Enterprises work on their WANs – Trends

Enterprises work on their WANs – Trends – Butler Manufacturing, Advantek, Universal Health Services

Improving WAN performance has become a critical aspect of distributed enterprises. Whether branch offices or partners are-across town or on another continent, end-users are searching for, and finding, solutions that improve their long-distance communications. Here are some recent WAN implementations of note:


Butler Manufacturing in Kansas City, Mo., had a choice between an expensive network upgrade or finding a solution that would increase its WAN bandwidth capacity. The producer of pre-engineered metal building systems and architectural products for the nonresidential construction market decided on Peribit Networks Sequence Reducer SR-50s to increase bandwidth capacity, thereby avoiding a network upgrade originally estimated to cost $7,500 per month.

“When our CIO heard about Peribit technology and suggested looking at their product, we doubted their claims,” says Dave Poncez, director of telecommunications at Butler. “But the SR-50 installed in minutes, required no network changes, and was a transparent `plug and play’ component within our existing network. The product’s data reduction helped shave WAN response times during peak periods from over 100 milliseconds toward the normal idle condition of 60 milliseconds. With less than a one-year ROI, the decision was simple.”

The SR-50 products preserved existing quality of sevice levels while significantly adding more capacity on each link. The products also decreased packet counts, enabling Butler’s routers to avoid processor overload conditions and enhance application response times during peak usage hours.


Advantek, headquartered in Minnetonka, Minn., was founded in 1978 as the exclusive United States agent and distributor of a wide range of electronic equipment for European and Asian interests. Today, Advantek manufactures surface-mount packaging materials for the electronic and other industries.

The company uses a frame relay network to connect branch offices throughout the United States, Europe and Asia Pacific. In the company’s efforts to boost branch-office access of critical networked ERP, and thin client applications, Dan Ramaekers, director of information services, deployed Expand Networks’ ACCELERATOR 4800 and 2800 Series bandwidth-boosting appliances.

“What was absolutely crucial was an overall increase in WAN capacity at a much lower cost,” says Tony Morris, director of sales at network solutions provider CompuNet. “Traffic prioritization alone did not solve Advantek’s problem. This solution combines WAN capacity increases with application-prioritization capabilities.”

“We planned on a substantial network infrastructure investment to support the rollout of the ERP system in our Asian and European offices,” says Ramaekers. “We were pleased to not only avoid additional network infrastructure costs, but to actually reduce costs, as well as improve network access to our J.D. Edwards’ system.”


The Fort Worth (Texas) Independent School District’s secondary schools are undergoing an advanced technology makeover-with a new high-speed, high-bandwidth network and service called GigaMAN. The network will connect 13 high schools and 17 middle schools to each other at speeds 650 times faster than the current network solution through a fiber-based, Gigabit Ethernet service that links the school district’s LAN.

GigaMAN, a solution delivered by SBC Communications, provides high-speed advantages for increased file and resource sharing, enhanced transportation of graphics and streaming video applications.

“Since we have seen such a tremendous increase in the number of students and faculty who are using network-based applications, as well as the amount of information that needs to be stored on our network, we looked for a solution that would stretch our limits of bandwidth and speed,” says Bill Richardson, Fort Worth ISD’S chief information officer. “Instead of having to add incremental bandwidth over time, this solution will provide us with an instantaneous way to increase bandwidth, and deliver high-speed data and video to the desktops of our students and faculty.”

The solution is transparent to existing network-management systems and software and can be connected directly to the customer’s Gigabit Ethernet port switch. The solution provides a straight-forward migration path for upgrading backbone networks to higher performance levels without major disruption.


In order to cut costs and improve service, Universal Health Services, headquartered in King of Prussia, Pa., is one of the nation’s largest hospital-management companies. When it needed to consolidate all its voice, data and Internet services from four providers, it chose US LEC Corp. to provide services to 14 of its facilities, located in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.

According to Linda Reino, CIO at Universal Health Services, “UHS has significantly reduced our monthly telephone expenses for hospitals within our Eastern region. We are also providing for diverse routes to ensure reliable service. We have implemented local, frame relay and Internet services.”

Some of the UHS facilities utilizing the consolidated services include Peachford Behavioral Health System of Atlanta; River Oaks Hospital in New Orleans; Wellington Regional Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Fla.; and the George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C.

For more information from the companies in this article:

Expand Networks n-262

Peribit Networks

SBC Communications



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