Oracle/Talari Networks – Case Study – Dayton Superior

Dayton Superior Delivers Concrete Foundation for Business with a Talari SD-WAN

The new World Trade Center Towers. The Tappan Zee Bridge. The Panama Canal. Dayton Superior, a $400 million supplier of concrete construction supplies, is the foundation of these world-class structures—and many others. The company offers 17,000 products used for concrete accessories, chemicals, forming and paving.

A Rock-Solid Application Experience

Keeping its global construction customers building requires a high-performance, highly resilient network. The company, headquartered in Dayton, OH, has 1,200 employees working in 30 locations, including manufacturing sites, distribution centers and an innovation center. Operations span the U.S., Canada, Panama, Colombia, China and Australia. A rock-solid network is critical for smooth business operations, and for many years, Dayton Superior operated an MPLS network with primary and secondary T1 circuits to each site and data centers in Cincinnati and Dayton, OH. However, the backup WAN connections were only used when the primary circuit failed, which meant that for the vast majority of the time, the company was paying for a costly resource it wasn’t actively using. “We were wasting the bandwidth on the backup circuit,” says Dave Badgley, senior systems engineer at Dayton Superior. “We couldn’t use both network connections at the same time with our routers.” Plus, when an MPLS circuit did fail, the cutover was not seamless, so phone calls and application sessions would drop, frustrating the affected workers and customers.

Badgley found a better way when he discovered Talari’s SD-WAN solution. Talari creates a smart, responsive network that adapts in real time to bandwidth demands and actual network conditions. With Talari, Dayton Superior can ensure the best experience for critical applications and all applications take the best quality path over the network at all times. Phone calls, ERP, sales transactions, desktop virtualization and other essential business applications are assured priority over the network. “Users have a better experience with Talari,” says Badgley. “Even if a network problem occurs, phone calls and applications don’t drop, so they don’t have to reconnect.”

For example, Dayton Superior recently experienced an MPLS outage in Ohio. WAN outages can be devastating for any business, interrupting customer service and halting sales. But with Talari instantly rerouting application traffic, it was business as usual until the company’s provider could restore service. “Downtime doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, we’re prepared,” says Badgley.

A More Flexible Network

Using Talari has allowed Dayton Superior to build a more flexible, cost-effective WAN that leverages both MPLS and broadband Internet. IT can take advantage of broadband’s lower cost without worrying about reliability. “Our initial pain point was redundancy,” says Badgley. “But Talari allows us to leverage broadband Internet connections with reliability that’s better than with our MPLS circuits.” Now Dayton Superior not only has insurance against link failures, but also has more usable capacity to run the business. In addition, broadband connections can be aggregated to deliver the high speeds that are necessary to support today’s bandwidth hungry applications like video and desktop virtualization. “Employees at remote sites notice the faster network with Talari,” says Badgley. “They can no longer live on the bandwidth they used to have, and they can never go back to a single or double T1 circuit.” “I’m getting to be link-agnostic,” he says. “It seems like there’s a new broadband Internet offer every day, and with Talari, we can take advantage of these deals. Talari gives us more flexibility in building out the WAN.”

Dayton Superior no longer needs its SilverPeak WAN optimization appliances and took them out of service. “We’re aggressively moving toward VDI with VMware, and Talari will help us improve performance,” he says. “The VDI traffic is encrypted and compressed so it can’t be further optimized by the WAN optimization appliances,” says Badgley. “But Talari gives us the quality of service and guaranteed bandwidth we need to meet our service-level agreements for VDI and business applications.”

A Concrete Investment with Strong ROI

Dayton Superior has seen a solid return on its Talari investment. “We projected that if we were going to increase bandwidth at our sites to 20Mbps using MPLS, we would spend an additional $1 million over three years,” says Badgley. “We have seen a 3:1 return on our investment with Talari.” Cost avoidance isn’t the only quantifiable benefit. “With Talari we can get higher bandwidth to our remote locations for a lot less money, which makes our employees more productive.”

Having a SD-WAN from Talari gives Dayton Superior greater flexibility in choosing service providers, too. “We moved from one service provider to another without having to be onsite. The change was transparent,” he says. Installing Talari was easy too. When setting up a new site, Badgley configures the appliances and ships them out, where they can be installed by a coworker with minimal technical skills.

Greater Visibility into the WAN

Dayton Superior uses Talari Aware, a centralized management system, which allows the IT staff to configure, monitor and analyze the Talari-enabled WAN. Talari Aware makes it faster to configure Talari Appliances and provides access to detailed performance data and events that are correlated across the WAN. “I love the statistics that Talari generates,” says Badgley. “I use the data to get restitution from our service providers when we have outages.” Badgley notes that having Talari helps him troubleshoot. “Sometimes the problem is in the provider’s network. When I pull up Talari reporting and analytics, I can see what’s happening,” he says. “Otherwise, it takes a lot more effort to get the information. Talari simplifies troubleshooting as well as day-to-day management.”

The relationship with Talari has been strong. “Support is great,” he says. “They are based in the Carolinas and we’ve gotten to know them. We can send them an email and they call us back in five to 10 minutes. It’s amazing.”

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