- 26 June 2015 09:09
NextGen.Net achieves network optimisation with Extreme Networks centralised solution
When Australian financial services Saas provider NextGen.Net began a rigorous upgrade process to ensure that it maintained industry-leading standards, the centralised management offered by Extreme Networks switches improved visibility, analytics, and network control beating out rival vendors including Arista, Cisco, and Juniper Networks.
NextGen.Net is Australia's leading technology service provider to the lending industry, delivering solutions including electronic lodgement, supporting documents, and loan processing to a range of banks, non-bank lenders, and brokers. As a service provider to some of Australia’s most dynamic financial institutions, the company is compelled to stay at the cutting edge of technology. With offices in Sydney and Newcastle, NextGen.Net has around 100 internal users and more than 100,000 end-users on its network at any given time.
While network stability and latency is always a focus, the strategic network upgrade prompted Senior Network Engineer, Leonel Retamar, to find a data centre switching solution that would maintain NextGen.Net’s best-practice standards while improving analytical abilities and enhancing reporting capabilities.
“One of our requirements was to implement a centralised solution that would bridge the gap between management and analytics,” said Retamar.“ From an operational perspective we sought technology that would allow us the visibility to optimise our network.” NextGen.Net began the evaluation process, calling for an RFP from leading Ethernet switch vendors. The company narrowed the list down to four: Cisco, Juniper Networks, Arista and Extreme Networks.
“We have a very robust procurement process which details all the deliverables we require, and then assesses each vendor’s ability to meet our requirements” said Kellie Green, Marketing Manager at NextGen.Net.
While products from all major vendors met many of the company’s performance and security guidelines, Extreme Networks was chosen due to the level of analytical detail that its solution provides, and the performance demonstrated during testing.
“All the vendors were highly competitive in many areas, but this is where Extreme Networks really was well above the mark,” said Retamar.
NextGen.Net deployed two Extreme Networks S8 data centre switches in the company’s Sydney data centre. The S8 series is Extreme Networks flagship switching product, an edge-to-core switch designed for highly virtualised environments. The company also recently deployed nine of Extreme Networks AP3825 access points as part of a wireless upgrade in the Sydney office.
The network upgrade has allowed Leonel and his team at NextGen.Net to improve virtualisation and application performance, as well as increasing network visibility. Greater visibility has led to an improvement in the reports that Retamar is able to generate from the network, allowing for improved decision-making and capacity planning.
Reporting for compliance and regulatory requirements has been simplified, as the Extreme Networks solution produces reports directly from the centralised management interface rather than a third-party application, as before. Centralised management and increased visibility have also given NextGen.Net greater control over the network according to Retamar, allowing him to optimise the company’s resources and improve traffic flow on the network.
NextGen.Net is now able to look into network and traffic flows in great detail, analysing the type of traffic and how it is affecting application performance.
“We are able to better perform network planning, base-lining, application usage, and trouble-shooting due to the capabilities of Extreme Networks’ solution. We are able to see deeper into the packet streams, from layer 2 all the way up to the application level, allowing us to have extremely efficient policies to either block, shape or prioritise our traffic,” he said.
Management at NextGen.Net have noticed positive results coming from the deployment, impressed with new levels of reporting that the solution provides. Internal feedback from staff suggests that the performance of applications and other network-attached devices and functionality have also improved.
Retamar said: “Our external users are yet to provide any feedback – and as anyone in IT administration is aware, customers generally only talk to you when something goes wrong, so that part is all good!” Retamar and his team, working directly with technical staff from Extreme Networks, carried out the deployment. NextGen.Net developed a strong relationship with the tech support staff at Extreme Networks during the deployment, and continue to maintain a close working relationship.
The Bottom Line
“The deployment of Extreme Networks’ solution has made our jobs easier. We have been able to streamline our business processes allowing us to focus our resources on other priorities,” said Retamar. The deployment has enabled NextGen.Net to stay ahead of the highly competitive market in Australia, maintaining the exacting standards that their customers expect while improving business processes. Better analytical ability has improved the company’s capacity to manage existing resources as well as plan for the future.
• Network staff: 100 • Users: Several thousand clients • Locations: two main offices • Two main data centres
• Decentralised network infrastructure • Insufficient network analytical abilities • Lack of complete reporting capabilities
Extreme Networks Products
• 2 x S8 Data Centre Switches • 9 x AP3825 Access Points Results • Greater network performance • Value-added visibility • Better network traffic control • Enhanced reporting