Case Study: Network Up-Leveled
A major national food distribution and retail organization wants to upgrade their network and improve its security. Due to limitations with their existing system, this requires new infrastructure, standardization of IP schemas, VLANs, and cabling. The company has over 100 locations, some as large as 750,000 ft2. Environments range from -20°F to 80°F. As active IoT facilities — forklifts, environmental systems, scanners, etc. — they have heavy wireless needs. This is no minor task. And, of course, minimizing impact to ongoing operations is critical.
GMI’s team of engineers and other network professionals teams broke the project for each site into three parts. First, a full site survey was completed. This included port mapping, main distribution frame (MDF) and independent distribution frame (IDF) closet layouts, power requirements, design, and predictive Wi-Fi survey. Second, we prepared the site for hardware cutover by creating scripts and change controls to update the IP schemas, VLANs, and updating all the static addressing at the location to meet standard. Finally, the low-voltage team ran new fiber optics between IDFs and the MDF, ran new cables for access points, and removing cabling no longer in use. Once completed, GMI professionals replaced the entire network infrastructure including access points with the new equipment. We racked and stacked the gear, dressed in cables, and configured the new equipment with the standardized configurations. Once installed, we validated Wi-Fi effectiveness to customer satisfaction, providing next-day support as needed.
Our design methodology is based on manufacturer recommendations and with awareness of security best practices.
As of October 2021, 100 locations across North America have completed or are in process towards a seamless transition to a next generation network infrastructure — standardized configurations of all LAN / WAN devices and greater security controls in place. Each refresh thus far has been completed to customer satisfaction, and with very low impact to operations.