A British technology design and manufacturing company founded in the UK in 1991. Originally most famous for its vacuum cleaners, the company has since branched out into fans, personal care, heaters and more.
The client initially approached Natilik looking for a network to be deployed at their new research, design and development lab. Based on a former RAF base, the centre is one of the most advanced labs of its type and is home to some of the company’s most exciting projects.
Vast Global Estate
Years of organic growth without a consistent IT approach meant the client’s global network and data centre estates were vastly different and segmented, which needed addressing urgently.
Growth and Innovation Ready
With new research and development, manufacturing sites, and stores being brought online regularly, the client needed a consistent approach and defined blueprints to enable them to support future growth, scalability and innovation.
The client’s team required a partner to help them rapidly design and deploy a new site, as it was taking too long for them to achieve it alone. The imminent deadline and the added pressure of using this site as a blueprint for its other global locations meant the solution needed to be designed and deployed correctly the first time.
The Natilik team worked with the client and designed a global software-defined access solution built with Cisco Catalyst 9K switches, Aironet sensors and dynamic ports, together with Cisco’s DNA Centre to manage the client’s core wired and wireless network.
To ensure that the network was fully secured to the edge, a supporting security stack was created. This stack included Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE), Cisco Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFW) and Cisco Secure Network Analytics (Stealthwatch) to provide complete end-to-end protection. Alongside this, Cisco ACI was integrated to manage the visibility of the network into the data centre.
The first site to be deployed using this new model comprised of around 50 switches, which was a huge success.
The subsequent site, which had around 40 switches, was another triumph, as all the planning and configuration work had been done upfront as part of the earlier build, making it much easier and quicker to roll out. These efficiencies meant deploying the second site took less than a day, including replacing a faulty switch.
This design has now been used as a blueprint for the entire global network estate, with tools like DNA Centre and plug-and-play allowing sites to be delivered quickly and consistently across the globe. What’s more, this can all be completed without requiring skilled engineers to be sent to remote sites.
Through a series of workshops and showcases it was discovered that a more cutting-edge solution would be beneficial for the client’s sites.
The Natilik team worked day and night to deploy nearly 100 switches across the initial two sites to deliver to the client’s requirements on time and to budget. Deployment support was also provided for subsequent sites as part of the larger global network upgrade.
Ongoing support is delivered via a five-year DNA Advantage subscription, five-year Partner Shared Support and access to Natilik’s 24/7 Tech Support team.
Fortunately, owing to a massive collaborative effort between Cisco, Natilik and the client’s internal IT team the project for the first location was a success, going live on time without a hitch. The success of this deployment meant it could be used, as planned, as a blueprint for the client’s vast global locations.
By embracing a software-defined approach (SDA), the client can utilise automation to enable rapid deployments through optimised configuration with best practice and security built in. This approach and delivery mechanism means that the deployment time required per site has been reduced from 28 to
The Natilik team also enabled full visibility of the client’s network, enabling its team to closely monitor the activity of 70,000 connected devices, from the cloud. With this capability, the client can now quickly identify and eliminate any hidden threats, ensuring a more secure and protected environment, all of which has led to an increase in its SecOps team’s productivity.
The automation element of the solution means that deployments are quicker, cheaper and more consistent.
The use of SDA, DNA Centre and Stealthwatch, allows for deeper insight into traffic flows at the site, which helps with capacity planning and allows the research and development teams to get on with innovating.
The support offered by Natilik’s 24/7 Tech Support team means that if any issues arise, they can be dealt with promptly with minimal to no disruption to those working at the site. As all sites are designed using a standard blueprint support has been made much easier and more efficient.