Founded in 1997, Trinity Fire & Security Systems has quickly become one of the UK’s top independent suppliers and integrators of specialist fire and security systems. Headquartered in Exeter, with over 320 employees spread throughout 8 regional locations, Trinity provides customers with all of the services they need for fire, life safety, and security systems. For example, at Heathrow Airport Terminals 1, 3 and 4, Trinity planned and provides ongoing servicing of life safety systems, including fire, smoke, and gas detection and suppression. At Selfridges, Trinity is responsible for the maintenance of the fire and associated life safety systems.
Trinity provides continuous monitoring of their customer sites and a fully integrated and reliable network throughout the country is imperative to that. Creating and maintaining a robust network that handles the day-to-day needs of employees and ensures that Trinity’s impressive resume of customers are protected during every second of the day was of paramount importance to Mike Collings, Trinity’s Head of IT & Systems. Deploying a complete Cisco Meraki solution ticked all of the boxes and more.
Original networking challenges
Aging devices comprised the existing network at Trinity. The team was looking to perform a refresh to bring all of the distributed sites up to the latest standards.
“Overly complicated” described the management of the previous network, resulting in inefficient usage of time, a lack of visibility, and challenging administration.
We chose Cisco Meraki for easy administration, simple management, and reliability. The IT team is centrally located with no IT at each site, but that’s not a problem with Meraki. The results have been excellent! Mike Collings, Head of IT & Systems
Why Cisco Meraki
Mike Collings was familiar with Cisco Meraki from his previous job and knew that it could provide the simplicity and ease-of-use his team required.
As a company with customer security monitoring top of mind, Trinity was able to create a reliable and high performance network ensuring the smooth operation of their services.
The Meraki dashboard unifies all of their different network devices across the headquarters and 8 regional sites into a single, intuitive GUI which minimizes overhead management and provides clarity and deep visibility into how the network is operating and being used.
Over the course of a few months, the IT team replaced and configured all of the equipment at the distributed locations, connecting each of them via a mesh site-to-site VPN network.
Depending on the location size and needs, a mixture of UTM security appliances (some with 802.11ac wireless built in), switches, and access points were installed.
At the datacenter location, a pair of high availability, redundant security appliances with automatic alerts enabled were deployed.
On the security appliance, the team set fine-tuned Layer 7 application firewalls rules to block specific actions, using drop-down menus of fingerprinted apps.
QoS rules on the switches can then prioritise various types of tagged traffic.
With up to 15 SSIDs per network, the Trinity IT team is able to customize how different user groups interact with the network, from employees to guests, which can be denied access to secure resources, to the IT team themselves.
Enterprise Mobility Management (Systems Manager) is deployed on a mixture of 500 laptops, desktops, and mobile devices. Using policies, the team can make sure that devices are compliant with security needs, have relevant applications and documents installed, and are continually being postured for ongoing maintenance.
Central management of the full stack of Meraki access points, switches, security appliances, and MDM in one dashboard provides intuitive management without additional cost or complexity.
The network is being utilised daily by company-owned and personal devices, with employees enjoying the reliable connectivity and high performance.
The IT team has been able to be proactive with their network management, even using the live tools built into dashboard to troubleshoot and resolve potential issues remotely.
The dashboard and network-wide installation of Cisco Meraki products is providing Trinity with complete end-to-end visibility and control of their entire network, something that is extremely important within this security-focused company.
With new feature releases and automatic updates included in the device licenses, Collings and the IT team are continuously benefitting from a future-proof network at no additional cost.