South Carolina Federal Credit Union taps Brocade for IP network upgrade

Feb. 24, 2010
South Carolina Federal Credit Union has upgraded its network infrastructure with Brocade's NetIron multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) routers and FastIron PoE-ready switches.

SAN JOSE, Calif. --Brocade announced that South Carolina Federal Credit Union, among the largest credit unions in the United States with more than $1.4 billion in assets and 150,000 members, has upgraded its network infrastructure with Brocade NetIron multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) routers and Brocade FastIron power over Ethernet (PoE)-ready switches in order to simplify network management, increase end-to-end reliability and save more than a million dollars annually.

Through its sophisticated network redesign, South Carolina Federal has been able to implement more secure online features for their members while connecting 19 of their distributed branches and 80 automated teller machine (ATM) locations to the company headquarters. This has resulted in significantly reduced overhead costs and improved process efficiency.

“After extensive analysis, we calculated that by bringing our ATM network in-house we could save about $250,000 annually through reduced outside service fees and improved business competence,” said Brad Williams, chief technology officer for South Carolina Federal. “The savings of migrating all online banking services onto our Brocade MPLS network will be well over a million dollars annually.”

South Carolina Federal upgraded its previous core infrastructure to the Brocade NetIron MLX-32 routers to deliver full Layer 3 MPLS connectivity, providing 10 gigabits per second (Gbps) connections to all office locations. By implementing MPLS, South Carolina Federal can now create virtual links between branch offices, and the high-capacity capabilities of the Brocade NetIron MLX-32 router provides ample headroom to support business growth and additional branches.

“We installed a pair of NetIron MLX-32 chassis in our infrastructure, which really provides us with a future-ready architecture and the redundancy to keep reliability at a maximum,” said Williams. “One of the values of the 32-slot chassis is the fact that it is able to replace a multi-chassis design all in one, which simplifies management and saves space. This allows us more space for our data center and frees up my IT staff to focus on how to support and grow the business.”

With the organization’s rapid growth, South Carolina Federal was also faced with constantly adding new employees to the network and having to deal with existing employees moving offices regularly. To become more agile in response to all the moves, adds and changes, South Carolina Federal installed the Brocade FastIron GS PoE-ready switches to power up to 48 data and voice over IP (VoIP) connections per switch. Now the company can activate new lines within minutes utilizing in-house IT staff. This has drastically reduced cabling requirements, lowered configuration costs and saved valuable IT staff time.

“Adding or relocating phone lines in the office used to require calling a wiring guy at a cost of about $150 per line and it sometimes took a week to perform,” said Williams. “We originally wanted to leverage our existing HP Procurve switches to get into VoIP, but they didn’t have the capabilities we needed. With our new infrastructure we can respond faster, improve business productivity and lower our telephony spend dramatically.”

Product Details:

Brocade NetIron MLX Series

Brocade FastIron SuperX Series

Brocade FastIron GS Series

Brocade FastIron Edge X Series

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