Ministry of Defence

The MOD asked Net Consulting to develop a Capacity Planning capability for its network in a Theatre environment.

Ministry of Defence

Our work with the MOD

Net Consulting offered the Ministry of Defence (MOD) industry experience, intimate product awareness, knowledge of Theatre network environments and the ability to work proactively and efficiently with MOD project teams.

Prior to engagement, Net Consulting had existing trusted relationships with MOD delivery partners, support teams, and service fulfilment teams in the Global Operations Security Control Centre (GOSCC), and further afield.

THE CHALLENGE

Typically network monitoring and change has been a reactive process, whereby support organisations are only involved once a problem has occurred. Network Capacity Planning seeks to transform this into a proactive approach by looking at the “as is” network and implementing changes. Capacity Planning forecasts utilisation to predict bandwidth bottlenecks and fluctuations which could potentially have a detrimental effect on network performance.

The MOD wanted to develop a Capacity Planning capability for its network in a Theatre environment.

THE SOLUTION

Net Consulting exploited network configuration discoveries and traffic flows from the TN&SM project in order to create representative models of the Theatre Network environments which contain realistic user information flows.

We were then able to build accurate network models to highlight network behaviour across contractual and system boundaries. This resulted in a centralised model portraying how information flowed across system and Bearer networks. It revealed links that were running at high capacity, and consequently provided the MOD with visibility into their network.

The success of this project has resulted in the capacity planning team collaborating with JFCIS (Joint Force Communication & Information Systems) to assist in the HERRICK transition, in addition to sharing information across MOD departments such as the LSRC (Land System Reference Centre)

Capacity Planning has provided the MOD with the capability to model network changes in-house, to understand the impact of the changes, and the effect these changes will have on network capacity in an environment where bandwidth is constrained.

What is network capacity planning?

The MOD depends upon reliable and robust information. Any capacity-restraint or degrading effect on the network could have a detrimental consequence.

Network Capacity Planning is a structured approach to understanding current usage patterns and predicting future bandwidth requirements, based on factual evidence extracted from the live network.

Historically JSP604 has been conducted in isolation of the live usage data for Theatre networks. Network Capacity Planning enhances this capability by replaying application transactions and predicted usage levels on top of live network data.

The MOD wanted hands-on support from experts capable of informing them with meaningful information, and advising them on how best to approach potential challenges. With a proven track record and working-knowledge, Net Consulting stood out in the marketplace and became the trusted partner to the MOD.

ongoing support

Net Consulting aims to provide exceptional ongoing training that builds and extends professional and technical skills in areas specific to each customer.

For the MOD, we set about developing a training programme that encompassed product-specific training and capability drop-in surgeries, including product demonstration & capability briefings.

The MOD benefitted from ongoing side-by-side training while the solution was implemented and analysed. Furthermore, Net Consulting covered specific surgery topics requested by the MOD, allowing implementation of a bespoke training plan.

To ensure Network Capacity Planning is an on-going success and continues to deliver benefit, the MOD has created an internal Network Capacity (NCAP) team that is supported by Net Consulting.

Feedback

“"Net Consulting have been extremely flexible and willing to work within the demanding restraints necessary. They have also been able to successfully adapt the Riverbed and IBM solution to suit our specific requirements, such as the need for multiple security levels. The solution has been working well for around 2 years now and is a key capability for the MOD’s approach to service management""

– Cdr Andy Rowlands
Manager of the MoD’s Global Operations & Security Control Centre (GOSCC)