Mining company locks down managed network services

Wednesday, 09 March, 2011


Recognising the need to streamline its communications in preparation for imminent growth, Lynas decided that a locked-down, dedicated network was needed to support the large increase in global traffic envisioned for its network. The company chose NTT Australia as a global ICT provider capable of delivering managed network, managed security and secure internet gateway services in key markets including Australia, China and Malaysia.

Lynas is set to offer the first new production of rare earths outside of China in the third quarter of this year. Rare earths, a unique group of 15 chemical elements that underpin many modern technologies, are in short supply worldwide. Wind turbines, hybrid vehicles, rechargeable batteries, mobile handsets including iPhones, plasma and flatscreen liquid crystal display (LCD) televisions, disk drives and catalytic converters are all dependent on the unique properties provided by rare earths. Lynas, which owns the richest known deposit of rare earths in the world in Mount Weld, Western Australia, is building a concentration plant near the mine site and a state-of-the-art rare earths processing plant, the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP), in Malaysia.

Gillian Kidson, Infrastructure Manager at Lynas Corporation, explains that a network with a global footprint was essential, but it was also a sticking point at the start of the search for an ICT partner.

“The provider that we approached originally was unable to deliver all the services we required, including in Malaysia. This was a critical location for us and we knew we needed a provider that could cover our critical geographies and beyond,” she explained. “We didn’t want to break up the components and needed a single provider.”

Lynas initially engaged NTT Com to resolve its data centre problems in Malaysia. Impressed by the Malaysia data centre and point-to-point network proposition, Lynas briefed NTT Com on the global solution it required.

“The ability to provide us with a complete solution for network and data centre services in Malaysia was essential. When we toured the facilities and realised the quality of service NTT Com could provide, it made sense to approach them for the global solution,” Kidson said.

Kidson was also impressed by NTT Com’s swift response to its global brief. “Within a couple of weeks of our first meeting we had most of the requirements and design signed off,” she explained.

Following the project kick-off meeting in mid October 2010, the first phase of service for most sites was completed just one month later. Perth sites were delivered in early December, followed by the Kuantan office in early January.

The responsiveness and support from NTT Com and the project team members ensured that the overall process ran smoothly, and that individual processes could be escalated whenever a quick resolution was required.

“Throughout the rollout we worked closely with our project manager and a talented engineering team who were able to deliver all services as per the project plan,” Kidson commented.

NTT Com provided a fully integrated and secure ICT solution consisting of:

  • Managed network - Global MPLS network with QoS and end-to-end Cisco router management.
  • Data centre services provided by NTT Com’s Malaysia and Sydney data centres.
  • Scalable network - Future-proofed by securing local ethernet access lines.
  • WAN performance acceleration - Managed Riverbed appliances as part of the total managed network, managed and monitored by NTT Com’s global NOCs.
  • Managed internet breakout - A secured managed internet solution (with managed Cisco High Availability Firewalls) plugged directly into the cloud to provide all network users with easy internet access.
  • Managed IP-Sec gateway - A value-add, managed and monitored IP-Sec solution providing both remote and roaming users with easy access to the global network.
  • Managed firewalls for satellite offices - NTT Com manages and monitors firewalls situated at Lynas satellite offices. 
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