European Shoe Retail

European Shoe Retail

As businesses rush to finalize their digital transformations, they frequently encounter the need to overhaul their IT infrastructures as a preliminary step. This can involve replacing outdated, inflexible MPLS-based networks with modern, highly adaptable SD-WAN solutions, which offer increased flexibility, automation, redundancy, and cost savings to organizations globally. An illustrative example is a recent case study of an Italian company known worldwide for its meticulously crafted women's shoes, symbolizing elegance, luxury, and sophistication for women across the globe.

Limitations

The European shoe retail industry grappled with the constraints of an MPLS network, which became increasingly evident over time. While it effectively met the requirements for the company’s datacenter and Italian offices, other locations faced restrictions in terms of bandwidth and internet access. The reliability of the connections was also inconsistent. Additionally, the company’s retail stores and some key production sites depended on a single fiber carrier, which further reduced the resilience of their wide area network (WAN). Apart from the higher overhead costs associated with MPLS, the sluggish performance of their telecommunications network resulted in additional, excessive expenses. A diagram of the old WAN architecture is provided below.

Challenges

Company management tasked their IT team with initiating a groundbreaking transformation of their network, as the existing network limitations no longer met the standards of a globally active company. After a thorough evaluation, it became evident that a simple replacement of the current technology wouldn’t suffice. The strategy involved transitioning to a more adaptable SD-WAN architecture that would maintain network resilience at core sites while enabling cost-effective, unhindered data transmission across the entire enterprise.

The goals for an alternative to MPLS were clearly defined:

  • Enhancing network connectivity reliability.
  • Boosting performance and available bandwidth.
  • Improving the efficiency of the telecommunications        infrastructure.
  • Reducing recurring costs and managing operational expenses effectively.

Solution

The European shoe retail company sought external expertise from KnowIT. KnowIT recommended an SD-WAN strategy that would enable the company to achieve enhanced management capabilities, reliability, and flexibility while meeting its established goals. The suggested solution incorporated Peplink’s SpeedFusion™ technology, which would enable the Italian company to combine multiple physical lines, even from different service providers. Furthermore, the company planned to introduce additional fiber lines for sites that previously lacked redundancy.

Results

As a result of this collaborative effort, the retail industry gained the capacity to distribute workloads across various designated links, offering the flexibility to implement load balancing and redundancy measures. The inclusion of the SpeedFusion Hot Failover feature played a crucial role in maintaining secure tunnels over the available WAN links, ensuring automated failover capabilities in case of a failure. This guaranteed uninterrupted VoIP sessions and highly resilient VPNs on a 24/7 basis. Consequently, the revamped enterprise saw an increase in bandwidth, effectively mitigating any issues with ISPs or fluctuations in individual connections. As an added benefit, the former MPLS backbone was swiftly replaced, keeping the implementation costs within budget constraints.

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