Building society completes IT refresh

Upgrade covers 38 branch offices

Building society IMB has just completed an IT infrastructure refresh which included upgrading its 38 branch offices with gigabit switches.

Before going to market IMB mapped out its requirements for flexible layer 2 switching that would integrate easily with existing core infrastructure.

IMB's IT support services manager, Ian Treweek, said a refresh was necessary to cope with growing demands of the business.

"We were spending too much time managing a network that wasn't delivering the required performance outcomes," he said.

"The goal was to upgrade to switching to increase our administrative control of the network to allow early identification of problems before any disruption to the work environment.

"We also looked to switches with greater throughput to speed up the operation of the network and consequently improve productivity."

IMB has installed 56 managed gigabit switches in the head office in Wollongong and carried out a complete refresh of the 38 branch offices with unmanaged gigabit switches.

From research, planning, implementation and 'flicking the switch', Treweek said the upgrade took IMB approximately six months.

"We rolled out the head office refresh one floor at a time over a six-week period," he added.

Treweek said the Netgear switches were installed to work at the edge of the network and integrate with core switching infrastructure from another vendor.

"We then spent around 10 weeks rolling out the new infrastructure into the branch networks," he said.

"When we were researching potentitial replacement infrastructure, a key requirement was being able to administer the network effectively internally and do our own basic problem solving.

"The Netgear switches meet that requirement, enabling us to log into a switch and see what is going on -- without having to pay a premium for this functionality.

"Since installation, we've had several reports back from our branches indicating a performance improvement, so we are very pleased with the outcome."

Netgear corporate sales manager, Greg Basford, said the GS724T ProSafe 24 Port Gigabit Smart Switches installed by IMB are designed to enable fast delivery of data for bandwidth hungry applications such as multimedia, databases and video.

Basford said network administrators can monitor performance, prioritorise traffic (Class of Service), configure VLANs, and set up port trunks.

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