Success Stories

Below you will find all the Success Stories of Sangfor, classified by Industry, such as Enterprises, Governments, Schools & Universities, etc.

BEAR Scotland

Keeping a country’s roads running smoothly is a major challenge and requires all parts of the organisation that’s responsible to function well. So when BEAR Scotland’s Wide Area Network (WAN) was running slowly, it needed to do something to be able to do its job effectively.

“We maintain the trunk road network for Traffic Scotland, which is a division of the Scottish Executive,” explains IT Manager Scott Patterson. “We are in charge of all road maintenance — repairing roads, looking after the landscaping, road areas and winter maintenance. Basically, anything to do with the main trunk routes in the east of Scotland, we do.”

Satellite Offices
To organise and control the work, there are seven offices that comprise an office for each of the two regions plus five satellite offices. The head office is Perth, where the main servers are based, with all software installed and data stored there, although some offices have their own site servers. All offices are connected by an MPLS network that allows communications between each one, with the main software being basic office packages, AutoCAD and a semi-bespoke contract management system.

The work is dispersed out at the offices, which means data is constantly going up and down the lines. The centralised nature of the processing means that staff work on a file that’s stored at Perth or have to take a
copy and then load back after updating to keep everything synchronised.

That, as Scott recounts, started to cause problems: “People couldn’t work at a reasonable speed. It was taking a long time to open files that were in Perth and even getting emails was slow, particularly the time it took to get attachments or run emails to the Outlook client. The internet was slow because of the bandwidth restrictions.”

Problems of congestion on the network were compounded by the fact that some of the sites were in very remote areas with slow connectivity. Although something had to be done to improve things, upgrading the network didn’t appear practical. “The cost of putting in fast network connections for our wide area network was extremely high and we really couldn’t justify the cost simply because a lot of our sites have a very small number of users,” remarks Scott. “Some of our sites have only got eight or nine users in them and we were getting quotes of £20,000 a year to connect a site. When you multiply it over all our sites, it’s an awful lot of money to increase their bandwidth.”

Cost-effective Solution
A WAN optimisation solution was also investigated but the cost was at least as expensive as that of upgrading the lines. Luckily, a telephone call out of the blue provided a solution to the impasse. A supplier suggested that Sangfor WAN optimisation might be the answer and, although the initial thought was that it would be as expensive as the competitive product already looked at, the actual cost was a pleasant surprise. And that, Scott concludes, is because the Sangfor products concentrate on WAN optimisation without all the additional features that cause a premium cost but often aren’t used.

He says: “Once we found it would be a project we could afford and justify, we were provided with a couple of test boxes to try on the system. We installed that equipment and we saw an instant improvement on the network performance. We installed one at Perth and the other one at our most dire network position, the site that gave us the most complaints and had the slowest speed. Within a few hours of it going on, the response from the site was ‘wow, this is amazing’.

“The devices came straight out of the box, being pre-configured by Sangfor; it was literally plug and play. We did contact Sangfor when we installed them so they could check and make sure there were no issues, but there weren’t any. It was literally just a check to make sure everything was working as it should be. We installed those test boxes for a month to trial them and the improvement in the network was quite instant”

The performance improvement was so great and the equipment so affordable that the Sangfor devices were quickly installed at all other sites except one. That’s a site with only two or three staff and which has a very good connection for contractual reasons, so presents no performance problems.

Impressive Support
The whole network is now running as it should do and, due to the plug and play nature of the devices, this has been achieved with no training and very little need for support. “We had some configuration changes we wanted to make because we have site servers with files on them and it wasn’t doing the compression,” recalls Scott.

“It wasn’t doing its job in certain directions so I contacted Sangfor. The support contact made a few configuration changes and it was immediately doing the optimisation as it should do. It was all done very quickly and I was very impressed with their support.”

Having had the equipment in for only a few months, the plan is now to let everything settle down for a while and make sure everything is running fine. After that, there may be a look at some of the reports to see what is being achieved and if adjustments can be made to improve the performance even further.

For now, figures show that the caching and compression functions of the Sangfor equipment have reduced WAN traffic by 63% on average, meaning the network is carrying little over one third of what it used to do. It’s hardly surprising, therefore, that Scott is delighted with the outcome. He says: “It wasn’t a huge outlay of capital for us and it has had a very good effect on the network performance. It’s definitely been a very good investment and we get very few complaints about the performance on the network now. If people don’t notice that it’s slow, then it must be okay.”

A central Sangfor WAN optimiser is installed at the Perth head office with devices at each of the remote offices.

Equipment Features
- Cost-effective alternative
- Highly resilient and flexible
- Full unified bandwidth management
- Data caching and compression
- Simple drop-in deployment
- Opportunity to trial

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