How BlackHawk Data used Fortinet SD-WAN to Cut Costs

by | Jun 2, 2021 | Success Stories

How BlackHawk Data Used Fortinet SD-WAN to Cut Costs

Our client is a not-for-profit home and community-based healthcare organization that has been serving the neighborhoods of New York City for over 125 years.

Until recently, they were functioning on outdated and costly network equipment and MPLS circuits. Due to a long-standing direct contract with a nationwide carrier services provider, our client had almost no control over its network and was paying high monthly service fees to interconnect its geographically disparate locations.

In addition to the large monthly bills they were receiving, MAC (move, add, or change) work and failover services, and bandwidth were often bottlenecked as a result of these outdated circuits. Adding or removing a site could take months. Each circuit at every site was operating as a single point of failure, meaning if the carrier went down in the area a site had no way to connect back to any other location or to the internet – rendering it dead in the water. The MPLS design also left much to be desired, routing all traffic from every location through the HQ, causing a bottleneck in internet traffic that could often slow production down to a crawl.

Our client knew they needed a change if they wanted to stay productive and keep up with the challenges of remote work in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. They needed a way to address the current challenges they were facing, as well as future-proof their environment for years to come. Enter BlackHawk Data.

How We Helped

Through careful analysis of our client’s infrastructure, BlackHawk Data was able to develop a new network design that would eliminate the costly MPLS circuits across the organization and refresh all network equipment to provide enhanced functionality and security.

By replacing the MPLS framework with broadband or dedicated internet circuits, each site was guaranteed the same connectivity that they had at a fraction of the cost. However, the real game-changer in this deployment was the upgrade in network equipment. BlackHawk replaced all Cisco firewalls with FortiGate routers using SD-WAN. This provided each location the security it needs in today’s climate, as well as its own direct connection to the cloud services needed to successfully run the organization, thus eliminating the bandwidth bottlenecks through the corporate location.

The Extra Mile

BlackHawk knew that uptime was critical to the success of this project. To help ease the transition to the SD-WAN solution, the BlackHawk engineering team stood up the FortiGate solution in parallel to the existing MPLS solution as well as an additional DMVPN network so that no users experienced any loss of service during the migrations.

Our team also ensured they were present during the circuit and equipment installation at every location, allowing staff to focus on providing the level of support their patients are accustomed to.

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