Thanks to the power of Allied Telesis Autonomous Management Framework™ (AMF), SIT now enjoy simplified and automated network management.

The Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) is a New Zealand tertiary education institution, with campuses in Invercargill, Christchurch, Queenstown and Gore. SIT also runs a distance learning facility called ‘SIT2LRN’.

In 2012, SIT began the process of upgrading their network infrastructure. They needed a robust, scalable solution that would fulfil all their network requirements, both now and into the future.

challenge

To upgrade their network infrastructure, SIT needed a world-class vendor, with proven technology, to help them move to a future-proof, next-generation solution.

SIT had already enjoyed several years’ worth of high-performance online connectivity with two different generations of Allied Telesis equipment, so Allied Telesis was an easy choice.

The new SIT network had to be robust, scalable and easy to manage. It had to support the latest advances in technology for teaching, SIT2LRN distance learning programs, as well as the increasing online connectivity of students and staff.

The new network needed to provide:

  • High availability
  • High performance
  • Business continuity and disaster recovery
  • Scalability
  • Ease of management

solution

The new network has a three tier design. The network core consists of three SwitchBlade x8100 Series next-generation chassis switches – two at the main Invercargill campus, and one at the downtown campus. This is the 3rd generation Allied Telesis network at SIT utilizing SwitchBlade chassis core switches, underscoring the power, performance and reliability of the platform. The SwitchBlade core chassis are interconnected with 80Gbps bandwidth, which can be increased even further. They also employ 10 Gigabit connectivity to servers, storage and distribution switches.

The network distribution layer uses Allied Telesis x610 Series Layer 3 switches. The x610 switches use Allied Telesis Virtual Chassis Stacking (VCStack™) to create a single virtual unit out of multiple physical devices. The distribution layer uses link aggregation to connect to the SwitchBlade core and also to the edge switches.    

The network edge uses Allied Telesis x510 Series switches, which also use VCStack, further increasing the resilience of the design.

The key element that ties the SIT network together is the Allied Telesis Autonomous Management Framework (AMF), which allows the entire network to be managed as a single virtual device.

Installing AMF was a lot simpler than we had anticipated. The actual deployment of AMF, we did essentially in one evening, and that was across around 90 switches in 5 different locations. It was very straightforward.

Stephen Wilcox

Lead Technical Consultant,

Spark Digital Southland

The new SIT network infrastructure was deployed, and then AMF switched on once the remote campuses were setup with their new AMF capable switches. Installing AMF onto the network was extremely simple, even in this large multi-campus environment.

Partnership with Spark Digital

Allied Telesis worked in partnership with Spark Digital, the premium system integrator in New Zealand. Stephen Wilcox, Lead Technical Consultant from Spark Digital Southland, managed the new network deployment at SIT.

I’ve worked with Allied Telesis coming up to 20 years now, with their solutions being a great fit for education providers. They stack up very well against the competition, are high-value, and offer comprehensive solutions with industry leading features.

Stephen Wilcox

success

The new network has provided SIT with a powerful solution that has more than met the key requirements.

SIT now enjoys always-on access to online resources and applications, to support a modern learning environment. The increased bandwidth of the network supports the several thousand on-campus SIT students, as well as thousands more using the SIT2LRN distance learning program. Multiple aggregated 10 Gigabit links connect the network core with distribution switches, as well as servers and storage. This provides staff and students with high-speed data access, and supports services such as streaming video and digital telephony.

For a modern education provider like SIT, continuity of operations is key, with many thousands of students relying on the availability of the learning environment. The new network is a high-availability solution, with high-bandwidth between the core chassis switches at the main and downtown campuses.

SIT will keep evolving to keep pace with technology, and its use in improving educational outcomes. The new network is flexible and scalable, with adding bandwidth as easy as adding new line-cards to the SwitchBlade core chassis switches, or another switch to a VCStack, along with connecting more high-speed fibre links. This will enable SIT to quickly deploy new online services and technologies to meet business initiatives, and offer further learning opportunities.

The new network covers multiple campuses, and yet is extremely easy to manage. AMF has simplified and automated many day-to-day administration tasks like backing up the network, upgrading firmware, and installing or replacing units.

Our students and staff expect a fast, modern and reliable network. The upgrade has met these requirements and provided SIT with a solid platform whilst eliminating the bottlenecks or performance issues of the past. Allied Telesis has been excellent to work with and the equipment has lived up to our expectations.

Patsy Eade

Human Resources Manager,

SIT

AMF has provided SIT with a network solution which is simple to manage, change or grow. The powerful combination of features reduces the time and cost of network management.

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