London - SAS Global Communications, an international provider of managed and professional network services, has completed a project to design and installed a new CAT6 cable infrastructure for the College of Richard Collyer. The company also assisted the college in scoping its requirements for a new comms room and installed a diverse fibre ring around the campus for disaster recovery.
The College of Richard Collyer is a sixth form college offering a wide range of subjects for advanced and intermediate levels of study. Since its founding in 1532, the college has grown substantially and today services the educational needs of over 2000 full-time and adult education students, many of whom now depend on technology for the completion of their studies.
Keen to enhance both its facilities and its intake of students, the college obtained a loan to erect a new building on the campus. The new building would enable the college to increase its lab facilities and working areas for popular subjects such as media, art and science, music, IT and psychology, and would also provide space for a new comms room and DR centre, allowing IT manager, Peter Swift, to start finalising a trident approach to business continuity for the college.
To assist in the project, Peter appointed SAS, a specialist in infrastructure design and managed services, and a long term supplier of network services to the college.
“SAS always does a very good job and it knows our systems and our buildings,” said Peter. “Some of our buildings are listed so it’s important to use a supplier who is conscientious about how cables are routed and ensures that any work carried out is sympathetic with the architecture.”
Working alongside the architects and Peter Swift, SASprovided the blue prints for the physical network infrastructure, and helped the college to scope key elements of its new comms room, including its requirements for equipment and power. It also took responsibility for the installation of the new infrastructure, using CAT6 structured cabling, and its integration with the rest of the network.
To provide additional resilience and disaster recovery for the college’s entire network, SAS set up a diverse fibre ring around the campus, which would eventually automatically failover in the event of a failure in its primary connectivity.
“We want to achieve total high availability on the campus, the management of the college depends on it,” said Peter. “Because most of our servers are virtualised, we needed to ensure that if a system went down, another would automatically fire up and take over.”
For greater flexibility on the campus, SAS was also tasked with integrating the college’s old phone system, which used 1308 cable, into the new cable infrastructure so that both voice and data traffic could share the same cable and any point could be used as either a phone or network point.
“Every year, depending on the intake for courses, rooms may need to be reallocated to different subjects and we might need to put in more machines, so having flexibility is important,” said Peter. “Overall, the new infrastructure gives us better performance to support modern teaching requirements like video streaming and content distribution, and it also means we’re able to take the learning experience forward for our students.”
“Technology now plays a huge role in our educational system, but with the budget restrictions imposed on these academic bodies there is very little room for error,” said Charles Davis, CEO for SAS Global Communications. “By partnering with SAS for the design and installation of its physical infrastructure, Richard Collyer’s has not only mitigated any risks to its investment but has also comfortably met its objective to enhance the student services and opportunities available through the college.”