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Wolverhampton, West Midlands -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/14/2012 -- Iconic IT designs and implements brand new IT infrastructure and network to support Ofqual’s transformation to independent regulator.
The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) is responsible for maintaining standards, improving confidence and distributing information about qualifications and examinations. Ofqual regulates general and vocational qualifications in England and vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland. Ofqual was formally vested on 1st April 2010. Ofqual required a brand new IT estate to support two hundred staff across its headquarters, a satellite site, and to provide remote working capability.
Iconic IT was given the following challenge:
1. Design and build a new secure and highly available IT infrastructure and network (LAN and WAN) to support core business functionality: Corporate Desktop (including SharePoint); Finance; BlackBerry; Database; File and Print
2. Provide a secure remote working solution to support Ofqual’s flexible working arrangements
3. Migrate legacy systems, all user data and email to the new infrastructure
4. Securely integrate externally supplied ICT and services into new solution
5. Complete all work for the organisation’s launch.
6. Future proof the infrastructure for prospective developments
“We needed our new network and IT services to be ready for the organisation’s launch. It was vital that Iconic IT designed and built an up to date, robust solution that met our business needs, and delivered the project efficiently and on time.”
(Nikki Greenway, Ofqual Head of IT)
Iconic IT’s skilled professionals worked closely with Ofqual to understand their requirements and presented the solution to senior managers to ensure that it not only matched their requirements but demonstrated added value. Iconic IT’s network solution was based on a Cisco Switch Backbone infrastructure for all sites; ensuring the solution was fast, reliable and secure with no single points of failure.
The network design included resilient Azzurri MPLS and Internet Links between sites, which alongside Exchange 2010 and Office Communications Server facilitated good communication between staff wherever they were working from. The core solution was designed around a VMware vSphere 4.1 server farm running on 4 Hewlett Packard Proliant DL380-G6 servers. Windows 2008 R2 Guest operating systems were used as standard. This farm ran alongside two Domain Controllers and a Management Server. A NetApp FAS 2050 Storage Area Network was used to provide a total of 16 TB of usable iSCSI and NFS storage, configured so that there were no single point of failures.
Iconic IT staff designed, built and deployed a new Windows 7 Professional Image incorporating Office 2007 and core applications to all Desktops and Laptops. The Iconic team designed and implemented secure remote working utilising Forefront UAG 2010. Additional security features were provided by a combination of Forefront TMG controlling internet access, Websense Security Suite as a web filter and BigFix (now IBM Tivoli) for patch, security and anti-virus management. The whole solution was designed and built to meet the requirements of Government Security Policy Framework.
“Ofqual was provided with a robust and resilient infrastructure that was easy for our IT staff to administer, and services that met the needs of our users. Iconic IT’s use of well-integrated, modern, and standard technologies provided both stability and a degree of future-proofing. Iconic demonstrated a high level of expertise and commitment over the seven months of the project, and succeeded in delivering a big bang deployment over the Easter weekend. Since then the solution has remained stable and a high degree of user satisfaction has been maintained. We have Iconic IT to thank for helping to lay those foundations.”
(Nikki Greenway, Ofqual Head of IT)
Iconic IT Ltd
46 Newbridge Street
T: 0845 686 3535