Project Description

Case Study of ISMAPNG Full Network Buildout

Mercy Action and Spirituality Hub (Mercy Hub) is being set up for Community South C in North Carlton with the intention of creating a hub that the Sisters of Mercy can utilise for a variety of gatherings and office space.

At present the building is being fully renovated for this purpose and as such is being provisioned from the ground up. 

Once the Mercy Action and Spirituality Hub renovations are completed, Sisters and guests will be able to easily interact with the buildings Audio Visual Displays and IT Hardware with minimal assistance.

Goals

  • To create a modern functional environment for meetings, presentations, informal gatherings that can utilise many facets of Audio, Visual and IT Technology with a focus on versatility and easy of use. 
  • As a creative space, the space needs to be and remain dynamic, allowing for Presentations to be broadcast to multiple displays throughout the ground floor and to provide multiple office spaces upstairs and meeting rooms.
  • As the Mercy Action and Spirituality Hub is intended to be a creative hub, all IT equipment supplied should have the capabilities of running design applications like Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, Premier Pro) or similar.  As such the hardware specifications provided in this proposal as likely higher than a administrative configuration currently deployed throughout The Institute, with a focus on improved CPU, RAM and Video capabilities.
  • Provide for wireless networking (WiFi) through the ground and level 1 floors of the building to allow Sisters to move around the building using Laptops, connect mobile devices like phones and tablets to the network or NBN.

Solution

To facilitate the office space and AV requirements, Prestidge Office Solutions recommended the following solution which is intended to reach all the goals outlined above.

This solution has four main area that need to be addressed. 

  • The Network Backbone
  • The Shared Storage Server
  • The Central Computer linking AV to the IT
  • The Office Workstations.

The Network Backbone

The Network Backbone is the foundation that all other services use over the entire life of the building.  When talking about a office building this constitutes the connection from the NBN service which is then connected to the Network Switch, through to the Wireless networking (WiFi) throughout the building.  This allows anyone with access to the network to utilise internet services and access any central storage, whether they choose to use a network cable or wirelessly. 

To provide the best service to staff in the hub, its ideal to network each of the available network points in the building and also provide a network cable for each point.

The network backbone requires a network cable for each end of the link, we colour code these to its function, to provide easy reference for any future adjustments to the network.

We used L2/3 Netgear Network switches. An important function of this switch its its Power over Ethernet capability, which allows the CISCO Wireless Access Points to be powered from it, without the need for a powerpoint on the roof.  This also allows easy resetting of a Access Point if it stops working and requires a reboot.

The Wireless Network is handled by Cisco Wireless Access Points. Cisco is reputed to be one of the best in the industry for networking.  These units designed to handle up to 30 active connections per access point, and can be clustered (4 Access Points) to operate as a single wireless network, providing redundancy and allow people to move around the office while maintaining the connection.

The Shared Server

To facilitate easy sharing of documents and video content for use in presentations, and to provide the offices with shared storage (network drives). Given modern day storage requirements, I recommend the provision of 4 Terabytes of shared storage on a robust server that will last last the Hub for 3-5 years.

The selection of server is based on the current needs of a File Server and anticipated medium term needs for storage (4TB), with enough future expansion capability for storage to provision (24TB Total).  We utilised a Dell PowerEdge T320 Rack server with 8 hard drive bays for this purpose.

The server will be configured as a Domain Server, running Windows 2012 R2 Essentials Server, designed for small business environments and the File Server was configured for a common shared drive, across all users of the network, along with several secure network drives for the offices to use going forward.  

The server power is protected from short power outages by a Uninterruptible Power Supply, and Backups performed to an 4 Terabyte external hard drive for piece of mind.

The Central AV Computer

To ensure that the shared screens and AV equipment are able to display presentations or streaming video content, the is a requirement for a central multimedia computer that will interface between the network server and its shared storage and the AV equipment.

The current AV equipment has been installed with the anticipation that a multimedia computer, that is capable of playing and opening all common file formats (Microsoft Office, PDF, video formats) and powerful enough to provide collaborative experiences and display high definition video smoothly, is to be installed either inside the current AV rack or alongside the rack.

The multimedia computer needs to be controlled using a keyboard and mouse combination from around the ground floor up to twenty meters away from the receiver.  This allows the keyboard to be moved around between the different meeting areas, by using a special long range keyboard/mouse.

I researched and found a Gyration Air Mouse Elite Combo with Low Profile Keyboard, which provides both a Keyboard and a Mouse, which is designed to work over 100-Feet (30 Meters) from the sender unit, so will allow the keyboard and mouse to work for each screen in the ground floor area.

We implemented a Dell Vostro 3800 Slim Tower, it fits the size requirements (height >12.5cm) and is powerful enough to meet requirements of a central multimedia computer.  Using its Intel i5 processor and 8Gb RAM, alongside a dedicated Nvidia GeForce 705 1GB Video Card, it provides a versatile system for the years to come.

The Office Workstations

As the Mercy Action and Spirituality Hub is intended to be a creative hub, with an emphasis being able to be flexible and creative while utilising the facilities of the Mercy Action and Spirituality Hub, and this includes the office workstations, which should have the capabilities of running design applications like Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, Premier Pro) or similar.  The potential to edit video and audio tracks, and put multimedia presentations together, along with the day-to-day

We recommended the Dell Inspiron 24” 7000 Series, all in one desktop computers. These systems provide a combination of power and simplicity, as they are an all in one unit, the desktop is easily moved around by staff to suit the current requirements of the Hub.  Each workstation has an Intel i5 processor, 12Gb RAM and a integrated Nvidia GeForce 940M video card, along with 1 terabyte of local storage and 24 inch touch screen.

As the computer and monitor are combined, this eliminates the need to connect multiple cables to connect the screen and computer ‘CPU’ together.  Needing only a power cable and network cable to be connected, we are keeping simplicity in mind to allow the Hub to be as flexible as possible.

Project Timeline

We offer the following timeline for the completion of the Mercy Action and Spirituality Hub IT Project. – 4 weeks.