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Network consolidation upgrades assistance

Uecomm

Since 1914, Australian Red Cross has been responding to the needs of Australians through war, drought, flood and fire. Telecommunications is critical to its operations. Overall there's 1047 branches, 35,615 members, 30,258 volunteers and 998 staff. In 2004-2005 11,134 people were assisted in a disaster or emergency situation.

Since 1914, Australian Red Cross has been responding to the needs of Australians through war, drought, flood and fire. Telecommunications is critical to its operations. Overall there's 1047 branches, 35,615 members, 30,258 volunteers and 998 staff. In 2004-2005 11,134 people were assisted in a disaster or emergency situation.

From an IT perspective, Australian Red Cross needed to consolidate 800 users from eight locations - NSW, VIC, SA, WA, TAS, NT, ACT and QLD - onto the one primary network. Their previous network was an internet VPN supporting a Citrix system which was struggling in relation to reliability, latency and lack of bandwidth for applications.

The business drivers towards a new fibre network were: interconnecting all state and territory offices; streamlining processes ie, creating the one email address for staff as opposed to different state and territory email systems; more bandwidth required for new applications - VoIP, intranet, national registration and inquiry system (NRIS) and the Australian Red Cross Tracing Service; and consolidate databases from eight major sites into one. The network solution provided by

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Uecomm uses the Fujitsu Data Centre at North Ryde (bandwidth 100 Mb) on Uecomm fibre with capital city sites coming in on SHDSL. Most sites have since been upgraded to 4 and 6 Mb fibre tails. Bowen Hills in Queensland (an additional site) and Darwin will stay on SHDSL.

Upgrading to fibre at some sites has improved reliability to the point where besides hosting their own data at Fujitsu and connecting via Uecomm WAN, they also host information for the NRIS. NRIS records the location of evacuees during an emergency and was used by Australian Red Cross during the 2003 Canberra bushfires. Almost 4700 registrations were entered onto the NRIS and 10,000 enquiries made by family and friends of evacuees following the bushfire.

Australian Red Cross now has the bandwidth for an intranet site accessed by close to 1000 staff. The upgrade has allowed Red Cross to successfully deploy an international database for missing refugees. It has also enabled them to continue using Citrix, which requires low latency.

Article supplied by: www.uecomm.com.au