Expand Networks enables performance driven server consolidation project at industry leading manufacturing group

Published November 30th, 2009 - 02:54 GMT
Expand Networks www.expand.com, the leader in optimizing WANs for branch office consolidation and virtualization, today announced that SKS Group Oy, the global operating wholesaler of machine building components and customer’s partner in contract manufacturing in Finland, has deployed Expand Networks’ WAN Optimization technology to accelerate the delivery of its business applications for its dispersed network environment. Bringing its users into virtual proximity of their centralized applications and datacenter services, Expand Networks’ Accelerator’s are ensuring fast and secure access to centrally located data across its increasingly distributed workforce.
Headquartered in Finland, SKS Group Oy has over 13 remote offices stretching as far as Russia and China. SKS Group Oy undertook a server and storage consolidation project to simplify its IT infrastructure and reduce management complexity. However, as SKS’ users became physically separated from the applications they needed to do their job, network performance began to suffer as the WAN struggled to cope with the increased demand the applications placed on the network. Mr. Veijo Merelä, System Manager at SKS Group Oy explains;
“With our servers consolidated at our head office in Finland, it became clear we had to maximize network performance across branch offices. Our users experienced slow and restricted access to applications and datacenter services, with both latency and congestion causing sluggish performance across the WAN. While consolidation was giving us the promised benefits of cost-saving and ease of management complexity, this was being undermined by poor network and application performance, which affected user productivity. To maximize our consolidated infrastructure, we needed a WAN optimization solution to underpin and accelerate it.
With a bandwidth upgrade a comparatively expensive alternative, SKS Group Oy sought a WAN Optimization solution that would deliver accelerated access to applications and datacenter services in its consolidated environment. Evaluating Expand Networks Accelerators along with competitive solutions from Juniper, SKS Group Oy quickly chose Expand Network’s Accelerators for their Virtual Server technology, providing integrated Wide Area File Services (WAFS) capabilities, and its compelling price point and RoI.
“WAFS was a key deliverable for us. Removing remote file servers meant we could lose other services hosted on them, such as print. The Expand Accelerator’s Virtual Server technology covers this and gives us true server consolidation without the need for additional boxes at the branch for extra services. Its WAN-Out capabilities also gives us resilience, we know that if the WAN ever goes down, all our remote offices can continue to access files via Expand and not halt productivity. In addition, QoS was a vital part of our needs, and with Expand we can guarantee that all our applications have the reserved bandwidth they need to make sure productivity is at the optimum level adds Merelä.
Expand Networks’ integrated WAN Optimization uses techniques such as byte-level caching and dynamic compression to accelerate the delivery of SKS’ business services. Expand Networks’ Accelerators quickly opened up other options for SKS Group Oy; taking the decision to reduce the capacity of its MPLS link at head office, which has enabled the company to make significant cost savings without impinging on network performance.
“Expand has increased network throughput by 75% and given us an 80% increase in overall company performance. This is resulting in overall cheaper software upgrades, lower IT maintenance costs and reduced infrastructure complexity. Toward the end of this year, we’ll start to run SAP from Finland to Shanghai with VDI protocols. This will all be supported by Expand’s technology. Using Expand Networks for tunneling and TCP acceleration is now a foundation technology to enable business success for today and tomorrow says Merelä.
Adam Davison, Corporate VP Sales & Marketing concludes, “SKS Group Oy has highlighted concrete statistical evidence of the difference Expand’s technology has made to its business model. In particular, by implementing a Virtual Server, with our WAFS functionality, SKS Oy has additional business continuity benefits, and as they move toward virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), they can be confident that Expand’s unique capabilities for ensuring virtual bandwidth in these challenging environments will support its users across the globe.

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