Cleveland Bridge and the Cisco Difference

Cleveland Bridge is one of the oldest occupants of Jebel Ali, having their premises inaugurated by none other than the Late His Highness Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum himself. Cleveland Bridge is a leader in the design, Fabrication, Erection of Structural steelwork for Oil and Gas, Petrochemical, Power and water, commercial and industrial sectors.

Prior to the upgrade Cleveland Bridge had a flat Layer 2 flat network with a mix of hub and layer 2 switches. There was no core switch in the network and all the switches were cascaded to each other. The servers were all centralized which added to the network congestion and latency. A few of the departments also did not have connectivity to the central LAN .

Seven Seas was called upon by Cleveland Bridge to propose and design a solution which not only could meet their current requirements, but put in place a foundation that they, would be able to capitalize on for the future.

In this new-age world, information infrastructure is at the root of real-time business applications and processes, which pervade in modern enterprise. It enables the delivery of the right kind of data at extremely low latencies, since data in the right form, at the right time and the right place is necessary for the new real-time world of transactions, analytics and decision-support. As a response to this requirement, it was an endeavor on the part of Seven Seas to ensure that the design and the subsequent installation would enable Cleveland Bridge to operate at high efficiencies with extreme flexibility.

As a first step to this process Seven Seas proposed to Cleveland Bridge a structured two-tier architecture model. At the Distribution /Core block Seven Seas proposed Cisco's 4507R core Switch which offers high performance modular platform and secure, flexible and non-stop communications. It was proposed to connect the end users to Cisco's 3560 Layer 3 and Ce500 Layer 2 switches with fiber uplinks to the core. The choice of Layer 2 and Layer 3 switches at the core was based on the number of decisions which included amongst others, number of users, end user bandwidth i.e. 10 /100 or 10/100/1000 and a decentralized server architecture for a few select departments like design and drawing

The Core was also populated with a 24 Port GBIC card to connect all the servers used for general services like ERP and E-mail. In order to provide layer 2 / Layer 3 services the core was installed with a supervisor 4 engine.

VLANs were proposed to not only logically segregate the network department wise, but also to provide the much needed security and ensure that the network was divided into multiple broadcast domains

The proposed network would have been impossible to achieve its desired results without a revamp of the entire cabling which was upgraded to Cat 6 and Fiber using a Structured cabling methodology.

As a result of this upgrade, all the departments were now connected to the central LAN. Manageability and monitoring became easier. Time spent on troubleshooting the network was greatly reduced and downtimes almost became negligible. The purchase of the 4507R also has helped Cleveland Bridge to plan for redundancy at the core with the option of buying a second Supervisor engine at a later stage. Dual Power supplies have eliminated downtime on the Core due to power outages. The use of a 7 Slot chassis has also made further expansion much easier with the insertion of a card. A New facility coming up a few kilometers away will help those users also access the centralized services without any extra burden / drag on the current network or hampering the processing capabilities of the CORE / Edge switches.

The Network is now ready for the deployment of IP telephony services which is next on the agenda for Cleveland Bridge .

Seven Seas is a premier ISO 9001:2000 certified end-to-end ICT solutions provider. Seven Seas delivers technology solutions and services in business software, data networking, business continuity and data center, enterprise and high availability, voice solutions, information security, intelligent building management systems (IBMS), smart homes, value added IT services, corporate procurement and consulting. Our domain expertise is in banking, hospitality, oil & gas, real estate and medium to large family businesses. With over 350 professionals, (of whom 270 are based in the UAE), comprising software engineers, industry certified design and support engineers, project and program managers, customer relationship managers and domain specialists, across its offices, Seven Seas delivers effective cross-domain ICT solutions to over 1000 customers.

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