Construction management company Shawmut Design and Construction selected CloudGenix AppFabric software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) technology to replace its MPLS connections, move its infrastructure to the cloud, and reduce network costs.
Shawmut was previously relying on MPLS to provide connectivity and application performance. One of its core challenges was its small infrastructure team. According to Joel Christner, senior director of marketing at CloudGenix, the Shawmut team wanted to improve its efficiency and essentially have a “one-man networking team.”
As a construction company, they have to deploy connectivity to each of their job sites as well as their offices. This was a tedious and time-consuming task that Shawmut wanted to simplify.
With AppFabric and the direct internet connectivity, all Shawmut has to do is plug in the box, and it will make a connection back to the CloudGenix controller. The site will appear live on the dashboard where Shawmut can apply policy.
CloudGenix takes an application-centric approach to its SD-WAN, including a top-down enforcement of WAN policy for performance, security and compliance. It identifies applications using “fine-grained application detection,” according to Christner. This is not just based on packets like some SD-WANs, but it also looks at application signatures, fingerprints, and requests made. This allows users to define business policies based on the specific application and its use, not just the protocol. With AppFabric, Shawmut can dictate and control how resources are used based on the application.
With the dashboard, Shawmut was able to simplify the management of its cloud resources and applications, such as Skype for Business, by identifying specific problems and network conditions that could be causing application failure.
CloudGenix’s SD-WAN also collects real-time data in order to make decisions on how application flows can be handled. It provides customers with a real-time and historic view of performance.
The SD-WAN technology from CloudGenix can be delivered in a number of ways. It runs of x86 commodity hardware and a cloud-delivered management model, which enables data to be surfaced natively in the infrastructure. Its instances, physical or virtual, run in the customer branch office and data center. Customers can also deploy it as a virtual appliance on existing infrastructure.
“The management, monitoring, and instrumentation is all completely cloud-delivered, so you don’t have to deal with additional servers for management, have to worry about provisioning storage capacity and protecting that, and doing configuration backups and so on. It’s all baked into the service delivered in the cloud,” said Christner.
The construction company evaluated a number of SD-WAN vendors before choosing CloudGenix.
One of the reasons, outside replacing MPLS, that customers want SD-WAN is because it gives them the ability to have “instrumentation and visibility into how the network and apps are working without deploying this massive stack of monitoring gear,” according to Christner.