Saudi Arabian research agency KACST selects Brocade for campus network

Infotech Lead Middle East: King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), a science agency and laboratory in Saudi Arabia, has tapped Brocade to set up network infrastructure comprised of high-performance campus networking and load balancing solutions.

 The Saudi Arabian research agency wanted to create a future-proof network infrastructure to support bandwidth-intensive research applications and data sharing across global universities and research agencies such as the International Atomic Energy Agency and UNESCO.

A KACST official said factors such as an increasing number of employees and deployment of bandwidth-intensive applications like Oracle ERP, wireless applications as well as external services to share data with international agencies led to strain on the underlying infrastructure.

“We had plans to go wireless to increase user productivity, but were being held back by the limitations of a network that could not deliver the kind of performance we required. The need for a more stable, high-performance network was becoming increasingly obvious to us, and we knew that the success of a number of our future initiatives would depend on a strong and reliable foundation,” said Hasan Alhowimel, assistant of IT Directory and Network Engineer at KACST.

The Brocade campus network environment was deployed by Brocade’s partner Nesma Advanced Technology. The network spans 16 buildings including the KACST headquarters, which houses the institution’s data center.

Each building has a Brocade FCX Series switch at the edge connected to a Brocade FastIron SX Series switch with 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) uplinks to Brocade BigIron RX Series core switches in the data center.

Moreover, KACST deployed Brocade VDX 6720 Switches to provide reliability and performance, while paving the way for the institution to deploy Brocade VCS Fabric technology and private cloud services in the future.

As part of the network upgrade, the Brocade ADX Series of application delivery switches allowed KACST to achieve significant performance benefits from its Web portal. The Brocade ADX switches have future-proofed the KACST for IPv6 support, enabling a seamless migration to this technology as required.

Since the network upgrade, KACST has seen improved performance and a increase in the speed of its many applications and Web services. The agency has deployed its wireless network, which effortlessly manages the additional load from personal mobile devices, the security infrastructure and attendance systems.

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