by Jennifer O'Brien

City of Whittlesea opts for software defined network

Jun 26, 2019
Big DataBusiness IntelligenceCloud Computing

The City of Whittlesea is counting on its new SD-WAN network to help it improve network performance, streamline operations and save money.

The City of Whittlesea is located in Melbourne’s north, about 20km from the Central Business District (CBD).

The council said it was struggling to support and monitor its 15 branch locations with its legacy network solution.

As a result, the council has adopted an Aruba SD-WAN network in a bid to manage both WLAN and WAN traffic across multiple branch sites – from small offices to community activity centres and libraries – from a single pane of glass.

The software-defined network technology will help the council optimise connectivity across 15 branch offices while lowering costs, streamline IT resources and provide flexibility in setting up new locations, according to City of Whittlesea network operations team leader, David Holt.

“Aruba SD-WAN has solved our branch visibility and operation limitations, reducing the time it takes our infrastructure team to deploy and manage our WAN network.

“There was a lot of day-to-day maintenance involved in running our previous solution that we simply couldn’t dedicate resources to. Aruba’s solution has removed this demand on resources and simplified our operations, allowing our team to focus on more critical business projects and, most importantly, deliver significant cost savings.”

The council can now connect all branch locations to the head office network, and at the same time have both corporate and public access to council services available at those sites, Holt said.

The solution also gives the City of Whittlesea new flexibility, allowing the council to quickly and easily add new locations, both permanent and temporary. For example, branch gateways can now be deployed at the touch of a button at pop-up community events.

According to Aruba South Pacific director, Anthony Smith, the City of Whittlesea is the first city council in Australia to deploy Aruba SD-WAN.

“A key feature that attracts our customers to Aruba SD-WAN is the cost savings that it delivers – moving networks to lower-cost links and improving the visibility and management of branch traffic,” Smith said in a statement.

“This greater visibility of devices and network traffic inside City of Whittlesea’s branch office locations means the council can now easily troubleshoot the source of issues affecting the WAN and branch level networks.”

The SD-WAN deployment is part of the council’s wider digital transformation project to enable a mobile-friendly workforce and offer constituents digital services, such as free, public Wi-Fi.

“Our inherited connectivity solution was both costly and not robust enough to support our digital transformation project,” Holt said.

“With a newly empowered mobile workforce spread across multiple branch locations we needed a flexible WAN management solution that could consistently enforce policies across our city council sites and give us greater visibility of traffic.

“With IT resource focussed on rolling out our digital transformation activity it was also important for us to have a solution that would streamline our team’s resource and time spent managing network traffic.”

The SD-WAN sits within the City of Whittlesea’s existing Aruba infrastructure, which, once complete, will include 100 Aruba access points, 15 branch gateways, two datacentres and cloud management platform, Aruba Central.