A British technology design and manufacturing company founded in the UK in 1991. Originally most famous for their vacuum cleaners, the company has since branched out into fans, personal care, heaters and more.
The client approached Natilik looking for a network to be deployed at their new research, design and development lab. Based on a former RAF base, the centre is one of the most advanced labs of its type and will be home to some of the company’s most exciting projects.
Growth and Innovation Ready
At first, the client were interested in a more traditional networking approach, and had mentioned using Cisco 3850 switches as they were tried and tested by the IT team. However, through a series of showcases and workshops, it was determined that a software defined approach would be more closely aligned to the client strategy, as it would support future growth and innovation within the business.
One major challenge was the time frame. The date was already set for the owner to cut the ribbon at the official opening of the site, this would include an address via live video stream in front of the media and all employees worldwide. The kit was ordered, the stage was set, now just the small matter of design and deployment to deal with. Fortunately, owing to a massive collaborative effort between Cisco, Natilik and the client’s internal IT team the project was a success and the site went live without a hitch. Tight timescales, cutting edge technology, hugely visible project, done!
Natilik delivered a full Software Defined Access solution built using Cisco DNA Centre on Catalyst 9K switches, with fabric enabled wireless and Identity Services Engine to provide security to the network edge. The entire site was delivered using dynamic ports and on go-live not a single port had to be statically assigned. On the wireless side identity pre-shared key was also leveraged to allow engineers to onboard their lab devices, without requiring the intervention of the IT department. Aironet sensors are also being utilised to provide constant testing of the wired/wireless networks, ensuring that any issues are picked up before users raise tickets with the helpdesk.
The first site to be deployed using this new model comprises around 50 switches. The second site, with its 40 or so switches was much easier to deploy as all the planning and configuration work had been done upfront as part of the earlier build. Deploying the second site took less than 1 day, including the replacement of a faulty switch.
The network will now be used as a blueprint for the entire global network estate, tools like DNA Centre and plug and play will allow sites to be delivered quickly and consistently across the globe. All without requiring skilled engineers being sent to remote sites.
There was some risk involved with choosing an SDA network from the start but having identified the risk, the Natilik team, with the help of Cisco and the client’s IT, could plan for and mitigate it, meaning that the right solution could be delivered.
Through a series of workshops and showcases it was discovered that a more forward-thinking solution would be beneficial for the client sites.
The Natilik team worked day and night to deploy nearly 100 switches across two sites to deliver to the client’s requirements on time and to budget.
Ongoing support via a five-year DNA Advantage subscription, five-year Partner Shared Support and access to Natilik’s 24/7 Support.
The Natilik design/engineering teams and the client’s IT team worked through the day and late into the night to meet the non-negotiable date delivering the project on time and on budget. On the opening day 800 employees turned up for work and were able to connect and start work seamlessly.
The automation element of the solution means that any future deployments will be quicker, cheaper and more consistent. As all endpoints are profiled automatically by Identity Services Engine, this adds and removes the burden from the helpdesk.
The 24/7 support offered by Natilik means that if any issues arise, they can be dealt with in a timely manner with minimal to no disruption to those working at the site. As all sites will be designed to a standard blueprint, this makes the support element much easier and more efficient.
The use of SDA, DNA Centre and Stealthwatch, allow for deeper insight into traffic flows at the site. The helps with capacity planning, as the site has already doubled the number of staff since go-live, and allows the research and development teams to get on with innovating.