U.K. based online payments company Paysafe switched its network over to Cato Networks software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) in order to more efficiently and effectively link its multiple offices.
Paysafe has over 21 global locations, many of which the company inherited through mergers and acquisitions. As a result of the mergers, many of the sites were connected by different technology — some using MPLS, others using internet-based virtual private networks (VPNs).
“Neither side wanted to back down and say we’ll go with Cisco, or we’ll go with Palo Alto [Networks], so we really reached a bit of an impasse,” said Paysafe Network and Infrastructure Architect Stuart Gall. “And financially it’s not viable.”
Additionally, Paysafe had a mobility issue. As the company added more locations, employees needed to be able to travel and connect back to their home office network. The company was using active directory (AD) to give employees access to remote service. However, the AD controllers were unable to communicate with one another because they weren’t physically connected between sites. Plus they were slow, and were locking out employees’ accounts. Paysafe relied on Active Directory (AD) controllers for user authentication and resource authorization.
“We want an employee to be able to travel to any of the corporate sites and have the same experience, and to have access to all of the resources that they would have access to in their home site,” said Gall.
Paysafe evaluated a number of SD-WAN vendors, including Apcela, Viptela, Aryaka, SilverPeak, CloudGenix, and more. Gall said that at least 50 percent of the vendors they evaluated were rejected because they didn’t have the right features. And in the end, it came down to cost.
The main features the company required were full mesh connectivity and encryption, a low-latency backbone network, and failover.
The full mesh connectivity was particularly important. When Paysafe deployed Cato on its network, it was able to connect the AD controllers, “and the synchronization of the active directory is far more efficient and far more stable as a result,” said Gall.
As a global financial company, having a secure network is vital, because it has to comply with a number of regulations. With the full-mesh encryption, as well as device enrollment and initiation, Cato was able to meet these needs.
Paysafe is in the process of deploying Cato SD-WAN to 19 physical sites and is connecting the final two with Amazon Web Services (AWS) connectors. At each site, the company has two Cato connections for failover and two local internet service providers, that are on two different infrastructures so they can balance workloads.
Currently, the company has deployed the technology on 14 of its sites, and according to Gall the savings have been “massive.” Gall said Paysafe is paying half of what it paid to have six sites outfitted with MPLS to deploy Cato SD-WAN on 14 sites at a higher bandwidth.
“It’s a much simpler way of connecting your offices together,” said Gall. “All of the difficulties that you have on a time-consuming efforts to get everything working, it’s abstracted away from you, you don’t have to worry about it. You install these devices, they automatically register on the network and the site is connected, it really couldn’t be simpler.”