Case Studies

Claranets network services bring Norfolk Councils together

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For more information : claranet.co.uk - twitter.com/claranet To book an appointment or to discuss our Network services : Call us : 0845 355 2000 - Email us : business@claranet.co.uk The solution The consortium of councils turned to Claranet to design, implement and manage a new high-performance network to replace the existing point-to-point infrastructure. Instead of meshing King's Lynn into the existing dedicated leased line network, Broadland and South Norfolk Councils proposed a fully-managed MPLS network to connect the council sites, which would also integrate with the councils' own existing internal and external networks. The new Claranet network would connect these different council hubs, and provide a single resilient and secure link through which the participating councils could communicate and add new shared services. The network was implemented throughout the autumn of 2011 and went live at Christmas. The new service comprises a Virtual Private Network (VPN) which runs exclusively across Claranet's core MPLS network and does not touch the public internet. Claranet takes full responsibility for managing the network, ensuring high availability and performance, while also managing the process of allocating network resources to each party depending on their current needs. The new Norfolk network runs over Claranet's core network, which is comprised of enterprise-grade infrastructure components. The network supports speeds of up to 100Mb/s, while Claranet staff can constantly monitor and manage the network. The result The new Norfolk network from Claranet creates, for the first time, a fast, high-bandwidth and secure link between the participating councils, and provides them with a robust platform on which they can add new services. In addition to providing the infrastructure for the CNC Building Control departments, the network has enabled the Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk and North Norfolk to share a common Revenue & Benefits service, and also provides them with the potential to add more shared services in the future. A key feature of the Claranet network is that resources can quickly be allocated to different councils and types of traffic, depending on priority. This has enabled the consortium to launch a hosted internet telephony (VoIP) service on the network, where they can ensure high quality of service by giving priority to voice traffic. "Because this project involved multiple councils, it added a layer of complexity," said Richard Godfrey, IT Manager at the Borough of King's Lynn and West Norfolk Council, who was one of the chief advocates of the project. "Shared services require shared governance, and Claranet needed to prove to the various participants that the service would be reliable, and that the network would survive even if one of the parties pulled out of the project." Claranet's network services bring Norfolk Councils together The key to the Norfolk network is that it requires no new physical infrastructure between the sites. Instead, the whole service runs over Claranet's own network. The result is that no single council need own nor depend on the service, so anyone can withdraw from the project without affecting the project's overall success. It also enables local authorities to configure the network differently for their own needs; for example, if they want to prioritise traffic, allocate network resources or make individual arrangements over how resilient they want their connectivity to be. The benefits Claranet's managed network has delivered benefits for the council consortium that far outstrip the original aim of improving communications within CNC Building Control. "With a single network hosted in one data centre and available to multiple councils, we can achieve fantastic efficiencies," explained John Wickens. "We have already moved Building Control and Revenue & Benefits onto the platform, and are looking at other services that we can add. Other benefits abound, including the fact that the councils have gained an operational dividend from greater operational resilience, as the network enables workers to access critical services from other premises should a business continuity event occur. The councils also no longer have to undertake time-consuming maintenance and management on the old point-to-point infrastructure. "Throughout, Claranet has been the perfect partner," said Wickens. "We came to them with a whole host of ideas and they had the vision to see the advantages of our proposals right away. They took the time listen to us, understand our needs and accommodate our ideas into the final service. It was very refreshing not to be given the 'big sell'; they did not force a pre- packed solution on us, but instead designed and delivered a service that will bring benefits to Norfolk and its taxpayers for many years to come," he concluded. Without Claranet, we would be duplicating the time, effort and expenditure - both capital and operational, spent on running individual services. In today's world, and today's public sector, that kind of unnecessary overspend is increasingly unacceptable..." John Wickens - IT Technical Architect and Compliance Officer at South Norfolk Council " For more information about Claranet services, and the benefits these deliver, go to: www.claranet.co.uk Case study Norfolk Councils Managed networks

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