Established in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, UK, in 1974, Allparts distributes auto parts to more than 3000 auto repair firms from its head office and nine branch offices located across the north and west Home Counties and London. It stocks more than £10 million of auto parts for all makes of European and Japanese vehicles in more than 100,000 square feet of warehouse space. More than 100 delivery vehicles provide “delivery on demand” in one hour or less to trade customers. Allparts maintains a centralized networking environment, providing email, Internet browsing and terminal services for all locations via the head office. To provide connectivity to the branch locations, Allparts deployed a Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) network with a single ADSL-based tail circuit connecting each remote site, plus an Internet VPN for failover backup. The ADSL circuits provided approximately 1.5 Mbps, however, contention among users often reduced available bandwidth.
Failover from the MPLS circuits to the VPNs was managed through BGP, which polled all links every five minutes. This meant that a branch could be down for up to five minutes before the backup circuit was activated. “Customers expect deliveries within an hour of a phone call. Five minutes of downtime would be a real problem at a branch,” says Nick Fulford, IT Manager at Allparts. When a failover occurred, and it happened all too often, there was no notification to alert IT staff. Often the link didn’t fail back, leaving users stranded on the slower backup line for days. In time, the backup might also fail, cutting all communication with the head office.
Even when the ADSL links were working, bandwidth was inadequate, creating a bottleneck between branches and the head office. But because the MPLS supplied the ADSL links, Allparts had few choices. It also frustrated Fulford that he could not take advantage of the idle VPN bandwidth. What he needed was a network that could provide more resilience and more bandwidth; one with instant failover, timely notifications and the ability to utilize all circuits simultaneously.
“Over five years, we calculate a savings of £80,000 with Talari.”
Agenda IT and Talari Solution
Agenda IT, Allparts’ managed service provider, suggested that he consider Talari Networks. Talari’s Adaptive Private Networking (APN) technology steers data over the best, most reliable route, over multiple connections from diverse carriers. APN technology aggregates two or more network connections at each site and continuously monitors performance of every network path between locations. Measurements of loss, latency and jitter are used to detect and respond in a sub-second time frame to congestion, allowing the solution to make real-time traffic engineering decisions on a packet-by-packet basis.
Recognizing the benefits of the Talari solution, Fulford worked with Agenda IT to install Talari Mercury T3000 appliances at the head office and in the Hayes remote office, and a Mercury T200 at each of the branch locations. He then replaced the unreliable MPLS network and low-bandwidth ADSL tail circuits with higher-speed DSL lines—two at smaller sites and three at larger locations. “We’ve got about four times the bandwidth than we used to have,” says Fulford. “Talari sends traffic down all links at the same time and notifies us immediately if a link should fail.” Rather than ‘failover,’ the Talari solution uses all of the available bandwidth most of the time and ‘fails away’ from bad bandwidth within a fraction of a second so that all of the connections to the head office stay active.
Talari has dramatically increased Allparts’ flexibility to meet changing business needs. “With our old MPLS network it would take 30 business days to add or change a tail circuit, and the carrier often didn’t meet due dates,” says Fulford. “Now a DSL takes a week or less, and we have a choice of providers.”
The biggest benefit Talari delivers, in addition to greater reliability and higher performance, is lower total cost of ownership. “Our entire network was costing us £50,000 a year,” estimates Fulford. “When we began leasing the Talari appliances that dropped immediately to £40,000, a £10,000 savings straight off. And over five years, we calculate a savings of £80,000 with Talari.”
Agenda IT, Allparts’ MSP, was key to the successful deployment of Talari within Allparts’ network. “Upon designing and implementing the wide area network for Allparts, Talari was the only solution that resolved all the issues Allparts had: reduced costs, increased bandwidth, increased resilience, quality of service and ease of management,” said Mike Adams, Agenda IT technical director. “Talari allowed us to be carrier independent and gives us the flexibility to change carriers as the market develops. Allparts now own the intelligence within their network, which means they can control and alter the network as their business develops. This also means the network will be as good for their business in five years as it is today, no matter how the business develops.”
“Talari sends traffic down all links at the same time and notifies us immediately if a
link should fail.”
About Talari Networks, Inc.
Talari Networks is redefining WAN reliability and performance quality. By aggregating multiple broadband links and continuously adapting to the quality of the network, Talari enables true enterprise-class quality and reliability at consumer prices. Talari’s patented technology delivers 30-100 times gain in bandwidth per dollar, 40-90 percent on-going WAN cost reductions and greater visibility and reliability than MPLS or any other private network. In 2011, Talari was named a Gartner Cool Vendor and its Mercury T750 won Best of Interop–Performance Optimization. www.talari.com
About Agenda IT
Agenda IT provides a broad range of communications solutions to small- and medium-sized companies across the UK. Established in 2010, Agenda IT’s goal is to understand its clients’ businesses and tailor solutions to meet their individual challenges, so that client companies can focus their investment on areas of technology that will bring the maximum benefit to their bottom line. Agenda IT is a technically-led company that provides sound solutions delivering real and measureable benefits to all its clients. http://www.agenda-it.co.uk/