David Lenz, Hills.

Hills is taking its internal networks to cloud, deploying Extreme Networks solutions across 20 sites and replacing its legacy network infrastructure to bring the management of its voice and data network in-house and accelerate adoption of cloud-based services.

As part of the process, Hills is moving servers to the cloud on the Microsoft Azure platform, supported by Extreme Elements, including ExtremeSwitching technology and ExtremeAnalytics software for enhanced network visibility and reporting capabilities across its hybrid cloud environment.

The company is using its Extreme switched network and Extreme Management Center to manage traffic mainly for on-premise directory, authentication, file sharing and database services and cloud-based services including Microsoft Office 365, its CRM solution and hosted telephony (VoIP). This has enabled it to reduce its reliance on outsourced IT services and minimise its data centre footprint.

The simplicity, increased visibility, and control achieved across its Extreme-powered network has improved Hills’ operational efficiencies. Hills is now planning to deploy an Extreme wireless infrastructure and replace its existing core network with Extreme Networks technologies, which will also be managed by Hills’ in-house IT team.

Hills’ systems administrators now have complete visibility and granularity of reporting on every port and device connected to the network, including VoIP handsets, security cameras, alarm systems, and boom gates. Historical data on performance and traffic is analysed to identify usage patterns over time and raise alerts on any anomalies for root cause investigation. This also allows Hills to monitor and report on the performance of applications on the network, critical to managing its adoption of cloud-based services.

Extreme switches feature low-latency performance and automatic provisioning of services for each device. This delivers high levels of automation, along with dynamic provisioning of QoS for mission critical applications such as VoIP, allowing Hills to move from a managed on-premise IP-PABX to a more cost-effective and reliable hosted service. With ExtremeControl running on each of the edge switches, Hills can apply pre-set configurations and security policies by device type on everything connecting to the network, making it difficult for attackers to exploit vulnerabilities in any endpoints.

“Extreme Networks is part of our future, both as the technology underpinning our systems and as part of our distribution portfolio and Health Solutions business,” said David Lenz, Hills CEO and managing director.

“We believe in the brand, which is why we’re making the investment to upgrade our entire networking environment from Cisco to Extreme Networks. We’ve already made significant efficiency gains and cost savings with our Extreme switching deployment, which we expect to continue as we continue our network upgrade program.”