SD-WAN Solution With WWT Managed Services Improves Connectivity While Conserving Resources for State Agency
In this case study
Among its challenges: insufficient bandwidth; aging hardware; a complex, hard-to-support billing structure; and an inability to introduce modern applications – all requiring significant time and resources managing operations.
World Wide Technology (WWT) provided critical elements that would integrate into court's five-year plan to migrate to a software-defined WAN (SD-WAN). Teaming with technology partners Cisco Meraki and Unitas Global, WWT significantly improved bandwidth, increased visibility and flexibility, and saved time and money, freeing IT staff from day-to-day management to focus on strategic priorities.
The court is chartered with providing and supporting the case management system, email file sharing and productivity applications for the state Supreme Court, multiple county courthouses, and remote judges' offices across the state.
To render these services, they had to rely on legacy networking systems employing T1 circuits with only a 1.5 Mb capacity – leading-edge connectivity two decades ago but increasingly ill-suited to the current Gigabit age. They simply could not be integrated into today's data center architectures, unable to accommodate automation and modern applications. What's more, each of those 150 T1 circuits required its own ordering, provisioning, management, support and billing processes. The numerous vendor options available for each circuit were constantly changing, each with its own contract provisions and timetables.
In short, our customer was forced to rely on a patchwork of circuits that proved difficult and time-consuming to keep track of, distracting its limited IT staff from other, more pressing strategic responsibilities. And, although they wanted to migrate to a public/private cloud solution, their aging wide-area network (WAN) infrastructure would not support it. The result for the court's judicial institutions: slow connectivity, hindered service to remote locations, and diminished ability to administer speedy justice for the people.
World Wide Technology (WWT) was retained to help resolve those connectivity service issues and position the organization to accommodate future technology needs by accomplishing the goal of a public/private cloud environment. WWT's contribution: to leverage its networking expertise in support of a two-phase plan over five years, migrating to a software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) solution, working in conjunction with three technology partners:
- Cisco Meraki, which provides cloud-managed networking hardware onsite with robust SD-WAN capabilities, all configured and orchestrated in the cloud. Although a number of SD-WAN hardware options were considered, the Cisco Meraki solution was the most uncomplicated and straightforward – extremely easy to configure and manage, making it ideal for the court system's modest IT staff. And, it provides high visibility using a single streamlined dashboard to monitor and fine-tune the system in real time.
As with a great number of Cisco technology solutions, Intel® technology lies at the heart of the AoC deployment, including:
- 3rd Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, offering a balanced architecture and built-in acceleration capabilities, are optimized for specific customer workloads, with up to 40 cores and a range of frequency, feature and power levels.
Intel Atom® processors, providing efficient intelligence for devices at the network edge, delivering advanced processing capabilities in an ultra-thin, lightweight form factor.
- Unitas Global, a worldwide provider of hybrid cloud-based solutions, provides sourced bandwidth in a software-defined network (SDN) for circuit connectivity. Working closely with WWT, Unitas began by analyzing the connectivity needs of network users across the state and then matched them to the most appropriate circuits to support their level of usage. They quickly activated the new circuits and assumed responsibility for their ongoing monitoring and maintenance. In addition, since all circuits were provided through a single source, Unitas Global consolidated their servicing into a single, easy-to-track billing, further saving valuable IT staff and billing management time.
- WWT Managed Services assumed a key role in the overall program, establishing the most appropriate solution elements for maximum performance and efficiency, defining a two-phased implementation strategy and timeline, overseeing deployment, and performing ongoing management. WWT monitors hardware daily and collaborates with Unitas Global to further simplify the modernized network for the agency.
WWT and partners have completed Phase One of the project, creating two private data centers, and have already yielded significant, tangible benefits.
With Phase One complete, our customer is already experiencing the benefits of modern connectivity from a transformed network, data center and cloud-based services:
- 70 percent increased bandwidth, from 1.5Mb to nearly 100Mb, even in remote locations. With increased speed comes the ability to embrace modern productivity applications that further enhance performance.
- Consolidated billing, easing management of 150-plus circuits to a single monthly invoice, saving valuable IT time.
- Layer-7 visibility, enabling IT to monitor the entire open systems interconnection (OSI) stack from top to bottom more easily.
- Strategic flexibility that allows IT to explore a greater range of strategies to improve operations – no more constraints from legacy hardware.
- Significant cost savings from technology solutions that simplify management, occupy a smaller footprint, conserve energy and increase productivity – all for the same cost as their previous 1.5Gb WAN solution.
- Dependable performance going forward through ongoing support from WWT Managed Services, freeing in-house IT staff to focus on strategy, not day-to-day operations.
Next up for Phase Two, we're working closely with our customer to migrate their operations to a centralized site that will enable them to achieve full SD-WAN capabilities. And, they will at last have the ability to embrace the latest technology tools: smart cameras, modern security protections, and productivity apps such as Intel® Connectivity Analytics.