Wireless & Mobility
Implementing Wi-Fi designed to support high density environments
Over a 12-month period, Outcomex implemented a series of upgrades to Snowy Valleys Council’s existing infrastructure, software and hardware across 35 community sites, including providing managed services across all sites. With the modernisation and refresh of LAN and WAN across the different sites, the council will have enhanced cyber security across multiple locations, including access to the analytics of each site. The community areas now have highly available internet access, IP telephony, use of Microsoft Office 365, VMWare and storage environments, a backup and disaster recovery solution and increased overall performance in its software capability at the council chambers, offices, and several other community sites.
Snowy Valleys Council is a local government located in the South West Slopes of NSW. Since their establishment in 2016, following the merger of the Tumbarumba Shire Council and the Tumut Shire Council, the Snowy Valleys Council is responsible for several community sites, including national parks, across an expansive area comprising 8,960 square kilometres. One of the council’s main priorities is to continue to deliver local services valued by their communities, while considering ways to provide improvements to the area and its people.
Snowy Valleys Council required an update to their existing infrastructure, with the purpose of extending their internet access across multiple sites. They also needed a reliable backup and storage solution and updates to numerous processes and outdated systems. Since the council covers an extensive area, they wanted to ensure that all their systems were connected, in-sync and could work together while aiming to improve services offered to the community and their staff.
Many of the community areas suffered from an unstable internet connection which meant productivity would suffer, particularly in vital operational areas. The council’s two head offices were also impacted by storage constraints on their Exchange server. This meant that once storage space was full, the executive team’s devices would become sluggish and, in some cases, unresponsive as the server would often go down due to capacity constraints.
Outcomex deployed a complete refresh of Snowy Valleys Council’s existing infrastructure, which included updates to community sites over 35 different locations. Sites included libraries, depots, swimming pools, water filtration and treatment plants, sewer works, including their two head offices and council chambers.
The existing infrastructure refresh involved upgrading the council’s LAN and WAN across 35 sites, which involved replacing Huawei LAN switches, with Cisco LAN and WAN devices. This would not only improve connectivity across its network for all sites, but also improve security, performance, and reliability.
Additionally, we designed and installed a backup and recovery solution through dedicated VMWare and storage environments after discovering that the council’s existing backup system only had the capability to store data for up to 30 days, leaving them vulnerable and exposed. We created an onsite and secondary offsite solution capable of storing data for up to seven years. The secondary site allows for a failsafe, so if anything happens to the onsite backup, Snowy Valleys Council will retain compliancy as the secondary backup will ensure that all data is secured and safe.
Furthermore, the council initially had a distributed SQL server environment which had no failback or redundancy. To solve this, our team implemented an SQL Server Cluster redesign and consolidation. This provides a centralised, high-availability SQL environment, which minimises system downtime and ensures that if a hardware failure arises, the council’s operations will not grind to a halt as they will automatically failover to another service in the SQL Cluster environment.
Since council staff were using an on-premise Exchange server, they often experienced massive storage constraints (storage capability was 1GB per staff member). As a result of this, the Exchange server was often near max capacity and the management of it started to become troublesome. Staff would have to keep minimum mailbox sizes to maintain capacity. When the Exchange server reached capacity, it would go down. To resolve this, we designed and migrated all staff to Office 365. This gave each user 100GB of storage with cloud, which solved the redundancy and performance issues, ensuring that the executive staff’s productivity was unhindered. To help the council complete their Tech One project timeously, we implemented Microsoft ADFS. This gives them the ability to allow single-sign on (SSO) into their web application, Tech One, without maintaining several different credentials for each staff member. This provides a better user experience as just one set of credentials (sign-in details) is used for all staff, ensuring operational services continue unhindered.
We also designed and installed an IP telephony system using Cisco Unified Communications Manager and implemented a network upgrade across the head office and branch sites, which meant all staff across all locations could now collaborate through an effective communications system. We secured always-on internet connections in the Tumut and Tumbarumba head offices, ensuring that all other sites would have remote access to these two internet connections. Using Dynamic Multipoint VPN (DMVPN) on top of their WAN connections, we were able to split the internet traffic between the two head office locations. This means that if one of the internet connections goes down, all sites can then fail over to the other established internet connection, ensuring productivity remains high. Additionally, we implemented Cisco FTD Firewalls as the VPN gateways and installed Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client. These technologies will empower council members to work remotely in a highly secure network through any device at any time, which will allow staff to work from home and not be impacted by connectivity, security, or network issues.
As the council also wanted to improve its services offered to the surrounding community, we designed and deployed an end-to-end IoT solution, including offering managed services. Using Cisco Video Surveillance IP Cameras, the council will have better visibility of the library and swimming pool facilities and can make use of an unmanned kiosk, which uses the video surveillance footage to provide real-time help to the community through the use of a button. We were able to provide in-depth analytics of the footage by installing iOmniscient software, which turns the surveillance cameras into AI-powered sensors that provide a comprehensive range of detection, recognition, and automation data. The IoT solution provided can report on the occupancy levels within the community areas and monitor the number of cars and people making use of each facility which can aid the council in planning purposes. This information can also provide useful data highlighting what can be done to improve these areas, particularly high-volume areas, such as adding more lifeguards based on the number of people at the pool and during which time of the day. The council can then ensure the optimisation of each space which helps them to provide better services for their community and its diverse needs.
To ensure that Snowy Valleys Councils continues to offer optimised working environments and well-looked after community areas, we provide support and managed services across all 35 locations.
• Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client
• Cisco ISR Routers and Cisco Catalyst switches
• Cisco Next Generation Firewalls FTD
• Cisco Unified Communications Manager
• Cisco Video Surveillance IP Cameras
• Microsoft ADFS
• Microsoft O365
• Microsoft SQL
Snowy Valleys Council underwent a successful upgrade to their network infrastructure, software and hardware across 35 different community sites. With this upgrade, storage and backup solutions have been put in place, ensuring the council maintains legislation compliance. The solution allows staff to work from home, which has become increasingly useful given the global Coronavirus pandemic. The council has also continued to provide operational services to their community unhindered, with a network that is responsive, efficient, and secure.
Snowy Valleys Council will continue to receive support and managed services from Outcomex, which will aid them in ensuring all network and infrastructure remains up to date and provide their staff with innovative and top-of-the-line processes and systems.