Probuild cuts conjestion with WAN optimisation

Network crashes, session drop-outs and data headaches

Engineering firm Probuild Contructions has saved more than 700 hours a week by deploying a suite of traffic optimisation appliances and thin clients across its dispersed Wide Area Network.

The Melbourne-based company has 300 staff located in four regional and 25 temporary sites across Australia. It has built the Age Print Centre, Knox City Shopping Centre, TarraWarra Museum of Art and the Bendigo Bank headquarters in Victoria and the Equilibrium Hotel in Sydney.

According to Probuild Constructions operations manager Justin Williams, the company's highly decentralised and high latency WAN was disrupting communication between sites.

"We were facing serious network performance issues with all our remote sites; in particular the speed of application delivery," Williams said.

"Citrix sessions were dropping out seemingly at random, and people were sending huge print jobs that could disrupt the entire site.

"A site could go down for hours, several times a week, which severely impacted our ability to meet SLAs and it proved an issue with employee productivity and overall morale."

More than 25 hours a week were spent on each site to worsening network performance problems, notably at temporary-sites operating for more than 12 months, while the outsourced IT operations were strained further due to an increase in raw data.

Probuild, following recommendations from IT consultancy Jasco, installed the Exinda 4800 traffic management device at the company's Melbourne data centre in October, and used smaller 2800 appliances across it dispersed sites.

A fleet of Citrix thin clients were deployed across the network, while Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and a smaller suite of applications were installed to enhance data replication and allow staff to remotely access corporate data.

Williams said installation was completed in a week and immediately reduced data redundancy, increased WAN speeds and prevented network crashes.

"If a query is sent out, everyone knows about it in real time so staff can collaborate, exchange drawings and related documents and adjust details on everthing from excavation to final artist impressions," he said.

Probuild in now outfitting new sites with the 2800 appliance, while Williams plans to deploy additional WAN optimisation technologyto prioritise cost management systems traffic.

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