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Packaging firm wraps network issues with WAN Optimization as a Service

When Rieke Packaging Systems tried to roll out a new ERP system, its old MPLS connectivity couldn't deliver the goods. Enter: cloud-based WAN.

A global packaging company has successfully contained its wide area network performance issues by turning to a WAN Optimization as a Service provider for connectivity.

Auburn, Ind.-based Rieke Packaging Systems (RPS) last year tapped Aryaka and its WAN Optimization as a Service offering to replace a Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS)-based network that was no longer serving the company's needs, said Dave Cox, the company's director of IT.

RPS, a unit of Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based TriMas Corp., has 13 offices in the United States, China, France, Germany, England and Mexico. The company manufactures a wide array of packaging and packaging materials, from spray bottles to steel drum closures and dispensing systems.

Company's WAN performance bottlenecks after ERP

Cox said RPS began experiencing isolated WAN throughput issues after it started deploying Microsoft Lync to its 500 users to anchor its video conferencing and instant messaging. Performance took a significant nosedive, however, in 2012 as RPS rolled out new enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. "Once we added that to the MPLS workload, we had performance issues, and not just in one site, but all the sites," Cox said.

Frustrated with his attempts to obtain relief from RPS' MPLS provider, Cox said he reached out to Aryaka, proposing that RPS use Aryaka's technology to connect its headquarters and its northern California facilities, where many users complained about application performance.

"We put it in, and voila, all the performance issues went away; it was like night and day," Cox said.

Aryaka's cloud-based WAN optimization relies on globally distributed points of presence (PoPs) to transmit data through multiple, dedicated private links, harnessed by quality of service. Once connected, the network can be operational in much less time than the weeks or months it might take to provision an MPLS link. Aryaka counts "several hundred" customers for its cloud-based WAN and Network as a Service offerings, said Ajit Gupta, Aryaka's CEO. The firm has almost 30 PoPs, the most recent in South Africa and Japan.

Throughput, performance increase after deployment

That ease of provisioning, in combination with the better performance RPS recorded as a result of the trial, convinced Cox to drop his MPLS connectivity in favor of Aryaka's service. Traffic now zips along at 2 Mbps to 6 Mbps, a much faster rate than the MPLS links provided. And Cox said complaints about application performance have dropped to zero.

Easing traffic and ensuring consistent performance is only part of the equation, however. Cox said Aryaka allows his department to "respond more quickly than ever before to the changing business environment."

"If we acquired a company and I called up a vendor and said I needed an MPLS connection in China, I know I can't get that connection for at least 90 days. With Aryaka, I can not only request it, but it's up and running within a week. It's a huge business case environment, because I now have a way to provide [corporate] with the service they demand."

Cox said migrating to Aryaka has also resulted in significant cost savings; RPS has used some of the money it formerly earmarked to support its MPLS network to pay for the installation of redundant Internet connectivity at each of its global offices.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Chuck Moozakis, site editor.

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