Mexican Research Centre Improves Network Security with Extreme Networks Switching Solution

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Introduction

Since its inception in 1981, the CIAD (Centre for Research in Nutrition and Development) has responded to the problems of the food sector of Mexico. The CIAD conducts studies and provides consulting services in the agro-food, fishing, industrial and commercial sectors in three core areas: 1) production, conservation, quality and marketing of food, 2) health and biological development of the human being and 3) the social and economic impact of economic development and international integration processes.

The CIAD’s influence area was focused initially on the state of Sonora. Afterwards, it expanded to the Northwest region of the country, and more recently to the rest of the national territory as a result of multiple academic recognitions and their increased responsiveness to provide effective solutions to diverse and complex issues, raised by social and private public institutions. Another factor of expansion has been the contribution to the formation of high-quality postgraduates in the area of nutrition and food, making CIAD the institution with the greatest number of graduates of master’s degree in the nutrition and technology of food fields at the national level in just 10 years.

CIAD Challenge

Due to the quick growth of the institution, it became necessary to have increasingly interconnected computers to support the research network. This would require a solid and robust infrastructure that could be easily managed and, above all, that could be configured according to the needs of the institution and their security policies.

The most important challenge was the need to install a renewed network infrastructure without affecting the more than 500 users who rely on the network to continue to perform their work. To make this possible, the new network would need to be interconnected with the original network over the course of the network migration, as defined by the network managers.

The CIAD previous LAN network had several conflicts with critical providers of internet services and video links – both sides were mounted on a flat network and without the ability to segment the network, configurations had to be done manually and the connectivity speed and security of the entire network was compromised. The new solution would need to allow the CIAD to manage bandwidth according to the service requested by establish network segmentation policies.

Extreme Networks Solution

Extreme Networks presented their solution to the CIAD at the Advisory Council on Information Technology (CATI), a technology show where various research centers in Mexico have the opportunity to meet new suppliers and technology providers. ”Through the CATI show, Extreme Networks offered the CIAD a new product portfolio with benefits that exceeded those of competitive brands,” emphasized Nahum Juan Nolasco, pre-sales engineer at DDR Mexico, Silver Partner of Extreme Networks. Extreme Networks was chosen for their ability to solve two of the biggest challenges for the CIAD – ease-of-administration and ease-of-configuration of the equipment and of the entire network. Creation and optimization of the new network was achieved in just three days, plus the allowance of one day for IT management personnel training. The new CIAD LAN network includes Extreme Networks Summit X460 and Summit X440 stackable switch solutions installed in 12 telecommunications control rooms throughout the Research Centre.

“The restructuring of the network allowed the network to be segmented by user type and provided services, allowing IT to have greater flexibility in the administration of the network,” said Juan Martín Peralta Contreras, CIO at t the Center for Research in Nutrition and Development. Thanks to this, says Peralta Contreras, IT administrators can now handle each DHCP services division of the entire network, which was not previously possible.. With the assignment of DHCP services, user incorporations were optimized without compromising network security byassigning the users only to the service to which they are authorized. DHCP policies were implemented in the wireless, virtual and cable networks.

Results

The benefits derived from the implementation of Extreme Networks solutions include increased network security, simplified management and configuration and increased equipment and services connectivity.

  1. Network segmentation. The ability to segment the network by user type allows the CIAD to make critical services and dedicated links available only to certain users. This significant enhancement has resulted in a substantial improvement in the optimization of the network.
  2. Connectivity. The new 10/100/1000 switches have improved network response times for users accessing internet services and applications from the internal network of the Research Centre.
  3. Security. Creation of VLANs to divide each network segment based on the services offered, has eased the management of
    the network and improved network security by ensuring that critical network segments are restricted to certain users in wired, wireless and virtual networks. Policies and permissions are able to be easily managed for each subnet.

The high performance, ease-of-configuration and competitive cost of the Extreme Networks solution as a whole gives the CIAD reason to have full confidence that their new Extreme Networks infrastructure is a profitable investment and a valuable asset to the organization.

The growth and expansion of the CIAD continues to rise at a constant rate, and according to Peralta Contreras, there are plans for the future with Extreme Networks, including standardizing their wireless platform and network security with the portfolio of products offered by the company.

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