by CIO New Zealand

Fitzroy Engineering taps Kordia for SD-WAN rollout

Aug 06, 2018
Data CenterDigital TransformationIT Leadership

The nature of our business is that we’ll set up new sites at short notice, so this sort of flexibility is incredibly valuableMartin Du Plooy, Fitzroy Engineering.

New Plymouth-based Fitzroy Engineering, a trans-Tasman leader in oil and gas and energy engineering services, has selected Kordia for the rollout of its six-site SD-WAN throughout New Zealand.

The SD-WAN solution is based on CiscoMeraki equipment and will be supported by Kordia’s team of network experts on an ongoing basis.

The initial requirement for a WAN was a traditional multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) arrangement. However, SD-WAN fast emerged as a more suitable option, says Martin Du Plooy, information systems manager at Fitzroy Engineering.

“In researching the available options, SD-WAN emerged as the better solution for our business as it provides far more flexibility, and much lower operational costs, as we are able to combine the benefits of carrier-grade MPLS connections with the internet,” says Du Plooy, in a statement.

Murray Goodman, head of product at Kordia, says that Fitzroy Engineering is just one of the many businesses discovering the benefits of SD-WAN over a traditional WAN.

“SD-WAN routers can combine the bandwidth of multiple access technologies – such as wireless, cellular or fixed-line – allowing for bandwidth to be added or reduced easily as requirements evolve. Multiple access links also make the network inherently more reliable. The technology also enables rapid deployment of WAN services to remote sites without the need for specialised IT personnel on-site,” he says.

“With the ability for rapid deployment and reduced total cost through centralised management, the appeal of SD-WAN – particularly for those businesses with distributed operations or cloud-based applications – is apparent,” Goodman notes.

These features made SD-WAN particularly attractive to Fitzroy Engineering, because it provides the ability to rapidly deploy a single device in any new location where internet connectivity is available and enjoy full access to the corporate network, says Du Plooy.

“The nature of our business is that we’ll set up new sites at short notice, so this sort of flexibility is incredibly valuable.”

Fitzroy Engineering is a subsidiary of Dialog Group Berhad, based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and has offices around New Zealand and Australia.

Du Plooy explains the company’s existing use of virtual private networking was often unreliable, presenting risk to the business, which he wanted to eliminate.

“One aspect of that is a PABX system at end of life; we need to upgrade to a more modern voice over IP-capable solution and that’s just not possible with our current inter-branch connectivity.”

When Du Plooy initially tested the market, SD-WAN was so new that few, if any, local providers had it on offer. “Most providers came back with hybrid solution or standard MPLS offerings, or wildly expensive and clearly speculative pricing for an SD-WAN.”

However, Kordia itself was investigating the solution and identified a market need for it, says Goodman.

“In addition to our own research, a number of clients were showing interest in SD-WAN; we’ve developed the capability, upskilled our teams and achieved the necessary certifications to be among the first to offer SD-WAN locally.”

Du Plooy says the new system fully addresses Fitzroy’s business requirements, including appropriate support and management structures which allow his team to perform administrative tasks.

“We’re quite hands on; with a lot of minor configuration tasks, it’s just simpler to do it yourself rather than logging a ticket,” he points out.

“On any new site we can simply drop in a Meraki device, plug in an internet connection and enjoy the exact same network services as everyone else in the company,” he adds. “That’s what we’re doing with the Australian office; a Meraki just slots into the existing infrastructure, and the corporate network is there.”

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