Case Studies

Examples of what we've done for some of our clients.

Rapid deployment for Insurance company

Challenge

To provide a cost effective, secure, and standardized model for rapid expansion and deployment in Alberta Walmart locations. An end to end solution was required – everything from cabling, to network infrastructure, to user equipment, and including all cloud hosted applications and services. This was to be ready to deploy for 1-3 locations per month, and up to 14 locations within the 1st year.

Solution

Designed cutting edge customized remote application platform that included setting up application & remote access servers, secure backups, and email & VoIP phone solutions for staff. Arranging for smooth deployment involved coordinating with industry specific software applications, sourcing equipment and cabling, creating standardized colour coordinated site/equipment maps, and working closely with local technical resources for site installations.

Results

Successfully deployed 11 locations in the first 10 months of the Alberta expansion. Worked closely with key points of contact to institute province wide support policies and facilitate close coordination with 3rd parties. Maintained and fine-tuned software applications & domain environment policies, and provided end user support for all locations & key stakeholders. This setup allows for rapid future expansion as this is a scale-able solution with time saving deployment of applications as part of the secure domain environment.

Network Implementation

Challenge

With no real network configuration implemented and the entire Alpine Building Maintenance head office running off a home network router and low level switch, the desire was to implement a network solution that gave them a strong backbone with security configuration, centralized data storage and the ability to expand. Since Alpine had no internal IT department, it was imperative that they could trust and rely on Sandbox to plan and manage this entire process.

Solution

After evaluating the current setup and comparing this to the needs of Alpine, Sandbox provided some key recommendations and proposed three options for setting up and configuring the network for Alpine. These options were based on three different budget levels, and indicated growing customization, security and redundancy as the budget increased.
Once an option was selected, Sandbox supported the delivery of the following initiatives:
The switch in place at Alpine was replaced with a 52-port PoE gigabit switch, allowing for maximum usage of their current environment, as well as providing expandability in the future to a PoE IP phone system.
The Linksys router that Alpine was using for both routing and wireless access was replaced with a SonicWall. This allowed for a stronger wireless signal, higher security, dual SSID’s (for limited guest access) and expandability through the usage of access points.
A QNAP 4-bay NAS was installed in place at Alpine to provide local mass storage access for users. This can be configured with a folder structure that can be customized by user group and set up with individual security labels. The device was configured using enterprise HDD’s in RAID10 for a balance of speed and redundancy.

Results

Alpine now has a much more reliable and secure network with which to build upon. Expandability is available for a larger wireless network, larger mass storage additions and the possibility of a new PoE IP phone system. In addition, the foundation exists to allow for VPN tunneling to remote offices in Alberta, allowing those offices to access the existing mass storage, sharing secure file access across long distances.

Low-cost computer replacement and upgrades

Challenge

To provide a low-cost solution to replace eight aging desktop systems running Windows XP with a minimum of down time. We also sought to upgrade the existing network to allow for six new work areas, and conduct a major overhaul of the server room to remove two old servers and add additional rack space and a new patch panel. Finally, we needed to upgrade the switch to provide Power over Eathernet (PoE) for VOIP phone system.

Old Infrastructure

Three servers running in a small server closet with all network equipment sitting on a small shelf, no wiring for new workspace and no room in the existing 24-port patch panel (which was mounted in a small 2u rack.) Existing desktops were all outdated systems with large amounts of data stored locally, as well as in roaming profiles. All phones were powered by an AC adapter.

Solution

Replace outdated computers with donated workstations. Add new hard drives with clean installs of Windows 7 and Office 2010. Wire new space into a new 48-port patch panel and install into a new 24u wall-mounted rack. Replace the old 24-port switch with a 48-port PoE switch to allow for future growth along with power for phones. Remove both old servers from the server room and clean up all wiring, moving all network equipment onto a shelf in the new rack. Perform all work afterhours and on the weekend to minimize impact to client.

Results

With careful planning and the generous donation of older high-end workstations, we were able to provide a major PC upgrade to almost all the staff at the Make A Wish office, including the addition of dual displays to all desks. By using disk images we were able to replace a total of 10 systems, including re-synchronization of local data as well as roaming profiles in a very short timeframe. The server area was completely rebuilt, providing easier access for maintenance, and much better ventilation of the whole area. By combining several projects into one weekend of work, we were able to minimize the impact to the staff almost entirely, while providing a vast improvement to the overall network infrastructure.

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Internet Upgrade

Challenge

Provide a seven-campus language school (throughout Vancouver and Toronto) with world class Internet for staff, teachers and students, while maintaining separation of the three networks for security. Prioritize traffic to VOIP phones and database connections for staff, and provide teachers with access to network printers at all campuses.

Old Infrastructure

Staff Internet was provided via symmetrical fiber ranging from 5Mb at one campus to 20Mb at the two main campuses. Student Internet was provided by 10 – 20Mb residential DSL/Cable. Teachers piggybacked on either the staff or student network (depending on campus) but integrated with neither network. All Internet traffic as well as inter-campus traffic was routed through Vancouver for the staff network. Billing for student Internet was handled individually for each campus from four different Internet providers.

Solution

Upgrade all seven campuses to Symmetrical 100Mb fiber with the addition of a direct Internet connection in Toronto to improve overall performance. Employ Quality of Service (QoS) to maintain minimum bandwidth for staff while insuring all unused bandwidth is available for students: 50Mb reserved for staff, 30Mb reserved for students. Integration of a full teacher network with an existing staff network, but separated by subnet to allow for ease of management while maintaining security of staff network.

Results

Through almost a year of work with the client, ISP and phone companies, major fiber builds at three campuses, and a major network overhaul, we were able to achieve between 500% and 2000% increases to the Internet speed across the company for a modest 25% increase in cost. Staff now enjoy a lightning fast connection both to the Internet, as well as between offices, which makes working with large documents on remote file servers much easier. Plus, remote database connections from all campuses now connect directly to the main server in Toronto. Cross-country traffic has been reduced significantly with the addition of the Toronto colo, as both Internet traffic, and traffic from one campus to another in Toronto no longer needs to pass through Vancouver. Having the teacher network integrated with the rest of the domain has allowed for easier remote management of systems, as well as easier sharing of network print resources. Students have also received faster Internet, and more importantly, they now have a robust business class connection providing a much higher degree of reliability in comparison to the old residential grade connections.