Woodstream is a market leader in the consumer packaged goods industry. The company has manufacturing facilities and distribution centers in Pennsylvania, Missouri, Tennessee, Minnesota, Texas, Canada, the U.K. and China. Woodstream’s wide area network connects its U.S. locations to the headquarters data center in Lititz, plus connects headquarters and the U.K. facilities. In all, nine locations are connected using Ecessa WAN Virtualization, because their business requires a network that is Never Down.
- Prior to installing the Ecessa solution, each Woodstream location had one Internet connection per location. “Some of our locations are in the middle of nowhere, making it hard to find Internet connections with decent service,” said Larry Schumacher, at Woodstream. When Internet links failed, Woodstream locations lost connectivity and in many cases couldn’t work at all. “In our environment, 100% network uptime is critical. Our business is manufacturing and distribution, and our mechanism for getting orders to our plants is our VPN fabric. Our network has to work for us to work.”
- Woodstream implemented Ecessa’s WANworX WAN Virtualization technology to enable the use of multiple WAN connections. The goal was for each location to have two broadband connections from different ISPs to mitigate the very real risk of an outage. According to Schumacher, “Every day one or two ISP connections go down, but that’s no longer an issue, since we installed the Ecessa solution. That problem is gone.”
- Network traffic for Woodstream includes Citrix, email, file sharing, database replication and warehouse management. Headquarters has an MPLS link to the UK office and 3 broadband links. The UK facility has two broadband links in addition to its MPLS circuit. Creating a virtualized WAN with Ecessa enables Woodstream’s network traffic to flow over all available communication links. If a line goes down, traffic is automatically routed to the remaining good links. “Even when our MPLS links fail, which they do, from time to time, our users don’t notice anything different,” said Schumacher. “With WANworX in place, we’ve never had a problem, we’ve never gone down. Ever.”