Network Upgrade (Ohio National Financial Services)

Eliminated network downtime and improved disaster recovery capabilities

Ohio National Financial Services is a mutual insurance holding company with more than 1,000 employees headquartered in Cincinnati.  Ohio National markets a variety of insurance and financial products including life insurance, annuities and broker/dealer services.

Business Issue:  
The company needed to replace 10-year old switches nearing end of life with newer, more reliable switching architecture to manage all critical insurance and financial services operations.  Their goal was to improve network reliability, with greater data center redundancy, and increase network capacity to handle anticipated future growth. This included doubling the size of the business in five years.

CBTS Solution:
Based on its previous knowledge and experience with the existing network, Ohio National turned to CBTS to help them with the project, as well as troubleshoot issues that might arise through the upgrade.   CBTS recommended a Cisco data center solution. This entailed migrating to next-generation Nexus switches to streamline administration with fewer management points, while providing faster 10 Gb Ethernet to handle increased network traffic.  The solution provided fabric scale, with single point of management to enable the company’s network to grow on demand.

Hardware/Services Included:
CBTS designed the Nexus platform to replace the current switching infrastructure.  Services included project management, installation and knowledge transfer.  Hardware included:
  • Cisco Nexus 7000 Series Switches
  • Cisco Nexus 5000 Series Switches
  • Cisco Nexus 2000 Series Switches
  • Cisco Nexus 2248 Fabric Extenders
  • Cisco Nexus 2232 Fabric Extenders
  • Cisco ASA Adaptive Security Appliances
  • Cisco Prime LAN Management Solution 4.2
CBTS employees deployed on the project:
CBTS deployed a highly experienced, Cisco-certified senior network engineer to roll out the Nexus platform and complete the entire installation to Ohio National’s expectations.  A project manager kept the project on schedule.

As a result of the network upgrade, Ohio National increased network speeds to support 10 Gb to meet expected data traffic as the company expects to double in size over the next five years.  The company also eliminated network downtime through improved redundancy, enabling IT staff to perform maintenance and upgrades without impacting network operations.  Finally, enabling high-speed backup connections for frequent backups and snapshots, aided in improving disaster recovery.

“Having a business partner like CBTS minimized the impact of the overall effort.  CBTS knows our management, our data center, staff, and more importantly our culture.  There were tasks that had to be completed on weekends during late evening hours.  CBTS understood this and had resources on site with us.  My four network engineers all had Nexus training, but having a CBTS resource on site with hands-on experience provided a level of comfort with the project that was needed.  The network engineer transferred his knowledge to the team as they tackled the implementation and when he was not available on-site, he conversed with the team by phone to make sure they had a rock solid implementation plan and was aware of potential issues and how to navigate them.  That’s a great partner, and without CBTS, this project would not have run so smoothly.  It is very important that your vendor partner understands your timelines and deadlines, understands that unplanned downtime is not an option, and is willing to help you meet those business expectations.  CBTS did that for us,” says William J. McCaster II, Assistant V.P. IS Services Information Systems at Ohio National.