Patented SD-WAN technology takes pioneering role in site networking
Stationary retailers are increasingly networking with online retailers. Often retailers have a large network of branches with several branches and also operate online shops. To be successful here, the local networks of the different locations must be connected to each other. Therefore, a powerful IT infrastructure and a stable Internet connection are essential. Also Krämer equestrian, a dealer for equestrian sports with branches in Germany, Austria. France and Switzerland, relying on Peplink’s router solutions.
Krämer equestrian sports develops, distributes and sells more than 25,000 items for equestrian sports. With more than 900 employees, the company currently supplies more than 800,000 customers in Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and through its subsidiary Felix Bühler in Switzerland. The online store www.kraemer.de handles around one million orders every year. In addition to the mail order business, many locations in the DACH region and in France also have so-called mega stores, each with around 1,300 square meters of retail space.
To ensure that Krämer equestrian services can provide optimal service to its customers, the employees of the various locations must be able to communicate without interruption via the company network. A stable internet connection is essential for the continuity of the work processes, for example to process inquiries and orders in a timely manner, to complete payment transactions via the online shop or to send the newsletter. Optimized communication and optimal accessibility are today important components for customer satisfaction and thus also for the company’s success. Even short-term failures in the IT landscape can have serious consequences and significantly affect the work processes. In order to prevent this, Krämer Equestrian embarked on the search for a reliable router solution for networking and connecting its distributed locations, which ensures a stable Internet connection.
High demands on the router solution
During the Internet research, Krämer equestrian informed about various providers of router solutions, such as: Barracuda, Fortigate and Viprinet. “The requirements for the router solution were very high, so that many products from these manufacturers did not even come into question,” says Phil Stricker, Managing Director of Krämer equestrian sports. “The heterogeneous IT infrastructure, deployed across multiple countries, requires a highly flexible solution that guarantees resiliency through shorter and transparent failover times at all times.” Finally, the company relied on the manufacturer Peplink and its distributor in the DACH region, Vitel, attentive. The team around Mr. Stricker contacted the value-added distributor to keep track of the router solutions. Vitel provided advice and support to the company and assisted in the selection of products to find the optimum solution for the individual requirements of Krämer equestrian sports. The Peplink products impress with their integrated multi-WAN functions to ensure the required connection quality. The decision finally fell on the products of the balance series.
Bandwidth aggregation for maximum reliability
Based on the patented SpeedFusion technology, the external locations could be connected to the central corporate network of Krämer equestrian sports. The implementation initially encountered errors with the router protocol OSPF (Open Shortest Path First). However, the initial problems were quickly resolved by Vitel’s experts so that the data packets could be efficiently transported through the connected networks.
The Peplink router solutions support different types of connections such as SD-WAN, such as: MPLS, LTE, DSL and fiber. Their speed and bandwidth are bundled into a single WAN connection. Bundling thus enables stable VPN networking and maximum bandwidth. If there is a network connection failure, the system detects it and redirects the packet-level traffic to an alternative connection. Separate sending of the data packets over available WAN-to-WAN links occurs after the establishment of the Bandwidth-bound SpeedFusion tunnel. Each packet is individually encrypted and thus inaccessible for a man-in-the-middle attack. Connection errors are detected immediately and switched to a pre-prioritized connection. A core function of the technology is also the hot failover with the ability to switch from one WAN connection to another without the risk of session termination. Thus, even in connection switching, e.g. ensure fail-safe communication with the merchandise management system.
The central on-premises management platform InControl supports the executives of Krämer Equestrian as a Virtual Appliance (ICVA) during the rollout as well as in the daily administration and monitoring of the entire site networking. So they can manage and control independently of time and place.
Long-term planning with peplink routers
When selecting and implementing the solution, future requirements were also considered. So the setup has directly provided 100 locations as a basis. In the first six months, four existing locations were initially networked; In the long term, the company plans to gradually equip all 52 sites with Peplink devices.
“The solution is exceptionally reliable in the multi-WAN environment. It does not replace firewalls, but it does clean the core functions, “says Phil Stricker. “For technical problems, Vitel support helped us at all times and responded quickly. In the future, we will continue to contact the distributor’s experts if they have any questions, and together we will push ahead with further expansion. ”
To ensure that all Krämer Equestrian employees can do their job in the best possible way – whether on the move, at the headquarters in Hockenheim or in the field offices – a stable connection to the corporate network is required. With the new router solutions and the patented SpeedFusion technology, the company has a powerful base for site networking. SD-WAN technology bundles different connection types into a single WAN connection. It detects potential connection failures and seamlessly routes packet-level traffic over the other available connections. The Hot Failover feature ensures that sessions continue when the connections change. The routers guarantee location-independent and above all uninterrupted communication as well as the reliable data exchange at Krämer equestrian sports.