Network Upgrade Simplifies Architecture, Improves Wifi Access
- Completely transform and simplify the enterprise network
- Support increased use of cloud-based, mobile, next-generation technologies
- Allow user access with multiple devices from multiple locations
- Create a core global integrated network
- Team with strategic partners such as AT&T and Aruba to leverage technology and expertise
- Install extensive WiFi network to help move users to wireless access
- Simplified network, better bandwidth monitoring, reduced costs
- Improved WiFi access and ease of use
- Increased facilities management flexibility
Today's employees are highly mobile, using many devices to connect to networks at multiple locations. Meanwhile, bandwidth-intensive applications such as a voice over IP and point-to-point video have increased network traffic requirements. As part of its transformation and to meet these needs, CSC completely revamped its network, folding disparate WANs into a single global architecture and greatly expanding it's mobile capabilities.
“This is huge, and it involves all of our networks,” says Nick Baker, an enterprise architect at CSC. “One of the key elements is that we wanted to simplify our WAN environment and ensure that what we deploy would be capable of supporting the new technologies we are putting in place for employee productivity and our move to more cloud-based services.”
CSC worked with strategic partner AT&T to build out the network, leveraging the telecom giant’s industry-leading global networking capabilities. Acting as its own “client zero,” CSC was able to apply its networking expertise to its new WAN and LAN environments.
By centralizing network environments to operate under a common set of management and architectural standards, CSC maintains a simpler, common configuration across its network, giving users a more consistent, predictable and user-friendly experience at company locations worldwide. By standardizing on components used in the architecture, CSC is also reducing operating costs while maintaining the highest levels of service for its employees.
From a user perspective, the biggest benefit of the project has been an improved network environment that enables ubiquitous WiFi access. “Our goal was to make it easier for employees and guests to come onsite with the ability to connect with multiple devices,” Baker says.
User access to CSC’s network is much easier. Once employees are provisioned, they can go to any CSC location and automatically connect to the network. What’s more, seamless user authentication makes the network access experience consistent across device types, including laptops, smartphones and tablets.
Ubiquitous WiFi access is made possible by Aruba’s ClearPass technology, which enables enterprises to define network access policies specific to an individual user/ device combination.
Higher Bandwidth, Better Monitoring
Working closely with AT&T to migrate to a single global network, CSC started with its
data centers and spread to regional sites. “We looked at our global WAN environment
to ensure that it was capable of supporting the new types of applications and services,”
Baker says. “We also looked over the LAN environment to ensure that it was
capable of providing quality service to the endpoint and could accommodate
high-bandwidth network traffic.”
CSC combined its regional networks to form a core that is known internally as the Globally Architected Integrated Network (GAIN). GAIN provides an expanded network hierarchy that lets enterprise entities connect more directly to the core without traversing multiple networks. GAIN supports public and private cloud, mobility, collaborative and managed connectivity services through service access distribution layers.
“This approach represents a major paradigm shift from the previous CSC WAN environment,” Baker says. “The single most important benefit is that it is providing efficiency and cost-effective delivery of traffic requirements for unified communication technologies.”
The network revamp gives CSC other benefits, such as improved monitoring of bandwidth usage. “This gives us a good idea of whether we need to increase or decrease bandwidth,” Baker says. In addition, the new infrastructure gives network engineers better visibility into the details of user activity, and the information gathered is used to tailor the environment for specific mixtures of network usage.
A key benefit of the new LAN architecture is increased flexibility in facilities management.
CSC is deploying a new facilities model to adapt to the increasing mobility of employees,
who are spending more and more time away from their desks. The goal is to migrate the
majority of LAN access from wired networks to wireless, to further facilitate mobility
within CSC office locations.
“Moving to wireless enables people to move around much easier in their offices and sit at the locations they have to do their significant work,” Baker says. The move to wireless makes it easier for CSC to consolidate and utilize office space more efficiently. “It gives us the ability to move people around without having to do a lot of recabling,” he says.
In 2013, CSC and AT&T joined forces to offer world-class network solutions that address the major challenges enterprises face relating to increased worker mobility and the move to next-generation technologies. CSC’s offerings include CSC Enterprise LAN Service, a fully managed solution with multiple service-level options; CSC Enterprise WAN Service, which leverages the power of AT&T’s global network; and CSC Enterprise Internet Service, which taps into the capabilities offered by AT&T’s IP backbone and global customer service.