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Haarlemmermeer Embraces Agile Network

By Jiang Haiyue, Senior Marketing Manager, Enterprise Network Domain, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.

Anyone who has flown into Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport has actually landed in the municipality of Haarlemmermeer. On land reclaimed from Haarlem Lake in the 19th century using one of the largest steam engines ever built, Haarlemmermeer has long been known for its agriculture and gardening, and more recently for aviation, machinery, and ship building. This thriving city has been undergoing rapid economic development and has benefited from the support of a highly efficient local government.

In Need of a Future-Proof Network

“In Haarlemmermeer, there is a comparatively low ratio of government officials to citizens, only about 1 to 160,” said Ed de Myttenaere, IT Director of the Haarlemmermeer municipal council. “Public managers should rethink how to increase government work efficiency using information technology, improve office coordination, provide better public services, and enhance eGovernment window experiences.”

In 2015, the government faced a good time to upgrade their IT systems, as the warranty for devices on the municipal network was due to expire. The legacy network was no longer able to meet the bandwidth requirements of normal city business, nor was the system sufficiently flexible to be modernized. The municipality wanted a new network that provided the following advantages:

  • Increased bandwidth from 1 Gbit/s to 10 Gbit/s to accommodate a growing number of cloud applications and Voice over IP (VoIP) services
  • Improved government surveillance, warning, and emergency-handling capabilities to increase the quality of social administration and public services
  • A highly efficient, reliable, secure, and scalable network to meet future office needs
  • The municipal government’s campus comprises a main office building and four branch offices. Many personnel do not have fixed office locations and frequent the main building to deal with the large number of interdepartmental administrative services. These people need access to IT services wherever they are working on the campus.

    On the legacy network, traditional IP-address- and VLAN-based rights control policies were overloading the network. Network management was decentralized. O&M personnel had to make service call visits to every remote branch on both a routine and priority basis. Efficiency was limited and the labor costs for O&M were increasing. To solve these problems the government wanted a network infrastructure that would provide automated management and easy O&M, as well as being environmentally friendly and energy-efficient.

    Huawei Agile Campus Network Solution

    Haarlemmermeer chose the Huawei Agile Government Campus Network solution to meet their stability, capacity, security, and flexibility standards for the new network.

    This solution leveraged the capabilities of the legacy network to maximize the potential for improvement. Using the latest Software-Defined Networking (SDN) concepts and research achievements, the Agile Government Campus Network solution has helped transform an old network to accommodate new service needs.

    To ensure service continuity, Huawei’s S12700 Agile Switches were deployed at core nodes. These switches use Huawei’s Cluster Switch System Generation2 (CSS2) technology to guarantee reliability, reduce interference, and lower packet forwarding latency. S12700 switches support redundant 1+N main control backup boards for reliability. Clusters continue to run stably as long as even one control board of the cluster remains working normally. Working in either 1+1 or M+N redundancy mode, using hot swappable controllers, running services will not be interrupted even when hardware faults have occurred. If necessary, failed components are quickly located and replaced.

    To provide government workers with the ability to access IT services from all campus sites, a centralized authentication architecture stores all access information on a unified controller, which enables a consistent user experience at all branch offices. The unified controller implements fine-grained management of users’ network access rights; for example, guests can connect only to the Internet and not to the government network. Additionally, the unified controller verifies all user identities and works with Huawei’s agile switches to centrally manage the supervising policies, such as network access rights, service priorities, and allocated bandwidth. This approach enables user policies to move with users as they move between branches without compromising service experience.

    Similarly, the solution architecture supports agile and efficient network O&M. Huawei’s Super Virtual Fabric (SVF) technology abstracts the entire network architecture — core and aggregation switches + access switches + WLAN Access Points (APs) — into a super virtual switch. With this approach, devices, services, and users are centrally and easily managed. Network O&M personnel configure and perform maintenance operations on the super virtual switch via Huawei’s eSight Network Management System (NMS).

    Huawei has deployed S5700-LI series intelligent energy-efficient switches at the access layer. These switches minimize power usage using multiple technologies, including Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) that reduces power consumption by 30 percent. Multiple S5700-LI switches with support of Huawei’s iStack feature within the virtual switch, require fewer uplink fibers and other support cabling. During network migration, the Huawei solution simplified the process by reusing legacy cables.

    Fast Government Transformation

    The Huawei Agile Government Campus Network solution includes a policy configuration system that is oriented to government officials and services. A real-name authentication system, based on social platforms, ensures that the accessing user’s identity is valid. According to online duration and traffic quota management, bandwidth resources are allocated efficiently for better user experience. Guests’ online behaviors are managed to block threats from malicious websites by identifying 500,000+ malicious URLs.

    With one device managing the entire government campus, and converged wired and wireless networks, Haarlemmermeer’s IT department now has efficient O&M. SVF technology virtualizes all devices in a campus network into a virtual switch, simplifying network management and deployment.

    The Haarlemmermeer Municipal Government campus network is a showcase for the Huawei Agile Campus Network solution

    Voice of the Customer

    “In Haarlemmermeer, there is a comparatively low ratio of government officials to citizens, only about 1 to 160. Public managers should rethink how to increase government work efficiency using information technology, improve office coordination, provide better public services, and enhance eGovernment window experiences. With its technical strengths and rich project experience, Huawei has helped us deploy services quickly, delivering mobility and eGovernment operations. As a result, an efficient and collaborative network has been built that is people-centric and service-oriented.”

    — Ed de Myttenaere, IT Director, Haarlemmermeer Municipal Council

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