National Physical Laboratory upgrades for science of the future


Company insight and value proposition

The National Measurement Institute upgrades its wired and wireless connectivity to ensure world-leading research for years to come

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the UK’s internationally respected centre of scientific research and the development of measurement standards used in science, has selected Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) to carry out a major upgrade to its IT infrastructure. The network will handle the ever-increasing volume of scientific data now and into the future for the bandwidth-intensive, scientific modeling used by NPL scientists as they perform ground-breaking research.

Since it was established in 1900, NPL and its elite scientists have been responsible for a long list of breakthroughs, including the invention of radar, the world's first caesium atomic clock, packet switching technology. Alan Turing, the man credited with cracking the codes of the wartime Enigma machine, also produced one of the first designs for a stored-programme computer whilst at NPL.

To meet the demands of NPL's scientific environment, the communications network needed to accommodate a growing amount of data, volume of files being shared, and future growth of its laboratories. The new network enhanced the laboratory's existing infrastructure to include a 10Gb IT backbone that provides 700 employees and visitors with 3,500 wired end points in laboratories and offices. The solution also provides power over ethernet (PoE) capability and a wireless network in communal and meeting areas. 

Claire Moore, Head of IT at The National Physical Laboratory commented: “This new network is setting up the National Physical Laboratory for the future, by providing capacity for the large amounts of data produced in the research we undertake. We now have a more reliable network which includes over 3,000 end points for use by 700 staff. We will see even more benefits as time goes on, as this is a project completed with the needs of future research in mind.”
About the deployment
Included in the deployment is Alcatel-Lucent's stackable Gigabit ethernet switch, the OmniSwitch 6850E at the edge, and the OmniSwitch 6900 at the core, which is designed to provide an application fluent network and enable streamlined operations, automated control and a resilient architecture.

The solution was delivered by Alcatel-Lucent channel partner Freedom Communications – a provider which holds extensive expertise in IP telephony, voice, contact centre, converged voice and data services and unified communications.

Alcatel-Lucent has a strong position in wired and wireless networks in a range of markets including education, hospitality and healthcare, with customers ranging from St. Anne's College, University of Oxford to Hotel La Tour and the North Bristol NHS Trust’s £430m super-hospital.