With over 20 years experience, Antenna Audio is arguably the world leader in audio and audio-visual interpretation in the global cultural arena. They have an extremely impressive client list which features the likes of Barbican Arts Centre, Hampton Court Palace, Tate Modern and The National Gallery London to name but a few.
Originally cabled by a local electrical contractor, Antenna Audio had a in place a low cost/low performance cabling infrastructure which they themselves had identified would not meet the company’s growing IT demands in the future and, in fact, was also struggling to cope with today’s relative low data traffic speeds.
Following an initial telephone conversation with one of Electron’s estimators, in which Electron were able discuss various rudimentary macro design options, along with budgetary figures, Electron were asked to bring to bear their expertise and experience in solving the following key issues:
• The administration & re-patching of services was taking the IT department an excessive amount of time.
• If and when any communications service failed, restoring and maintaining the service was extremely difficult.
• Any planned introduction or implementation of a new system was often differed or even postponed due to the complexity that the current state of the cabling system would add to any planned project.
• The current enclosure was already over subscribed, with LAN and WAN access equipment overflowing on to the floor and any available shelf. A new enclosure with scope for scalable expansion was high on the client’s wish list.
By understanding the client’s requirements and suggesting solutions that were not only viable and affordable but also protected the investment that Antenna Audio had already made Electron were invited to attend a preliminary site meeting, at which they discussed and advised further on the array of possible solutions.
It became apparent very early on in that the labelling scheme, where implemented, was either a strip of Dymo tape or marked with an indelible marker and was untrustworthy and misleading. This, coupled with the lack of any form of floor plan or test results, made it evident why a simple task such as re-patching one end user was taking the IT Department up to half a day.
With a firm budget set, Electron started the micro design process almost immediately. One critical consideration whilst undertaking this process was how the existing UTP cabling should be re-instated in to the new enclosure. A scope of works was devised along with a detailed project plan, giving the client full visibility of how and when each stage of the installation would unfold. One fact that was clear very early on was that, because this was a live network, Electron would have to balance the actual amount of ‘network downtime’ whist still giving the engineering staff a realistic time to undertaken the given task.
The actual installation took place over 5 consecutive days, starting with the preparation and investigative works on a Thursday. The majority of the ‘network downtime’ was contained to the Saturday, although the engineering staff had to work exceptionally long shifts once the network had been taken down. By early Sunday afternoon the network was starting to be re-instated back out at the desktop. Following such a major project, site attendance on Monday was required to ensure that all of the end users were back on line and functioning correctly.
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