Ashdod Port’s Launch of an Innovative Digital Campus and advanced IT systems in conjunction with Bezeq International, using the Fabric Connect Technologies of Extreme Networks

In the last five months, Ashdod port has undergone a complete regeneration.  Bezeq International has completed the implementation of an advanced technological IT project at Israel’s leading maritime center – the establishment of an all-computerized Extreme Fabric Connect system. According to Bezeq International: “This is by far one of the most complex and large-scale computerized projects that was carried out in Israel, in the last decade.”

Bezeq International, Israel’s largest telecommunication company, which specializes in providing IT solutions to corporations, reports the completion of the rewiring of the IT system at Ashdod Port.  This included the complete implementation of innovative IT measures and an upgrade of the cyber security systems.  The project was undertaken over five months and is estimated to have cost several million shekels.

The port of Ashdod, Israel’s maritime gate, is undergoing a process of revival and systems upgrade, as part of its preparations for the liberalization of the market and the establishment of two new seaports. As part of that process, the port has issued a tender for a general upgrade of its computerized system – a large-scale project which includes IT infrastructure expansion, change of data center and the construction of an innovative secured digital campus.  All of these should comply with all system activities performed at the port. Bezeq International, who were chosen to perform the project, has selected the SDN technology based on the Extreme Fabric Connect system to carry out the rewiring of the system.

Surgical precision, perfect timing
“Extreme Fabric Connect” is the lead product of the American giant company Extreme Networks.  Its expertise is in wiring, dealing with the network layer of data centers, constructing the wireless networks for campuses, and providing analytical managing systems for the network layer. “The challenge we faced was accomplishing the mission without disrupting the routine work in the port routine” says Mr. Eli Kendel, Country Manager of Extreme Networks Israel and Romania. “Ashdod port is a huge organization, which is active around the clock. Every hour counts and every hour where the workplace is shut down, causes great damage, in the region of millions of shekels. Our aim therefore was to plan this project and strengthen the routine work of the port”.

The project of wiring a campus in the size of a small city
Sharon Ezra strategic customers’ presale manager department at Bezeq International said: “With 1500 network users scope, 3000 physical ports to operate, an organization that is by definition a vital plant, with commercial activity of approx. 3 million NIS a day, requires serious preparation”.

“It is not a campus – it is a small city,” says Kendel.  “We have established 3 data centers, each of which is an entire realm. We have deployed 110 distanced locations for hundreds of users. It is a huge plant with built-in extraordinary complexities, based on computerized work, starting with the entrance CCTV camera by the gate and up to the big cranes at pier 23.”

“We have implemented the “Extreme Campus Fabric” technology, says Ezra  “One unified campus  in which every network and all databases are gathered on the same big cloud, composed of several core switches that are supposed to back themselves up. That means that every end user, in every point, no matter whether on a wireless or fixed line connection, will receive the same user experience and same service level. This network knows how to provide a super-fast response.  Information in it can flow in speeds of milliseconds and when you need to maneuver huge ships and lift containers that weigh dozens of tons, the immediate information transfer is crucial.”

Extreme Fabric Connect” system is considered the most advanced product in the world to apply the SDN approach (Software-Defined-Networking). The system is designed to provide solutions to large-scale organizations, thanks to its ability to provide up to 16,000,000 unicast services (communication connectivity to no less than 16 million applications) and up to 770,000 multicast services”.

Information security system of the highest level
“We have reached an organization that naturally relies on information security systems of the highest level, yet  I have no doubt that as a result of the revolution we have carried out here in the past few months, the level of information security has risen by a few grades” comments Kendel.  “Since we are dealing with an organization that is a defined critical asset to the state of Israel, it was clear that the best security system should be designed, so that the system could keep both the operational port network as well as the stacks  of information kept in the port concerning each and every customer who works here from around the world.”
The security system planned is based on network separation.  Everything is constructed in hyper segmentation which means that one network service cannot communicate with another. It is the type of formula that Extreme Networks uses for military bodies, weapon industries and institutions around the world and in Israel.  

A work environment that simplifies network operation
“We have created a central management system that meets all managerial and operational requirements. The monitoring and control system that we have installed is the most advanced in the market today” continues Sharon Ezra from Bezeq International. “From one screen, it is possible to control the 150 switches out of which the campus is built. The new work environment significantly simplifies the network operation. System speeds are 20 times faster and this will become evident – we will perform tasks faster, in trucks that will be released more quickly and ships that will be docked for shorter periods.  We are talking about a huge accumulation of time savings for the port, which results in economic benefits as well as human benefits.  

Ron Glav VP Business Solutions Bezeq International
“We are talking about one of the largest and most complex computerized projects ever performed in Israel in recent years. The computerization of the Port of Ashdod has dealt with a chain of technological and logistical challenges.  This required a combination of skills, professionalism, and creativity, without which one could not have brought this task to the finish line. We are proud to announce that we have completed the task in its entirety. We have launched a progressive IT system which puts the port of Ashdod at the cutting edge of technology, alongside leading maritime ports across the globe.

This information has been brought to you by Bezeq International, the leading IT and telecommunication company in Israel, providing end-to-end IT solutions to the business sector in cooperation with Extreme Networks.

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