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Lycopodium’s Data Acceleration

Lycopodium is an Australian headquartered engineering and project delivery group which provides a complete range of services for the evaluation, development, implementation and optimisation of projects across a broad range of industries.

As its primary objective, Lycopodium focusses on consistently achieving a client’s aims across all project measures including performance, costs and schedule, Health Safety and Environment all within the community.

The task for Cirrus

symbion premises

With a virtualised network the key to delivering efficient use of resources around the company, hundreds-of-gigabytes of data flow through the Virtual Private Network each day. CIO Andrew Macbeth found that significant delays in Microsoft file-based data replication were occurring, negatively affecting workflow and placing business continuity at risk.

SOLUTION

Seeking a solution, Andrew called in Cirrus Networks who recommended that Silver Peak’s software-based data acceleration solutions would resolve the issue and ensure the integrity of links and reduction of risk.

Data is replicated between all sites across the Wide Area Network to ensure that everyone at Lycopodium, no matter how remote they are, has full access to corporate information and services. Links between the sites experience the usual issues caused by remote access and international distances, such as latency, jitter and packet loss.

In most cases Lycopodium has little or no option to extend bandwidth since most sites are already using the maximum link capacity available to each area. Andrew recognised that he would need to
find a solution for application acceleration and speeding up data movement using the existing network infrastructure.

Andrew said: “The link between our main office and one remote international site in particular was causing significant data replication delays throughout the rest of the organisation. Ultimately this was leading to full link utilisation having to be performed overnight, taking a number of hours
and delivering risk to the business.”

The link in question offered 2 megabits-per-second of capacity with over 150 milliseconds of latency. Packet loss was running at 20%, and spiking at 60% during times of peak traffic.

Cirrus Networks chose Silver Peak’s software-based WAN optimisation solutions, and helped Lycopodium to set up a proof-of-concept (PoC) to establish how much link acceleration could be achieved with full deployment.

Andrew added, “The evaluation process discovered almost immediately that there was significant latency and packet loss on the link, which Silver Peak’s software substantially corrected. Testing performed within the non-intrusive PoC confirmed that the product was very suitable to our requirements and could counter the challenges of our network environment.”

With help and guidance from Cirrus Networks and Silver Peak, Lycopodium staff implemented Silver Peak’s VX software at the data centre and remote offices. Deploying the software solutions proved to be very simple, and was a solution that was easy to manage once fully deployed.

During the testing process, Andrew and his team purposely ‘broke’ the Windows copy between sites, then tested the process again.

“It was great to see the second attempt essentially start from where it first left off,” added Andrew. “The Silver Peak application told Windows that all the previous data had already been sent via the cache. This checkpoint capability in transferring data is beneficial when it comes to links that can break mid-copy.”

OUTCOMES

Implementing Silver Peak’s WAN optimisation solutions has removed the issue of slow replication between the data centre and the multiple remote sites at Lycopodium. There is an 80% improvement in raw optimisation; overall speed has increased by 33% for all data. The performance of certain individual applications has been boosted by more than 33%.

The Silver Peak setup has given Lycopodium’s IT team ownership of the management and configuration of their solution, allowing them to have a more pro-active approach to data flow, as well as providing greater visibility into the company’s remote networks.

Ultimately, the fact that we have control over the management and configuration of the software delivers confidence in the software. Our replication issues have been resolved, and this gives us scope to expand and administer the environment.

Andrew Macbeth | CIO at Lycopodium

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