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Planetworking worldwide since 1998


   Choosing a federated identity solution

Federated identity allows users in multiple, different domains to securely login to shared applications and services by using their existing domain credentials. It allows organizations to reap numerous IT efficiencies, whether from a seamless single login experience for users, or by allowing different domain organizations to manage their own user's access levels to multiple cloud or on-premise resources.

When implementing a federated identity project, a fast, hassle-free setup is preferable. Planetworks has deep experience designing and implementing federated identity solutions to deliver applications securely across multiple organizations.

Currently, our team is working on a solution for multiple provincial agencies to access a central province-wide application containing Protected-B information. This will eliminate unwieldy password issues for 14,000+ users. The design includes an automated set-up of a fully functional AWS environment, requiring minimal manual configurations during the installation. It can work seamlessly with different back-end domain service applications and ensures that the shared application cannot view the user's login credentials
For more information about federated identity solutions, contact Paul Childs.

Managing technical debt: pay now or pay later

What exactly is technical debt? When an enterprise does not adequately address an aspect of IT deployment or operation it will incur “technical debt”.

Typical examples are messy or undocumented code or firewall rules, software that is not fully tested, hard coded credentials, undocumented certificate expiry dates, unlabeled server room equipment or patch cords, and obsolete production hardware or operating systems.
It’s important to note that technical debt can be good or bad, and short or long term, much like regular household debt. That said, there is no enterprise that is completely free of technical debt. However, every enterprise should calculate how much they owe, and have a payment plan in place before it comes due, in terms of uptime, productivity, and reputation.
For more information, insights and remediation strategies, contact Dmitry Riftin.

Save a thought for the Global Enterprise Network Manager

Until infrastructure truly becomes code, centralized deployment of global networks is not for the faint of heart.

The typical architecture appears simple, and there is usually nothing fancy about the gear itself. However, getting those port lights to blink in a server room half a world away requires orchestrating a small army of engineers, managers, purchasing and contracting specialists, service providers, field services resources, and many others around the world.

The perfect alignment of provisioning and support systems, the mounds of electronic paperwork, import permits in local languages governed by local laws, payment and fulfilment systems -this is what needs to take place to make this small miracle happen ... and happen again, and again at every hardware refresh cycle.

Next time that product end-of-life notification lands in your inbox, save a thought for the global enterprise network manager.

For more information on global networks services contact Dmitry Riftin.


Rogers launches 5G smart campus at UBC  

Rogers Communications has partnered with UBC to open the first 5G smart campus in Canada. This includes 5G towers spread across the university campus, and an edge computing enabled data centre, which is being used by researchers to test 5G applications in a real-world setting. These partnerships are part of Rogers multi-year program to deliver 5G across Canada. Read more.

Are you SD-WAN confused?  

Check out this networking blog that contains helpful information for those studying for CCIE, CCDE. It also provides good advice on how to think and attain competency as an engineer and architect in the IT world. Read more.

Adobe says "lo siento" and restores service in Venezuela

Adobe recently announced that customers in Venezuela can continue to access services after it obtained a license from the US government to continue operating in the country.

The apology comes on the heels of an earlier US government sanction that prohibited trade with the politically unstable nation. In a borderless digital economy, these types of sanctions pose serious implications for both global enterprises and national sovereignty -- today Adobe, tomorrow O365? Read more.


Thinking about an IoT play using the cell network but worried about jumping the 5G gun?

B-IoT (NB for narrowband) and LTE-M (M for machine) technologies are mobile network operators' entry into the massive machine type communications (mMTC) IoT market. NB-IoT and LTE-M are available now; worldwide over 80 operators have deployed NB-IOT and over 30 have deployed LTE-M.
However, with 5G becoming available and poised to grow market share over the next five years, the question for potential IoT launches looms: if an NB-IoT or LTE-M solution is a good fit, do I invest now or wait?

Fortunately, both NB-IOT and LTE-M are forward compatible with 5G. There is minimal technology risk of moving now with either technology.

For more information and insights about IoT, contact Duncan Sharp.

Planetworks Round-up: projects, special studies and reports

Our mainstay is communication network planning, engineering and integration services. However, our project portfolio includes a variety of special studies, technical assessments, strategic and financial analyses, and project management services related to telecom and information technologies. 

Here’s a snapshot of what’s going on at Planetworks:

Paul Childs continues work on multiple BC Hydro projects, including support of Telecom Networks Operations with Gary Li, Melanie Reardon and Robert White. Paul is also leading a project evaluating BC Hydro's TSRC Lab. 
Colin Savage continues to design and deploy a province-wide network architecture for FortisBC Energy.  The architecture is being extended to include the transmission of SCADA province-wide. He is also developing software to increase the utility of devices connected to the network.
Karl Reardon and Duncan Sharp were subject matter experts providing demand, context and architecture advice for the rural and remote area broadband component for a leading Canadian research organization.

Mory Kapustianyk and Duncan Sharp provided technical design and project guidance for several critical infrastructure projects, including a SCADA system supporting a 150km+ water pipeline near Edmonton, AB for a publicly-owned water corporation.
Mory's other projects also included a 911 radio dispatch infrastructure overhaul and integration into the E-COMM911 dispatch system for a regional district. He recently completed the design, procurement and commissioning oversight for a new encrypted P25 radio system for the City of Nelson.
Susanna Reardon and Neal Ross have started the final implementation and testing phase of the "Smart Fare" project with LTK Engineering/City of Edmonton. The pair provide technical expertise and operate as a Program Management Team.
Dmitry Riftin continues rooftop telecom management with Hollyburn Properties and Associa BC. He is also on a remote assignment managing network and IT infrastructure deployments in the EMEA region.

Dale Reitsma is providing TETRA (Terrestrial Trunked Radio) technical support for a US-based telecom firm.

Jim Couprie continues licensing work for Morrison Hershfield's Supernet Upgrade project in Alberta, BC.

Gunnar Jonsson will be undertaking a multi-phase refresh and upgrade of Wi-Fi networks for a regional transit authority.
This past year we welcomed the following individuals to Planetworks.

Peter Breen, AScT, PMP. Peter brings an abundance of experience to Planetworks after 20+ years as an Electronics Technologist at the Capital Regional District (CRD), IT & GIS division in Victoria, BC. While at CRD, Peter was responsible for all CRD radio, geospatial and surveillance systems hardware/software and special projects.
Dale Reitsma, M.Eng. Dale has an extensive background in Land Mobile Radio (LMR) Communications, designing radios and radio systems, product development and sales and systems engineering. Dale was most recently Director of Business Development & Innovation and VP of LMR Engineering at Codan Radio Communications.
Alex Riftin, M.Eng, P.Eng. Alex is an electrical engineer with 30+ years of experience. He has extensive knowledge in the design and developments of electrical, communication, life-safety systems, design management systems, and coordination of educational, institutional, office and retail projects. He has worked on large scale projects throughout Europe, Australia, Canada and USA.
Copyright © 2019, Planetworks Consulting Corp., All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Suite 350-233 1st St. West, North Vancouver, BC V7M 1B3

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