Sol Distribution and partners help the Scottish Government centralise and secure their network
The Scottish Government Centralise and secure their network to offer a better experience for their agencies and for their customers
Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, Sol Distribution, Computacenter and Freedom Communications, a GCI Group Company, join forces to develop and secure the Scottish Government network infrastructure for their agencies and their users.
Scotland has a population of over 5 million people. Scotland’s government is responsible for addressing the daily concerns of the Scottish people and their digital experience is key to solving issues. The Scottish Government is transforming its network infrastructure to meet the connectivity needs of their customers and their institutions.
A centralised and secure network infrastructure for all agencies.
The Scottish Government network serves several core government departments and agencies in Scotland and abroad. The network infrastructure supports core departments, such as Justice and Education, all central core government services, and nearly 40 public sector agencies. The network operates in Scotland and beyond, from Dublin, to London and Brussels. The first objective was to centralise network management to offer secure and consistent services to all agencies.
“The robust nature of our network infrastructure has ensured we can confidently support over 40 public services agencies in Scotland. Organisations like Food Standard Scotland, Transport Scotland, Marine Scotland, Forestry Scotland all use our desktop solution underpinned by Alcatel-Lucent technology” said Mark Hagart.
The Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise network solution offered the security, simplicity, resilience and scalability that the Scottish Government demands.
Enhanced network security at the user and device level
User network profiling and device profiling ensure the security of any device that attempts to access the Scottish Government network, and it simplifies support work. Secure user and device access, using terminal identification, coupled with evaluations and integrity checks, ensure compliance with security standards and protects the network before or during connection. An automatic profile set-up, determined by how the end device presents itself to the network, identifies the device profile and hence the device access.
“The benefit of using Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise technology for access is that we can support multiple agencies using different Virtual Routing and Forwarding (VRF) within the same stack. Organisations can use the same switch, each managed by different rules and different access controls depending on what devices are attached to the network and what organization the user belongs to.” said Hagart.
In the event of issues, the Alcatel-Lucent management tech stack enables, the Scottish Government IT team to quickly pinpoint the root cause, irrespective of which network is impacted.
Simplified operation and management
In addition to the security benefits, centralising the network offers the IT team overall management visibility. Alcatel-Lucent switches and servers can be managed and secured from a single interface, simplifying both project and issue management. The uniform command line interface improvements across the core, rack and edge switches, makes it faster for network engineers to skill up and easier to deal with a common set of commands.
Simplified licensing for easier procurement
Licensing simplicity was another key element. “There’s a simplified licensing model, which we also appreciate, because it’s more straightforward for us to procure and put equipment into production quickly,” said Hagart.
A robust network infrastructure for harsh conditions on land and at sea
Some remote Scottish sites experience harsh climates and have difficulty with power outages. Consequently, the Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise solution has to meet physical operational challenges, including resilience and power outage survival without losing connectivity. Connectivity needs for the Scottish Government are not just on land but also at sea. The Scottish marine protection and science vessels operate Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise switches and wireless access points which allow them to communicate security via satellite connection to the Wide Area Network. Uninterrupted connectivity is critical to their business function.
The Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch® 6900 and OmniSwitch 6860E deliver high performance, extremely low latency, high network reliability, and they address very high bandwidth demands in difficult environments.
Openness for integration and future evolution
The Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise network solution integrates with the various vendor solutions the Scottish Government has in place, such as their Radius and Wi-Fi solutions. The solution scalability will allow the Scottish Government to adapt to changing connectivity and capacity needs. In fact, it has already evolved to support more than 40 public sector agencies currently using the services and desktop solutions.
- Centralise and align network management as well as security for all entities
- Create a robust solution ensuring connectivity for harsh environments and mission-critical government services
- Secure infrastructure and network access for all government agencies
- Simplify operations, management and support
- Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch 6860 Stackable LAN Switch
- Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch 6900 Stackable LAN Switch
- Wireless access points
- Alcatel-Lucent ClearPass Policy Management System
- ClearPass Policy Manager simplifies access control and user management
- Enhanced data security through user network profiling and device-level network access
- The centralised and simplified management system has improved the IT team efficiency
- Simplification of information systems sharing and administration
- Centralised and simplified management considerably improved cost control
- Homogeneous, secure, and reliable user services for over 40 government agency users
You can download a PDF copy of this Case Study, by clicking here>> Scottish-Government-Case-Study.pdf
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