrade project by Sydney Water subsidiary, Australian Water Technologies (AWT) has increased bandwidth and performance requirements for close to half Sydney Water's users.

The division has also upped performance of the organisation's head office backbone network. AWT provides IT, scientific and engineering services to Sydney Water.

According to Stephen Bradley, AWT network manager, AWT needed to increase the bandwidth, performance and manageability of Sydney Water's network following the implementation of a client/server-based Geographic Infor-mation System (GIS) at the utility. Previously its applications ran over a mainframe-based platform.

Bradley said the new client/server-based GIS, which provides a digital map of Sydney's entire water system, resulted in an increase in bandwidth demands on its LAN and WAN.

He said Sydney Water's existing dumb hubs were replaced with token ring desktop switches, from Madge Networks, to increase bandwidth and performance for 1200 of Sydney Water's 3500 users.

"The upgrade particularly hit users of the new [GIS] applications," Bradley said.

He said the upgrade project, which was completed in February this year, was fairly standard due to time demands placed on the network.

AWT selected token ring equipment from incumbent supplier Madge Networks, Bradley said.

"We're already a token ring shop and basically because of the time frame to get the bandwidth we needed, it was just a case of upgrading and adding to our existing infrastructure," he said.

According to Bradley, Sydney Water is considering migrating other applications from mainframe to client/server to run over the upgraded network At the same time as the token ring upgrade, AWT also ramped up Sydney Water's head office backbone network.

Following the consolidation of a number of servers, the organisation identified a need to increase performance.

Bradley said AWT selected the Collage 750 Backbone ATM Switch from Madge to boost the network in a "cost-effective and simple upgrade".

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