Network Strategic Review for Edinburgh Airport - FarrPoint
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 Network Strategic Review: Edinburgh Airport

Network infrastructure

Network Strategic Review: Edinburgh Airport

Edinburgh airport’s IT infrastructure is highly dynamic and mission-critical, with minimal downtime available for maintenance and upgrades. The airport needed a next-generation network which could provide: unparalleled 24/7 reliability and robustness, digital transformation with smart technologies and compliance with various frameworks such as the EU’s

Background - The Client

Client name: Edinburgh Airport

Operating Hours: 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

Passenger and aircraft statistics:

Employees: 5,000

Cargo: 42k tonnes of Cargo in 2018

The Challenge

The airport’s IT infrastructure is highly dynamic and mission-critical, with minimal downtime available for maintenance and upgrades. The network estate had become increasingly complex and faced operational issues with legacy technologies, and supportability. It had begun to impact customer satisfaction and the ability to support continued expansion and technological innovations such as IoT within the airport.

Edinburgh Airport needed a next-generation network which could provide:

NIS Directive;

The airport sought a trusted advisor with proven skills and expertise dealing with challenging IT environments that come with national critical infrastructure and the ability to conduct an independent assessment of their network estate with an in-depth market review to establish future strategy and solutions.

The main aim for FarrPoint was to establish and recommend the optimum approach ensuring that the network infrastructure is resilient, scalable and flexible to support expansion whilst maintaining key services in a 24/7 almost non-stop environment.

Our Approach

FarrPoint needed to provide strategic technical advice and assurance throughout the IT project, including an in-depth technical review of the airport’s existing and future IT network, its security requirements, as well as cost assessment, procurement and contractual support.

By working alongside the IT function as a key team member, FarrPoint was able to conduct a strategic review which included;

1. Independent market testing with various vendors, understand scale of challenge, high level budget/cost range.

Engaging with stakeholders across the airport as well as the wider market, including other airports FarrPoint undertook market research with potential vendors, exploring what technologies were available at what cost and how these could be tailored into appropriate solutions.

2. Developing the optimum technology model.

Based on an assessment across the United States of America and Europe reviewing case studies of the technology used elsewhere.

3. FarrPoint identified feasible options for the future of Edinburgh Airport’s network.

These ranged from working with its existing design and tactically replacing components on an essential basis, through to refresh projects, which would involve working with the existing network design, hybrid approaches, and a move towards a fully software-defined network (SDN).

The SDN approach performed best against both the technical and the commercial objectives, offering improved agility and scalability and enhanced ways to manage complexity plus greater versatility with the airport’s IT teams being able to manage via the use of software applications. SDN would also enable a programmatic approach to updates and changes improving operational efficiency.

Results

The key result of the strategic review phase is now a focus on adopting an SDN model, which will virtualise as much of the airport’s physical infrastructure as possible. This will increase the versatility of the network, allowing change to occur in a more responsive fashion and prevent potentially expensive cabling works that can disrupt airport operations.

We appointed FarrPoint to conduct an independent review of our complex critical IT network infrastructure. FarrPoint has helped us establish the scale and scope of what we need to consider, including cost benefit analysis and investment required. FarrPoint is our strategic network partner on this project, providing advice on network strategy in such a demanding environment. Their work has helped us through providing reliable independent technical assurance needed for the business case and engagement with the board - CIO at Edinburgh Airport.
We greatly enjoyed the opportunity to work with Edinburgh Airport as their Trusted Advisors, it is a fast-paced environment that brings with it unique challenges. The upgrade is designed to deliver significant operational savings, thanks to the ability to manage the network more efficiently and the removal of legacy technology. All of this will bring significant benefits for customers, employees and suppliers - Dr Andrew Muir, CEO, FarrPoint

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