Redcliffe College

Redcliffe College required an update of their ageing network cabling infrastructure and the fibre optic backbone. Officeworx took on the challenge to upgrade the network and to set a base for future expansion.

The Problem:

The college building was originally built in the early 1700’s and Grade II listed and therefore the layout does not necessarily lend itself to modern cabling approaches, and care had to be taken not to interfere with any of it’s notable features. Although a basement is present, the presence of asbestos meant it was unusable in the main. The college, as with many other premises, had a network infrastructure made up purely of Category 5e UTP cabling linked between small network switches around the building. These switches weren’t managed and all communication was reliant on the copper infrastructure.

How we solved it:

In todays world, it’s important that a network infrastructure is planned and installed in such a way that it will provide the client with an efficient, long-lasting solution that will cope with the ever increasing requirement for bandwidth. This is especially important when virtualisation is implemented.

When Officeworx were tasked with installing a better infrastructure, we worked with the college’s external network support company to design a solution that could support all of their current and future requirements. A plan was drawn up to install 5no. strategically located network cabinets around the building in locations that would best suit future expansion, such as areas where dormitories and offices may be created. By doing so, any local cabling installed in the future would be within a short distance of the main college backbone.
Each cabinet was linked directed back to a new server room by Excel OM3 multimode fibre optic cable. It was imperative that cabling was hidden from view where ever possible and where it had to be exposed due to the building structure, it would be contained within trunking or conduits. Finally all cabling was terminated onto patch panels within the respective network cabinets and in the server room, all cabling terminated into the new server rack, enabling edge switches to be directly connected to the core. As with all fibre optic installations, the fibre optic cables were tested and certified using a Noyes M200 OTDR ensuring that we could walk away from the installation knowing it would perform as designed.

Benefits & Results:

The immediate benefits of the new fibre optic backbone are the resilience, increased speed and bandwidth and generally more reliable connections. As each network cabinet is cabled directly back to the core, there is less chance of a bottleneck of traffic occurring and if one fibre cable should happen to fail, the rest of the college can continue to work as normal whilst repairs are completed.



Interested in installing a new network infrastructure? Call 01242 584901 to speak to the Officeworx team.