LeasePlan, a global leader in fleet management and driver mobility, has more than 1.7 million vehicles across its over 110 branches across 32 countries. LeasePlan has chosen Citrix as their solution for virtual desktops and applications (Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops) to help simplify their IT needs and lower their IT costs across their multiple branch locations in which they rely as well on a network powered by Citrix.
Global IT Operations Manager Ronan Murray says, “NetScaler is the Swiss Army knife of our data center. We use most of the functions, from WAF to SSL Caching to load balancing.”
Everything is managed from LeasePlan’s data centers in Ireland, and branches are connected to the center with dedicated multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) lines.
“MPLS is a relatively old technology now, meaning it’s mature, and it’s safe,” Murray explains. “But it’s also expensive, and as we need failover, our backup circuits are only used when the primary link fails. We spend several million Euros a year on our global network. Agility was also an issue, activating new circuits can take months and we need new locations stood up in days and weeks. We need to be able to move at the speed of our business, which is accelerating all the time.”
LeasePlan branches had to have their internet connections routed over MPLS lines and through their Dublin Data centers, which caused suboptimal performance for their business-critical applications such as Skype. Murray says, “with the increased demand for cloud services, having local ‘breakout’ connections is more and more important. People need to be closer to their SaaS services to get the best possible user experience, backhauling internet traffic through our data centres is sub-optimal for our users.”
“We chose Citrix SD-WAN because we had a really positive proof of concept experience,” Murray says. “The Citrix product set is really, really good. Citrix SD-WAN is incredibly clever in the way that it moves traffic around, the way it monitors issues on the network, and is able to pass traffic between different circuits depending on variations within those circuits.”
SD-WAN helps manage traffic across different connections such as broadband, ADSL,4G and even smaller MPLS links, this results in a faster, more reliable connectivity with SD-WAN optimizing traffic, resulting in a dramatic cost reduction for LeasePlan.
Powering the transition from data center to cloud
With SD-WAN, LeasePlan can provide secure local internet breakout for its branches so they can access cloud applications using a local connection and connect directly to the data center for hosted applications.
“The biggest benefit that SD-WAN has brought LeasePlan is not the savings, the extra bandwidth, and the other features—it’s the ability to pivot very simply to the cloud,” Murray says.
“When we need data from the data center, we go there. When we need data from the cloud, we go direct to cloud. We’re not hair-pinning or backhauling data through the data center anymore, and that gives a much better user experience, a much more efficient model for IT, and a much more efficient model for the end users.”
Availability and security
Using SD-WAN, IT can manage traffic at a very granular level, prioritizing individual applications over particular circuits. The result is high availability and low latency for users. Murray gives an example:
“When we went live with SD-WAN in Norway, the internet circuit wasn’t ready, so we just went live purely with a 4G SIM card in the back of the device. We got 50 meg down and 10 meg up, and the users there were ecstatic. They are getting bandwidth, performance, and availability like they haven’t seen before—from a SIM card! That’s pretty incredible.”
Communications are secure, too.
“A secure tunnel is created across every circuit and even every queue for MPLS,” Murray says. “Overall, that’s more secure than MPLS alone.”
If you have any inquiries with regards to Citrix SD-WAN, you may read the source article here or you may contact us at 893-9515 and we will be happy to answer your questions!