Company accelerates application access and collaboration with Unity EdgeConnect SD-WAN Edge Platform and Unity Boost WAN optimization
To extend its leadership in the digital age, this leading financial software developer has embraced a cloud-first strategy that not only enables its global workforce to maximize productivity and efficiency, but also provides customers with ubiquitous access to its ever-growing portfolio of cloud-based products and services. The company’s focus on cloud is key to its global mission, which requires scaling the business quickly. Therefore, managing a private data center, as it did for years, was simply not an efficient way to scale.
Transforming the enterprise IT infrastructure to 100 percent cloud required a fresh look at the wide-area network (WAN). The company traditionally relied on MPLS circuits to connect its 20-plus global locations to two U.S.-based company-managed data centers. All ingress and egress, including internet traffic, passed through those central data centers.
The company’s chief architect remarks, “Having our workforce spread across global locations coming all the way to the U.S. and then out to the cloud or internet was negatively affecting application performance, the end-user experience, and employee productivity.”
In some instances SaaS performance was inadequate for our global users. That led us to make design changes where now that SaaS traffic rides over the Silver Peak SD-WAN to benefit from Boost WAN optimization. That was a game-changer for employees.”
— Chief Architect, Leading Financial Software Company
Transforming global connectivity with SD-WAN
The chief architect and his team took a fresh look at the WAN, asking key questions. Why not pro- vide each location with local access to the cloud and internet? In fact, with the availability of reliable enterprise-class internet, why not also move away from MPLS and gain more flexibility with less cost? The answers were obvious, and the team decided to introduce SD-WAN.
The company’s network engineering team conducted extensive SD-WAN proof-of-concept testing with several SD-WAN vendors, including Silver Peak. Based on the data gathered on each vendor’s offering, the team decided to select Silver Peak.
The chief architect explains, “Silver Peak was the clear winner over other vendors. Sometimes we’ll receive notice of a new branch opening at the end of the month. With Silver Peak, that’s no problem. We just put in the EdgeConnect appliance, push out the configuration using zero-touch provisioning, and we are up and running in a matter of minutes. As an SD-WAN partner, Silver Peak was also very customer-focused.”
The financial software company deployed the Silver Peak Unity EdgeConnect™ SD-WAN Edge Platform at all of the company’s global locations, many of them in high-availability configurations. Using the Unity Orchestrator™ management interface, a company engineer located in the U.S. then uploaded a configuration template and pushed the configurations out to the remote EdgeConnect appliance at each site.
“With the centralized Orchestrator, once you build the profile, deployment of the EdgeConnect appliance is plug and play,” the chief architect notes.
Improves network uptime and application performance
The EdgeConnect platform is terminated with dual bonded commercial internet circuits at each location. With sub-millisecond failover between the two internet circuits, the chief architect reports that the company has enjoyed almost 100 percent network uptime and has decommissioned MPLS entirely from in its network.
Now, employees collaborating directly between locations or accessing applications in the cloud—AWS infrastructure as a service—are routed across the SD-WAN, which optimizes traffic using capabilities such as path conditioning , quality of service, and dynamic path control to assure application per- formance, network uptime, and end-user quality of experience. Using Orchestrator, the chief architect also configured business intent overlays for different application classes, such as the developer tool, GitHub, and other applications, such as LANDESK for IT systems management. In this way, each class of application is afforded the network resources needed according to its business priority.
Unified WAN optimization proves a game-changer
A critical part of the company’s SD-WAN solution is the optional Unity Boost™ WAN optimization, which the infrastructure team implemented with the EdgeConnect platform. For example, by applying Boost to applications such as GitHub, developers can download large files dramatically faster. According to the chief architect, a 4 GB file that took 10–15 minutes to download using only the available bandwidth on the internet links now downloads in a minute or two using Boost. In campus environments where multiple people may require the same file, Boost WAN caching serves up the file nearly instantly with no need for repeated downloading.
In addition, the chief architect also applies Boost to certain SaaS applications. He explains, “In some instances SaaS performance was inadequate for our global users, and we saw they would benefit from Boost WAN optimization. That was a game-changer for employees.”
The chief architect concludes, “We want to empower employees with the right tools and technology. The Silver Peak SD-WAN with Boost has meant a significant improvement in the quality of experience for our employees, and their ability to be productive.”
For more information on Silver Peak and our solutions, please visit: silver-peak.com