- VSO, working with our partner and prime contractor, performed a network and security managed service with our vSQOD methodology for a large university with over 2800 managed elements.
- VSO assisted with the design of several upgrades and architecture improvements, including an 802.1x rollout, a rebuild of a Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) infrastructure, decommissioning of legacy network infrastructure, and executing a refresh of access layer switches due to a manufacturer’s recall.
In partnership with our prime contractor, VSO supported network management, network security, and a corresponding service desk for a major university with over 2800 managed elements. The campus – comprised of a large university and hospital located in the Washington D.C. area – had aging network infrastructure and security issues that VSO modernized while also implementing vSQOD managed service best practices. The Service Desk customer rating improved from “unacceptable” prior to VSO, to “rapidly responsive,” almost immediately. Additionally, VSO was contracted to perform numerous projects related to the modernization of the network and security infrastructure. VSO was selected for this effort because of our experience in networking and security, and our vSQOD approach that only utilizes on-shore staff that are HIPAA and PCI compliant.
Network Managed Services
VSO provided a vSQOD team managing Level 1-4 network services performing network monitoring & alerting, ticket assessment & classification, Service Level Agreement (SLA) reporting, incident & problem diagnostics, issue & problem resolution, trend analysis, as well as Senior Network Architect support for network design efforts for ongoing transformation projects, network design reviews, RCAs, and capacity planning.
Network Security Managed Services
Integrated with the network vSQOD were specialized security services including security intrusion prevention and detection services, security monitoring and incident management services, and coordination with client's network security incident response team in responding to and resolving security incidents.
Network Upgrade Projects:
VSO also executed several projects to upgrade the Client’s network infrastructure. These projects included:
- Finishing an incomplete 802.1x Rollout. Planning for this project required VSO to complete the buildout schedule, review the ISE policies, and confirm switch configurations. Implementation saw VSO teams completing documentation for all devices, creating change requests, creating MAC Address Bypass (MAB) rules, implementing configuration changes to ISE and Meraki access switches, enabling security group tagging, and providing hypercare post implementation.
- Rebuilding the Cisco ISE infrastructure. Preparation for this effort included ISE health checks, review of the configuration, version selection, defining ISE personas per appliance, identifying which devices will be used as which nodes, determining implementation order and procedures, securing IP addresses, diagramming and documenting end-state configuration, and drafting the change request with exact steps. Implementation included racking and cabling devices, ensuring certificates were properly deployed, ensuring the migration of rules to the nodes, and hypercare post implementation.
- Decommission of Legacy Network gear. VSO’s planning activities for this effort included conducting planning meetings with stakeholders, inventory of the devices to be decommissioned with associated MAC addresses/IPs connected, determining available ports and cabling (and documenting the delta deficiencies), documenting and diagramming end state cabling and routing and new MAB rules, as well as drafting the change requests for each site. VSO then created the MAB rules, performed the physical moves of connections from legacy to new network, powered down and removed unused legacy switches, and provided hypercare following cutover.
- Campus-wide hardware recall of access layer switches. Shortly after the deployment of hundreds of Meraki switches across over 50 campus buildings, the hardware manufacturer issued a safety recall that required their replacement. Since they were access layer switches, extensive coordination was required to minimize disruption to the educators and students. VSO created a project plan and coordinated with stakeholders in each building to arrange downtime for change windows, created change requests, cloned new replacement devices from the existing switches, and executed switch replacements with minimal disruption to university operations.
Customer Benefits & Success Metrics
VSO’s vSQOD managed service exceeded all SLAs while providing 24/7 managed services for the network and network security environments while also assisting with significant network upgrade projects.
Here’s what I can say: In our first month of the MS, we cut the ticket backlog in half. SLA reporting was not happening at all prior to our arrival… we implemented and enforced SLA measurement. Our predecessors were not responsive – we implemented 24/7 issue notification where it previously did not exist. Our predecessors presided over mass instability in the network – we brought stable and predictable operations to the university network, with responsive personnel onsite combined with round-the-clock monitoring to stay ahead of potential problems.
Direct feedback from end customer: VSO support engineer came to my office and began troubleshooting to resolve the issue. After several attempts, he was able to successfully assist me with installing the phone provider’s mobile app. He also took the time to help familiarize me with the new functions. VSO engineer’s personal manner, determination, knowledge, and patience proved to be of the highest quality. To find an individual with such qualities and know-how, is noteworthy! As he was leaving my office, I asked for the name of his supervisor. I thought it very important to let you know about the "Excellent Customer Service" one of your team members exhibited. Writing this note of appreciation is rare but I thought it very important for you to know!
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