Robust Broadband Failover & Backup

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Project Overview

Organisation: Global Technology Ltd

Partner: Computacenter

Solution: Web Content Filtering, High Availability, VPN

Products Used: Vigor 2950 firewall, Vigor 3100 router

Case Study Summary

  • DrayTek provides Global Technology with a high capability router to terminate two SDSL lines with high priority throughput for satellite data (QOS)

  • Ensure seamless operation in the event of hardware failure to backup resources in Warrington or the remote back up location

  • Secure remote access for staff requiring access from home

 

About Global Technology

Global Technology provides an email solution for satellite users such as those on ships at sea or in remote locations that have to send email across expensive data circuits. Their flagship product, GT Mail, significantly reduces the amount of data transmitted and ensures quick and reliable transmission. This lowers expensive satellite costs tariffed on data volumes whilst ensuring message delivery. Global Tech have over 2,000 users, are based in Warrington and employ 15 staff.

The Requirements

Global Tech's data centre in Warrington has two SDSL links that take in the satellite communications where IP servers handle the reformatting, store and forward of mail. In addition to this Global Tech has a back up site at a confidential location for disaster recovery purposes. Key support staff need secure access to the data centre 24/7 from outside the office as necessary. The key requirements are summarised as follows:

  • A high capability router to terminate two SDSL lines with high priority throughput for satellite data (QOS)
  • A firewall to keep out unwanted visitors and protect the LAN
  • A fully redundant configuration that ensures seamless operation in the event of hardware failure to backup resources in Warrington or the remote back up location
  • Secure remote access for staff requiring access from home

“Our customers demand and expect reliability, so choosing the right equipment for us is vital. I'd recommend DrayTek to anybody, I've used them for business and home over many years and have found their products to be the easiest to use and most reliable in the industry”

Lee Black, Senior Technical Engineer, Global Technology Limited

The Solution

Global Tech installed a DrayTek Vigor 2950's in both Warrington and their backup/mirror office. The Vigor 2950 is a high-performance router/firewall with load-balancing and WAN failover capability as well as secure VPN. Each Vigor 2950 is connected to a pair of SDSL lines, using Vigor 3100SDSLmodem/routers.

In the event of a hardware failure the Vigor 2950 automatically switches to the second SDSL line without loss of service. The identical setup is repeated at the remote back up site allowing for continuance of service in the event of a major failure at Warrington.

As well as the satellite data, Global Tech’s Internet connectivity is used for regular business communication. The QoS (Quality of Service Assurance) feature on the Vigor 2950 ensures that the satellite traffic is always given the highest priority over all other traffic to ensure the best performance for their customers.

For Global Tech’s own staff who are home users or remote teleworkers, they run encrypted VPN tunnels into the Vigor 2950. This gives them secure access into the office network resources. Global Tech source their DrayTek and other IT products from Computacenter.

 “We like the service we receive from Computacenter including pricing, availability, logistics and our account manager is really helpful”

Lee Black, Senior Technical Engineer, Global Technology Limited

Global Tech’s headquarters in Warrington sends and receives emails from and to satellite users in compressed form; this saves costs for those users considerably as satellite data is charged by volume. Global Tech’s server then decrypts and decompresses the emails and sends them to/from the Internet. Their primary Internet connection is an SDSL line, with a secondary SDSL line to allow for failover; each of these uses a Vigor 3100 SDSL router (as a modem only).

A Vigor 2950 firewall with two WAN ports can then switch between the SDSL connections in the case of primary line failure. A second backup site is on active standby, ready to operate in the event of major failure at the Warrington sites that Global Tech’s customers can have uninterrupted service.

The Vigor 2950 provides a secure VPN tunnel between the two sites which is used for continuous data replication. Further VPN tunnels are used for teleworkers who may work from home and need access to office data or for remote monitoring. Another Vigor 2950 feature in use is QoS (Quality of Service Assurance). This gives priority to customer email traffic on the Global Tech network so that company or general Internet traffic never impacts on the performance of the main service.

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