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Meet the Network Evolution finalists in the 2022 CRN Impact Awards – Cloud – Networking

A $130 million project to increase bandwidth for Western Australian schools, a cost-efficient SDWAN deployment for dozens of council sites and a cloud and SDWAN deployment for one of Australia’s largest steel manufacturers and distributors, are the finalists in the Network Evolution category of the 2022 CRN Impact Awards.

The three CRN Impact Network Evolution finalists are:

  • Kinetic IT and Western Australian schools bandwidth upgrade
  • Logicalis Fortinet SD-WAN deployment for Frankston City Council
  • Oreta and Apex Steel Azure Cloud and SD WAN deployment

Kinetic IT and Western Australian schools bandwidth upgrade

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Perth-based Kinetic IT is among a group of partners involved in a $130 million Telstra-led project which aims to increase the base bandwidth from 100Kbps to an average of 2Mpbs for students and staff in 806 Western Australian schools.

The project, dubbed Kolbang, has achieved the upgrade for nearly all those schools, which now have 20 to 200 times more bandwidth, Kinetic IT reports.

The Department of Education WA project brought together services from multiple companies under the banner of the LIFT Alliance to work on application development, integration and operational requirements. Fortinet was a key vendor.

This alliance worked with Telstra and integrators on significant infrastructure upgrades for some schools. Telstra upgraded local exchanges and backhaul capacity in regional towns. Site core switch recommendations and implementation and firewall and content filtering implementation are among the deliverables.

Hardware upgrades, bandwidth recommendations and provisioning are effectively complete. Phase two, to review and upgrade hardware to monitor the availability and utilization of the provided bandwidth, is in progress.

Logicalis Fortinet SD-WAN deployment for Frankston City Council

Frankston City Council sought to update its network connecting some 30 to 40 sites which were prone to blackouts and dropouts and sensitive to weather. The network used outdated microwave network technology to connect sites like operations centers, the community library and other sites with large numbers of key staff.

The council turned to Logicalis, which deployed a new networking solution based on Fortinet’s Fortigate SD-WAN technology.

The project’s crowning achievement was not the upgrade from the old microwave network, according to Logicalis, but rather the ability to bring in the project under the council’s tender cost threshold. This allowed the team to bypass a lengthy tender process and install the upgrades with minimal disruption to council services.

The upgrade was completed within six weeks, with five of them used to remove the council’s reliance on the old network. Logicalis said this involved separate visits for decommissioning the microwave infrastructure, and installing the new SD-WAN network and performing any necessary upgrades. This added up to more than 100 separate activities over the course of 25 workdays – an average of over four a day.

Oreta and Apex Steel Azure Cloud and SD-WAN deployment

Oreta and Telstra have delivered this cloud and network project which has provided more reliability, effectiveness and cost-efficiency for one of Australia’s largest steel manufacturers and distributors.

Apex Steel went to market following platform and network services outages, selecting Oreta & Telstra as partners to implement Azure Cloud and leverage SD WAN with SASE security.

In 2021, Telstra announced that they were rolling out ADAPT S1 combining VMware SD-WAN and Palo Alto Networks’ security platform into a single offering. Oreta, as a Telstra Platinum Partner, was one of the first organizations to deploy the full Telstra offering.

While there was a core MVP SaaS solution delivered to Apex Steel, it required additional feature settings around public IP address, Natting and Prisma configuring, which Oreta worked with Telstra in designing and testing.

The result has been an average 5 percent increase in bandwidth at all sites, halving of network outages and reduction in network costs by $324,000 over 36 months.

The SDWAN VMware VeloCloud solution has allowed Apex Steel to add and remove sites in five to 10 days, instead of up to eight weeks. This helps the company meet business demands and support business growth.

Integration of Oreta’s managed services and smart ticket automation system has freed up Apex IT staff. And Telstra SaaS delivered SASE tools from Palo Alto Prisma have improved Apex Steel’s security posture for users accessing services from the edge.

Announcing the rest of the CRN Impact Award finalists and winners

Look out this week and next week for CRN announcements detailing the rest of the finalists in the 2022 CRN Impact Awards.

The CRN Impact Awards winners will be revealed and celebrated on stage at the gala awards ceremony and dinner on August 25th at the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort on the Gold Coast, as part of the CRN Pipeline 2022 conference.

The awards ceremony and dinner will be an opportunity for finalists to share their success with CRN journalists and the wider channel community and to network with Australia’s IT channel award winners. It will also be an opportunity for non-finalists to learn which channel partners kicked meaningful goals for customers in the last year, and meet them in-person.

Channel partners that attend the CRN Pipeline conference from August 23-26 at the same location can also network with Australia’s IT channel leaders and immerse themselves in top-class talks and roundtables about key business challenges and opportunities including staff shortages and hiring, economic outlook and key growth prospects.

Attend this year’s premier channel awards, networking and strategic talk-fest – see the CRN Impact Awards and CRN Pipeline 2022 agenda.

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