HEAnet Increases Resilience & Availability

Case study

Interxion delivers greater resilience and high availability to HEAnet, Ireland’s 2.5 Gbps research and education backbone

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The Challenge

HEAnet serves a growing education and research sector as well as a national user population, all of which require world class infrastructure. In 2008 it needed to supplement its existing state of the art data centre and WAN resources to provide for growth and new projects in the shorter term. In addition, it needed a solution that would allow for rapid expansion if required while assisting in the formation of a longer-term investment and resource development strategy.

Interxion’s new Dublin data centre (opened April 2010) will offer us a clear path to potential expansion in space or connectivity.

Solution

Following a thorough analysis of the market, HEAnet chose Interxion’s Dublin data centre to house its Internet Point of Presence and provide increased diversity and space (100m sq) for its infrastructure. “Our mission is to deliver highly available and resilient network services to our clients, who are, in turn, dependent on our infrastructure,” says John Boland, HEAnet’s CEO. “Network excellence is the first pillar of our corporate strategy, and in a sense, everything else rests on that.” The three-year contract with Interxion is a very efficient way of adding physical server space and another connectivity node to the HEAnet resource infrastructure through a world-class data centre. It offers technical superiority to match HEAnet’s quality requirements and a cost effective additional network resource. “We now have effectively four data centres, including Interxion,” said Gareth Eason, HEAnet’s Network Operations Manager, “The ongoing development of our services has meant that different services, such as email and videoconferencing, have specific server and network needs. This has accelerated a trend towards colocation for HEAnet, so that primary and back-up resources are physically independent, with multiple connectivity paths. A university might have five email servers, for example, and choose to put one of them in a remote data centre but on an extension to their local area network. Interxion’s new Dublin data centre (opened April 2010) will offer us a clear path to potential expansion in space or connectivity.”

About HEAnet

Established by seven universities in 1984 with the support of Ireland’s Higher Education Authority, HEAnet provides connectivity and Internet access to its 57 member institutions in higher education and research. It also serves over 4,000 schools nationally. Its state-of-the art national WAN is the electronic backbone of the country’s entire education and research sector, with 10 Gbps international connections to peer resources such as the European GÉANT and JANET in the UK as well as the general Internet. www.heanet.ie