Robust Office Links & VoIP Deployment

Clarice House Download the case study

Project Overview

Organisation: Avon Tyrrell Activity Centre

Partner: Christchurch Computer Centre

Solution: Broadband Failover, Load Balancing, VoIP, VPN

Products Used: Vigor 2950 router, Vigor 120 modem

Case Study Summary

  • Implement a fully resilient, secure, and flexible network based around DrayTek load balancing routers

  • Create a secure connection between the offices over the Internet.

  • Enable VoIP services

 

About Avon Tyrrell Activity Centre

Avon Tyrrell Activity Centre is an outdoor activity and residential Centre based in the New Forest for mainly young people in either primary or secondary education. The Centre is a large listed building and provides whole host of outdoor activities that help children experience new challenges in a fun, teaming environment. ATAC is part of a “UK Youth”, the leading national youth work charity supporting over 750,000 young people.

The Requirements

In 2007 Avon Tyrrell downsized their London office and moved key employees to the main centre in the New Forest. As part of this exercise, systems were standardised such that everyone used a common email system, data was stored centrally with backup and opportunities to reduce costs were identified.

The London office was to continue with five staff where the finance software and mail server is hosted. Fifteen workers at the Activity Centre would need access to these systems in their office and from home. A decision was also made to use Voiceover-IP (VoIP) technology to reduce telephone call costs. Unified systems that were common to all staff Remote access between offices and teleworkers Value-for-money so that charity funds deliver the best return Reduce monthly costs where possible.

The Solution

“Once we understood Avon Tyrrell's requirements DrayTek was the obvious choice. Our previous experience with them was very good and we know them to provide robust products that do the job and can be deployed easily”.

Steve Jones, Christchurch Computer Centre

CCC assisted Avon Tyrrell in implementing a fully resilient, secure and flexible network based around DrayTek's Vigor 2950 and Vigor 2820 load balancing routers.

At the New Forest office, a Vigor 2950 was installed with two ADSL lines to handle the data communications requirements. The load balancing feature allows both lines to be used to provide maximum performance and in the event of line failure the alternate line takes over automatically. A VPN (Virtual Private Networking) tunnel was used to create a secure connection between the offices over the Internet.

For voice, a VoIP server (IPPBX) was installed at New Forest which connects with a second Vigor 2950, also with two load-balanced ADSL lines. This enables the charity to make free calls across the internet to the London office and home users which has resulted in a saving in excess of 200 per month on telephone calls as well as saving of cost of additional line rental.

In the London office and teleworker’s homes, a Vigor2820 provided the ADSL/VPN connectivity and load-balancing/failover for the London office.

“If you’re buying a router for business, it’s an obvious choice”.

PC Pro Magazine

Avon Tyrrell’s headquarters in the New Forest uses ADSL for its voice and data traffic. Voice calls, incoming and outgoing use Voice-over-IP using an IP-PBX on-site. The IP-PBX and the IP Telephones use one Vigor 2950 Router/Firewall for their Internet access. That Vigor2950 uses a pair of ADSL line in order to allow for failover in the event of one ADSL line failing; ADSL can be unreliable in remote locations such as theirs. A second Vigor 2950, with another pair of Vigor 120 ADSL modems and ADSL lines is used exclusively for their data requirements (web access, email etc.), again with the second ADSL modem and line providing contingency in the event of the first line failing.

The remote office in London also has a pair of ADSL lines for failover and two telephones which act as extensions of the main PBX in the New Forest. Teleworkers have a similar setup, with single ADSL or cable-modem lines.

“Since we installed the DrayTek solution in 2007 the network has never fallen over and been completely solid. As a charity we have to be very careful on spending and I can honestly say that this was one of the best purchases we have made. It's so reliable and we've made huge savings in call costs.” 

David Watts, Operations & Centre Manager, Avon Tyrrell Activity Centre

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