Nordion’s new networking solution improves efficiency and reliability

Nordion New Neworking Solution

 In an around-the-clock industry where downtime is not an option, the global health science company turned to Avaya to upgrade its existing network.



Nordion Inc. provides targeted therapies, sterilization technologies and medical isotopes to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, medical-device manufacturers, hospitals, clinics, and research laboratories around the world. The health science company’s products benefit the lives of millions of people in more than 60 countries.

As the company provides world-class health solutions, it’s only natural that Nordion use world-class communications technology to support its business. Yet when Matt Trainor, Information Security and Network Lead for Nordion, did an assessment of the network in mid-2010, he determined the company’s hardware and infrastructure wiring required a refresh.

 “Once we had a long look at our network, we came to the conclusion that we weren’t in a maintenance situation: the network was at the end of its life and we needed to deploy a new solution,” says Trainor. “Nordion operates around the clock, and downtime is unacceptable. We needed a solution that would provide us with reliability and implement seamlessly into our business.”

“When Nordion’s aging networking infrastructure could not meet their business requirements, the company turned to Avaya for an alternative,” says Jean Turgeon, Vice President of Technical Solutions Marketing at Avaya.

“Their new network leverages our advanced VENA architecture to deliver a solution that is more simple, agile, efficient, and reliable. It provides them with the mission-critical functionality our competitor’s network could not, and helps ensure that Nordion’s existing and future business needs are met.”


Nordion turned to Netagen to provide an Avaya data networking solution that could easily be implemented.

Avaya networking solution provides advanced enterprise-class reliability, performance, and security that organizations throughout the world depend on to run their businesses.

Because solutions are streamlined to better utilize and manage networking resources, an Avaya data network solution in Canada can uniquely deliver both mission-critical dependability and a superior return on investment.

As Avaya places, such emphasis on deploying fit-for-purpose solutions, providing Nordion a network that fit their specific needs was a relatively simple process. A number of Avaya’s networking offerings were utilized in the solution, including:

Avaya Wireless LAN 8100: The WLAN 8100 Series enables enterprises greater productivity and operational efficiency through a unified wireless/wired architecture. It offers greater wireless capacity and performance through a simplified network infrastructure and is optimized to support real-time applications such as voice, Unified Communications and video.

Avaya ERS 8800: The Avaya Ethernet Routing Switch 8800 (ERS 8800) turns infrastructure into a highly reliable network that drives unified communications and other business-critical applications, and offers multiple options that enable IP Virtual Private Networking solutions across the entire enterprise.

Avaya Ethernet Routing Switch 4800: The Avaya Ethernet Routing Switch 4800 Series is a stackable chassis system providing high-performance, convergence-ready, secure and resilient Ethernet switching connectivity. It is always on, convergent-ready, energy efficient, powerful, secure, and future-ready.


Simplification The Avaya solution has lessened the complexity of both the logical and physical footprint of the network infrastructure. Nordion has reduced the number of switches it deploys by almost 50 percent and the logical management interfaces by almost 75 percent. This means fewer points of failure for the network, and that the time and effort required for maintenance are significantly reduced.

“Nordion now has a high performance network that is well engineered, well documented, and greatly simplified,” says Trainor. “It’s made the IT department’s job a whole lot easier.”

Increased efficiency and reliability The new Avaya solution drastically reduces the risk of equipment failure and has significantly improved recovery time from outages, which is very important for Nordion, considering the time-sensitive nature of the business they deal in. Their Avaya solution has “five nines” capability or a data network that is functional 99.999 percent of the time. This was achieved by implementing two ERS8800s in an active/active role utilizing Avaya’s R-SMLT technology for near hitless failover.

“We have literally no down time on our network, which is critical for us,” notes Trainor. “Simply put, we can’t afford a network outage and the resulting communication breakdown; the Avaya solution provides us the reliability we need.”

“Nordion operates around the clock, and downtime is unacceptable. We needed a solution that would provide us with reliability and implement seamlessly into our business.”—Matt Trainor, Information Security and Network Lead for Nordion

Seamless implementation The creation of an entirely new network is a large undertaking, but with a cutting-edge solution and a skilled team able to tailor the installation to Nordion’s needs, the implementation went smoothly.

“The implementation went extremely well and was finished well ahead of schedule and below budget,” says Trainor. “We had a great partner in Netagen and a great solution from Avaya, and we couldn’t be happier with how the entire installation process occurred.”

With the recent network modernization efforts laying the groundwork for other exciting communications technologies, Nordion is now looking at installing VoIP, video conferencing, and unified communications solutions—technologies that weren’t possible to implement on the previous network—to enhance operations.

About Netagen
Netagen (formerly Combat Networks) is a national, full-service integrator, focusing on deploying Unified Communications, Video Collaboration and Data Networking Solutions. Netagen provides full life cycle systems support starting with engineering and design, through implementation and concluding with ongoing service and maintenance. Netagen has grown since its launch in 2001 to become the largest independent supplier of Avaya solutions in Canada, with national offices located in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa.

About Nordion
Nordion Inc. (
tSX: NDN) (NYSE: NDZ) is a global health science company that provides market-leading products used for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. Nordion is a leading provider of medical isotopes, targeted therapies and sterilization technologies that benefit the lives of millions of people in more than 60 countries around the world. Its products are used daily by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, medical-device manufacturers, hospitals, clinics and research laboratories. Nordion has approximately 500 highly skilled employees in four locations. Find out more at and follow Nordion on

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