Going global with wan optimisationJanuary 9 - 1pm
Multinational Methven has found a cost-effective solution to standardising business systems across the world through cloud-based WAn Optimisation- As-A Service provided by relatively unknown vendor Aryaka.
Familiar to most new Zealanders, Methven makes taps and showerware.
With the recent acquisitions of two businesses, one in Australia and the other in the United Kingdom, the iconic Kiwi company suddenly found itself in the position of other multinationals: requiring business systems that span the world.
Alan Henderson, Methven’s Information Systems Manager, says it wanted a single system across all subsidiaries.
“In order to standardise, we needed to centrally host the system. Straight after the new Zealand implementation of our ERp solution in november 2010, we knew that extending it to Australia and the uK would result in massive latencies.”
The instability of long internet routes could be solved with a guaranteed network (MplS) or through WAn optimisation technology. However, both options were not only costly, but available WAn optimisation wasn’t up to the task.
“We tested a number of more affordable solutions on lightweight stuff like file exchange, but when it came to ERp, it just didn’t cut the mustard,” Henderson explains.
Given the nature of Methven’s operations, which includes all centres, warehouse operations, finance and dispatch, the collaboration of engineers and marketing, Henderson says the challenge was substantial.
“Stepping into this, we understood that we were stretching the boundaries – but we wanted effective interaction between a number of companies and the headroom to plan for the future, too.”
The lower cost of a service
Traditional WAn optimisation vendors, Henderson says, were not yet ready to sell their solutions as a service, requiring instead the purchase of appliances.
“We started looking for cloud based optimisation; Aryaka was one of the very few available,” he says.
As a vendor which launched its service two years ago, there was definite risk involved, he agrees.
“The only way to de-risk the situation was to set up a piloting scheme. We set up tunnels with network providers, got it all up and running and tested the optimised versus unoptimised links to UK.”
Methven’s ERp vendor went as far as to say it would not recommend running its solution over the optimised links.
“That presented an additional uncertainty…there was some scepticism,” Henderson says.
But it works…well
However, by taking the initiative – and benefiting from working a vendor keen to earn its stripes, Henderson says the results are stellar: a 4X improved response times on Remote desktop protocol, 32% common Internet File System data reduction and 90% SQl compression.
“In terms of financial benefits, just the MplS links alone was nearly twice the cost of the Aryaka.
As we introduce Australia and then our manufacturing in china on to the network, the cumulative benefits will be far greater as an economies of scale situation kicks in” says Henderson.
He has high praise for Aryaka: “The cloud network behind the technology provides redundancy for what is a mission-critical system.
“The tools that the vendor provides to visualise and monitor traffic are top notch.
“It has opened up the channels between our subsidiaries and made for competitively priced IT which gives the company the headroom to explore its growth ambitions,” he concludes.