Daymark consultants are on the front lines every day listening to our customers’ pain points and then architecting and deploying solutions to help solve some of their toughest IT challenges. They have amassed a wealth of knowledge from these real-world experiences and are happy to share them. Today we sat down with Matthew Mansell, Senior Network Consultant at Daymark, to talk about a recent networking project at a pharmaceutical company with 400 employees and a multi-building campus.
Q. What were the client’s challenges and why did they come to Daymark?
A. The company was planning an office move and needed to build out network connectivity for the new location. Daymark was asked to assist with the design of the network, as it is a unique configuration. They have multiple floors on two neighboring buildings and wanted to balance cost, complexity, functionality, and availability. Their main concern was fluidity between buildings; they wanted the network to seem like a unified single building even though it was separated into two. They also needed assistance vetting out the Cisco Meraki technology to ensure it had all the necessary functionality to support their business needs.
Q. What prompted the organization to adopt the Cisco Meraki solution?
A. The timing was right. The client had an aging infrastructure that was time consuming to manage. It did not make sense for them to continue with this architecture in the new facilities. Additionally, we knew their IT team had limited networking resources and even less time for management, so the simplicity of the Meraki GUI (Graphic User Interface), together with Daymark training and support was a perfect match.
Q. What other solutions or considerations were presented?
A. We evaluated the classic Cisco solutions, including Catalyst 2960, 3650, and 3850 switching, Aironet wireless access points, and ASAs with Firepower. In the end these solutions were ruled out due to configuration and management complexity.
Q. What were the key challenges and how were they solved?
A. The Meraki solution updated the physical equipment and standardized their infrastructure. Having suffered with a CLI interface with their legacy networking solution, the client was immediately impressed with the visibility and centralized management of Meraki. This meant the end of cumbersome and time-consuming management for the networking team.
Q. Was there any resistance across the organization and if so what where the concerns?
A. There were not. The client knew it was time for an upgrade. The increased visibility, operational efficiency and simplification of their networking infrastructure were all compelling and easy to justify. They were also pleased to be able to have a single vendor to call for technical issues.
Q. What was the final outcome of the engagement?
A. We seamlessly migrated everything that needed network connectivity into the Meraki environment. The centralized management resulted in increased network visibility and decreased administration. The team can now easily determine which employees are using which applications. We also implemented a universal port naming convention in the campus access layer that gives an administrator the ability to search for and find any particular port in seconds. This allows for speedy troubleshooting and configuration changes and enables the team to focus on long-term strategic goals as opposed to day-to-day administrative tasks.
If you’re interested in learning how Daymark can help you achieve your networking goals, contact us today. We'd love to help.