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Our Advertisers Thread, hypothetical but I need costings in Purchasing and Trading; a higher learning establishment that I know has approached me and asked about how they would go about ensuring their ...
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    nephilim's Avatar
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    hypothetical but I need costings

    a higher learning establishment that I know has approached me and asked about how they would go about ensuring their services would be bought up to spec.

    They have a poor wireless system, next to no filtering (apart from ISA 2000 and the exceptions placed on that) and a poor wired system.

    I have worked out they would need the following (from my own calculations)

    Ruckus Wireless, with a minimum of 64 Wireless N Access points (this is over 3 buildings which the square metres works out to be near 2 square miles)
    Smoothwall UTM (and firewall) to cover approximately 3000 staff and students (combined numbers)
    Fibre connecting each building to a main cab, and distribution cabs in each building
    Wiring for where the access points will go.

    Would this be doable on a budget of 50k? (if not, please say how much it would be)

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    jamesreedersmith's Avatar
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    Do you need any more servers? Licensing? Infrastructure? Switches?

    Do big a game to guess this job!

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    servers, licensing, switches and majority of infrastructure is in place. Would only need fibre runs to 2 cabs from main cab, and cat6a runs no further than 90m from each cab (16 for one building, 18 for another building, and 30 for main building).

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    glennda's Avatar
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    I work it out on about 80 per cable being run for Cat 5 and about 100 for Cat 6. But all depends on the Local Contractor.

    My Contractor goes to about 30 miles above the m25 north of london there or there abouts if you need details let me know as hes very good and never had a problem with him. Hes put in over 1000 sockets for me and 22 fiber runs.

    As for the filtering solution do they need content filtering or is it simply for local caching? As you could look at free things like squid/dansguardian/Smoothwall Express.

    Wireless system we have is Cisco which is okay but nothing to write home about.

    But most things you have said are doable for the 50K i think but there is so many things to factor in its a hard one without seeing the site plus having actual costings.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    They need a proper filtering system as students can proxy their way round the ISA server, pain I know, but it happens there. The IT Services guy is happy to give students no wireless access but the staff unrestricted (which has led to problems!). They need a proper content filtering system and firewall as to put it bluntly, ISA does a rubbish job for the level they need.

    Wireless, I would consider others such as Meru or Aruba, but Ruckus is always my number one choice, but if I were to get in and do a proper consultation (which by the sounds of it, he wants me too) I would re-do my report for everyone on here and give everyone a more up to date report, but the system would need to be able to run proper VLans and have people connecting to the DHCP depending on which wireless they access - EG Staff Access could be 10.1.1.x - 10.1.10.x and student access could be 10.1.11.x-10.1.50.x, guest access could be 10.1.51.x-10.1.55.x (if you get my drift) but would have to be enforced via Vlans on the management box and concurrent switches to go with (they have procurve managed switches as is my understanding).

    It is a job I would love to get my teeth into as it would be a massive thing for my CV, but I am looking long term as it could turn into a full time job once complete to run the IT services, but again, all hypothetical as the principle of the establishment only contacted me today and asked what could be done.

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nephilim View Post
    They need a proper filtering system as students can proxy their way round the ISA server, pain I know, but it happens there. The IT Services guy is happy to give students no wireless access but the staff unrestricted (which has led to problems!). They need a proper content filtering system and firewall as to put it bluntly, ISA does a rubbish job for the level they need.
    I understand where you are coming from - the way I get around this is for people to not physically be able to get out without going through my servers and vice-versa ( router - server nic1. Server nic 2 - network). You could also look at ForeFront TMG as I've heard its alot better then ISA.

    I think if i was going to do it I would need to sit down with them and find out there exact requirements of what they want(down to exacting amounts of sockets etc and everything they have now its age etc) and find out out if the budget would allow for the changes needed and then go away and plan for improvements with something like cost of doing everything at once and its impact or create a 3/4 year plan to get things to the highest possible standard.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    my ideal would be to get it done within 3 months (which is feasible over the summer holidays for the college). The principle has stated that if it were to go ahead I would get full autonomy of the budget but I need to come up with costings first etc.

    The biggest stumbling block is that I do not have a full layout of the campus and that I am not actually employed by them. If I got the full layout I could work everything out and do a full diagram (ideal placing of comms cabs, server rooms etc).

    The understanding as I have it in terms of filtering etc, is they want the 1 box, that does it all, they know of bloxx (as they have had demo's in the past) and know how they WANT to do it, but the current IT services manager is, well lazy is best way to put it. All depts have complained about the lack of IT services and provisions, and the principle knows the work that I have done and has seen how I have helped re-design other school infrastructures. I know a Further Education establishment is different for a school, but the basics are the same.

    Each building has a comms cab in a secluded area, which will become the distribution node for that building. The infrastructure in place at the minute is that each room has atleast 1 RJ45 connection, but I would want dedicated for the wireless devices.

    I am sinking my teeth into designing the cabs with what I know they have already, but I would just love to get it running to a decent standard.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    Oh and a sit down is due soon.

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    Well having totally redesigned and reimplemented our network this summer we did something similar (although it was a total refresh of virtually everything ).

    Just from the sizes you've indicated I'd say 50k is much too low. I'd also be wanting to run at least 8-core OM3 fibre to each satellite cabinet from the core unless it really wasn't feasible to do that and a Core - Distribution - Edge layout was the only option. As a guestimate I'd probably say something in the 100k-150k region is what you'd be looking at. Although if their infrastructure is a bad as you say it may be worth looking at future proofing the install now and seeing how much to recable the entire set of buildings and/or replace the switching infrastructure. Of course then prices start going up and up

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    nephilim (3rd February 2011)

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