New field of operations

Editorial Type: Case Study Date: 09-2017 Views: 1,673 Tags: Networking, Infrastructure Management, Failover, Evolving Networks PDF Version:
When network connectivity causes operational issues its replacement is inevitable. A bonded solution from Evolving Networks has helped T H White Group to improve their business operations

T H White Group is a UK-based, privately-owned, multi-site agricultural supplier with a fascinating history. It was founded in 1832, before Queen Victoria's ascension to the throne. Still going strong, the company currently employs more than 500 staff operating from sites situated across seven English counties.

NO CONTINGENCY AND LIMITATIONS
Before working with Evolving Networks, T H White's IT infrastructure supported 450 users spread across 12 sites, working with 20 virtual servers running on 12 physical servers. However, with no failover in place and limited bandwidth, several of these sites were regularly experiencing poor internet performance and an overall lack of reliability. This in turn was causing problems within the company's dealer management software, as it often required manual switching between lines to improve or restore connectivity.

Early in 2015, T H White sought a new solution that could provide increased resilience and bandwidth across its infrastructure. It also required traffic prioritisation in order to accommodate business-critical services such as file replication, remote desktop services, transmission of parts diagrams, web browsing and VPN access. Evolving Networks proposed a solution that met the company's needs and that could be implemented with minimal operational disruption.

CAREFUL ASSESSMENT
With the contract awarded and to identify the best solution, Evolving Networks implemented a consultative exercise and carefully collated as much information as possible about T H White's circumstances and their requirements. This included identifying the total number of IT users, the specific traffic types, the circuit types available at each location, and any expected long-term changes. Having completed the consultation process, Evolving Networks proposed a solution and worked closely with T H White to help them fully understand the benefits that it would offer.

Once T H White had fully explored the proposed solution, Evolving Networks set about implementing it. Each T H White site was provided with a fully-managed Bonded ADSL or Bonded FTTC connection according to its local needs and available connectivity. This offered the company total connection continuity so that even if one line was to fail completely, the site would not experience any loss of internet connectivity as the network would switch over to the working line.

BUSINESS IMPROVED
With the new solution implemented, T H White was able to instantly benefit from boosted bandwidth and resilience, as well as the prioritisation of business-critical traffic. If a user urgently needed to replicate a number of files for example, the network allowed that user more bandwidth capacity than another user who might be sending an email.

The solution also supports site-to-site VPN as well as the company's dealer management software which was previously problematic. At a more general level, it has resulted in a greatly improved internet experience for all users of the T H White network.

Mike Highfield, Sales Manager, Evolving Networks, said that "T H White had reached a point with their incumbent infrastructure where it was simply too slow to cope with daily tasks - things that should have taken seconds were often taking minutes. After thoroughly inspecting their infrastructure and identifying the issues that needed resolving, we were able to implement a solution that met all of their requirements, delivered on time and on budget. With this solution now live, T H White has already been able to enjoy a much more agile and seamless way of working."

Thanks to seamless failover being an integral part of the delivered solution, T H White no longer has to deal with the inconvenience of manually switching lines whenever one happens to go down. This not only results in increased availability and uptime, but means that general user productivity has increased too. NC