As one of the oldest NCAA Division I collegiate sports leagues, representing the highest level of college athletics, this Advizex customer fields more than 25 sports for over a dozen members across the US.
Despite having a wide geographic reach, and a large number of huge member institutions, including major research universities, the organization operates with a small staff out of its headquarters and one branch office.
The organization recognized it required a world-class network infrastructure to manage the traffic and network performance needed to govern so many teams across its host of colleges and universities, and, importantly, support growth, with new members signing on to the league.
Building a high-performance network
After an initial meeting to discuss his organization’s needs, its CIO turned to Advizex to update and upgrade its network infrastructure. He had high expectations and was impressed with Advizex’s consultative approach.
“We did what we do best,” says Jason Ketelaar, Managed Services Account Executive at Advizex. “And that is really getting in there, asking a lot of questions — the right questions — and doing a thorough discovery.”
The Advizex team worked closely with the organization to develop a network architecture that met its needs and made sense based on its future objectives from a growth standpoint.
“We had the value proposition, expertise, and business tenure that gave him the confidence that we had the right people, and level of knowledge to do the job,” adds Ketelaar.
What the team determined was that the organization had existing IT investments, particularly in new server infrastructure, not being used to their full potential. To take full advantage of the server infrastructure, future-proof for future investments, and meet a requirement for exceptional cyber-security, the network needed to be micro-segmented.
Based on its deep and wide discovery, Advizex came up with a complete infrastructure technology roadmap for the organization, including obstacles it might face during the migration. It was awarded a mandate to implement the network gear.
Over a three- to four-month professional service engagement, the organization’s new equipment was installed and configured, supporting the small non-profit organization’s user group, and ties to four massive university infrastructures.
An unexpected turn
Once the new network was in place, the organization’s lean IT team became even smaller. It lost one of its two technical engineer staff to The Great Resignation.
This was the catalyst needed for the CIO to investigate adopting managed services to cost-effectively manage, monitor, and maintain their infrastructure. With its existing knowledge and familiarity with the organization’s network, Advizex was, once again, a natural choice.
“We had already demonstrated our expertise during the implementation, so the deployment quickly morphed into managed services,” Ketelaar notes.
Advizex took over the task of monitoring the organization’s infrastructure 24×7, managing the network and operating systems, troubleshooting hardware, security, and software, as well as repairs, upgrades, and installation services as needed. This allowed the organization to support its new infrastructure more cost-effectively and freed up its remaining resource to focus on other high-value activities.
Security had already been outsourced previously to managed security provider Arctic Wolf.
Providing a NOC/SOC environment
Already a key Advizex partner, collaboration with Arctic Wolf happened easily.
“We know Arctic Wolf’s capabilities well, and they know of ours. So, we were in sync on what needed to be addressed from a network or infrastructure perspective,” says Erik Santos, the Network & Security Architect at Advizex responsible for the conference’s infrastructure.
“We are able to work hand-in-hand with Arctic Wolf to be proactive, identifying issues that need to be remediated, patches needed, or changes to the network or servers needed to prevent whatever puts the customer at risk.”
The existing partnership between Advizex was an unexpected bonus for the organization, allowing the organization to easily implement a fully integrated NOC/SOC to ensure network performance, provide improved security, and find even more operational efficiency.
With managed services partnership with Advizex, supported by its Arctic Wolf security operations center, the organization’s IT infrastructure is ready to meet its growing membership and service needs. Game on.