When Thames-Coromandel District Council (TCDC) sought to upgrade its networking infrastructure, it disregarded the advice of a third-party supplier, and claims to have found a much cheaper and better alternative.
The Thames-based local body has implemented a D-Link 10 Gigabit Ethernet backbone in place of an old mix of Cisco and 3Com 10Mb and 100Mb switches and unmanaged hubs.
The new set-up saw these hubs and switches replaced with D-Link 10 Gigabit Layer 3 Managed switches at the core and gigabit fibre connections to remote locations.
“We have a much smoother flow of information. 10Gb will allow us to grow the infrastructure,” says IT manager Murray Foster.
When he joined TCDC a few years ago, Foster says he found the council network was not put together very well and needed upgrading.
As a small council, with just 200 users, it took a year for him to put the business case together and get the funding. The project roll-out, however, took just three months, with completion early this year.
Costing “five figures”, Foster says this represented a significant part of his annual IT budget.
TCDC uses the Telecom One Office network, which links to the council’s remote offices in Coromandel Town, Whitianga and Whangamata.
It had sought a futureproof, seamless 1Gb network between its users and the servers and between the servers as well.
Foster says a third-party supplier, not a vendor, recommended TCDC use Cisco because it was the market leader and warned off D-Link. This led him to investigate D-Link.
“It [Cisco] was more than we needed. For council, we wanted reasonable results for reasonable amounts of cash. Cisco would have provided the same solution but more expensive through the cost of hardware. There was a significant difference, an order of magnitude,” he says.
Since the system went live early this year, council staff have received a much more reliable service, with no outages.
“They can now depend on our system. They were getting loath to log on for a while. It would go down for no reason,” Foster continues.
Furthermore, the new network will help TCDC move down the document management route and cope with a growing requirement for building inspectors to take digital photos.
“It’s also freed up my network manager’s time. It’s nice that the users have a better experience but it’s even nicer my network manager is not spending all day fighting fires,” he says.
Foster reports no challenges during implementation.
He advises: “Make you’re your engineer knows his way around a D-Link switch as opposed to Cisco. That’s the only way we were caught out as the commands aren’t all the same.”