Mafatlal Industries reports 30-40% cost savings with SD WAN deployment

Shibin Chulliparambil
Shibin Chulliparambil

Indian textile major, Mafatlal Industries has marked over 30 per cent of cost savings following the company’s IT infrastructure revamping efforts. Mafatlal Industries’ growth led to the need to expand its IT setup as well. This included implementing an ERP system and centralizing the varied functions across different locations. As all the IT systems and the various functions became centralized, the company felt the need for having a strong and dependable networking infrastructure in place. As part of its networking infrastructure, the company already had a primary MPLS internet link of 10 mbps in place. However, in order to ensure a reliable network and one that would not get impacted by any downtime to the primary link, it needed to build in redundancy.

Overall, the SD WAN technology met the company’s key criteria of providing a redundant network, reliable connectivity. As part of its vendor evaluation process, Mafatlal shortlisted SD WAN solutions from Citrix and other OEMs. The company started its implementation of Citrix Netscaler SD WAN in January 2017 and went live by May 2017.

Speaking about the major challenges faced by the company prior to SD WAN implementation, Shibin Chulliparambil, Head – IT, Mafatlal Industries, says, “We didn’t have good connectivity network acrosss locations. It was very weak and we were looking to revamp the network. However, even after the revamping, the connectivity wasn’t stable in remote locations; there were frequent disconnections and drop in packets. We were evaluating a backup link across our locations, and starting looking at solutions that could address the problem. This is where Citrix SD WAN came into picture. Earlier, video conferencing were not happening properly, there were also ERP connectivity and application distractions. ERP and SAP was one major issue, because the production halts if the ERP goes down. Human Resource Management System (HRMS) were also impacted across locations, alongside video conferencing and several homegrown applications that we had developed internally.”

SD WAN over secondary MPLS link
One option in front of Mafatlal was to go for a secondary MPLS line. However, according to the company, this turned out to be a costly proposition as while the secondary MPLS link would cost as much as the primary MPLS link, it would not be utilized as much. Considering the drawback in going for a secondary MPLS link, the company decided to look for an alternative technology option. “Following the connectivity revamping across locations, the company was looking at backup links and servers – if the primary ones get affected, the secondary ones could take the load. We were looking at solutions that were already available in the market. However, it was always a pain-point for us that we had to pay to the connectivity provider for a link, which we wouldn’t get until the actual one is affected. The company wasn’t comfortable with this bad equation. The SD WAN concept then kicked in, and we started looking at various other OEMs’ offerings. However, Citrix combined our MPLS link and internet link together, allowing us to use both the links effectively and optimally. That made us inclined towards Citrix and further look at other offerings it offers,” he informs.

With Citrix NetScaler SD WAN over traditional MPLS link to build redundancy in its network, Mafatlal achieved total cost savings of 30-40 per cent while doubling the bandwidth capacity and maximizing the throughput.

Benefits observed
Besides acting as a redundant line, Citrix Netscaler SD WAN has also helped increase the overall internet bandwidth capacity. As the SD WAN line remains active all the time, its 10 mbps bandwidth gets clubbed with the 10 mbps of the primary MPLS line, to offer a total of 20 mbps bandwidth capacity. “Our remote locations earlier faced frequent disconnections, but the same continued post Citrix SD WAN deployment too; however, the better part is that no work was being affected due to the MPLS link going down – this was possible because Citric clubbed both MPLS and internet links and made it into a combined pipe. There was a slight performance degrade due to the bandwidth getting impacted, but there was no business outage and the work continued. This is the major achievement that we have observed,” shares Chulliparambil.

Speaking about the company’s IT strategy for 2018 and ahead, he adds, “There are many strategies we are working on; we are a company which has just begun its digital transformation and there are many plans for 2018 as well. We are doing networking and application upgradation. We will be slowly starting our digital initiatives, alongside expanding our online presence.”