SD-WAN Course

USL Casestudy

One of the largest beverages company in the world, with around 45 manufacturing locations in India

Introduction

The client is one of the largest beverages company in the world, with around 45 manufacturing locations in India. The traditional MPLS WAN network enabled the interconnectivity between these sites before SD-WAN was deployed.

The need for SD-WAN

  1. The WAN connectivity was not reliable at the sites – and sometimes MPLS was not even feasible in remote locations where the manufacturing plants are located.
  2. The turnaround time for fixing the problem over MPLS backbone was too long and disrupted supply chain for the company.
  3. Internet connectivity at most of the plant locations was easily available and was desired due to cloud applications such as O365; and of course, was also lucrative because of cost savings involved.
  4. Specific applications and traffic streams such as CCTV were considered critical and needed backup over the WAN – this called for the ability to steer the traffic based on the application.

Challenges

The SD-WAN solution was implemented, but its advantages were not realized immediately due to the following factors:
  1. The routing at the central datacenter was complex and resulted in asymmetric traffic flows resulting in poor user experience. It also resulted in partial connectivity in case of blackouts / brownouts.
  2. The unreliable overlay due to asymmetric routing resulted in inefficient use of hybrid links (Internet and MPLS) at the remote sites.
  3. The complete network infrastructure was mapped to specific VLANs locally at the sites, designed for the segmentation. However, over the SD-WAN network, this segmentation was not achieved – due to incorrect configurations.
  4. The Application Aware Routing (AAR) was not being utilized optimally.
  5. The IT staff was lacking the skill-set required to completely adopt and integrate the SD-WAN setup.

Criterion approach - Consulting and Sandboxing

Criterion Networks engaged with the client and conducted deep technical workshops to understand the overall network and its challenges. Once the problem was understood in detail, Solution Architects from Criterion Networks with rich experience in SD-WAN environments developed a virtual test bed and tested the solution. After careful vetting, the solution was proposed to the client. Criterion Networks also helped in reviewing the change plans and assisted the client’s IT team to implement the changes and testing the efficacy of the changes.

Outcome

After the design changes and configuration corrections in place, the client could now truly realize the potentials of SD-WAN. With low disruptions the remote sites have a much better uptime. There is a better visibility and control of the wide area network, due to the central manageability achieved through the vManage dashboard. The direct internet breakout at the remote sites has resulted in a much better user experience for the cloud applications, compared to the earlier backhauling of the traffic through the datacenter. The data backups can be done without disruptions due to redundant overlay network. Working closely with the OEM and Client’s IT team, Criterion Networks could help the true return on the investment on the SD-WAN setup.
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