Athona – Core Switch Replacement


Athona is a healthcare recruitment specialist established in Brentwood in 2003. They support AHPs, doctors and nurses, and all related specialisms on a locum, permanent and contract basis. Athona are on all major NHS frameworks and support many of the biggest private healthcare organisations.

Core switches are the most critical central point in an organisation’s IT data network. All the network traffic converges on them, and typically they will be the conduit over to your firewall and internet connection. When they need replacing, usually every five to ten years, it’s a major IT job. The core switch at Athona was ‘end of life’ and needed replacing.

Nexus project delivery manager, Neale Frood said: “Companies often outsource the replacement of core switches because it is a complex, high-risk job that requires a lot of technical expertise. Replacing core switches is a job that Nexus does on a regular basis.”    


Athona operate in a busy office where employees rely on an interconnected telephone system, so tidying up the cables and reconfiguring the system was complicated. Taking out the old core switches and fitting the new ones also meant the company’s entire IT system had to be shut down for a period of time, so it was important that it was done quickly.


Nexus carried out investigative work remotely to figure out how all of the cabling fitted together logistically. Tom Lord, one of Nexus’s senior technical consultants, preconfigured the core switches before fitting them, in order to speed up the transition from the old to new switches.


Tom worked with the team at Athona over the course of a weekend to take out the old switches and put the new ones in. We changed the switches over a weekend to minimise disruption to the business, meaning everyone could be up and working again by Monday. 

Athona’s IT manager, Darren Love said: “Nexus’s quote was very competitive and they have always been professional, so we went with them. Nexus communicated with us through all the stages and answered any questions we had.”

He continued: “Tom preconfigured the core switches before he came to fit them and this saved us about a day of downtime. He also took out the old switches and fitted the new ones during our out-of-hours, over a weekend.”

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