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The University of Western Sydney

Sydney, Australia

Situation

The University of Western Sydney (UWS) is geographically one of the largest in Australia and its campuses are widespread. The University had long been a supporter of the Inner Range system. Individual UWS Campuses had been using Inner Range's Concept 4000 security hardware and Insight System Management Software for several years but the style of security management had been segmented, each campus having autonomy over its own cardholders and access permissions.

Unfortunately, if one of their 30,000 students or staff members needed to visit another campus, their card would need to be reprogrammed on the destination security server, effectively duplicating the amount of administration for the cardholder. When the time came to centralise the security administration and upgrade the levels of security and protection offered to students and staff, UWS came to Inner Range for help.

Task

The University had a significant investment in their security hardware. Approximately 2,700 Doors and 11,000 security detection points were controlled and monitored by their 30 Concept 4000 controllers and hundreds of LAN modules. The challenge was to re-purpose or re-use as much of this equipment as possible whilst still managing to attain all the modern functionality and administrative flexibility that a state-of-the-art security management system could deliver.

Inner Range's Integriti Security and Access Control system was the answer. The migration from Insight and Concept 4000 to the cutting edge Integriti platform needed to be well planned so that a number of highly secure environments remained protected and the normal access of students and staff was not impeded in any way.

Action

In consultation with the UWS incumbent security integrator, Inner Range began the task of examining, combining and migrating the 5 separate Insight databases that held the User data, permissions and object configuration information for the University. Whilst this was taking place, a new Integriti controller was installed next to each Concept 4000 controller and some re-configuring of Concept LAN modules was carried out, ready for the cut-across to Integriti.

As the Integriti system boasts powerful new ways of delivering automation and macro logic, many of the automated routines in Concept 4000 had to be re-created manually in the new Integriti style of configuration. Much of the remaining system entities, however, were able to be programmatically migrated to a new single Integriti database, encompassing Users, permissions and object configurations for the entire University. Tens of thousands of dollars in labour costs were saved through Inner Range's ability to write engineering tools to programmatically migrate the bulk of the system programming.

Once the on-site hardware and the Integriti database had been prepared, a migration schedule was established to coincide with University holidays and quiet periods. The Integriti System Management software was then connected across the network to the new Integriti Security Controllers and the database downloaded to the controllers.

System hardware on the various campuses was then progressively cut-over from each Concept 4000 controller onto each new corresponding Integriti Security Controller. Operation and door access on the new Integriti System were tested progressively as sections of the existing security hardware infrastructure were added to the overall University Integriti system and the few access doors that displayed unintended characteristics were soon remedied.

Results

The full migration took about two months to complete, with very little disruption along the way. The University of Western Sydney are now making full use of their centralised Integriti Security and Access Control Management system, having added hundreds more doors and integrating a number of other systems and databases.


Further Reading

In addition to the case study above, Security Electronics and Networks Magazine and Security Insider Magazine both featured an independent case study on the University of Western Sydney in their July 2013 editions. The PDF version of these case studies can be downloaded below.

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