Electronic boost for merchant business

Published:  17 June, 2009

KIDDLINGTON: South West builders merchant, Rawle Gammon & Baker (RGB) has improved network capacity and business continuity with a new 14 site Wide Area Network (WAN) that works in tandem with its existing BT IP Clear MPLS (Multi Protocol Label Switching) Virtual Private Network.

The new WAN from fully managed wide area networks, hosting and internet solutions company, CI-Net, incorporates multiple ADSL connections at each of RGB’s branch locations with automatic failover and load balancing to support business continuity in case of line faults or delays.

“CI-Net has helped us build in more capacity and resilience without increasing our overall networking costs,” explained Jeremy Webb, IT manager at RGB, which employs 240 staff. “The solution involved replacing the high bandwidth leased lines that supported our MPLS VPN with smaller ADSL connections because we weren’t making use of the bigger links. This freed up budget to cover the multiple ADSL links which are part of CI-Net’s WAN.”

It was important to retain the separate MPLS VPN because it supports RGB’s trading and distribution software. At the same time the company needed more capacity to absorb increasing traffic on its WAN which handles all other communications between its branches.

The new CI-Net infrastructure incorporates StoneGate firewall devices to manage traffic on the multiple ADSL links at each site on the WAN. All traffic related to the trading and distribution software is routed through the MPLS VPN while everything else is load balanced on the other connections to find the fastest route through the CI-Net WAN.

“Our branch locations are now getting the reliable WAN connectivity they need to do business,” said Jeremy Webb. “CI-Net’s key strength has been the way it took time out to really analyse and get to grips with our connectivity needs. This enabled them to come up with an intelligent, flexible solution that upgrades our WAN with more capacity and functionality while avoiding a huge hike in costs.”

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