Insurer boosts network to support apps

Reinsurance broker Benfield has rolled out Wan acceleration technology to assign bandwidth intelligently to key applications across its principal global offices.

Reinsurance broker Benfield has rolled out Wan acceleration technology to assign bandwidth intelligently to key applications across its principal global offices.

The firm said growing pressure on the network had driven the adoption of the system. More than 1,500 users operate over 100 data-intensive research and financial applications and analysis software models.

Ian Dobbyn, Benfield’s network services manager, said the risk of disruption and downtime in an environment where staff required fast, accurate and accessible applications to act on global market information had made more intelligent networking an imperative.

The technology, from Silver Peaks, uses local-instance networking to inspect and classify all Wan traffic. This means that when a file is transferred at the beginning of the day a local copy is cached for quick access by users, relieving pressure on the network.

Steve Broadhead, director of Broadband-Testing Labs, said Wan acceleration is likely to become increasingly common, as it is very cost effective compared with the next most viable alternative – deploying a enterprise application globally.

“Different suppliers go about it in different ways, but typically [Wan acceleration] results in a two to 10 times improvement in performance, and sometimes considerably greater,” said Broadhead.


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