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client project detail: Investment Bank

MaxIT upgraded network infrastructure to vastly improve communications and network security.

The issues:

  1. Client service was not as effective as being delivered by competitors, both in terms of value to the client but also in terms of cost to provide.
  2. Good communications both internally, within the UK office, and externally, with the US Head Office, were becoming more important but due to the infrastructure more problematical.
  3. Security of information was being compromised.
  4. Existing support of the communications and computing infrastructure was becoming fragmented and unreliable.

The brief:

  1. Selective sharing of contact information and communications between authorised staff members (email only to start)
  2. Faster Internet browsing (use it for analysis and research)
  3. Protection of data on server and workstations from Internet access
  4. Secure communications with New York head office
  5. Another, faster printer so they didn't have to walk to back office for printouts
  6. Faxing from the desktop, as long as it was simple

Starting point:

Half a dozen NT workstations, couple of Win95 and one Win98 PC, connected to an NT server providing file sharing, POP mail server, and Internet connection through dial-up single-channel ISDN. They had a mixture of MS Office versions; Cat. 5e structured cabling was in place; two free-standing 10Mb unmanaged hubs; one mono laser printer on parallel connection shared through a workstation.

The solution:

  1. In line with their head office, GoldMine was installed:
    • they could each choose which of the contacts in their databases were for their own, and which shared, access
    • optionally this could also be used as the mail client, so all email communications were listed along with their notes
    • databases could be synchronised securely* over the Internet with head office overnight
  2. After ascertaining an acceptable speed for each client, researching options and comparing costs
    • 256k leased-line was installed
    • 24-port rack-mounted 10/100 auto-sensing switch was installed
  3. Checkpoint Firewall-1 with VPN was installed on a separate server, with Proxy Server in the DMZ - this containing anti-virus software scanning web browsing and email traffic (HTTP, FTP & SMTP)
  4. The Virtual Private Network (VPN) module provides secure, encrypted communications between them and their head office
  5. One more mono laser printer was acquired for the front office, connected directly to the LAN controlled by the main server; plus a colour laser printer for high-quality bulletins to be posted
  6. WinFax was installed on the main LAN server, for outgoing faxing only, so faxes could be sent directly from each workstation, saving time and providing top quality printed faxes to the recipient. Adequate training was given to each user.
  7. An audit was carried out to ascertain software and hardware in use:
    • upgrade and new licences purchased to legitimise software use
    • standardised on NT4 Workstation, SP6a
    • MS Office 2000 was standardised as main office application
    • minimum memory per machine increased to 128Mb RAM
    • Internet Explorer installed along with Critical Update Notification
    • new workstations sourced through MaxIT Solutions with LCD TFT panels
    • scanning became a requirement with prospective multi-page documents: a scanner with SCSI interface and document feeder was installed on one workstation with shared access so everyone could scan from their own machine
  8. Backup software was installed and nightly backup tapes taken off-site the following day - a monthly grandfather-father-son routine was put in place
  9. A contract was taken out with MaxIT Solutions to provide preventative maintenance and fast response to problems with guaranteed on-site service in event of telephone fix failing.
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