High-tech vacuum cleaner manufacturer, Dyson, is planning to improve communications between its UK headquarters and offices across Europe by rolling out virtual private network technology.
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VPN links between its UK and Chicago offices, and its Malaysian manufacturing plant have already led to significant improvements in staff productivity, the company said.
The deployment has enabled about 50 mobile field staff to dial into Dyson's central IT systems in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, check their e-mails, and access software applications from home or while on the road, since the roll-out began in July.
Dyson said the VPN is a fraction of the cost of an equivalent leased line. A leased line would cost up to £100,000 for each office location, compared to £45,000 for the VPN link.
The company took the decision to improve communications speeds and provide redundancy against system failure by replacing its existing VPN link between Malaysia and Malmesbury, earlier this year.
At the same time, the company switched its internet service provider, from PSI to Cable & Wireless, which Dyson felt offered a better global coverage.
"Our firewall was running quite poorly and I wanted to take off as much load as possible. It was also a single point of failure and I wanted to address that," said Simon Lambe, senior technical analyst at Dyson.
Dyson installed a pair of SonicWall's Pro 330 VPN units in Malmesbury and Malaysia, and an extra 2 megabit circuit to provide redundancy. One circuit is used for web browsing and e-mail and the other is used to exchange applications data and encrypted traffic.