Design firm optimises global WAN

By
Tuesday, 17 February, 2009


Global design company, Woods Bagot, has deployed WAN optimisation appliances to optimise the delivery of communications and critical applications from its Sydney office to 10 studios around the world.

Because of the global nature of its business and the need for collaborative work between employees in different regions globally, personnel need to routinely transfer files of 100 Mb and larger across the WAN. This placed a massive drain on the company’s network.

The company also uses its network for voice and video applications, including VoIP and videoconferencing.

The company therefore deployed ProxySG and PacketShaper appliances from Blue Coat to rectify its WAN problems. Packet shaping appliances now maintain quality for VoIP and videoconferencing applications while preventing these communications streams from overwhelming data applications.

In addition, the appliances help manage employee use of podcasts and videos for business purposes. The appliances are helping Woods Bagot roll out an internal streaming media server for providing company-produced videos to employees. The company can manage the video streams as they traverse the WAN and store video in each studio through the caching capabilities of the appliances.

With the new applications the company has experienced a 60% reduction in WAN bandwidth consumption. It took the firm three months to achieve a full return on its investment in the solutions, based on WAN bandwidth savings.

The appliances provide the company with a detailed understanding of what applications are running on the network and how they are performing. The company can decide what traffic is important, unimportant, or malicious and then apply the appropriate security measures or traffic shaping.

“A combination of visibility, acceleration and security can provide the means to effectively use applications, content and communications anywhere on the network,” says Nectarios Lazaris, group global IT manager of Woods Bagot.

Lazaris estimates that the new WAN optimisation and acceleration appliances have increased total staff productivity by 83 hours per day.

The company also relies on the appliances to accelerate web content, SharePoint file access, AutoCAD, file replication, SQL database interactions, FTP traffic and certain SSL-encrypted application traffic.

At the same time, since the Woods Bagot studios around the world have direct-to-net internet access, rather than backhauling internet traffic through a corporate headquarters, the appliances can provide protection from malicious attacks and control over web content and applications.

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