Kordia pulls Te Puni Kokiri out of GSN bind

A high performance alternative was needed, and fast

The sudden cancellation of the Government Shared Network (GSN) last December left Maori policy advisory agency Te Puni Kokiri (TPK) having to scramble for a replacement to keep its inter-office communications going.

TPK’s manager of Information Services, Gary Weston-Webb, says the agency is a policy-based one with lots of internet traffic going across the various offices around New Zealand, so a high-performance alternative was needed quickly.

A Request for Pricing tender was put out by TKP, with several providers joining in. Weston-Webb says there wasn’t that much to differentiate the various bids, but Kordia offered the greatest amount of flexibility and keen pricing that didn’t lead to any extra costs for the agency.

Being a state-owned enterprise, the choice of Kordia was attractive to TPK.

“It’s a bit like keeping it in the family,” Weston-Webb says.

He adds that another important consideration is that Kordia is responsive to technical support queries and requests. “Kordia doesn’t have that layer of bureaucracy bigger providers have, and real techies answer your queries,” he says.

Physically, the radio link reaches some three kilometres from TPK’s offices to Mt Victoria in Wellington. Its full capacity is 40Mbit/s but 20Mbit/s of that is shared with NIWA over CityLink backhaul. TPK has apportioned the link so that 10Mbit/s is used for internet access and five 2Mbit/s channels for inter-office communications. Kordia delivers the service as a “stripped-down Layer 2,” as Weston-Webb says TPK wants to use its own switches and equipment.

TPK also uses Riverbed Steelhead WAN optimisers on the link, for application acceleration, he says.

Through the link, TPK connects 10 agencies around the country, and the Christchurch and Hamilton ones were the first to join.

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