Cohu

Cohu enables higher productivity and responsiveness with global SD-WAN built on Aruba EdgeConnect

  • Kundenprofil

    Cohu is a global leader in supplying the semiconductor industry and its test subcontractors with test and handling equipment, thermal subsystems, interface solutions, vision inspection, and MEMS test solutions.
    • Vertical: Industrial & Manufacturing
    • Location: Poway, California, United States
    • Customer size: Approximately 3,600 employees across 37 global locations

    Use Case

    Simplify the global WAN edge to improve business efficiency, and accelerate access to applications and files critical to multiple worldwide product engineering and manufacturing operations.

    Requirements

    • Simplify the WAN edge and improve visibility after acquiring another company
    • Accelerate multinational file transfers with WAN optimization
    • Support a growing cloud-first strategy with seamless connectivity to Microsoft Azure

    Outcomes

    • Improves employee productivity and customer responsiveness by accelerating application performance approximately 25%
    • Assures efficient engineering and manufacturing operations by reducing WAN traffic over long distances by 25%
    • Saves the business money by lowering WAN costs approximately 60% while enabling expansion of strategic cloud-first initiatives

    For semiconductor test equipment manufacturer, Cohu, the speed and efficiency of accessing applications and sharing data is critical to productivity, as well as its ability to deliver responsive service to customers. However, following an acquisition, the company had two legacy wide-area networks (WANs) to manage, and the complexity became an obstacle to the growing business.

    Russell Smith, IT infrastructure manager with Cohu, explains, “Expanding either one of the existing WANs would only lead to more complexity and increased visibility problems. I’d been hearing about SD-WAN for a while and we decided it was the right time to look into it.”

    Growing WAN Complexity Calls for Change

    For more than 50 years, Cohu has specialized in designing and manufacturing test and handling equipment for the semiconductor industry. Its mission: to ensure that when a chip or circuit board goes out to market in a cool new tech product, it works.

    Cohu requires sophisticated engineering applications and computer-aided design (CAD), as well as modern enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, to manage global logistics. Globally distributed engineering teams and manufacturing facilities all rely heavily on the company’s WANs to enable access to applications in several data centers and the cloud.

    However, Cohu’s legacy Cisco FlexVPN and Riverbed WAN optimization solutions lacked visibility into application traffic, and disconnected VPN tunnels increased latency and slowed response time for certain applications. When Cohu acquired another company that had its own separate WAN using MPLS and Check Point firewalls, the situation reached an inflection point.

    Choosing a Unified, Flexible SD-WAN Platform

    Smith and his team evaluated several SD-WAN vendors, with a heavy focus on their WAN optimization capabilities. Ultimately, Cohu chose Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN from Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, with the optional Aruba Boost WAN optimization software pack.

    “EdgeConnect has a lot more time in the market,” Smith says. “Also, we liked having the ability to allocate Boost as needed across the EdgeConnect appliances. Other solutions required a set level on each device. Boost is much more flexible and comes in at a far better price point.”

    EdgeConnect Deployment Simplifies the WAN Edge

    Cohu deployed the EdgeConnect platform across all 37 of its global locations, configuring several larger sites with dual EdgeConnect appliances for high availability. At most locations, EdgeConnect is terminated with two dedicated internet access (DIA) circuits or a combination of DIA and broadband.

    The company takes full advantage of the advanced SD-WAN capabilities available in EdgeConnect, including tunnel bonding, path conditioning, quality of service (QoS), and dynamic path control. At each branch location, the EdgeConnect appliance is also service chained with Palo Alto Networks next-generation firewalls for additional security inspection.

    Seamless connectivity to the cloud

    In addition to its physical sites, Cohu also deployed virtual EdgeConnect appliances in five global Microsoft Azure environments—U.S. east, U.S. west, Europe, Japan, and Singapore—which run workloads such as software engineering, document management, domain controllers, and backup archives from local sites. EdgeConnect governs data flow into and out of Azure and Boost is applied to accelerate network traffic.

    Smith notes, “It was easy to get EdgeConnect set up in Azure. It allowed us to eliminate our Azure VPN Gateways and connect directly to Azure through EdgeConnect, just like any other office on our network.”

    Using the Aruba Orchestrator management console, Smith configured four business intent overlays: “real-time” for VoIP, “critical” for applications like ERP and document management, “bulk” for data replication and backups, and “default” for everything else. These overlays ensure that each application class is prioritized on the SD-WAN according to business need.

    Visibly Noticeable Performance Impact

    Since building its SD-WAN on the EdgeConnect platform, Cohu has seen a noticeable business impact.

    Smith says, “With EdgeConnect and Boost, users have a better experience accessing file shares, which helps improve productivity and responsiveness to customers. If it takes 20 minutes to copy a file versus an hour, that’s time they get back to do other things.”

    Productivity and efficiency gains are due primarily to improved application performance, which Smith reports has gone up by approximately 25 percent. As a bonus, Cohu also reduced its network spend about 60 percent by eliminating MPLS and moving to all DIA and/or broadband.

    Speeds data transfers among global teams

    The most dramatic performance impact on applications—and the business—has been from Boost, which reduced WAN traffic over long distances by 25 percent.

    “The response time when browsing file shares and transferring data across the ocean is visibly noticeable,” Smith says. “We actually get a lot of compliments from our users about how applications are performing better.”

    Smith adds, “Some of our work is custom where we have to meet specific customer design requirements, so the faster we can copy data over to design a new part and get customer buy-off, the faster we can move that part into production.”

    Improved visibility saves SD-WAN management time

    Smith also reports that visibility of the SD-WAN through Orchestrator is a vast improvement over the past. Information from across the global SD-WAN is observable through a single, centralized interface—from detailed insights into application traffic flowing through each EdgeConnect appliance to how much Boost performance is applied to a particular application.

    “Orchestrator is very intuitive,” Smith notes. “We have a view of any EdgeConnect appliance around the world and get countless amounts of information. That helps a lot with troubleshooting by narrowing down the root cause of an issue. It’s a big time-saver.”

    As Cohu continues to evolve toward a cloud-first strategy, Smith foresees the EdgeConnect SD-WAN edge platform being a vital enabler.

    “We’ve already seen how easy it is to deploy EdgeConnect in Azure,” Smith says. “Our cloud presence will only increase over time, and as it does, EdgeConnect will help us extend our SD-WAN into those environments easily and seamlessly.”

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    With EdgeConnect and Boost, users have a better experience accessing file shares, which helps improve productivity and responsiveness to customers.
    Russell Smith, IT Infrastructure Manager, Cohu
  • Kundenprofil

    Cohu is a global leader in supplying the semiconductor industry and its test subcontractors with test and handling equipment, thermal subsystems, interface solutions, vision inspection, and MEMS test solutions.
    • Vertical: Industrial & Manufacturing
    • Location: Poway, California, United States
    • Customer size: Approximately 3,600 employees across 37 global locations

    Use Case

    Simplify the global WAN edge to improve business efficiency, and accelerate access to applications and files critical to multiple worldwide product engineering and manufacturing operations.

    Requirements

    • Simplify the WAN edge and improve visibility after acquiring another company
    • Accelerate multinational file transfers with WAN optimization
    • Support a growing cloud-first strategy with seamless connectivity to Microsoft Azure

    Outcomes

    • Improves employee productivity and customer responsiveness by accelerating application performance approximately 25%
    • Assures efficient engineering and manufacturing operations by reducing WAN traffic over long distances by 25%
    • Saves the business money by lowering WAN costs approximately 60% while enabling expansion of strategic cloud-first initiatives

    For semiconductor test equipment manufacturer, Cohu, the speed and efficiency of accessing applications and sharing data is critical to productivity, as well as its ability to deliver responsive service to customers. However, following an acquisition, the company had two legacy wide-area networks (WANs) to manage, and the complexity became an obstacle to the growing business.

    Russell Smith, IT infrastructure manager with Cohu, explains, “Expanding either one of the existing WANs would only lead to more complexity and increased visibility problems. I’d been hearing about SD-WAN for a while and we decided it was the right time to look into it.”

    Growing WAN Complexity Calls for Change

    For more than 50 years, Cohu has specialized in designing and manufacturing test and handling equipment for the semiconductor industry. Its mission: to ensure that when a chip or circuit board goes out to market in a cool new tech product, it works.

    Cohu requires sophisticated engineering applications and computer-aided design (CAD), as well as modern enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, to manage global logistics. Globally distributed engineering teams and manufacturing facilities all rely heavily on the company’s WANs to enable access to applications in several data centers and the cloud.

    However, Cohu’s legacy Cisco FlexVPN and Riverbed WAN optimization solutions lacked visibility into application traffic, and disconnected VPN tunnels increased latency and slowed response time for certain applications. When Cohu acquired another company that had its own separate WAN using MPLS and Check Point firewalls, the situation reached an inflection point.

    Choosing a Unified, Flexible SD-WAN Platform

    Smith and his team evaluated several SD-WAN vendors, with a heavy focus on their WAN optimization capabilities. Ultimately, Cohu chose Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN from Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, with the optional Aruba Boost WAN optimization software pack.

    “EdgeConnect has a lot more time in the market,” Smith says. “Also, we liked having the ability to allocate Boost as needed across the EdgeConnect appliances. Other solutions required a set level on each device. Boost is much more flexible and comes in at a far better price point.”

    EdgeConnect Deployment Simplifies the WAN Edge

    Cohu deployed the EdgeConnect platform across all 37 of its global locations, configuring several larger sites with dual EdgeConnect appliances for high availability. At most locations, EdgeConnect is terminated with two dedicated internet access (DIA) circuits or a combination of DIA and broadband.

    The company takes full advantage of the advanced SD-WAN capabilities available in EdgeConnect, including tunnel bonding, path conditioning, quality of service (QoS), and dynamic path control. At each branch location, the EdgeConnect appliance is also service chained with Palo Alto Networks next-generation firewalls for additional security inspection.

    Seamless connectivity to the cloud

    In addition to its physical sites, Cohu also deployed virtual EdgeConnect appliances in five global Microsoft Azure environments—U.S. east, U.S. west, Europe, Japan, and Singapore—which run workloads such as software engineering, document management, domain controllers, and backup archives from local sites. EdgeConnect governs data flow into and out of Azure and Boost is applied to accelerate network traffic.

    Smith notes, “It was easy to get EdgeConnect set up in Azure. It allowed us to eliminate our Azure VPN Gateways and connect directly to Azure through EdgeConnect, just like any other office on our network.”

    Using the Aruba Orchestrator management console, Smith configured four business intent overlays: “real-time” for VoIP, “critical” for applications like ERP and document management, “bulk” for data replication and backups, and “default” for everything else. These overlays ensure that each application class is prioritized on the SD-WAN according to business need.

    Visibly Noticeable Performance Impact

    Since building its SD-WAN on the EdgeConnect platform, Cohu has seen a noticeable business impact.

    Smith says, “With EdgeConnect and Boost, users have a better experience accessing file shares, which helps improve productivity and responsiveness to customers. If it takes 20 minutes to copy a file versus an hour, that’s time they get back to do other things.”

    Productivity and efficiency gains are due primarily to improved application performance, which Smith reports has gone up by approximately 25 percent. As a bonus, Cohu also reduced its network spend about 60 percent by eliminating MPLS and moving to all DIA and/or broadband.

    Speeds data transfers among global teams

    The most dramatic performance impact on applications—and the business—has been from Boost, which reduced WAN traffic over long distances by 25 percent.

    “The response time when browsing file shares and transferring data across the ocean is visibly noticeable,” Smith says. “We actually get a lot of compliments from our users about how applications are performing better.”

    Smith adds, “Some of our work is custom where we have to meet specific customer design requirements, so the faster we can copy data over to design a new part and get customer buy-off, the faster we can move that part into production.”

    Improved visibility saves SD-WAN management time

    Smith also reports that visibility of the SD-WAN through Orchestrator is a vast improvement over the past. Information from across the global SD-WAN is observable through a single, centralized interface—from detailed insights into application traffic flowing through each EdgeConnect appliance to how much Boost performance is applied to a particular application.

    “Orchestrator is very intuitive,” Smith notes. “We have a view of any EdgeConnect appliance around the world and get countless amounts of information. That helps a lot with troubleshooting by narrowing down the root cause of an issue. It’s a big time-saver.”

    As Cohu continues to evolve toward a cloud-first strategy, Smith foresees the EdgeConnect SD-WAN edge platform being a vital enabler.

    “We’ve already seen how easy it is to deploy EdgeConnect in Azure,” Smith says. “Our cloud presence will only increase over time, and as it does, EdgeConnect will help us extend our SD-WAN into those environments easily and seamlessly.”

    With EdgeConnect and Boost, users have a better experience accessing file shares, which helps improve productivity and responsiveness to customers.
    Russell Smith, IT Infrastructure Manager, Cohu