CASE STUDY: Teneo & Devon and Cornwall Police

A policeman using a computer in an office
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Infrastructure optimisation specialist Teneo worked with Devon and Cornwall constabulary to help it overcome the issues of poor network performance at its remote and short tenure locations.

Employees working at police stations in rural areas where fast fibre connections are not available, or in smaller short tenure locations such as shared council premises, experienced poor network performance which resulted in slow access to critical police software applications.

The constabulary operates from more than 200 locations and covers the largest geographical area in England extending 180 miles from the Dorset and Somerset borders in the east to the Isles of Scilly in the west. It has high speed fibre network links to its main locations, but often has to arrange with telecoms providers to lay new fibre connections for rural sites where high speed fibre links are not available. New links have to be physically laid in the ground at a cost of tens of thousands of pounds and a lead time of up to 90 days. For most of the 70 smaller police stations this cost cannot be justified.

Devon and Cornwall Constabulary began investigating WAN optimisation technology to help ease data flows for these seventy sites which rely on special secure ADSL links offering a minimum of 1Mbs bandwidth. The constabulary consulted Teneo which conducted a trial, installing Riverbed Steelhead appliances at its Exeter police headquarters and at a police station in Torquay. The appliances achieved data reductions of 70 percent across a range of police management and Microsoft applications such as Outlook and Sharepoint, which convinced the constabulary to roll out Riverbed Steelhead appliances to a total of 26 locations.

With these 70 rural and smaller locations, the constabulary worked with its team of IT liaison officers across the constabulary to gauge where the appliances can best be deployed. Teneo has also worked with the constabulary and its IT service contractor Sungard to use the Riverbed appliances to centralise data back-up, which was previously reliant on on-site tape drives. The appliances also enhance data security as they only send through the data changes, with any data sent being automatically encrypted and compressed.

Jim Goodwin, network manager, Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, comments: “There are two competing issues for providing a good IT network experience to these more remote locations. On the one hand, trying to give them the best performance that we can, and on the other, making it as cost effective as we can because we can’t afford to install fibre links at all these locations. Our Riverbed Steelhead trial went exactly to plan - it reduced the traffic on our link from Torquay and made performance better. It actually delivered an impressive 70 percent data reduction.

“Teneo has been really good, they are very pro-active and have offered any support we have wanted. The Riverbed solution offers so many other benefits. Our Riverbed Steelheads can now be re-deployed for a major incident to cope with unpredictable jumps in bandwidth usage. If we have 20 to 30 officers at a major incident unit, we can use an appliance as an instant fix to help get around any bandwidth constraints.”

James Hall, marketing director, Teneo, comments: “Organisations with a network of locations such as Devon and Cornwall Constabulary face issues of trying to deliver a uniform level of network performance because of the variability of the network connections available. Although installing new networks was cost prohibitive, the constabulary wanted to help its employees working in these smaller, rural stations, and achieving 70% data reduction using Riverbed has greatly improved the network performance for the end users.

“With our Riverbed Steelhead solution, the constabulary is now also driving efficiencies such as centralised data back-up and server consolidation, and is using Riverbed Master Control to analyse the data traffic effectively.”


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