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Skilled Group solves network congestion issues

Australia and New Zealand staffing services provider Skilled Group has overcome recurring networking congestion with the introduction of 10 Gigabit ethernet switches.

The company's data centre is virtualized by VMware technology. Skilled Group ICT infrastructure manager Geoff Berry said that large VMware environments can cause network congestion and his team was finding that latency was increasing under heavy workloads.

The company has 100 terabytes of data and transfers seven to 10TB each across the network every day.

The Group implemented six Extreme Networks Summit X650 top of rack switches and eight X460 core class switches 18 months ago. These run on the Extreme operating system XOS, which is compatible with cloud and data centre applications. The OS features a modular architecture, integrated security and control features for virtualized data centres.

"With our VMware infrastructure, data centre bridging was a strong priority for us and that also titled our decision in favour of Extreme Networks," he said.

The switches have allowed the company to automate disaster recovery. For example, if there is a problem Berry can use one button to reconfigure the entire network.

"It takes about 20 seconds and everything on the networking side is handled."

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According to Berry, the Ethernet switches have required no maintenance in the first 18 months of operation.

He added that the company will be able to achieve further cost savings in the future as Extreme XOS will allow him to use older switches by updating the firmware.

"That's a big plus which sets us up to use new software and devices as they are introduced," he said.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia


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