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Building a better WAN: Detmold takes a leap of faith

Sri Narayanan and Adrian M. Reodique | Aug. 21, 2017
How has Detmold Packaging benefited by deploying SD-WAN in its manufacturing operations in Asia Pacific?

After an internal network audit (e.g. MPLS, routers, and WAN Optimisation application), and reviewing the cost and performance, they selected SD-WAN as the backbone of their new network WAN connection.



Tim Sullivan, CEO at Coevolve, noted that having a detailed business case and migration plan was a critical step in greenlighting the project. "Our due diligence to Detmold was to ensure we had extensive testing before migration so we proposed a two-month proof-of-concept in Detmold's Adelaide data centre, Singapore and some sites in Vietnam."

Stork noted: "I think we can't underestimate the necessity of the proof of concept. The migration would not have gone ahead without it." He also underscored the importance of constructing the WAN to meet the scope of the project. "Coevolve handled this aspect very well because one of our priorities was to ensure minimal disruption during the transition."

Several sites were prioritised including Detmold's warehousing and manufacturing facilities. "At some sites, we needed dual-access links but we weren't sure if we could get high-quality ISP connectivity. For example, in China, we knew there were good internet service providers (ISPs) but it had to work with our core network requirements," said Stork.

To resolve this, Coevolve provided Detmold with lots of information on next-generation network vendor options. There was a lot of hands-on testing and personnel on the ground to assess these options against some challenging country-specific conditions. "In the end, we selected VeloCloud's SD-WAN implementation because we realised we could apply a high-level WAN design through to an achievable roadmap," Sullivan recalled.


Nuts and bolts

Detmold leveraged VeloCloud's customer-premise equipment, VeloCloud Edge, to aggregate the multiple internet links at their branch offices, including Ethernet, cable, DSL, and 4G-LTE.

The Edge uses cloud-based orchestration which allows Detmold's branch offices to connect to any type of data centre, enterprise, cloud, or Software-as-as-Service (SaaS). The orchestrator management also provides the company with a centralised configuration, real-time monitoring, and one-click provisioning of its virtual services.

After the successful proof-of-concept (PoC), Detmold was able to fully replace its existing MPLS WAN, including WAN Optimisation, with SD-WAN. Since the individual site network infrastructure designs were unique, Detmold documented all the procedures for each site to ensure the seamless shift from PoC to actual project deployment.

"From the start, we had a lot of the global IP addressing sorted out but the service provider IP addresses required a little more time. We had to work this out for each site before we could go live," said Stork. He added that clear and concise documentation helped the on-boarding process and network integration tremendously. "By the end of the project, we were able to coordinate this process with just one phone call to Coevolve."


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