The solution deployed by the CNS Mosaic Consultants was to take on board the particular issues and challenges and requirements of the School and integrate that into the network infrastructure requirements, reviewing and proving the optimum design for the network with the selected marque of network manufacturer but within tight budgetary parameters. CNS consultants also recommended and specified the hardware required and designed and deployed the solution.
CNS Mosaic’s consultants were tasked with the following:
- Design and build of perimeter firewall to control authorised access in and out of the network.
- Design and deploy a resilient network core and edge infrastructure to support the following;
- Services to reside at the core of network to be accessed by both staff members and students.
- Power over ethernet enabled systems (VoIP and CCTV).
- Design and installation of a Cisco wireless system to support both staff members and a wireless and wired system to support students and outside visitors.
- Full user and system testing of network capability and stress testing.
- Documentation of key network design.
- Security testing and hardening of all critical network and security devices.
CNS Mosaic met and exceeded the above requirements as follows:
- Juniper firewalls were deployed at the perimeter to control the security in and out of the network.
- Best of breed Cisco 3750X switches were deployed at the core, as per GSMD’s requirements. A resilient core was deployed utilising Cisco stack wise plus technology, which via the stackwise technology gave Guildhall School of Music & Drama a throughput between the switches of 64Gbps throughput. This also achieved the requirement of providing end user access to services residing on the core network infrastructure without delays or issues.
- Cisco 2960S switches were chosen to be deployed at the edge, with a handful of 3750X switches deployed in high usage areas. As per the above, the switches were resiliently deployed and offered up to 2Gbps uplink access to Core Services.
In the UK’s very competitive education market, where students pay up to £9,000 a year in tuition fees, students demand a better teaching and learning experience which encompasses all aspects of IT even though still peripheral to core teaching activity. Campus-based students and staff will want to stream, record and access online media and resources and they want to do this from the device of their choice and from anywhere. Hence a key part of the project was to design and install a world class “bring your own” solution for the school, which would support a significantly increased user base from the current system which would boast faster transmission speeds. CNS’ Mosaic Team delivered a Cisco based wireless system that delivers more than double the capacity and speed of the original wireless network. This huge increase in capacity and performance has also allowed the Guildhall School to position itself as a leader within the City of London as a corporate venue, which it is hoped will add an additional revenue stream to the Guildhall School’s finances.
Key Business Benefits
CNS’s ability to integrate professional services consultancy with the solution demanded by the client has delivered a cost effective solution with improved network stability. “It is a requirement that we continually exceed the expectations of the service that is currently demanded by our users and implement solutions that have inbuilt longevity as an infrastructure redesign three years down the line is not an option” commented Richard Antonel, Head of IT for the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. “The solution has delivered excellent benefits to us and not having to worry about whether our infrastructure can cope with increased demand over the years before its end of life gives absolute peace of mind.”