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VPLS WAN Redesign & Deployment

//VPLS WAN Redesign & Deployment

VPLS WAN Redesign & Deployment

Case Study

VPLS WAN Redesign & Deployment


A leading public-safety services company (referred to hereafter as “PSC”) provides emergency communications infrastructure, systems, and services to government public-safety agencies and telecommunications service providers across the United States. With over 3,000 public-safety agency customers, PSC provides the communication and call center facilities that handle the majority of E911 traffic in the country. The telecommunications and data infrastructure are obviously the central critical component in the delivery of the PSC’s public-safety services.

The company’s mission is the delivery of systems and services that save lives. It does this by connecting individuals who are in life-threatening or other emergency circumstances with the appropriate medical, law enforcement, or other emergency responders as quickly as possible.

The legacy MPLS WAN design was highly dependent on carrier routing protocols, and a disruption within the carrier’s BGP network had a ripple effect of loss of connectivity at certain nodes in PSC’s WAN, impairing PSC’s ability to deterministically route E911 call traffic across its own WAN.

Customer Public Safety Services Company
Objective Re-design and Deployment of next-generation wide area network backbone infrastructure
Solution MEF-compliant ethernet LAN (e-LAN) services, VPLS, Cisco ISR routers, customer private MPLS
Industry Public Safety, 911 Services, Emergency Communications
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“Lightstream came in, validated our design, and provided the necessary manpower to migrate our entire layer-three MPLS backbone, to a layer-two VPLS topology across diverse telco providers. This gave us complete control of data traffic routing which in turn enabled us to more deterministically control traffic flows of mission critical E911 phone calls. As a result, we now deliver a higher level of availability to the business, and in turn to the individual placing an emergency 911 phone call.”

-Public-Safety Services Company Chief Architect

The Technical Business Case

PSC’s previous WAN infrastructure comprised a traditional dual-carrier MPLS design. WAN circuits were traditional BGP-peered connections that relied on the individual carrier MP-BGP MPLS backbones for inter-site traffic routing. The challenge with this design is that it impaired the PSC’s ability to deterministically direct E911 voice calls across the preferred path. The organization’s engineering and architecture staff conceptualized a complete backbone redesign aimed at migrating from the traditional MPLS to an entirely layer-two VPLS topology, over which PSC would run its own MPLS design independent of all carrier routing. The goal of the redesign was to give PSC complete, end-to-end control over IP traffic flow, thus enabling deterministic routing of voice traffic across the data infrastructure. The ultimate purpose of this new architecture was to enable PSC’s IT organization to deliver a higher level of service availability to the business in delivery and handling of mission critical E911 telephone calls.

The scope of the project included complete replacement and upgrade of over fifty circuits at each of three core data centers as well as numerous regional gateway aggregation points, as well as complete reconfiguration of PSC network routing infrastructure to provision an customer-managed end-to-end MPLS topology. Because each regional gateway provides voice and data connectivity to hundreds of public-safety answering points (PSAPs), which are basically 911 call centers scattered throughout every urban and rural area across the country, it was mandatory that in the course of the migration, not a single live E911 voice call be disrupted as the circuits and infrastructure transporting these calls were decommissioned and re-provisioned.

Why Lightstream?

As with IT staff in most organizations, PSC’s engineering group needed additional resources to be able to deliver several concurrent IT projects in addition to this redesign. Lightstream regularly provides expert-level infrastructure expertise in delivery of IT projects. PSC engaged Lightstream to provide CCIE-credentialed staff augmentation to assist with design validation, configuration staging and validation, and deployment of the new services. Lightstream and PSC staff worked jointly for several weeks to templatize a standard method of procedure (MOP) to stage configuration scripts for each of the core data center and regional gateway infrastructure nodes. Using the MOP, Lightstream then staged the scripts for each individual node, which were then peer-reviewed by PSC staff.

Finally, over a 60-day period, Lightstream worked with PSC event management to deploy the configuration, turn up each new circuit, and decommission each old circuit at each regional gateway site. PSC staff subsequently performed the final task of redirecting mission-critical live voice traffic to the new infrastructure on a site-by-site basis. The extensive pre-implementation preparation and analysis resulted in zero impact as a result of this migration to PSC’s live E911 voice traffic flows. PSC specifically engaged Lightstream because of its highly specialized staff that not only have infrastructure expertise, but also extensive carrier experience – Lightstream knows how carrier network issues affect customer infrastructure migration and operations.


For several years PSC has relied on Lightstream to source telecommunications services from all providers. In this project, PSC engaged Lightstream at a much deeper level to provide highly specialized staff augmentation resources to support the design, validation, and deployment of enhanced WAN connectivity. The completion of this project resulted in the PSC IT organization to provide higher availability of technology services to the business. This enabled PSC to enhance its service delivery to communities across the country in furtherance of its mission to save lives.

Organizations repeatedly engage Lightstream architects and engineers to handle sensitive migrations and deployments because of Lightstream’s unique expertise across both telecommunications and infrastructure components of customer technology environments.

2016-12-04T21:43:47+00:00 October 2nd, 2016|Case Studies|