Syscomm Limited

1-99 Employees
Networking

Build a path to the future. Avaya’s advanced fabric networking technology takes SDN networking and cloud services to the next level. Reduce network outages, enjoy quicker access to information, and easily integrate new communications channels and applications. If you wish, do it all with your existing infrastructure.

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“It’s allowed us to manage our network completely differently. Fabric changes our offer to customers and it changes our own ability to scale.”
– Chris Tyler, Director, Syscomm

Benefits

Increased Productivity
Network Scalability
Reduce Cost

Cloud Service Provider Builds Network for Next Generation Services

Customer Offer and Network Management Transformed with Fabric Connect

For IT services provider Syscomm, replacing its Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) core network with Avaya Fabric Connect has opened up new opportunities to enhance the performance of core services, accelerate provisioning and simplify infrastructure management.
 
For Chris Tyler, director at Syscomm, the bottom line is simple: “our network is our business.” The UK-based service provider offers its wide range of business customers a number of different IT and communication services, and its core growth in recent years has been in Cloud and Multi-Site WAN services, where there has been a rapid increase in demand. Ironically, this expansion created a challenge for Syscomm: it had essentially outgrown its MPLS network.
 
“The network was reliable,” Tyler explained, “but it couldn’t scale with us. We had a clear idea of the kinds of services we wanted to deliver over the coming years; with our existing infrastructure, they would be prohibitively expensive. The network wasn’t flexible, and there were known risks.” “For example,” he added, “if we experienced a fault, it could take a long time to find and fix it, simply because of its complexity, size and the many layers of network protocols stacked upon each other.”
 

An Opportunity to Stand Out

Though the expertise of the Syscomm team meant such occurrences were rare, it was an uncomfortable position for the business. Consequently, from the first moment Avaya described its Fabric Connect proposition, Tyler and his colleagues were acutely aware of its potential. “We immediately saw the technology as an opportunity to do something different from the competition and bring instant benefits for our network. It would resolve many of our concerns with our legacy platform, but also open up new opportunities.”
 
Some initial evaluation convinced Syscomm that the innovative Fabric technology would live up to its promise, and solution design began in earnest.
 

Transforming Provisioning

As soon as the new Fabric Connect infrastructure was in place, Syscomm began to reap the benefits. “I think the biggest advantage for us is how fast we can provision services now,” Tyler reflected. “With the old network, complex new deployments would typically take several days of planning and change management."
 
“We’d have to plan weeks ahead, notify customers of potential disruption, and carry out the deployment in very tight maintenance windows after midnight,” Tyler observed. “With Fabric, we can provision a new customer network or add extra services within minutes. We can do that same-day, rather than making them wait. And we can do it with less risk, because it just involves making a simple change at the network edge instead of reconfiguring each switch, and we never need to risk change at the core.”
 

 
"With Fabric, it’s easy to move entire services seamlessly between data centers." 
– Chris Tyler, Director, Syscomm
 

Control and Configuration

That flexibility is obviously of enormous value to customers. In addition, it helps Syscomm optimize the management of its own network and resources. “With Fabric, it’s easy to move entire services seamlessly between data centers. If we need to put a customer application closer to a specific site, or move a particular service to improve resilience, performance or for maintenance, we can – without having to reconfigure every step.”
 
“It gives us extra control,” he remarked, “and if we can make changes without touching the devices themselves, so much the better!”
 
That management control is delivered through the Avaya Configuration and Orchestration Manager (COM), a single tool for managing the entire Fabric network. Tyler and his team have been impressed with COM, but confessed that rather than using its point-and-click graphical interface, they typically use the command line. “We’re a very technical company!” Tyler grinned.
 
Its customers might opt for a different approach, however. “One new possibility opened up by the Avaya solution is to extend Fabric from the customer edge to the data center,” Tyler explained. “We can now offer customers the opportunity to gain the benefits between their sites with Fabric over the WAN, and directly to our Cloud – rather than having to go through multiple hops and perhaps multiple Internet Service Providers (ISPs). That minimizes latency, and also offers greater security: their traffic isn’t going across the Internet. And they can do it themselves, very easily, with tools like Avaya COM.”
 

Challenges

  • Replace dependable MPLS network with a brand new Fabric infrastructure
  • Avoid any disruption to existing customers or services
  • Manage a phased implementation over six weeks

Value Created

  • New services can now be provisioned in minutes
  • Provisioning risk is reduced – no need to configure core devices
  • Instant failover and rapid diagnosis of any faults
  • Fabric to customer sites – minimal latency, maximum security
  • Ability to optimize network and service design – locating applications close to customer
  • Unprecedented scalability, nationally or internationally
 

Changing the Rules for Network Management

The new infrastructure also delivers the additional resilience that Syscomm sought. “The promise of Fabric and Shortest Path Bridging is that if any link goes down, it doesn’t matter – the system will reconfigure itself around it and services won’t be affected,” Tyler said.
 
“In practice, that means that failover is instant, and can be detected — and traffic rerouted — at sub-second speed. That not only cuts downtime, but also allows us to resolve issues much faster.”
 
The promised resilience was put to the test just weeks after implementation was complete. A major London data center experienced a prolonged power failure, disrupting services for several leading Internet firms, including a number of multinational cloud operators. Dozens of hosted service providers were struggling, but Syscomm’s customers experienced no disruption. Tyler reflected, “When the power was flapping up and down at that site, our network just carried on. All of our traffic instantly rerouted over alternative paths. There wasn’t even a ripple of disruption for any customer service on our network. We lost a whole data center, and not a single customer reported a fault.”
 
“It’s amazing” he added. “There is no way our old network could have re-converged that fast!”
 
Beyond the specific benefits of greater speed, resilience, performance and flexibility, Fabric Connect has given Syscomm something extra. “It’s allowed us to manage our network completely differently,” Tyler concludes. “Fabric changes our offer to customers and it changes our own ability to scale.”
 
“We can now expand nationally or internationally, without worrying about whether the network can cope and without concerns about cost. It’s a new opportunity for us, and means new opportunities for our customers.”
 

"With Fabric, we can provision a new customer network or add extra services within minutes. We can do that same-day, rather than making them wait. And we can do it with less risk.”
– Chris Tyler, Director, Syscomm
 

ABOUT SYSCOMM

Syscomm Limited was established in 1984. It provides premier outsourced IT support, network consultancy, WAN and cloud computing services to United Kingdom (UK) businesses, helping them harness the strategic business benefits brought by enterprise-class technology solutions. It is headquartered in Coventry and operates six data centers around the UK. Syscomm is an Avaya business partner.
 
www.syscomm.co.uk
 

CUSTOMER PROFILE
Syscomm Logo
  • Headquarters:

  • United Kingdom

  • # Employees:

  • 25

Syscomm Limited was established in 1984. It provides premier outsourced IT support, network consultancy, WAN and cloud computing services to United Kingdom (UK) businesses, helping them harness the strategic business benefits brought by enterprise-class technology solutions. It is headquartered in Coventry and operates six data centers around the UK. Syscomm is an Avaya business partner.

What our Customers are saying
“We can now expand nationally or internationally, without worrying about whether the network can cope and without concerns about cost."

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  • Chris Tyler

  • Syscomm Limited