Australia’s Tru Blu Beverages sees network sparkle with Silver Peak

Tru Blu Beverages, whose Australian-manufactured soft drinks include Waterfords, Pub Squash, LA Ice Cola and Wicked Energy Drink, has achieved sparkling results with Silver Peak WAN optimization software.

Today the company is supporting its business on a lighter and lower cost infrastructure than competing vendors could achieve.

The daily average of 800 gigabytes (GB) of data pushed through the firm’s network shrinks to 100 GB when optimized by Silver Peak’s software. Overall data transfer is optimized by 91 percent, while HTTP is 96 percent optimized and email by 34 percent.

Total replication is optimized by 57 percent and SIP traffic by 42 percent.

“We found no other vendor capable of optimizing all our network traffic like Silver Peak does,” said Joe Esposito, Tru Blu Beverages National IT Manager. “Riverbed and Blue Coat only really optimize web traffic and file servers. Very few vendors can handle VoIP, which runs on UDP, and few offer any packet correction or ability to improve latencies.”

Tru Blu Beverages runs a VPLS network between five offices across Australia and a Sydney-based data center. The company operates 4 megabit-per-second (Mbps) links to remote offices in Western Australia, Queensland, Victoria and a small office in Sydney; 8 Mbps links to the head office in Sydney, and 25 Mbps to its Sydney data center.

These connections carry data from core applications including email services, Internet, business applications, databases and smaller applications, and cater for 200-plus users.

Users access the data center via remote desktop for Microsoft Dynamics and other small applications. Each user link terminates in the data center for Internet access through a proxy server. Some 25-30 users run VMware View via PCoIP. Wyse Thin Client are used to connect to VMware View for their Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).

Tru Blu runs blade servers and Fibre Channel storage as their backend infrastructure in the data center.

The company relies on a Silver Peak VX-5000 in its data center and a VX-2000 at the head office, which both are virtual appliances that run on VMware. Silver Peak NX-1000 physical appliances are present in each branch office. The data center is fully virtualized for Microsoft Exchange, SQL, File/Print/Application services and their core ERP system.

There is a standalone server at each branch office for local file/print access and branch user access remote applications from the Data center through Microsoft Remote Desktop Services.

When Esposito first sought new WAN optimization capabilities, P&N Beverages, the company from which Tru Blu was derived, was already using Blue Coat MACH5 technology.

The company wanted to improve performance, and Mikhael Haidar from IT consultancy Networx, introduced Silver Peak.

After validating Silver Peak’s capabilities, Tru Blu trialled the Silver Peak software.

“The trial was a success,” said Esposito. “Silver Peak is able to optimize most network packets, correcting packet problems in real time, and overcoming latency dramatically.”

Silver Peak has also helped Tru Blu’s migration to VoIP. Today the company has 160 VoIP phones in use, with every branch office connected to the telephone system in the data center. “With Silver Peak we get very few drop-outs or quality issues, and the technology also does a good job monitoring our network.”

Silver Peak has given Tru Blu a better option for centralizing data, allowing CIFS file transfers, HTTP, email, printing, application software, and all Microsoft replication across the WAN. Previously the firm branch offices backup would be local only having nightly disk and tape backup for offsite storage. As a third tier of redundancy, they now replicate backup jobs (15GB to 30GB of data) to the data center overnight. Silver Peak software ability to compress and dedupe data incredibly well allows massive data transfer over the WAN.

Tru Blu uses SilverPeak Global Management System (GMS) via a central console, IT staff monitor everything through a single device and can make configuration changes across all Silver Peak appliances from a centrally management tool. Esposito receives an e-mail with the previous week’s traffic figures which shows what’s been optimized by traffic class, network throughput/acceleration, network integrity, data volume (raw/optimized) and appliance information. “On average, we replicate about 800GB of LAN data per day,” he says. “But with Silver Peak, we only need to send 100 GB across the WAN.”

“Networx and Silver Peak helped us to improve the network. We no longer need our original link capacity, which has reduced costs as throughput is now minimal. Also user experience responsiveness is improved – without Silver optimization software, we would not be able to centralise files, emails and other business services since the network would have been too slow.

“We have definitely improved the way we do business with Silver Peak,” says Esposito. Whenever his team looks at a new project, they always check to see how they can use Silver Peak software, since it has become central to the infrastructure.”