St George speeds up network

St George Bank has rolled out a Nortel backbone to support a network with throughput speeds that reach 10 Gigabit.

Support for an existing CRM project and an eye to putting in place future VoIP and teleconferencing systems spurred the implementation.

The project covers 10 Gigabit Optical Metro 5200 fibre optic between business continuity sites in Sydney, two Nortel Ethernet Routing Switch 8600s for sub-second failover, as well as more 8600s to connect more than 400 servers to branches nationally.

Implemented by Optus and a Nortel nPower channel partner, St George IT group executive John Loebenstein said the sub-second failover was implemented to minimize any effect to customers in the event of a system failure, but the main driver for the upgrade was a CRM project launched last year.

"As part of our customer experience development, we launched a CRM project in Q4 2005 that required an overhaul of our existing network to function optimally," Loebenstein said.

"Not only did we need vastly increased bandwidth to support new CRM and other applications, but - given the type of traffic we were going to run over the network, including voice and video - we needed a sub-second failover recovery to minimize any effect on customers in the event of a systems failure."

St George IT network services executive manager Paul Bristow said the bank was mainly looking for high levels of performance when the network is under the added stress of services such as voice and video.

"New applications like videoconferencing and VoIP put a much greater emphasis on the reliability and resiliency of the network infrastructure, because of the added stresses they put on available bandwidth," Bristow said.

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