WD-40 eases network friction with SD-WAN, SASE

Manufacturer of so-called ‘miracle spray’ overhauls inflexible, decades-old MPLS infrastructure with managed networking and security

WD-40, the world-renowned brand for specialist solvents, has deployed Aryaka’s managed software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) and secure access service edge (SASE) service to build what it says will be a new flexible, reliable and secure network for its operations in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.  

Since 1953, WD-40’s principal product has become known as “the can of 2,000 uses”, known for its effectiveness in fighting rust and corrosion. The company has grown to have offices in 13 countries and has annual revenues of more than $400m and was looking for ways to transform its operations for the 21st century. 

However, as it has grown, the company could not spray away friction in its network and has of late struggled as a result of inflexible, decades-old MPLS technology which did not allow its global operations to carry on easily or securely.

Also, as part of its cloud migration strategy, WD-40 needed to implement faster and more reliable connectivity to business-critical services than its legacy MPLS technology or the public internet could provide. The network also did not support the performance requirements of applications such as Skype or Microsoft Teams, and its incumbent provider was unable to deliver on requested improvements or address the numerous outages reported. 

WD-40 started looking for a secure, resilient and scalable way to modernise its network capabilities and support its ambition for a global software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based application strategy. It set out a deployment timeline, and despite the impact of Covid-19, the firm has been able to hold to its plans and transition to a fully managed network that delivered on its goals of flexibility, reliability, change management and performance. 

Security was also a key consideration, and by working with Aryaka Networks, WD-40 has been able to create a foundation for adoption of a SASE architecture.

Aryaka’s managed SASE offering allowed WD-40 to successfully carry out its cloud migration strategy despite the impact of Covid. To help the SaaS-based application strategy, the company was also looking to leverage technology to improve efficiencies in the workplace and enable a more flexible culture, using collaboration technologies to reduce travel across Europe in an effort to keep employees safe during the pandemic.

“Migrating networks is never a straightforward task, but doing so in a pandemic was doubly challenging,” said Jeff Longley, systems administrator at WD-40. “We needed to be able to run both the networks in parallel to ensure we could test the performance of the new network, before switching over, while maintaining the day-to-day working of the business. Aryaka’s managed networking and security capabilities made it the perfect partner.

“The real-time insights on data and traffic that we’re seeing for the first time is providing us with a greater understanding of how the network is being utilised. The network management portal is simple and easy to use, and support, if needed, is also very quick to respond. We now have the tools and insight to do continual service improvements and, thanks to Aryaka, we also have a service that can rapidly adapt to those changes.”

After launching Aryaka’s managed networking and security service, WD-40 said it has seen immediate improvements in its network performance, enabling it to use services it had previously not been able to. It now feels prepared for any future expansion.

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