case study: mod northwood
Post on 18-Dec-2016
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C A S E S T U D Y : M O D N O R T H W O O D
GovernmentBrand-Rex supplies military grade infrastructure at agship UK headquarters MOD Northwood Command
Centre. Eastbury Park, Northwood, is home to the UKs national operational Defence Headquarters, employing
2,100 military and civilian personnel. The estate contains the permanent Joint Headquarters of the Chief of
Joint Operations, the Commander Naval Forces North one of NATOs three major Commanders and the
Headquarters of the Commander in Chief Fleet.
established in 1939 as the home of the headquarters of coastal
command, royal air Force, northwood has always been a key
element in the strategic defence capability of the uK and its allies.
In July 1994, as part of the defence cost study review, it was
decided to form a Permanent Joint head Quarters (PJhQ)
at northwood, to replace the previous approach whereby
headquarters staffs were drawn together ad-hoc in response
to a developing crisis.
northwood, like many organisations, had grown up gradually
across the years, and this was reflected in its infrastructure.
There was no common standard, says Bob Blanks, cIs Projects
London head at the northwood hQ. We had no accurate records
of what went where, plus most of the cable ducts had very little space
left in them. northwood had run out of infrastructure capacity and
only had enough to meet its day to day requirements. any requests
for additional services, whether temporary or permanent, needed
the installation of new cabling.
In 1996, because of health and safety issues identified within the
northwood command centre it was proposed that PJhQ staffs
should have a new purpose built building. approval for a new
building was initially granted in 2001 however, due to other site
requirements and deficiencies, it was decided to amalgamate all
the requirements into a new site-wide statement of requirements
and seek bidders to undertake the work. the revised requirements
included a new maritime operations centre, enhancements to
counter terrorist measures, new and refurbished single living
accommodation together with a new sports hall, car park and
community areas. the whole site was to be underpinned by a
comprehensive, site-wide, infrastructure that met the demanding
standards and needs of the various military divisions.
Following a tendering, selection and negotiation process the
contract was awarded to carillion plc in october 2006, with
carillion construction being responsible for the new build and
refurbishment work and carillion service responsible for the
service delivery element.
c a s e s t u d y : m o d n o r t h w o o d
the installations had to be unique and comply with the mod standards on design. For example,
the top secret link has to be sealed in its trunking, raising lots of potential issues for the designers
due to the high specification and need for complete separation.
c a s e s t u d y : m o d n o r t h w o o d
The PFI contract provides private sector lease or licence ownership of the
site for a period of 25 years, managing initially all the new building and
refurbishment works over an initial five year period and providing support
services to meet operational output for the full 25 years, says Blanks.
the construction work, phased over a five year period, comprises
a mixture of refurbishment and new build of residential and
non-residential buildings to enhance both the condition and
functionality of the site. the services provided include grounds
and building maintenance, catering, cleaning, laundry, waste
management, provision of secretarial support, pest control,
security, travel management and cIs support.
as part of the comprehensive specification a new 1.5 kilometre
duct ring was constructed to provide resilient primary and
secondary circuits between the three main buildings as well as
radial links to each of the 20 buildings, both new and old.
The MOD has unique requirements and the infrastructure needed to
be designed to stringent standards, with all cables fully enclosed and
contained throughout their length, says Blanks.
It was also important to design redundancy into the routing to meet
the strict business continuity planning needs. another part of the
requirement was to provide three networks, one for each of the mod
classifications secret, top secret and restricted. these networks
have to be completely separate and shielded from each other.
We produced a technical boundary specification within our
statement of requirement stating that we needed three classifications
of network, but without specifying how it needed to be achieved,
The installations had to be unique and comply with the MOD
standards on design. For example, the top secret link has to be sealed
in its trunking, raising lots of potential issues for the designers due to
the high specification and need for complete separation.
due to the specific nature of the information systems requirements
carillion employed the specialist services of Lorne stewart to
design and build a passive computer information systems (cIs)
infrastructure and structured wiring scheme, based around the
mod requirements and standards.
Having been involved with Brand-Rex on the prestigious Whitehall
Project, I was therefore very keen to encourage the use of Brand-Rex
products in the infrastructure solution for the Northwood site,
Lorne stewart produced an invitation to tender in July 2007
covering the design, supply, installation, commissioning and
warranty provision of the cIs infrastructure. the tender was won
on both price and quality of proposal by an authorised installation
partner who recommended using Brand-rex products throughout.
across the northwood site, 20 buildings are now fed by the new
1.5 kilometre duct ring and radial cross site network. Providing
both primary and secondary circuits between the three main site
distributor buildings the network offers resilience and reliability
and is capable of delivering the 24/7 availability and security
demanded by the mod.
having been involved with Brand-rex on the prestigious whitehall Project, I was therefore very
keen to encourage the use of Brand-rex products in the infrastructure solution for the northwood
site, says Blanks.
Y6 2RS united kingdomtel: +44 (0) 1592 772124 web: www.brand-rex.com
C A S E S T U D Y : M O D N O R T H W O O D
Consisting of multiple single mode and multi-mode bres along with
100 pair twisted copper cables, the cross site infrastructure provides
all the connectivity for voice, video and data communications.
More than 74 kilometres of bre cable has already been installed
within the duct rung and terminated using a mixture of ST and LC
terminations. In addition, 20 kilometres of copper cable has been
installed to support voice communications across the site.
Over 100 42u cabinets contain MOD active and passive equipment
along with two multi-rack voice frames for the termination of the
copper voice systems. The main PJHQ building has an internal
backbone linking the ve oor distributors using a mixture of multi-
and single-mode bre optic cable. Horizontal cabling from each of
the oor distributors uses Cat6Plus cabling and multi-mode bre
to reach the 100 consolidation points that in turn feed over 20,000
outlets. Over 9,000 duplex patch cords and 6,000 Cat6Plus patch
cords have been provided to serve more than 1,500 desk locations.
Each desk has been designed to have four copper and six bre
cables of varying classications. As the desks are arranged in clusters
capacity can be easily transferred around each desk cluster as
required. We are not like a corporation with one pc on the desk,
Some of our operators will have up to three devices on their desks
one for each category of network, to ensure that the top secret or
restricted access applications remain within their own security arena.
The only concessions we make is in the use of a switch to allow
mouse, keyboard and monitors to be shared by the systems. Physical
separateness is an important part of our security measures and some
users do have highly populated desks.
Overall, more than 8,000 kilometres of bre cores with 48,000
terminations and 3,000 kilometres of Cat6Plus cable with 13,000
terminations have been used across the site.
As the ve year build phase now approaches its nal year with several
buildings demolished and new ones already built, commissioned
and operational, Northwood is already benetting from its enhanced
facilities and has welcomed its new working environment.
The site now has a new secure CIS duct ring linking all its buildings,
together with formal access control procedures in place. The entire
infrastructure is now recorded within a central database, which in
turn gives advance warning when available capacity falls below set
requirements. With diverse routing capability to all buildings adding
greater resilience and exibility, disaster recovery and business
continuity processes are