ROSELAND, New Jersey, March 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Expand Networks, (http://www.expand.com) the leader in WAN optimization for branch office consolidation and virtualization, today announced that its advanced WAN Optimization has enabled a company-wide server consolidation project at Thompsons Solicitors, the most experienced personal injury practice in the UK. Expand's Accelerators are enhancing application and data performance for Thompsons' 1000-strong workforce, distributed in its branch offices nationwide, assuring their user experience and protecting all branch office services from congestion, latency and delay.
Operating in an MPLS environment for WAN connectivity between its headquarters and 26 locations in the UK, Thompsons embarked upon a server consolidation strategy to simplify its IT infrastructure and reduce costs across the organisation. Committed to protecting the user experience, IT operations manager, Andrew Harris understood that optimization would be a critical success factor from the outset. He sought a solution that would protect the increased volume of sensitive Citrix traffic, so vulnerable to WAN congestion. He explains:
"We rely on the absolute performance of our WAN to deliver applications and business data to our distributed users' desks quickly and securely. We ran a trial to test the impact of the consolidation in just one of our offices and quickly realized that building WAN optimization into the project was a must. Serving our remote locations via Citrix, we knew that being able to optimize and control this ICA traffic was key to the whole project."
With optimizing ICA a strict priority, Harris and his team selected Expand Accelerators to support its server consolidation project following a thorough evaluation of the WAN Optimization market including Citrix WANScaler and Riverbed technology.
"Expand was the clear winner almost as soon as it was out of the box," says Harris. "Experiencing the superior Citrix optimization capability, coupled with the integrated print and local file share capabilities of the Expand Accelerators, we were confident we could move forward with the wider server consolidation project whilst ensuring a consistent user experience for the branch offices."
Thompsons Solicitors undertook a phased consolidation project, deploying three 6900 Accelerators at its datacentre, one of which is used to optimize NetApp SnapMirror replication traffic allowing replication for a four-hour Disaster Recovery Window. It also deployed a 4900 Accelerator at each branch office as each server was centralized. Easily configured, according to Harris, each Accelerator was deployed in under 10 minutes, by local staff: "Deployment and ongoing management has been very straightforward. Once in place, a technical engineer would then centrally configure any specific requirements quickly and easily by using ExpandView, the centralized management platform. As soon as a branch office went live, we could see the Accelerators working immediately, providing visibility into all traffic patterns, and enabling us to plan capacity, QoS and set rules and policies accordingly.
Expand's Layer 7 QoS techniques immediately prioritized the server-based applications, ensuring they were supported by the requisite bandwidth and protected from congestion with acceleration techniques used to overcome latency. Also combining Print, DNS, DHCP and a full-featured point-to-point VPN service, the Accelerators have enabled complete server consolidation at the branch office.
"Out of all the technology implemented as part of the consolidation project, the entire technical team here has been most impressed with Expand. It did exactly as it said it would and we are experiencing a consistent 80% increase in the acceleration of Citrix applications. We are a rapidly growing organization, organically and through acquisition, and Expand is enabling us to grow the business without significant outlay in network upgrades," concluded Harris.
Christian Honore, EMEA Sales Director at Expand Networks, comments, "Today's strategic IT initiatives such as server consolidation and MPLS WAN Optimisation are driven by the desire to simplify the network and achieve cost efficiencies but without assessing the effects on the network and remote users, it can be a recipe for project failure. Thompsons had the foresight to recognize this at the early stage of the project, applying optimization techniques to ensure that its distributed workforce can continue to work as productively as they would if they were on the LAN."
For further information contact: Andrew Parker/Jennifer Manning Cohesive Communications +44-(0)-1291-626200 email@example.com
SOURCE Expand Networks