How n2grate Guided One Federal Agency Through a Timely Technology Refresh to Fortify Network Reliability

The Challenge

The federal agency trains 60,000 students from 125 different centers nationwide. These different centers were largely managed and maintained through two dedicated data centers.

As the agency began shutting down its Maine data center, it needed to update the equipment of its data center in Dallas. In addition, technology updates needed to be made at the individual training centers.

Much of the core network components – routers, switches, video, and additional equipment – were hitting end-of-life support deadlines. While the large training agency had already virtualized its standalone servers and was in the process of upgrading a lot of its older systems, it needed to complete a technology refresh across the entire IT infrastructure.

The need for a technology refresh was compounded by the challenges the agency faced with network failures and instability due to LAN equipment breakdowns.
The federal agency went through a procurement process and put the project up for bid. Thanks to in-depth familiarity with the agency and valuable experience working with government agencies on similar projects, n2grate was awarded the contract.

The Solution

Pat McConnell, Director of Federal Sales at n2grate, already had a comprehensive understanding of and prior experience working with this federal agency’s existing infrastructure. “We understood all of the iterations of their network, understood what they’ve done in the past, and what their teams were. While other companies would have had to get up to speed on the agency’s goals and objectives, we had that knowledge going in, making the execution process easier.”

Rich Troutman, Senior Director of Technical Services at n2grate, oversaw the large-scale project that involved an assortment of pieces to update. “It was a comprehensive project overall that included upgrades to EMC storage, Cisco equipment, routers, several PCs, laptops, and desktops across 75 locations.”

n2grate also offered engineering support for existing IBM equipment. As a valued IBM Business Partner, the solutions provider helped implement IBM Power Systems that would support the federal agency’s Sybase application. This was a critical aspect of the project, as the application could only work with certain IBM servers. Because of n2grate’s IBM extensive technical expertise, the installation went smoothly.

The Value of an n2grate Partnership

In many respects, n2grate wasn’t just a partner to this federal agency. They were a valuable member of their team. And with the two companies working together as one team, the agency didn’t have to invest in additional staff to handle the infrastructure upgrades. n2grate was also able to provide the dedicated, hands-on service they needed from a smaller, one-stop shop.

With most of the technology refresh complete, the agency has experienced clear improvements in its application and network performance. They have gained greater throughput, and their overall security has also received a boost. The newer systems are able to support security policies the previous systems couldn’t handle.

Since the technology refresh was implemented, this federal agency has been able to expand its application use in ways they couldn’t have before.