The Integr8 Group, South Africa’s largest privately owned ICT managed services provider, has played a critical role in beefing up the ICT capability and infrastructure management at the Nama Khoi local municipality in Springbok, Northern Cape.

The company, in conjunction with government representatives (including municipal and from the Office of the GCIO within the Department of Public Service and Administration) initiated a project to enhance ICT management and application of resources.

This project was organised as part of a managed ICT services plan developed for the Northern Cape provincial government.

Nama Khoi local municipality was chosen as the first site for infrastructure enhancement, services and support.

Solving the need for security, management

The local municipality required services that would address issues such as standardization, the urgent need for improved control, security and ageing LAN and WAN infrastructure.

“The objectives of the plan were to improve overall security, stability, manageability and availability. In order to address these requirements we put forward a high level design proposal that covered server, virtualization, directory and messaging platform,” explained Bennie Strydom, Sales Director, Integr8.

In terms of technology infrastructure members of Integr8 IT Professional Services suggested the integration of Windows 2008 R2 SP1 server infrastructure, Hyper-V virtualization hypervisor, Active Directory services and Exchange 2010 messaging platform.

“HP server hardware was selected on request from the customer due to previous experience and ease of availability and support. Virtualisation was the silver bullet as we needed to get as much out of the hardware platforms as possible – and it added several additional benefits including high availability and improved flexibility and manageability,” said Strydom.

The project was separated into two distinct components: core infrastructure & LAN as well as WAN & wireless infrastructure.

Getting to the core of the issue

According to Integr8 the core infrastructure and LAN are complete and operational, whilst the WAN infrastructure is in the process of being rolled out.

“A relatively feature-rich solution was provided in relation to the available budget. This is also unique as it has the potential to become a blueprint for similar small and medium sized municipalities who are struggling with little or no ICT infrastructure and limited budgets,” added Strydom.

Management at Nama Khoi conducted several user training sessions to pre-empt the deployment of the new core infrastructure. This included an overview of acceptable use policies and proposed changes to password policies.

“Once the Integr8 proposal was accepted, we engaged with all stakeholders during a detailed design workshop to flesh out the remaining micro designs and required logistics. Based on the design we placed an order with Integr8 for the required server hardware and software to be delivered onsite in Springbok ready for deployment to commence. From the outset we have been impressed with Integr8’s level of expertise, their passion for service and delivery and their knowledge of infrastructure management and control. The project has, to date, been a success. We have more control over the environment and there has been a vast improvement in terms of overall management, particularly from local area and wide area network performance and usage,” said Brandon Love, Information and Communication Technology, Nama Khoi Municipality.

“We are encouraged to have a services partner of Integr8’s caliber on board,” said Love.

Robert Sussman, joint CEO, Integr8 said that he was impressed with the level at which all parties have collaborated on the project.

“It is important that the government begin to realise and truly experience delivery from their ICT partners,” said Sussman.