Project Profile 2: Network Operations for Global Mining Company

THE CLIENT:nickel1
An international mining company operating in 23 global locations. The company is comprised of several divisions including exploration, production, R&D and marketing.

THE ENVIRONMENT:
In order to meet the challenge of conducting mining operations in distant and often remote global sites, the company operates a 7/24 Wide-Area Network supporting an international Microsoft NT domain, electronic messaging, internet access, distributed applications and voice and data communications.

Traffic is carried for such diverse, multi-vendor platforms as IBM mainframes and AS/400’s, Microsoft NT and Exchange servers, DEC VAX, UNIX, Novell Netware and ERP database applications.

The network consists of a mixture of Frame Relay, ATM, ISDN, satellite and conventional leased and circuit-switched connections. The main international backbone is comprised of 54 Cisco routers and switches in a multi-protocol environment, including TCP/IP, IPX, SNA, DecNet and others.

THE ROLE:
Duncan McAllister was contracted as a Wide-Area Network Administrator and Project Manager for a period of two years. As a member of the company-wide group, we supported international network operations and third-level technical support from the Toronto head office.

As a participant in the monthly network management comittee meetings, advised senior management on the implementation of company-wide policies and procedures, and maintained an active role in vendor management and negotiations.

We were actively involved in the tendering and implementation of comprehensive network analysis tools, such as Visual Uptime and Cabletron Spectrum. With these tools, we were able to optimize the structure of the backbone by initiating fundamental topology changes, resulting in increased overall network performance.

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