24th October, 2022 4 Min read
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Reliability is one of the leading challenges to global networks. Throughout the last few decades, companies have been forced to juggle reliability, speed, and security. Topcon, faced with connectivity issues and complexity, turned to GlobalDots to take back control.
Since 2013, Topcon has been meeting societal challenges surrounding healthcare and infrastructure, providing equipment and services for a vast range of infrastructure projects. Though the organization is headquartered in Japan, its offices are spread throughout the Americas, Middle East, and China. Over three quarters of sales originate from overseas, and over 80% of employees are based outside of Japan. Whether they’re providing digital sensors to agricultural powerhouses, or offering guided excavator systems in quarried areas, Topcon’s global industrial reach demands consistent excellence. Seeking fast, reliable, and secure interdepartmental communication, Topcon had initially chosen a MPLS framework to build their WAN.
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However, the global nature of Topcon saw major issues with this architecture. Its China-based offices were struggling with connection difficulties; connecting to the organization’s networks was an occasionally slow or unreliable process. This – unsurprisingly – presented a severe challenge to a globally stable network.
Alongside the primary issue of inconsistent connectivity, the organization’s small team of network staff was straining under the responsibility of maintaining the internal and Asian networks, alongside the domestic WAN. Each of these requires individual version upgrades, support issues, and security patches. This heavy workload would occasionally see configuration errors, further contributing to unreliable connectivity. Ultimately, Topcon was left with a choice: to languish in MPLS disconnectivity, or make the leap to a next-gen network with a global focus.
SASE describes a cloud-based network model that aggregates every network resource into a single service. All branch locations, data centers, and users become manageable via a single, central management control. Cato Network’s suitability in a global setting is supported by their 75 globally distributed Points of Presence (PoP). From these points, local traffic is ramped onto the global backbone. Once all WAN traffic has been consolidated onto the Cloud, it then becomes simple to efficiently route traffic and manage external security services.
A digital transformation project of this scope may have seemed an impossible task for the small network team. However, once Topcon recognized Cato Networks’ potential, GlobalDots’ skilled team of network engineers stepped in. For Topcon, it was almost automatic – as long as there was internet connection in the Asian offices, GlobalDots could handle implementation. Once the Cato sockets were installed at each location, Topcon could immediately start benefiting not just from connectivity – but outright traffic optimization. The division of global networks into local PoPs allows easy optimization of throughput, as the most direct path for traffic is clearly definable.
The result of Topcon’s partnership with GlobalDots was reliable and clear connectivity. The in-depth traffic visibility further paved the way for Cato’s built-in security and monitoring capabilities. This granular clarity already represented a major step forward for Topcon’s security stance, directly supporting reduction in shadow IT and rapid malicious behavior detection. Even better – Cato’s Cloud helped reinvent their security appliance architecture. Beforehand, Topcon’s network traffic was routed via on-prem VPN applications. This greatly slowed the expanding organization, as these appliances have hard capacity constraints. A scaling organization is not only forced to face the highly complex network that arises from this structure, but also handle the hardware upgrades for each security application.
Cato’s security shifts the focus away from edge appliances. Instead, its next-gen firewall sits in the cloud, allowing for policies to take effect regardless of scale. This freed Topcon from the constraints of VPN applications and on-prem firewall tools, cementing the organization’s next evolutionary step in network visibility and security.
Once GlobalDots had completed the setup of Cato Networks, 600 Topcon team members were trained on the remote access process.
Thanks to their already-established cloud backbone, fast WFH connections were easy to provide. Even when dependent on less-secure home Wi-Fi networks, the central security controls still allowed for malicious traffic to be identified and filtered out. Later in the year, a WAN connection in the US came under siege from local wildfires. The new cloud network allowed for rapid replacement – a far cry from the drawn out, complex process of acquiring a new MPLS line. With GlobalDots’ solution, Topcon was able to recover immediately.
Topcon is seizing this reliability with both hands, too: upcoming digital transformation plans include creating a disaster recovery plan for two other cloud providers. Nakajima describes a structure that will allow their Amazon Web Services to fail over to Azure – and vice versa – in the event of catastrophic failure. In this way, if one cloud service falters, network continuity can still be preserved.
GlobalDots empowers organizations through adaptability. Topcon represents the reliability and agility that GlobalDots is proud to facilitate. As class leaders in innovative cloud solutions, our 80-strong portfolio has already bolstered the speed and security of global organizations including Lufthansa, Bosch, and AppsFlyer. Offering support throughout proof-of-concept to implementation, our holistic approach allows companies to surpass old concerns.
To discuss how your organization can cut itself free from a legacy network, contact us today.
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