Port of Beirut Authorities goes with Cisco solution

Cisco-based network solution marks the port's initial steps towards evolving into a trading hub for the Levant region.

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By  Greg Wilson Published  June 5, 2001

Port of Beirut Authorities has taken one step closer to its goal of becoming the Levant’s leading trading hub, with the deployment of Cisco-based networking platform. The network connects the port’s three main sites — the administration building, the customs office and terminal container complex — enabling more effective and efficient communication within the port.

“Goods moving in and out of any country are the life-blood of the economy. The Lebanese Government is investing in this strategic gateway by introducing the most modern networking technologies available,” said Eng. Fady Tayah, networking systems manager for Port of Beirut Authorities.

“Creating reliable communication channels between the three main sectors of the Port will insure a swift and reliable exchange of information. As we computerise systems, we can really speed up our ability to clear goods as we remove manual data re-entry procedures, and reduce paperwork,” Tayah explained.

Previously none of the port buildings had been connected with anything other than phone lines. However, the recent construction of the administration, customs and warehousing facilities provided the opportunity to deploy the Cisco network, designed specifically to fit the port’s needs.

“Before the modernisation project, we had a number of stand-alone local area networks connecting a limited number of users in different locations. It was too slow — as time passed the workload increased steadily. [Also] the old systems could not provide us with the bandwidth we needed to keep the port working swiftly,” explained Tayah.

“Simply cutting down on the use of hard copies to exchange data will make a massive difference to our [operational efficiency] and accuracy, especially when this is combined with our new abilities to automate task processing. With the volume of operations we have to complete 24 hours a day, seven days a week, saving even one second in a task lets us get so much more done.”

Cisco certified partner, BMB Lebanon, provided the networking infrastructure, which is based on Cisco Catalyst 6509 multi-layer switches. “These have an enormous 256 G/bit/s backplane to allow the port to cater for future growth, and to implement bandwidth-intensive applications such as voice and video in the future,” said Simon Samia, director of BMB.

“This kind of high-capacity switched network is extremely reliable, and scales very well to match the needs of the different departments of the authority.”

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