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Infoblox SD-WAN: Multinational Energy Company

At this large multinational energy company, competitive pressure was driving modernization and cost-reduction efforts. What began as a targeted effort in December of 2017 to provide guest access at remote sites expanded into a worldwide replacement of the network services environment, moving from MPLS private WAN, Microsoft/BIND and other solutions to an SD-WAN deployment. As a result of the Infoblox solution, the company expects to save $4.9 million over five years.

The Challenge

This company operates in a highly competitive environment in a rapidly changing world, and it needs to meet new demands quickly. Its aim was to build a strong and flexible strategy that could adapt as the pace and path to the future became clear. The company also wanted to enhance efficiencies by modernizing and digitizing its business processes using technology and data. These goals made it necessary to embrace advanced technologies that would reduce operating costs.

The Situation

In managing its vast network locations, the company used Microsoft/BIND and an assortment of other network services, such as BT Diamond, that were acquired through mergers. Initially, the company’s focus was to stop managing its own datacenters and move workloads to the cloud. The commercial objectives of moving to public and private clouds were to enhance agility, reduce costs, and free up IT resources.

However, the company’s use of traditional IT management and manual processes would undercut the benefits it sought from a cloud architecture. Administrative inefficiencies and inconsistencies led to network disruptions and increased security risks. Visibility was spotty and cumbersome spreadsheets were used to manage thousands of IP addresses. In addition, provisioning of new compute instances was a labor-intense process. As a result, the company determined early in its engagement with Infoblox that it needed to completely modernize cloud access for its more than 350 sites worldwide that had been using MPLS-based private WAN connectivity.

The Solution

The company chose SD-WAN technology from Versa for modernizing connectivity in conjunction with adopting zScaler and Palo Alto Networks for security. These technologies gave the company’s sites a secure Internet breakout point in every region: the Americas, EMEA, and APAC. For core network services, (DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, or DDI) the company standardized on Infoblox for DDI. For added survivability, the company chose high-availability pairs of the latest generation of Infoblox Trinzic appliances for its regional hubs and remote sites. For the company, being cut off from headquarters or the Internet would no longer disrupt business operations. Deployment is being rolled out over 2.5 years.

As the company considered its vendor options, automation was another important consideration. The energy provider is migrating to a DevOps-style deployment model using Ansible Playbooks. Infoblox DDI integration with Ansible was a key factor in why the company selected Infoblox over other competitors. The company was also drawn to Infoblox because of Infoblox ecosystem integrations, such as those with Aruba ClearPass identity management, which would enable the energy company to maximize the value of its existing investments.

The Result

For the energy company, deploying Infoblox core network infrastructure is estimated to provide $1.9 million in savings over the next five years. IP assets will be dynamically discovered and captured in an authoritative IPAM database, providing the visibility needed for compliance and vulnerability issues. An additional $3 million savings over this same period is expected thanks to increased automation for VM orchestration.

Lastly, with the Infoblox solution, the company’s security operations team expects to be able to more rapidly address security issues as a result of enhanced device-level visibility (e.g., name, device, location) of malicious activity and through Infoblox’s extensive ecosystem integrations.

With Infoblox, this global energy supplier is gaining a unique enterprise-class architecture for core network services that ensures maximum uptime, centralizes management and gives real-time global visibility across physical as well as virtual appliances.

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