When the Western Australia public sector was reformed in 2017, a number of human services agencies were brought together to form the Department of Communities.

Today, the department cares for Western Australia's children at risk, people with disabilities, and those who need housing support. 

Ahead of a move to a new office in Fremantle, near Perth, though, the government department needed to take care of its own staff and new home. A new, highly functional network solution would not only help to bring together its teams to work more collaboratively, but also help to connect the department more with the local community and support those who need it most.

“We have over 1,700 employees who have previously worked in different ways all coming together under one roof. Each one will need to connect and interact with each other in ways we haven't seen before," says Peter Byrne, chief information officer for the Department of Communities.

"We wanted to make sure technology enabled us and didn't become a roadblock to our success."

The department's Newman Court Campus is one of the largest and most complex state government managed sites, and both of its two large buildings needed a network upgrade.

"The campus was a unique challenge," says Datacom's Managing Director in Western Australia, Mark Muru. "Each building required a fully redundant local area network (LAN) and wide area network (WAN) solution. We achieved this by implementing a highly-available core network across the campus, with a core network switch stack per campus building.”

To connect the campus, a dual high-speed 20Gbit/s (gigabit per second) fibre-optic connectivity was used, with a dedicated 10Gbit/s WAN fibre link to each campus building connecting the core network to two different GovNext data centres. Each fibre WAN link is the active service for each building, providing a total of 20Gbit/s WAN bandwidth for the entire campus.

"We used the latest next-generation Cisco Catalyst 9000 platform to deliver all network services. The core and access network stacks are comprised of dual Catalyst 9500 core switch stacks for each building, which services over 4,000 network ports," says Mark.

The network, designed by Datacom, offers significantly improved mobility and performance, and the design allows other agencies to seamlessly connect and collaborate with each other.

"Making sure staff were able to get into the precinct and start work straight away was important," says Peter. "We work collaboratively so it was essential that technology supported this.

"Datacom understood our challenges, delivered on budget, and went the extra mile in being proactive and flexible in getting us up and running ahead of time."

Related industries
Public sector
Related solutions
Network services Data centres Software engineering