Meet me at the port to see real fireworks

Network Redesign Week notes 01/11

In the last couple of weeks, we have been fairly quiet with the ‘Week’s notes’. I wanted to regroup with the team to get a better insight into the direction we are steering towards. The whole ‘Port density’ thing can be a bit overwhelming even for the most tech-savvy person, so it was important to check in to ensure we were all on the same page.



Following the last sprint, our engineers have concluded the testing from the Cisco test lab and workshop. The goal for these workshops is to agree on the best vendor network and switch solution for the current Hackney network infrastructure. All hardware and network providers have been tested against rigorous performance criteria that, among other requirements, review boot loading, ease of configuration, trouble-shooting and remote diagnostic solutions alongside, naturally, the best kit for the money spent. 

What we have achieved

To date, we have reviewed three vendors, namely:

  • HP
  • Open compute

Based on the outcome of the review, our engineers will then advise on their recommended solution, which will be presented to the rest of the team. This recommendation will be drafted to help aid the final decision for our distribution and core solution for the web first project.

We have also been adding the final touches to the port density audits. At this point, I understand that you might be asking what is a port density audit? In summary, this is basically a manual count of all the network ports located at all the work stations throughout the Hackney council buildings.

By obtaining this information the team will be able to understand the number of ports that are used for actual incoming calls and the ones which are dormant so we can sum up the total number that can be decommissioned. 

Our recommendation document has now been adjusted to include a filter, revealing a recommended switch reduction grand total based on the current total usage of switches within council network hubs versus the total number of ports available.

We have also worked on the completion of our recommended ‘Firewall’ design which will provide security to the network connection for the cloud and the data center.

What we have found challenging

Obtaining approval for some proposed cable installations has been challenging due to a lack of understanding of the upfront requirements. Many thanks to @peter.burt and the rest of the planning team for the hard work and diligence towards helping us firm up a better understanding of the application process for such installations. We are now picking up momentum and gaining some traction in this area.

Next steps

  • Complete legal authorisation documentation for the Wayleaves contract
  • Present the final report recommendations on the proposed distribution and core solution to the team in accordance with our architectural design
  • Align hardware requirements with ‘VOIP’ strategy requirements ‘Voice Over Internet Protocol”

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