A global Automotive Manufacturing Company in Ontario was looking for a vendor for the upgrade of network cabling system at two of their locations. In order to upgrade the old Siemens phone system to an IP-based system their requirement was to upgrade existing IBM T1 network to Ethernet 1GB Cat6 standards. Besides that, Customer wanted to create another level of redundancy to the existing fiber network which connects 13 network closets in 2 different locations. Timeline was very crucial in the success of the project and the switchover had to be complete on one long weekend. If any of the critical elements in the Communication infrastructure failed, it could have brought the production to a complete halt. The objective was to find a cost effective and less time-consuming solution to successfully upgrade the network.
Project Timeline: This project was successfully completed in 6 months.
Project Cost: Around $1 Million CAD.
Approach / Methodology
The biggest challenge in this project was that neither any documentation nor a floor-plan was available for the existing communication network. There were very few people in IT who were either not aware of the schematics of the buildings or they were too new to know anything. The manufacturing plant was spread over an area of 650,000 Sq. ft. We had to make few initial visits to Identify IBM T1 links and to finalize the SOW in such a complicated and big facility. Fiber routing and scope for redundancy levels were figure out as well. We tried to find out the point of failures that needs to be addressed at the time of switch-overs.
We identified around 200 T1 data links across both the facilities which were then upgraded to Cat6 Cabling system. A complete floor-plan for both facilities was created to demonstrate locations for all existing and new upgraded data/voice drops. (Around 800 in total). Another layout was created to show redundant fiber links between network closets.
Project was completed within the time frame and the switchover was successfully done as planned.