Anton Maltsev -

Rancho Water turns tap on Extreme connectivity for critical water delivery

US public utility uses secure and resilient wired and wireless network systems to power 45,000 service connections across 100,000 acres

Temecula, California-based community utility Rancho California Water District has expanded its relationship with networking company Extreme Networks to maintain continual uptime, control and security throughout its 100,000-acre service area.

Rancho Water delivers high-quality water and reclamation services to 155,000 customers across 150 square miles every day, and says it prioritises safety, redundancy and reliability in its operations.

Set up in 1965 in a one-room wooden building, the company believes that conserving and managing the area’s unique water resources are essential to the continued viability of the community.

Rancho’s implementation of an integrated resources plan (IRP), a roadmap for long-term resource planning, examines all possible supply-side and demand-side management opportunities to meet its customers’ needs in an economical and sustainable manner. The IRP addresses issues such as imported water supply availability, system capacity constraints, rising imported water costs, water quality issues, and recycled water.

Rancho Water has worked with Extreme Networks for 15 years after initially selecting it to provide Ethernet automatic protection switching (EAPS), a cost-effective system for enabling a redundant network connection between facilities. The utility worked with Extreme to make additional network updates over time, including upgrading all links between intermediate distribution frames (IDFs) and datacentres to 10Gbps and multi-line fibre.

The company has now upgraded its wired and wireless networks from the Extreme Elements portfolio to support 45,000 service connections, maintaining continual uptime, control and security throughout its 100,000-acre service area. With the Extreme Management Centre, Rancho can gain granular, end-to-end visibility into each port and device that logs onto its network, allowing the IT team to identify anomalies while providing control at device level across all systems.

The network has been constructed in EAPS ring to connect multiple sites – including two campuses, two datacentres, 10 IDFs, multiple internet connections and wireless throughout the enterprise. Rancho has eliminated single points of failure on its distributed network and established redundancy, which allows it to support community-wide water needs, even in the event of a system outage.

Having gained easier control and management, Rancho Water’s small IT team can focus on delivering new applications and analytics-driven services for its growing customer base, rather than outages. It also plans to deploy internet of things devices across its network to help monitor and deliver key services.

“Our experience working with Extreme Networks has been unbelievably positive and really effortless,” said Dale Badore, datacentre operations supervisor at Rancho Water. “Thanks to Extreme, we have never lost connection between our datacentres because we’ve configured it to switch from fibre to wireless, allowing data to flow continuously. It’s amazing when you think about it – the design allows us to suffer failure at any connection or interconnection point without affecting anyone. A public utility should demand nothing less.”

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