Software Defined Network

//Software Defined Network

About The Project

A global mining company wanted to reduce the IT service management overhead and security challenges associated with a very large number of wired and wireless devices connecting to their networks. These devices included company-owned PCs, printers and servers, along with staff and contractor BYODs like mobile phones and tablets, and various guest devices. RCST was selected to design, install and commission a solution.

The traditional approach with so many devices would see compromises in security by publishing a shared password/key for wireless access and would include dedicating switches for each user type and network. Extensive switch port configuration and extensive rulesets and SSIDs for wireless devices would also be required.

Our Solution

Critical to the design was the automatic allocation of devices to appropriate networks (e.g. company, guest or BYOD). This would reduce IT team support requirements by letting the network controller manage device management as each one connected to the network.

The solution was to put a software-defined network in place to manage these connections. The Huawei Agile Network Controller, along with their intelligent LAN switching and wireless LAN (WLAN) infrastructure was chosen. Critical to the design was support for the 802.1X protocol.  This enabled the company to authenticate every device connecting to their LAN or WLANs via the user’s credentials or the hardware address of the device.

The RCST design included tight integration with the customer’s directory server, the virtual server-based Agile Network Controller and the LAN switching and Wi-Fi infrastructure. This enabled zero-touch provisioning of devices and allowed the customer to dynamically allocate network resources like access lists, VLANs and bandwidth limitations based on the device, the user’s credentials and company security policies.

Contact RCST to learn more about this project and how our experience will be able to assist your organisation.