Citrix SD-WAN provides global shared services company with the connections to drive efficient, acceptable user experience
After six years using other solutions, shared services company Marin IT turned to Citrix to provide predictable performance between Norway, Australia and other global offices.
Headquartered in Norway, the business provides IT services to the offshore oil and gas and seafood sectors. With offices around the world, it supports 3,700 users, almost 60 supply vessels and a fleet of fishing boats.
For several years, Marin IT had encountered issues with unpredictable latency between its Perth, Australia office and its datacenter in Storebø, Norway. As the business consolidated services into its Norway datacenter, latency became an increasingly critical issue.
“It's been a long journey,” Senior Systems Engineer Peter Nejtek explains. “Originally, we had a global MPLS, but that was expensive and had low bandwidth. Then we moved to a VPN solution using internet connections, but we struggled with latency. Sometimes it was an acceptable 250ms, but at other times it would be an unworkable 400ms. It was difficult to monitor. If someone complained, we had to do a lot of manual checking to see what was going on.”
User experience for staff in Australia was poor leading to many complaints and midnight telephone calls. Realizing that data travelling east from Perth across the Pacific, US and Atlantic was typically slower than on the western route via Singapore, Marin IT used a leased line to route data traffic via Singapore. However, latency on either route was not constant and the circuits needed continual monitoring and manual switch-over to ensure fastest performance.
The business needed a more flexible network solution that adapted to their business requirements and selected Citrix SD-WAN.
Marin IT purchased two Citrix SD-WAN high-availability datacenter devices plus eight branch devices for each of its major locations.
“We evaluated different options,” explains system engineer Arne Flatekval, “but even the major cloud providers could only guarantee 350ms latency across their infrastructure. When we looked at other vendors’ SD-WAN products, they were less mature, less tried-and-tested, than Citrix SD-WAN. We also liked Citrix’s vision for the future. As we are already using Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, Citrix SD-WAN was a natural fit.”
To assist with design and deployment, Ireland-based, Gold Citrix Solution Advisor Edge7 Networks was recommended to Marin IT.
“In over 20 years, working with partners all across the world, Edge7 Networks is one of the best providers I’ve ever worked with,” Nejtek says. “They are very professional, highly skilled, but down to earth and easy to talk to.”
“With Citrix SD-WAN, we now have a stable connection to Australia with 250ms latency, as required,” Nejtek says. “After six years of struggling with other solutions, we have stabilized the connection with reliably low latency.”
Employees in Australia and elsewhere now enjoy consistent performance that enables them to be as effective as possible. And, as Flatekval adds, “We don't get calls in the middle of the night, anymore. Before Citrix, the level of complaints was getting out of hand.”
Citrix SD-WAN monitors available connections and automatically switches data traffic to the optimal route to reduce latency. SD-WAN’s Quality of Service engine can also automatically prioritize data traffic by application to provide optimal performance.
Knowing that SD-WAN is “looking after itself”, Nejtek, Flatekval and their team can focus on other projects.
“If somebody calls us from Perth in the middle of the night,” Nejtek says, “we know we now have good traffic insight. We can log onto the devices and quickly see what has happened. That was very difficult before.”
Citrix SD-WAN also supports out-of-band management giving Nejtek and his team the ability to perform remote maintenance across time zones, even when the local office is sleeping.
Future projects under consideration include deploying SD-WAN to Marin IT’s smaller branch offices and onto its fishing fleet.
“With Citrix SD-WAN, we can simply trust the set-up,” Nejtek says. “The devices know where to send the traffic if latency is worsens on a link. We no longer need to constantly monitor the traffic and make manual switch-overs and we no longer spend time talking to ISPs around the world trying to explain the problems.”