Tellabs and ITConnect establish Warm Springs Tribes as regional IT technology leaders with their Passive Optical LAN at their contemporary Indian Head Casino and Plateau Travel Plaza facilities.
- Smaller footprint in the main data center, telecom closets and cabling pathways
- Better security with a reduction in points of network vulnerability
- Improved reliability with equipment redundancy and fiber route diversity
- Ease of operations due to OLAN’s centralized intelligence and management
Smaller footprint in the main data center, telecom closets and cabling pathways
Better security with a reduction in points of network vulnerability
Security is a top priority for Indian Head Casino and Plateau Travel Plaza, not only for their business operations, but for their customer more importantly. “We saw that the US Federal Government has been deploying Passive Optical LAN for years for better network security and reliability, so we knew with was the best network for our needs,” said Welden.
For the traditional switch-based copper LAN design, all those switches, cabling and management access points represent points of network vulnerability for security breaches. It’s not just the high number of full-functioning points of access at all the switches, but the equally large number of technicians needed to support that network and its daily moves, adds, changes and troubleshooting. It is often the case that the network technicians can be responsible for malicious, or just unintentional negligent actives, that hurt network security and reliability.
With this simplified Optical LAN design, Indian Head Casino IT staff has reduced the points of network vulnerability by lowering the number of network management access. “The OLAN design only requires one connection into our security appliance and that makes for a more secure and easy management,” said Hendrickson. In fact, only the OLT is locked in the main data room, has a single IP address, and houses all network intelligence which is administered by the Tellabs Panorama PON Manager. “The Tellabs Panorama PON Manager really makes managing our secure VLANs and security profiles simple,” said Welden. The Optical Network Terminals (ONT), which provide the Ethernet connectivity to end-users and end-devices, store no network data, no user information and have no management interface.
Improved reliability with redundancy at the main data center equipment and fiber route diversity
Vital data is transmitted 24/7/365 across the networks at the Indian Head Casino and Plateau Travel Plaza, in support of gambling and security activities. Therefore, high network availability is imperative. “We operate a very sophisticated end-to-end network. We find ourselves constantly educating the tribe leaders, other vendors and the community about all the critical infrastructure we support,” said Hendrickson.
Traditional switch-based copper LAN architecture can be plagued by network down time because of its “best-effort” nature. These networks commonly experience more than 5-hours averaged outages per year. To make legacy switch-based copper LANs more reliable you must double the number of ports, cards, switches and cabling to achieve best reliability with a fully meshed network. The problem with this fully meshed network is that it adds more points of failure, security vulnerabilities, additional management and unwarranted network complexity – all of which can cause the network outages they’re trying to eliminate. “The cost of maintaining a traditional network was too much. We need a network design that would keep up with the future,” said Welden.
Passive Optical Network’s roots can be traced back to the telecommunication service providers “carrier-class” fiber to the home network, which for decades has transmitted lifeline voice and emergency 911 calls. At both Indian Head Casino and Plateau Travel Plaza, redundant Tellabs 1134 OLTs where installed and fiber route redundancy was provided down to the passive optical splitters. This was accomplished with ITU G.984 Type-B PON redundancy standard and ultimately can improve the measured average annual network downtime to 30-seconds. “We’ve been operating this Optical LAN since 2015, so now we’re starting to promote our Passive Optical LAN system to other tribes because of our good experience with its better reliability and security,” said Welden.
Ease of operations due to OLAN’s centralized intelligence and managements
The IT staff for Indian Head Casino is a small resourceful team. That is, they tackle many diverse IT challenges and need to be highly efficient in their daily activities. “Managing and troubleshooting the old-style or legacy networks was a nightmare and not user friendly at all,” said Welden. “We’ve experienced with our new OLAN that it has been less complicated to manage a whole IP network with a few IP addresses versus the many IP addresses we managed with our former legacy switched network,” said Welden.
All those switches, and distributed management access, associated with the traditional switch-based copper LAN design, made daily operations a nightmare. The expectation that IT staff had to run around, and connect to each and every switch’s communications ports, to do provisioning, maintenance, moves, adds, changes and troubleshooting of the end-to-end network was painful – and, as discussed earlier, potentially negatively impacted network security and reliability.
Passive Optical LAN enjoys centralized intelligence and management better matching how modern cloud, wireless and software defined network architectures. “The learning curve for our staff and the Optical LAN and Panorama PON Manager, was real fast. The support we’ve received from Tellabs and ITConnect has been great too,” said Welden. From one screen, the Tellabs Panorama PON Manager orchestrates and controls network operations. For OLAN, this is where all provisioning, maintenance, moves, adds, changes and troubleshooting is executed in software using global profiles. These software-based global profiles ensure consistent error-free policies and procedures are administered for the all users, ONTs, connected and powered network devices (e.g. Wi-Fi Wireless Access Points, IP Surveillance Cameras, Digital Signage, etc…) and the network services (e.g. voice, video, data, etc…) that are transmitted across the system. “With OLAN, once you have the global profiles made in the Panorama PON Manager, you’re good to go, for future moves, adds and changes,” said Hendrickson.
Smaller footprint, better security, improved reliability and ease of operations
Since 2015, Tellabs and ITConnect have helped Warm Springs Tribes achieve their goal of being a regional IT technology leader with this Passive Optical LAN installation at Indian Head Casino and Plateau Travel Plaza. Its small form-factor, simplified design, better security, improved reliability and ease of operations has delivered many advantages for the local IT staff. Better yet, this optical network keeps this very capable IT staff, Warm Springs Tribes, Indian Head Casino, Plateau Travel Plaza, and the Central Oregon community they serve, at the forefront of technology today and into the future.
About Warm Springs Tribes
Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs is a nation where the sun shines most every day, and time turns to the pace of a culture thousands of years in the making. It is the land of the Warm Springs, Wasco and Paiute Native American Tribes, stretching from the snowcapped summit of the Cascade Mountains to the palisaded cliffs of the Deschutes River in Central Oregon. We invite you to visit Warm Springs. We invite you to escape to another nation.
ITConnect designs and deploys infrastructure configurations for all types of businesses, from start-ups to legacy migrations, offering business stability and management ease. ITConnect provides its data customers with the strategies, solutions, technologies and services that can help to maximize the network availability mandated by real-time networking and the operational costs containment or reduction that can result. ITConnect holds all the qualifications necessary for casino gaming and casino surveillance plan, design and build activities. ITConnect has extended years of experience integrating Passive Optical LAN and all possible Internet of Things (IoT) and smart/intelligent building connected devices.
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