Software Innovator Streamlines Global Collaboration, Drives IT Agility with Resilient Business-first SD-WAN

AspenTech enables global teams to share large files 2.5 times faster while ensuring reliable connectivity for critical customer services with Unity EdgeConnect

For more than 35 years, AspenTech has never stopped innovating. What began as an experiment at MIT in the 1970s applying computer automation to chemical engineering, has grown into a global enterprise providing software solutions that enable capital-intensive industries to optimize assets across the design, operations, and maintenance lifecycle.

To develop its software and serve customers in every corner of the globe, AspenTech has 36 offices in 26 countries, including major research and development hubs, customer service and training centers, and sales offices. Having globally dispersed teams puts a lot of pressure on AspenTech’s WAN to reliably connect its users to applications. R&D teams in the U.S. and China struggled to share large build files each night, with some transfers taking 20 hours to complete, impairing productivity.

AspenTech enables global teams to share large files 2.5 times faster while ensuring reliable connectivity for critical customer services with Unity EdgeConnect

To address the issue, AspenTech’s senior director of security and infrastructure, Paul DeLuca, consulted with networking partner, Point5 Networks. With a broad mix of point-to-point VPLS circuits and distributed internet services, many of which were under contract, DeLuca needed a solution that worked with the company’s existing WAN technologies.

After assessing several SD-WAN venders, DeLuca and Point5 determined that Silver Peak was the best fit because the Unity EdgeConnectTM SD-WAN edge platform could simply overlay directly on the company’s current network.

For IT it’s all about having the speed and agility to keep pace with changing business requirements, whether it’s ensuring excellence in our customer services or responding to new R&D project demands without delay. The key is having a solid network foundation, which the EdgeConnect SD-WAN platform has provided.
— Paul DeLuca, Senior Director of Security and Infrastructure, AspenTech

Working with Point5 and its managed network service provider, Technium, DeLuca and his team deployed EdgeConnect SD-WAN hardware appliances at 18 sites, including AspenTech’s corporate data center and all major R&D hubs, customer support centers, and larger sales offices. The hub and customer support sites each have redundant EdgeConnect appliances for high availability, and each site is terminated with at least two circuits, which may be any combination of VPLS, broadband, or commercial internet. The remaining small offices are served by consumer internet with no other significant network infrastructure.

“It was incredibly helpful to have an independent partner like Point5 to make sure we didn’t miss anything important,” says DeLuca. “I have a small team, so leveraging Point5 allowed us to get the deployment work done properly and efficiently without eating up valuable internal resources.”

AspenTech Case Study

SD-WAN brings performance boost to R&D

With the EdgeConnect platform, instead of backhauling branch traffic to the corporate data center as in the past, the SD-WAN created a mesh overlay so traffic flows directly from any site to another. This enables DeLuca to maximize bandwidth utilization for both internal applications and SaaS applications like Salesforce and Office 365.

DeLuca also takes advantage of the optional Unity BoostTM WAN optimization performance pack to accelerate key applications, which has been especially beneficial to the R&D organization. Now, large file transfers complete in under eight hours, allowing teams on both sides of the globe to enhance productivity.

“Since building our SD-WAN and implementing Boost, we’re able to meet the changing requirements of the business without having those difficult conversations about performance,” DeLuca is pleased to report. “With the compression and deduplication in Boost we’ve reduced the size of some R&D file transfers by as much as 80 percent, enabling us to reduce WAN traffic substantially. That’s been a huge win and the key to accelerating performance.”

Increased network reliability assures quality customer services

Redundancy throughout the SD-WAN is also critical for ensuring that the network is available to deliver the highest quality of experience AspenTech’s customers expect. In the past, if a circuit went down the staff would be stranded with no way to handle customer calls. DeLuca illustrates how different the situation is today: “One of our call centers lost an internet link, but the EdgeConnect SD-WAN instantly failed over to the other circuit. It took about a day to get service back, but throughout the event, no customer calls were affected. In fact, the customer service team didn’t even know there was an issue.”

With a solid network foundation in place, DeLuca was able to recently enhance the company’s voice platform with a new Automated Call Distribution (ACD) system, intended to drive better customer service. DeLuca points out, “If we didn’t have the EdgeConnect SD-WAN platform in place, we probably would not have been able to deploy the ACD project. We are very serious about maintaining the high standards of AspenTech’s award-winning customer service. And without a solid foundation, we’d have been at risk of negatively affecting customers. But with the redundancy and ability to optimize traffic that EdgeConnect provides, we could move ahead with this solution knowing we have the network performance and reliability we need.”

Accelerates branch deployments to support growth

As AspenTech continues to grow, the EdgeConnect SD-WAN platform will help the company bring new branches online faster and more easily. As DeLuca says, this ability is central to enabling AspenTech to quickly convert new capabilities from its acquisitions into added value for customers. “The beauty of the EdgeConnect SD-WAN platform is I can get a new branch fully meshed in a matter of days versus months doing it the old way. So we can integrate the teams and new technologies into customer solutions that much faster.”

DeLuca concludes, “For IT it’s all about having the speed and agility to keep pace with changing business requirements, whether it’s ensuring excellence in our customer services or responding to new R&D project demands without delay. The key is having a solid network foundation, which the EdgeConnect SD-WAN platform has provided.”

For more information on Silver Peak and our solutions, please visit: silver-peak.com

Aspentech

Customer

Aspentech is a leading software supplier for optimizing asset performance. Its products thrive in complex, industrial environments where it is critical to optimize the asset design, operation and maintenance lifecycle. AspenTech uniquely combines decades of process modeling expertise with big data machine learning. Its purpose-built software platform automates knowledge work and builds sustainable competitive advantage by delivering high returns over the entire asset lifecycle. As a result, companies in capital-intensive industries can maximize uptime and push the limits of performance, running their assets faster, safer, longer and greener.

Challenge

Improve WAN performance to enable globally distributed development teams to share large design files faster and collaborate more efficiently

Solution

The EdgeConnect SD-WAN edge platform provides overlays across a broad mix of VPLS, broadband, and commercial internet circuits at 18 global sites, bonding a primary and secondary links, and leveraging path conditioning, quality of service, and intelligent application-based traffic routing, along with Unity Boost WAN optimization to accelerate business-critical applications

Results

  • Accelerated transfer of large R&D files from 20 hours to 8 hours
  • Maximized bandwidth utilization for both internal applications and SaaS applications
  • Reduced the size of some R&D files as much as 80% for more efficient file transfers
  • Ensured reliable connectivity for critical customer support centers around the world
  • Supported ongoing business growth, bringing new sites online in days instead of months
  • Enabled IT to keep pace with changing business requirement and maintain high customer service levels