What do you do when you have an engineering project base onshore that is lacking in a coherent, central IT network for permanent and transient users?

What is the best possible approach for achieving a high-density Wi-Fi network to enable a consistent, secure experience for end users?

These were the main headlines for the meeting I facilitated with the Rampion Wind Farm and technology team from EON in mid 2017 when they approached the organisation I worked at. In summary, the Rampion Wind Farm team found themselves in the following scenario:

Working out of a large, purpose built set of cabins that were adjoined, these offices housed a wide variety of engineers, consultants and permanent office based staff.











This was also the same base from where all Rampion operations were controlled, monitored and maintained for all of their offshore activities. The site was:

  • Operated and open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Had at maximum, up to 150 staff on location at any given time
  • The site utilised up to 4 separate, carrier class, high speed point-to-point ISP internet lines provided by SpeedNET Scotland. Two of these were primarily for offshore operational based needs with an extremely high SLA, leaving two remaining up-links. These up-links were located at opposite ends of the building
  • The buildings had various printers and peripherals situated at various locations
  • Existing Wi-Fi was insufficient and dropping out
  • No consistent, central network was in place to provide a robust offering to users
  • No DNS layer security in place or any form of security protocols for in-house use, BYOD or MDM, (Mobile Device Management)
  • The team had no central IT support in place for their staff and were using the EON IT central support team for ad-hoc support.

Following a full audit of their existing infrastructure and various client consultations with the Rampion Wind Farm central team and EON IT, we designed and then implemented the following secure, robust and foolproof solution:

  1. Creation of a single, private network across the two buildings. This new network joined and integrated the two ISP up-links into a load-balancing, failover scenario, whist also providing one single network for ease
  2. The roll-out of an enterprise Wi-Fi solution based on the HPE Aruba ecosystem, which utilises the latest technology in MU-MIMO to provide network efficiency and Clientmatch. These access points were perfectly tailored for high density locations and provided a secure way in which to centrally manage and monitor their wireless network. This was based on the ArubOS architecture.
  3. Provided robust DNS layer protection, utilising Cisco Umbrella technologies
  4. Facilitated the ability to remotely monitor and support their newly invested Firewall and Wi-Fi solution in case of outage or issue.

Following the successful implementation of this project, the Rampion Wind Farm team were extremely happy with the result and this has provided them with a solid level of infrastructure that will take them beyond the completion of the Wind Turbine project offshore.

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