Network / Server Infrastructure
Covering All of Your Bases
A company with a nation-wide presence needed assistance with ensuring network security after the termination of their on-site IT personnel.
One of the challenges was simply the logistics of needing to travel to the location of the physical IT infrastructure located in Miami, Florida. Overcoming this challenge ensured network security between their local Milwaukee branch location and their Miami location.
SWICKtech worked with all company staff to change email passwords, disabled Active Directory email account and changed passwords for all hosted services. SWICKtech’s network engineer reconfigured the firewall and VPN rules to eliminate remote access and changed all wireless passwords as well.
Onboarding IA Acquisitions
Producing A Streamlined Process
A regional manufacturing and distribution client acquired another company to support operations in the western Midwest and required assistance with evaluation and integration of newly acquired network assets.
SWICKtech’s network engineers needed to travel to each of the new offices located out of state to examine the newly acquired company’s existing assets.
Once each newly acquired location was fully assessed SWICKtech installed new network equipment to operate in tandem with existing infrastructure at each office. This included a network rack, Cisco Catalyst 2960X access switch, NeatPatch cable management units, APC Smart-UPS battery backup units, and Cisco ASA 5506-X firewalls. Additionally, SWICKtech extensively cleaned up physical cabling where possible and worked with the client’s existing network and voice providers to streamline the acquisition process.
Carrier & Infrastructure Improvements
A nationwide construction company required high-speed private connectivity to branch offices to fully support project collaboration.
Design and Implement a WAN improvement paradigm for corporate headquarters and three branch offices throughout the country in a timely manner.
To control network routing quality of service, a Cisco 4331 Integrated Services Router was deployed at each office. Internet access for all sites was routed to the corporate headquarters through the private ELAN.
SWICKtech coordinated and staged the installation at each branch site to upgrade and centralize internet access for all branch offices through the corporate firewall.
IT Infrastructure & Systems Separation
A Seamless Transition
A commercial real estate company needed transitioning one division of their company to the parent company brand. Additionally, SWICKtech assisted migrating the client to Microsoft Office 365.
At the time, most of the technology infrastructure (apps, services, and servers) were located at a different branch location. The challenge was to get all the applications, services and servers to have inter-site network connectivity with separate isolated technology systems.
SWICKtech successfully completed the separation of two business entities under one ownership, all servers, all files, all applications and an entire email system to two different Office 365 tenants. All the while, SWICKtech worked with the client’s internal IT to make their transition seamless.
Remote Access Improvements
Secure & Effective Remote Access for Vendors & Employees
A baking company required a remote access design for vendors to remotely service the robotic production equipment. Five pieces of equipment were currently in place, with a possible twelve more to be added in the next two years.
Vendors currently access the equipment by remotely connecting to a client-owned laptop using TeamViewer software, which is then physically attached to the specific equipment requiring maintenance. During maintenance, the laptop is unavailable for common use.
Working with multiple vendors to determine remote access requirements, along with acquiring necessary protocols and software. Each vendor had different requirements, and some required expensive specialty software.
SWICKtech developed a standard remote access solution that accommodates both vendor and employee requirements, using Cisco AnyConnect software attached to Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) firewall. After discussions with the vendors involved with the client’s production equipment, it was determined this standard will work for the known remote access requirements.
SWICKtech used the most stable and cost effective solution using the Cisco AnyConnect client. The software was configured to achieve remote access for both vendors and employees securely and effectively.
Virtual Infrastructure Improvements
Helping Your Company Grow
A company with a local presence had a virtual infrastructure made up of VMware ESXi hosts connected via iSCSI to an HP storage array. The VMware ESXi host were aged, different makes and models, and lacked appropriate resources. The HP storage array was aged and at capacity. Both components were holding back the company’s plans for growth.
The existing cabling structure in the client’s server room caused difficulty when tracing cables. Moreover, cables were loose and running throughout the rack haphazardly, making it challenging to navigate the physical changes when switching the infrastructure.
SWICKtech’s engineers replaced the existing VMware WSXI hosts with a Dell FX2 chassis consisting of 2x Dell FC630 servers with ample resources and a Dell FN410T I/O Aggregator configured in a stack. Also, SWICKtech replaced the existing HP storage array with a Dell MD3820i and Dell MD1220 expansion shelf providing enough storage to support the client’s current needs and accommodate their growth.
Network Infrastructure Improvements
Global Manufacturing Lab
A Manufacturing Lab who sells their product on a global scale was in need of improved network infrastructure. They have utilized SWICKtech Professional Services IT Project Consultants for many projects in the past. Increasing stability and allowing room for growth as well as reducing risk and complexity of existing network were key areas of improvement.
With a mixture of Cisco, HP, and Vyatta network infrastructure, the previous infrastructure did not meet many design best practices for an environment of that size. SWICKtech deployed Cisco Catalyst switching with “layer 3” routing capabilities using industry standards and best practices replacing both HP and Vyatta. A single vendor approach ensures maximum performance, compatibility, and stability.
Cisco Catalyst switches are the industry’s standard access switches with high reliability, long service life, and provide the highest ROI. As a benefit to our clients, SWICKtech keeps identical spares of Cisco Catalyst switches in stock at all times providing specific clients with same day replacement without needing to purchase same day replacement from the manufacturer.
There were eight individual points of management in the switched infrastructure across five distribution frames. Many network changes needed to be made at each point. SWICKtechSWICKtech reduced from eight to four points of management and from five to four distribution frames halving the support requirements through the use of Cisco FlexStack+. Cisco Catalyst greatly simplifies the network while providing the requisite features to reliably support data, voice, and wireless services while reducing support costs.
The Cisco Catalyst switch has 48 next generation Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+) ports supporting switch-powered phones, wireless access points, IP cameras, and other security devices. PoE+ was now available on all copper switch ports.
The multi-strand fiber passed between their buildings was not configured in a redundant manner. This resulted into several single points of failure. To build interconnect capacity and redundancy, SWICKtech built a “cross-stack Ether Channel” on both sides.
The Cisco Unified Wireless system was at capacity (25 access points maximum), with only a single controller presenting a single point of failure. SWICKtech capitalized on the existing investment keeping existing access points while installing replacement controllers with added capacity (up to 75 access points with licensing) and high availability while applying best practices.
Lastly, the set up for Remote Access VPN was creating significant problems. The PPTP VPN technology used to provide remote access VPN is known to have issues traversing firewalls commonly found in hotels, coffee shops, and homes making it undesirable. Additionally, the user database for VPN access was separate from the user database used to login to computers adding unneeded support overhead and confusion. SWICKtech deployed Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client for easy to use, reliable VPN based on SSL with Active Directory integrated authentication.
Internet Edge Improvements
Cisco Networking Equipment for Manufacturing
A Global Leading Manufacturer and marketer of quality sailboat hardware with multiple sites around the world was having issues at their local headquarters in Pewaukee. Their headquarters was the only site which did not have a Cisco ASA Internet-edge firewall. As a result, site-to-site VPN compatibility was troublesome causing unstable connectivity between sites.
SWICKtech IT Project Consultants proposed and executed on a plan to migrate operational configuration from their existing firewall to a Cisco ASA. The reliability of site-to-site VPN’s improved greatly upon installation of the Cisco ASA Firewall.
WAN Improvements for Manufacturing
Third Site Turn up for Network Access
A Global Manufacturing Company with two local sites was planning on turning up a third site with needed network access capabilities.
SWICKtech IT Project Consultants (i.e. Network Engineers) designed a WAN network using point-to-point wireless bridges between all three sites as they were all within line-of-sight of each other.
The new site also required new network equipment both wired and wireless. Our New Berlin Network Engineers purchased, configured and implemented all network equipment. This included changing network addressing at one existing site.
Overall, this resulted in successful network communication between all three sites with functional dynamic redundancy.
The IT Jackpot - "Green Field”
Network Infrastructure & Mobile Workstation Improvements for Healthcare Organization
A Pediatrics facility located in Waukesha was unhappy with the monthly service they were receiving from their IT Managed Service Provider. Their current Managed Service Provider was renting all their equipment so updated equipment for purchase was a necessary item to tackle.
SWICKtech IT Business Consultants met with the Pediatrics facility, proposing a new Monthly Service Agreement along with updated network and mobile workstation equipment. A ‘green field’ environment allowed SWICKtech to provide top quality Enterprise Network Equipment and Dell touch screen laptops to the entire office.
With our Network Engineers leading the project, Cisco Network equipment including network switches and wireless access points were installed. Through Cisco’s Unified Wireless solution, SWICKtech was able to improve their poor quality wireless throughout the office. 26 New Dell laptops were prepared with data transferred over and training to all Doctors and Nurses to ensure a smooth transition.
This healthcare organization invests in a SWICKtech Full Stability Monthly Agreement with unlimited help desk support as needed. Since they transitioned to our platform, little extra help has been needed based off their increased wireless stability and continued service.