This Financial Institution needed a cost-effective solution to enhance network capacity
CCCU is a financial institution based in British Columbia that offers banking and insurance services. The company has a head office, 30 branch locations, 800 employees, and 2 data centres.
CCCU’s legacy network was hauling traffic back to the main data centre, creating a bandwidth bottleneck. The first step was to remove legacy switches and replace them with a new Fortinet switch stack, along with a local FortiOS switch controller at each branch, managed by FortiManager. This single pane of glass management provides ease of management and policy standardization.
Bandwidth bottlenecks were causing issues
The challenge was to replace legacy end-of-life equipment from multiple vendors and standardize and centrally manage new switching infrastructure while maintaining service and avoiding disruptions.
The original network included a classic MPLS network overlaid on top of the carrier service transports that extended between a branch site router and hub routers in the data centers. A legacy ethernet switch stack partitioned into VLANs was utilized at the branches to connect remote site operators and devices. All internet traffic was centralized in the data center.
Increasing network availability and reliability of CCCU’s cybersecurity
CCCU sought to establish local broadband Internet service delivered through fiber to the branches. The new switch controllers (based on Fortigate hardware) installed for the switch project were licensed and utilized as branch firewalls. These same appliances will provide eventual SD-Wan capability in the future.
Fortinet firewalls were selected as the replacement for the legacy architecture largely due to the superior security fabric platform found in the Fortinet solution. In addition, Fortinet firewalls have built-in SD-Wan capability and superior security features, as well as the visibility and control that optimizes transport selection for different applications.
BALANCED+ engineers and project managers collaborated with the client’s networking team to architect the solution, provide configuration of the devices, plan the roll-out, and provide installation support. Collaboration was key during the planning and design phases to ensure that the correct platforms, use cases, and features could be properly evaluated. Business requirements were documented, and this was used as input into the high and low-level design that was developed.
Moving Forward With BALANCED+
BALANCED+ was able to successfully deliver CCCU’s switch project under budget and on time. The new network has allowed the company to meet the needs of its workforce more effectively.
- Increased network availability: With the addition of broadband Internet services, CCCU now has redundancy within their network and increased resiliency.
- Reduced bandwidth of MPLS circuits by off-loading non-line business applications: CCCU was able to avoid costly upgrades by migrating business applications to the Internet for access.
- Improved WAN security: With the addition of a NGFW firewall solution at the branches, CCCU has improved its security posture and gained more control over application access.
- Simplified network operations: Unified management of networks has enabled CCCU to reduce operational complexity and simplify its network infrastructure.