- Lacked visibility into their MPLS links which were experiencing frequent issues
- Limited personnel and tools to quickly and effectively troubleshoot problems
- nGeniusONE® Service Assurance platform
- InfiniStreamNG™ software appliance
- nGenius® 5010 Packet Flow Switch
- Reduced MTTR to resolve issues impacting their factories and assembly lines
- More cost-effective, evidence-based MPLS budgeting and spending for remote site connectivity
This United States manufacturer of consumer products has expanded in the last several years through organic increases in sales on internally developed products, as well as through strategic, targeted mergers and acquisitions. One such recent acquisition expanded the company from roughly 25 manufacturing and distribution locations worldwide to more than 50, supporting product distribution in over 100 countries in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Their 5,000 employees, supporting billions in annual revenue globally, depend on the availability and performance of their distributed data network for enterprise resource planning (ERP) and production applications, order processing and customer resource management (CRM) applications, Web portals for distribution and sales, and general business services ranging from email to Unified Communications (UC).
This manufacturer has a technically superior information technology (IT) team, passionate about delivering network and application services to all their employees around the world. And as is often the case in today’s organizations, there were not enough IT resources to meet technical demands. When reports of issues with application access from their remote manufacturing and warehouse locations to their data center were increasing, the IT team was losing valuable time trying to pinpoint the cause. Their legacy tools did not provide the necessary visibility into their Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network between the data center and their 50+ locations to see what was consuming the bandwidth and why there were intermittent disruptions. With revenue, customer satisfaction, employee productivity, and end-user experience at top of mind for this IT team, they quickly pursued a strategy to bring visibility into their domain.
Solution in Action
The IT staff at this consumer manufacturer moved fast and in less than three months evaluated their current performance management tools, researched alternative monitoring approaches, and evaluated a couple of select vendors to provide the level of visibility and service assurance for their specific needs. Architects and engineers from the network team, along with a member of the Network Security Engineering team all participated in the evaluation, selecting NETSCOUT® for both service assurance and packet broker technology.
There were several reasons that the IT team selected NETSCOUT for this project:
- Priority to use real-time, continuous packet traffic monitoring due to the value and benefits it provided
- NETSCOUT’s patented Adaptive Service Intelligence™ (ASI) technology leverages “smart data” from InfiniStreamNG appliances monitoring packets across the network
- “Smarter analytics” in nGeniusONE Service Assurance platform from ASI data assure performance, manage risk, and facilitate superior decision-making regarding their application and network services to the remote locations over the MPLS network
- Application level visibility into more than 1,000 application services, including those critical to their business (e.g., ERP, CRM, Web portals) and general business services like e-mail and unified communications
- Rich, detailed analytics in real-time and over time related to specific applications being accessed, the amount of bandwidth they consume, their response times to and from remote sites, and overall application utilization trends to ensure bandwidth availability at each plant and warehouse
- Simplified performance management with a single vendor for both service assurance with the nGeniusONE solution and for the packet broker technology with the nGenius 5010 packet flow switch for aggregating and distributing packet data to the InfiniStreamNG appliances and other analysis tools as appropriate
Reducing the Mean-Time-to-Resolve (MTTR) issues impacting their manufacturing and distribution sites has been the biggest benefit to this manufacturer. Time is money in manufacturing, and restoring quick access and availability to customer orders, inventory levels, and shipping data is essential to avoid a direct financial impact to the business. With nGeniusONE and InfiniStreamNG software appliances now in the data center monitoring traffic between each site, the networking team can proactively detect and address issues as they arise across the MPLS network to minimize or even avoid disruption.
The nGeniusONE solution is even making them more proactive with trended data that helps identify locations which need timely additional bandwidth, or even a reduction in bandwidth. This helps to develop better relationships with their MPLS vendors around the world, while simultaneously improving their IT budgeting based on usage evidence for each location that didn’t exist previously.