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Issue of April 2004 
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Campus LAN

Firming up the backbone really helps

Tecumseh India re-architected its campus LAN and now enjoys better throughput, reliability, and security. by Soutiman Das Gupta

Sometimes a set of simple solutions goes a long way in helping a company save costs, utilize the available bandwidth optimally, and exchange information in a secure manner.

Tecumseh India's campus LANs at its two manufacturing sites were running on legacy equipment and did not provide much by way of speed, throughput, security, and manageability. It implemented Layer 3 switches, updated the passive components, and thus firmed up its communication backbone. It also deployed VLANs in order to provide security for the users in the LAN.

The company in India

Tecumseh India manufactures compressors out of two manufacturing plants in Ballabgarh and Hyderabad. The Ballabgarh plant is spread across 25 acres and the Hyderabad plant across 125 acres.

Tecumseh India is part of Tecumseh Inc, USA, and claims to be the largest compressor manufacturer in the world. The company has begun exports to Middle East, USA, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and other countries. Tecumseh's range of compressors is used in air-conditioners, refrigerators, and commercial refrigeration applications.

The need

The company strives to provide prompt, accessible after-sales services, and technological assistance. And in such a case it is critical and essential to have a free flow of manufacturing information between its manufacturing plants and the other offices like four regional sales offices, two branch sales offices, nine depots, 194 registered dealers, and 600 registered assemblers nationwide.

The company's network was based on unmanaged switches and hubs using Thick Ethernet cables. The earlier vendor did not follow the industry standards and there was a very high rate of data collision in the LAN. This resulted in loss of valuable data. Other than that, the backbone was subject to high latency and frequent downtime.

Solution

Tecumseh India deployed a Gigabit LAN solution using updated hardware and passive components. The solution design was based on Layer 3 switching technology, supported by a fiber backbone, on a Gigabit interface for inter-departmental connectivity.

All the active components like the Layer 3 switches and the passive components like cables were provided by D-Link and deployed by Sysware Infotech Pvt. Ltd. A vertical VLAN in the campus buildings has been implemented for added security.

Both the locations now have managed networks and are connected through VSAT links. An administrator can sit at any location and manage the entire network.

Rs 35 Lakh was spend to upgrade the LANs at both the sites. The applications and database servers were centralized at the Hyderabad location. An ERP was deployed by the company and the regional sales offices were allowed to access the database through a VPN.

Benefits

The company now enjoys the benefits of a backbone, which offers high throughput and bandwidth, and is capable of handling increased load in future. The links are reliable and has very little downtime. And all this has helped the company carry out online ERP transactions with various other nationwide locations.

 
     
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