My names Darren O'Connor and I'm a network consultant at UCcert (CMSP).
We recently undertook a network refresh at a Secondary School during February half-term. The schools network was originally built back in 2010 as part of the UK governments BSF (Building Schools for Future) programme. The equipment deployed were Cisco 4404's and legacy catalyst switches. As part of the BSF deployments the schools were flood patched so we're talking a lot of cables and a lot of switches!!
This isn't the first BSF replacement we've done and one thing we'd noticed is that the network was totally under-utilised. We spent months auditing the network and checking port status's and traffic. From our findings we discovered that we could remove nearly 60% of the existing switches and cabling. This was great for the end customer and us as the first quote they'd been given was a full like for like replacement from another partner 🙂
We ended up deploying Meraki MS350's at the core with a blend of MS225's and 220's at the edge. This design kept the cost down also as the ideal solution would have been a full stack of MS225's. For the wireless we went with MR33's due to cost but the customer has noted a remarkable difference in performance as the original AP's were only a/b/g.
So after pulling out over 2000+ cables we only had 5 issues on the first day back of end users not having any connectivity. We had done a full walk-round post refresh but some had clearly slipped the net.
Blazing speedsHappy cabling engineerOut with the old