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Challenge Accepted: LBNL's LenelS2 OnGuard MSSQL Migration Optimizes Access Control System

Jun 22, 2021

Northland Controls' Professional Services team worked with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to optimize and enhance their LenelS2 OnGuard Access Control System

Based on on-going conversations with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s (LBNL) IT department on how to increase their LenelS2 OnGuard performance, Northland Controls Professional Services team had the opportunity to identify shortcomings with their current access control database configuration. Prior to this project, LBNL was suffering from a host of issues, including system latency, delayed reporting, sluggish integrations, and, most notably, limited access control system support.

So, when the company received approval to use a Microsoft SQL Server (MSSQL) database, it was a clear choice to migrate their Lenel OnGuard platform to a more robust and better supported platform.

Overall, this project took about two months to complete with COVID-19 precautions playing a role in timing. As with any changes to a database, the Northland Professional Services team started by backing up the current database so that any modifications made would not impact current operations. When making company-wide changes, it’s important to have a failsafe so that our clients have full confidence in the process. After installing the new MSSQL and Lenel OnGuard software in a development environment, a test migration was completed to sniff out any corrupted data and discrepancies. With that complete, it was now time for the show to start! To complete the migration, Northland partnered with Lenel Professional Engineering Services to use their data conversion tool, which allows data to be easily converted from the old database schema to MSSQL for an effortless transition. After reconciliation was complete and our team was confident that the data was ready for migration, changes were implemented on the live system. The final step in this project was to upgrade Lenel OnGuard from version 7.2 to 7.6, bringing their access control system up to speed and ready to use.

This project paved the way for a more streamlined integration between LBNL’s database and access control platform. As a result, the client saw significant improvements including:

  • Increased Performance & Speed: MSSQL provides an almost instantaneous response for each click, versus a 15-20 second delay experienced with their previous system. Over time, this enhanced feature will save operators a significant number of hours and give way to better employee performance.
  • Better Support: Approximately 95% of industry professionals use MSSQL database for access controls meaning there is a more robust network of support for users.
  • Enhanced Reporting: The client now has access to additional reporting features for an easier way to run queries within the database. For example, in the prior database, capitalizations were required when running a search, often providing challenges in finding the desired data. Alternatively, MSSQL is more understanding when it comes to the query details like a capital letter.
  • Retrievable Historical Data: Their new MSSQL database was configured to restore and review information after a security issue occurred much more easily than with a flat file archive.

By upgrading to Lenel OnGuard v7.6, LBNL will be able to take advantage of enhanced operability, expanded cloud options, advanced cybersecurity, improved mobility, and an optimized visitor management suite. Furthermore, users can now access the new Lenel web modules, eliminating the need for 3rd party applications which were previously used to manage the system.