The mission of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) is “to enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.”
Within the DOJ, the Telecommunication Support Services (TSS) is responsible for supporting the telecommunication needs for agencies within the DOJ. This includes directory services (e.g. connecting an internal or external party to a specific person or extension) and voice conferencing (reserving and setting up audio conference bridges).
The customer was relocating several organizations from one location to another and required a build out of the network infrastructure at its new location. This also required the relocation of existing infrastructure. At the same time, many of the workstations and servers that supported these departments previously were in need of replacement as they had become obsolete. This presented not only a relocation of existing infrastructure but also a technology refresh where both needed to be accomplished in a concurrent manner.
The TSS network consisted of several private networks existing on a single floor. These networks were physically isolated from one another for security reasons (DOJ conforms to NIST SP 800 standards). This isolation was a requirement needed to be maintained at the new location. The networks needed to be extended to multiple floors at the new location, since the computer room was located on a separate floor from the end users and workstations. This required the installation of additional network
hardware to extend the LANs to multiple floors.
In addition, WAN connectivity on the networks needed to be transferred to the new location. This process needed to be performed in a manner that would maintain connectivity through the relocation. Due to security reasons, the customer could not sustain an outage.
The final requirement was the new workstations and servers had to be installed and preconfigured upon arrival so that end users could immediately access applications used on its hardware. This presented a logistical dilemma that needed to be addressed in order to eliminate any downtime to the customer.
The solution involved a multi-step approach that consisted of:
- Build out of network infrastructure in a new location and implementation of WAN
- Managed transfer of multiple private networks including: associated users,
servers, applications, workstations, and ancillary hardware
- Technological refresh including replacement of obsolete servers and
- Addition of UPSs for improved power reliability and redundancy
The customer’s existing location consisted of a mix of external contractors and DOJ personnel, connected to one or more private networks based on specific job functions. Procuring appropriate external WAN connectivity required the relocation to be performed in two phases. Before this relocation could begin, an extensive build out had to be completed at the new location.
At the existing location, all of the private LANs, servers, and workstations resided on the same floor. In the new location the servers were to be located first floor, while the user workstations were on the fourth floor. Given that the layout of the new location was different, new Cisco Ethernet switches were installed to extend the private LANs from the first floor to the fourth floor. The connectivity running between floors was a fiber connection. The devices needed to be installed had to expose each end of the fiber to the copper infrastructure on each floor. Hamilton-Ryker engineered a solution using new Cisco switches to connect the two floors. The switches allowed the floors to be connected (via fiber) while distributing the traffic of the servers and workstations across the switches. This gave the customer improved network reliability, speed, and efficiency. The physical separation of the private networks was maintained, except along the fiber where it became virtualized.
The move was conducted in two phases in order to assure uninterrupted service:
Phase 1 – Consisted of the primary relocation of equipment and networks infrastructure, including Service@Once, essential to operations. All DOJ users were relocated, with the exception of operators, to the new facility. All new workstations were configured, tested and rolled out prior to the transfer. A Verizon T1 connection was brought up for the connection to the Service at Once application.
Phase 2 – Involved the relocation of remaining equipment and users to the new location. These included external contractors, the Verizon Support Center (using Service@Once), directory and voice conference operators, services and data circuits and all supporting workstations. The new workstations were preconfigured and provided to the conference operators. All equipment related to these users including printers, fax machines and workstations were also moved at this time. Lastly, all of the servers used by TSS were moved and reinstalled to complete the relocation.
Hamilton-Ryker had provided technical support for TSS for the previous 10 years and was able to bring this familiarity with the infrastructure, technology, organization, processes, and specific needs of the customer to the table. This knowledge allowed Hamilton-Ryker to create and implement a project-plan and technological solution that resulted in a quick, low-risk move that had little to no impact on the customer’s operations. TSS experienced no significant downtime. Its new networks and workstations were faster and more reliable and all security requirements as mandated by NIST SP 800 were maintained.
Products and services
One of the major challenges of this project was the variety of hardware and software required to provide the solution. Below is the technology Hamilton-Ryker provided or worked with as part of the solution:
- Cisco Ethernet Switches
- Cisco Routers
- Cisco Firewalls
- Dell Optiplex workstations
- Dell servers
- APC UPSs
- X.25 (Dry Pair)
- Windows 2003
- Red Hat Linux
- Windows XP
- Windows NT
- Compunetix Conference Bridge: RSB (Reservation and Billing), WOC (Windows Operator Console)
- Conveyant: Teledirectory Attendant Consoles
- Verizon Service@Once
- Nortel CCMIS: CCMIS Server Application, Modem Bank, Terminal Servers, Develcon X.25 Gateway, Wallboards
- Nortel: OTM (Optivity Telephony Manager) Server
- SecureLogix Server
- Ivize Call Reporting Server