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Case study: Alliance gets Ethernet agility
(6 June 2014)
NATO puts a BT Ethernet Connect global wide area network at the heart of its IT transformation
Over 10 years ago, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) decided to outsource the transport layer of its network, and BT has been its principal network service provider ever since. During that time four network migrations between different technologies have all been executed without service disruption. The latest technology refresh would see NATO replacing its existing point-to-point leased line backbone with an Ethernet-based network.
Malcolm Green, Head of Network Communications Infrastructure Team (CAT9) at NATO, says: “Having carefully considered all options we again chose BT, following international competitive bidding, for its comprehensive knowledge of our operations. BT understands the risks, knows how we work, and there is strong mutual trust. Above all, the BT proposal was fully compliant with our needs at the best price.”
The BT solution is based on Ethernet Connect, an intelligent network solution designed for large organisations that require exclusive control over their IP architecture and want the freedom to evolve their infrastructure in their own way. Also included is BT Ethernet Connect E-Line for virtual connections providing protected bandwidth for mission critical applications between sites.
The network transition began with a successful four-site as a proof of concept deployment of Ethernet Connect. This was followed by a nine-month rollout to connect 60 sites in 28 countries, completed by BT without service disruption.
“The transition was very well managed,” confirms Malcolm Green. “Sure there were a few delays but that’s understandable given the complexities around security, site access, and the fact that many of our military sites are in hard to reach places. But whatever happened, BT always kept us up to date.”
The new BT Ethernet Connect global network has provided NATO with a faster, more flexible core infrastructure at around five per cent lower cost. It has also created an IT transformation platform.
Malcolm Green explains: “Establishing the new BT network is a vital first step towards NATO IT Modernisation; enabling us to move from a decentralised to a centralised model for significant efficiency benefits.”
“We find BT very knowledgeable and customer focused, and the new network’s performing exactly to our expectations.”
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