March 21, 2011
WAN Optimization Accelerates Server Consolidation at Thompsons Solicitors
By Ashok Bindra, TMCnet Contributor
Using Expand Networks’ WAN optimization technology, the U.K.’s personal injury practicing company, Thompsons Solicitors, has achieved a company-wide server consolidation. As a result, Expand’s WAN Accelerators are enhancing application and data performance for Thompsons' 1000-strong workforce, distributed in its branch offices across the U.K., as well as assuring their user experience while 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 U.K., Thompsons embarked upon a server consolidation strategy to simplify its IT infrastructure and reduce costs across the organization. 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 Expand’s WAN Accelerator as a solution that would protect the increased volume of sensitive Citrix traffic, vulnerable to WAN congestion.
In a statement, Harris said, "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 independent computing architecture (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 (News - Alert) technology.
Furthermore, Harris commented, "Expand was the clear winner almost as soon as it was out of the box." He added, "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 data center, 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.
Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Jaclyn Allard