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CASE STUDY: HETEROGENEOUS NETWORK

Company
SR Corp is a software development company specializing in knowledge management.

Challenges
Centralize Network While Supporting Open-Source Movement
SR Corp had a problem getting all their equipment to work together. Being a mix of scientists and advanced developers, they were focused on using the individual tools that would work for each of them, without trying to make the network interoperable. Therefore, there was a mix of Linux, Windows and Mac, with each operating system using its own peripherals and communications. SR Corp was running multiple network protocols even before SpotLink arrived.

Solution
At first SpotLink recommended centralizing the network around a Microsoft Windows domain and configuring each of the components to cooperatively work with that domain. However, being a group of scientist and researchers, they were committed to open-source philosophy.

SpotLink let SR Corp know the Total Cost of Ownership was much lower for a business of their size if they used a Microsoft backbone than build it around Linux. Yet even though the additional labor costs would be more than the amount saved in licensing, SR Corp wanted to pursue a non-Microsoft infrastructure. Once SR Corp made that decision, SpotLink worked hard to make the project successful.

First, SpotLink evaluated a few alternatives. They considered using an Apple server as their central network services server. However, SR Corp decided they needed 24/7 hardware support, and Apple could only offer its best support Monday through Friday during working hours.

The decision was finally made to use a Linux Zimbra server as the primary network services platform. Zimbra offered everything SR Corp needed - Email, authentication, client management, and more - all without getting locked into Microsoft Licensing.

Results
SpotLink minimized the impact on SR Corp’s operations while being able to integrate all SR Corp’s equipment. Suddenly, every computer could use the network printers, get email, access shared directories, etc. SR Corp now shares network resources while helping support the open-source movement.