McLaren Construction builds for the future with Citrix SD-WAN

Accelerate growth and expansion by leveraging low-cost readily available connectivity

The Business Problem

McLaren Construction Group is one of the top construction companies in the UK operating in construction, property, and development in the UK and the United Arab Emirates. McLaren is a highly successful, privately-owned business with over 600 employees and contractors, and approximately 65 sites. These include brick and mortar locations, construction sites, and data centers on-premises and in Microsoft Azure.

McLaren’s existing MPLS solution was limited in functionality. The lack of path conditioning capabilities meant that they were unable to ensure high application performance. LTE capabilities were only utilized as a link of last resort and not integrated into the main path.

Quickly connecting new sites was another issue for McLaren, whose rapid growth demanded the ability to easily roll out connectivity to new locations. Ensuring cost effectiveness was also critical; Microsoft ExpressRoute proved to be costprohibitive and was therefore used only to connect McLaren’s on-premises data center to Microsoft Azure.

Several factors drove McLaren to seek an alternative to their existing WAN solution. Their new solution had to:

  • Increase control and manageability
  • Migrate workloads to the cloud
  • Provide the freedom to choose a preferred cloud security vendor
  • Leverage multiple types of connectivity to spin up sites quickly
  • Lower networking costs by moving away from MPLS and ExpressRoute
  • Optimize the WAN to provide improved performance across mixed links at construction sites

Citrix SD-WAN is the right solution for McLaren Construction

McLaren began the process of evaluating potential WAN optimization solutions for their network.

The SD-WAN solution had to meet their criteria of simplicity, commercial viability, and scalability. With these criteria in mind, McLaren entered into the Proof of Concept phase of the process. After evaluating their options, Citrix emerged a clear winner.

The next step was to deploy Citrix SD-WAN across all brick and mortar offices in the UK, the offices in Dubai and all upcoming construction sites.

Citrix SD-WAN has introduced capabilities for security, control, and manageability of the WAN that far surpass those offered by McLaren’s previous WAN solution.

New integrated connectivity options like DSL and 4G/LTE provide alternate links for network reliability and allow McLaren to provision new sites quickly and more cost-effectively than MPLS. White-label dual LTE SIM cards provide even more bandwidth options that McLaren can take advantage of.

Cloud is the Future

As McLaren transitions to Azure and SaaS applications like Office 365, their users expect a seamless experience. Citrix SD-WAN offers the ability to securely and directly breakout this traffic to reduce latency while ensuring reliability, resiliency, and visibility, all via automated connectivity.

Citrix SD-WAN is available as a virtual appliance in Azure. An easy on-ramp with automated provisioning allows for quick secure and reliable connectivity to workloads in Azure. Sites can connect directly and securely to these virtual SDWAN instances instead of backhauling through the data center, further reducing latency and unnecessary strain on the network.

Seamless Security and Management

With Citrix SD-WAN, McLaren has the freedom to use a secure web gateway of their choice to connect their branch traffic directly to applications in the cloud. They can choose the solution that best fits their needs without being locked into any proprietary gateway.

SD-WAN Orchestrator, a SaaS-based management tool, provides single-pane view for the network and users, with key capabilities that include:

  • Centralized configuration
  • Zero-touch provisioning
  • Application-centric policies
  • Summarization of network health
  • Advanced troubleshooting

Enabling Future Plans with Citrix

As McLaren moves forward with Citrix as a trusted technology partner, there are a number of exciting technologies helping them transform their business.

With Citrix SD-WAN Orchestrator, McLaren will be able to easily manage their next-generation firewall from a central location.

Citrix SD-WAN meets McLaren’s top security concerns by integrating with the cloud security service of their choice. This gives them the flexibility to select the vendor that best meets their security needs while allowing them to confidently breakout cloud traffic directly from their branches.

McLaren is working on evolving their “Site in a Box” strategy, where a box with infrastructure, security, software, and services is placed at a construction site on day one. This allows for the team working on-site to begin accessing IT resources required for the job immediately, significantly accelerating their time to market.

With zero capacity Citrix SD-WAN appliances, McLaren can shift to a subcription model, purchasing licenses as needed to quickly deploy appliances to support their rapid growth.

Our close working relationship with Citrix meant that we were able to deploy SD-WAN with minimal disruption to the business. We continue to see the benefit of the solution and it’s evident that Citrix are invested in McLaren as a business not just as a transaction.
Daniel Blackman
Head of IT
McLaren Construction Group

Industry

Key benefits

  • Flexible security to select the vendor that best meets their security needs while allowing them to confidently breakout cloud traffic directly from their branches.
  • New integrated connectivity options like DSL and 4G/LTE provide alternate links for network reliability fast provisioning of new sites and more bandwidth.
  • Easy transition to Azure with automated provisioning for quick secure and reliable connectivity.

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