Abstract:

Rathbone Wine Group is an Australian national winery enterprise, growing and producing wines in Western Australia and Victoria. They have approximately 245 personnel in four locations with a self hosted data centre in Melbourne, Australia.

Network performance was poor and the network provider was unable to deliver an adequate explanation of the cause or an affordable solution.

With the installation of Sinefa, performance problems were immediately identified and inappropriate traffic controlled. Network performance improved and the network manager is now better informed and ready to make infrastructure investment decisions that will future proof the network.

Background

Rathbone have used Telstra as their internet service provider since inception. They have four locations including a head office and data centre in Melbourne, Australia. They had a three-year premium service contract with Telstra, costing AU$16,000 per month. Telstra provides a VPN via the Connect IP service and managed firewall service.

Their core enterprise application is Microsoft Dynamics, with Office 365 used extensively across their 245 seat network. They also have a critical software application for staff pay. Remote sites are connected by RDP with link speeds varying from 500Kbps to 10Mbps. Their warehouse management solution is provided by Manhattan Associates.

One regional connection is via NBN satellite, while the others are traditional ADSL links.

The Challenge

Rathbone were experiencing serious network slowness. Some users complained they were forced to stop work because their applications would not run. At times even the network manager struggled to get access to the network. The NOC was receiving up to 12 or more service calls per week and keeping the network running was consuming a large amount of time.

They sought a solution from Telstra and considered WAN optimization technology (Riverbed) or additional bandwidth. However they did not want to invest in either option without first knowing what was causing the problem.

Network performance was further exacerbated by migration to Office 365 and upgrading to Windows 10.

The Solution

They decided to try Sinefa using a free trial. An account was set up in minutes, a zero configuration probe deployed and there was no intrusion to the existing network infrastructure or requirement for Telstra involvement. Immediately they found that employees were hammering the network with social media; in particular Facebook, Sound Cloud and iTunes.

They were able to immediately improve network performance with traffic shaping, specifically by de-prioritizing social media. They also identified and have spoken to a number of staff who were using bandwidth excessively.

Recently an executive was having trouble completing online video training via YouTube. They were instantly able to increase the priority for YouTube for a short period while the training was completed.

Since installation, they have continued to develop their shaping policies to get exactly the right balance between critical apps and social media. They noted that this was very easy to do using Sinefa’s traffic shaping feature.

Results

They have virtually no service calls at the NOC since Sinefa has been installed.

With complete WAN and internet visibility, they are able to make informed decisions about additional bandwidth and infrastructure requirements. Telstra are now able to coherently support them as they undertake a complete review of their infrastructure, with a thorough understanding of their network traffic.

They are also looking at migrating their data centre to the cloud, with Telstra providing advice and support.

In Conclusion

Both Rathbone and Telstra have benefited from the installation of Sinefa. Rathbone have a better performing and easier to manage network with less service calls to the NOC. Telstra, have a happier client with much lower service costs and the opportunity to discuss more investment in bandwidth.

The visibility and control provided by Sinefa benefited all stakeholders. Staff have a much better network experience, business productivity is higher, the network manager has a substantially lower workload and Telstra retained a customer and are now able to provide better support for the long term.