Brasfield & Gorrie

Construction innovator powers drones, robots, XR, and 4-D modeling across 200 next-generation sites with Aruba SD-WAN/SD-Branch

  • お客様プロフィール

    As one of the nation’s largest privately held construction firms, Brasfield & Gorrie has been an innovation leader for over 55 years. With 12 offices and more than 200 active jobsites, on average, the firm’s 3,200 employees have completed projects in nearly every U.S. state, providing general contracting, design-build, and construction management services for a wide variety of markets.
    • Vertical: Services
    • Location: Birmingham, Alabama, United States
    • Customer size: 3,200 employees, 12 offices, and more than 200 active jobsites

    Use Case

    Power modern construction sites, where data, streaming, IoT, and mobility play vital roles, to deliver next-generation services that improve building integrity, increase efficiency, and improve worker safety, while reducing costs by deploying an advanced SD-WAN/SD-Branch wired and wireless network.

    Requirements

    • Adopt an innovative, centrally managed SD-WAN/SD-Branch platform
    • Modernize, streamline, and simplify wired and wireless networking
    • Gain advanced AI-powered tools for fast, proactive deployment and administration

    Outcomes

    • Enables providing the latest in construction innovation across permanent and temporary sites including XR, drones, and layout robots as well as over 3,000 video conferences annually
    • Slashes troubleshooting time by 75% with AIOps while saving 50% on overall network and licensing costs
    • Cuts branch deployment times from days to hours with zero-touch implementations
    • Permits using cost-effective DIA circuits, while maintaining high performance, eliminating dependence on MPLS circuits and saving thousands yearly
    • Supplies future-ready, secure, dynamic, and intelligent connectivity for IoT, mobile, and cloud-delivered technologies

    From a cost reduction perspective, there are wins across the board. "Aruba's design saves on the solution itself as well as reducing the integration and management overhead," Ennis says.

    Brasfield & Gorrie employees wearing yellow vests and hard hats at a contruction site

    After decades as a nationally-respected construction firm, Brasfield & Gorrie needed to address networking performance, security, flexibility, and costs by taking a new approach to wired and wireless infrastructure.

    "Our aging network was inflexible, complex to manage, and increasingly cost-prohibitive," explains Brad Hamilton, Director of IT Operations and Infrastructure for the Birmingham, Alabama-headquartered firm. "In addition, we were dependent on MPLS [Multiprotocol Label Switching] connectivity at our construction sites, which added further inflexibility, administrative complexity, and cost. We needed to modernize."

    Realizing Advantages from Design to Execution

    One of the largest privately held construction firms in the U.S., Brasfield & Gorrie maintains 12 offices along with more than 200 active jobsites, on average, spread across almost every state in the U.S. As a respected innovator, the company is a pioneer in using digital technologies to automate and streamline process for improved customer outcomes and enhanced worker safety.

    "Whether our business users are sharing 3D construction documentation or live-streaming site progress, we needed to support them with high-performance connectivity at our permanent dynamic sites," Hamilton says.

    After a thorough evaluation, which included its existing vendor and was conducted in collaboration with partner Veristor Systems, Brasfield & Gorrie decided to form a strategic partnership with Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, to gain AI-powered SD-WAN/SD-Branch and enterprise networking infrastructure.

    "We determined that Aruba's solutions were more advanced, secure, flexible, automated, and cost-effective in every aspect," says Patrick Burch, Director of Security and Network. "Everything we evaluated was miles ahead of our previous vendor from design to execution."

    SD-WAN/SD-Branch Forms Modern Network Foundation

    For its solution, Brasfield & Gorrie selected Aruba's SD-WAN/SD-Branch solution including Aruba's Wi-Fi 6 access points (APs), with 500 Series and 510 Series APs, and remote access points (RAPs), along with 9000 Series, 7200 Series, and 7000 Series Gateways.

    "Our new APs supply WPA3 encryption," Burch says. "We're excited to leverage this new level of data security."

    For its wired network, Brasfield & Gorrie chose the CX 8325 Switch Series for its core and mixture of the CX 6300 Switch Series, 2930F Switch Series, and 3810 Switch Series for aggregation and edge access.

    Moving forward, the company plans to add the CX 6200 Switch Series and the CX 6100 Switch Series to standardize on CX Switching for all edge and aggregation needs.

    To unify network administration across the LAN, WAN, and SD-WAN, Aruba Central is being used for proactive, cloud-based AIOps management and, during initial network set-up and optimization, User Experience Insight (UXI) for AI-powered Wi-Fi incident detection.

    Increased Performance, Reduced Costs & Faster Deployments

    By streamlining and simplifying its entire networking infrastructure, Brasfield & Gorrie realized immediate benefits, including increased performance, reduced costs, and faster deployments.

    "Our new SD-WAN/SD-Branch solution is a significant improvement on multiple levels," says Gerald Ennis, Senior Network Engineer. "Before, all traffic routed back to our Birmingham headquarters, regardless how distant the origin. There, it traversed our firewalls before being sent back out to its destination."

    Now, traffic is automatically and intelligently routed, improving user experiences. "Traffic can travel between an office and a jobsite, between two jobsites, or between a jobsite and a customer, without coming back to the data center, which considerably increases performance," Ennis continued.

    Users also access cloud-based applications directly, which is an architectural advantage that also improves security, Burch points out. "Sending traffic directly to cloud applications means we're not placing users on our internal WAN network."

    Saving 50% on networking and 50% on telco costs

    From a cost reduction perspective, there are wins across the board. "Aruba's design saves on the solution itself as well as reducing the integration and management overhead," Ennis says.

    Licensing is also significantly streamlined, reducing complexity and costs, adding considerable savings. "This makes Aruba's solution approximately 50% less overall, compared to an option from our previous vendor," Ennis says. "It also reduces headaches we had with deciphering and managing that vendor's complex licensing structure and agreements."

    In addition, Brasfield & Gorrie's new network enabled eliminating dependence on MPLS circuits, which are notoriously time consuming to acquire, inflexible to scale, and expensive to operate.

    "Our new networking infrastructure enables us to provide high-performance connectivity using direct internet access circuits (DIA), which are flexibly commissioned and decommissioned," says Burch. "We estimate we've cut circuit spending by 50% versus using MPLS."

    Jobsite deployments slashed from days to hours

    Brasfield & Gorrie's new SD-WAN also enables flexible, fast deployments to remote to ever-changing jobsites.

    "We've gained a great deal of flexibility as we can rationalize the equipment we deploy based on the size and needs of a jobsite," says Alex Gonzalez, Network Engineer. "At smaller locations, with only a handful of people, we can deploy RAPs for Wi-Fi, while larger locations are served by a combination of APs and gateways."

    No matter what hardware is utilized, Aruba Central speeds deployment. "Rather than sending a technician to a far-flung job site, with associated time and expense, we ship equipment to our business users and they assemble it, based on a PDF diagram we provide," says RJ Arnold, Network Administrator.

    "Central handles the configuration automatically," he adds. "Even if we need to make minor modifications to a site's configuration, we can do it in real time with Central. The entire branch deployment process—including obtaining the correct DIA circuit—is now reduced from days to hours."

    Modern Network Efficiently Moves Terabytes of Data

    With its modernized infrastructure, Brasfield & Gorrie is supporting a host of business applications that move terabytes of data through its network on a monthly, and sometimes daily, basis.

    These applications range from proprietary solutions, hosted on-premise and in the firm's Microsoft Azure environment, to cloud-delivered SaaS solutions. Such solutions include Autodesk, Microsoft 365, and Egnyte, the latter of which keeps complex architectural and engineering drawings synchronized.

    In addition, streaming video is now expected for contemporary construction projects for collaboration, safety, and progress documentation. "For example, our network is supporting an average of 3000 Zoom calls monthly," says Arnold. "Plus, our users connect with customers with solutions like Teams and WebEx, depending upon what collaboration platform the customer prefers."

    Powering next-generation, IoT-connected jobsites

    Brasfield & Gorrie's network also powers construction innovations developed by the firm's Virtual Design + Construction team, which continuously introduces new technologies and IoT-enabled applications.

    "For example, our network is carrying feeds from a professional job progress camera that provides real-time visibility," Hamilton says. "In addition, drones are used for 3D aerial mapping and wearables are improving worker safety monitoring."

    Other next-generation applications that depend on the network have included construction robots, virtual reality, 4D modeling, and more.

    "Recently, we piloted a robotic floor layout technology that depends on Wi-Fi," Hamilton says. It can complete a color-coded, multi-trade layout in a fraction of the time, and with greater accuracy, compared with the traditional manual process.

    "This technology alone could have multiple positive effects on our company's bottom line," Hamilton adds.

    Automation Innovations Keep IT Overhead Low

    Although the automation and digitalization of construction places more demands on the network and networking teams, adopting an Aruba solution has actually reduced the Brasfield & Gorrie's IT burdens by streamlining, simplifying, and automating network administration.

    This includes using Aruba's comprehensive API library for integrating Central with Slack to create a proactive troubleshooting notification system, Gonzalez says.

    Additionally, Central automates and orchestrates connectivity to Brasfield & Gorrie's Azure environment, which is a considerable time saver versus completing the necessary steps manually.

    Leveraging AIOps and NetOps

    The IT team also appreciates the advanced AIOps capabilities in Central for significantly decreasing troubleshooting time. "With Central and AIOps, we're able to troubleshoot faster," Ennis says. "In most instances we've saved 75% on troubleshooting time."

    Less time spent on troubleshooting enables concentrating on more important work. "Now we can focus on initiatives that ultimately deliver value to our business," Gonzalez says. "For instance, we're implementing agile practices, such as NetOps."

    Aruba Partnership Ensures Future-Readiness

    Moving ahead, the firm looks forward to adopting further networking automation and intelligence innovations. Options include Aruba's NetEdit, for streamlining switch management, and Location Services, for providing real-time analytics that enable data-driven initiatives.

    Regardless how the firm expands its new network, Brasfield & Gorrie appreciates Aruba's all-inclusive model for designing and delivering solutions. "When we need to add a capability, we no longer need to go through the process of making a business case," Burch says.

    "Our partnership with Aruba enables us to simply rollout new features when they're required," he adds. "This exponentially improves our response to new business needs and market demands."

    It all adds up to providing business users with right connectivity at the right time. "Whether in a rural area, with little communications backbone, or a highly developed urban area with ample circuits, our Aruba SD-WAN/SD-Branch and enterprise networking infrastructure supplies us with reliable, flexible, and scalable connectivity no matter where it's needed," Hamilton says.

    詳細はこちら

    Our Aruba SD-Branch infrastructure supplies us with reliable, flexible, and scalable connectivity at our branch offices and jobsites, whether in a rural area, with little communications backbone, or a highly developed urban area with ample circuits.
    Brad Hamilton, Director of IT Operations and Infrastructure, Brasfield & Gorrie
  • お客様プロフィール

    As one of the nation’s largest privately held construction firms, Brasfield & Gorrie has been an innovation leader for over 55 years. With 12 offices and more than 200 active jobsites, on average, the firm’s 3,200 employees have completed projects in nearly every U.S. state, providing general contracting, design-build, and construction management services for a wide variety of markets.
    • Vertical: Services
    • Location: Birmingham, Alabama, United States
    • Customer size: 3,200 employees, 12 offices, and more than 200 active jobsites

    Use Case

    Power modern construction sites, where data, streaming, IoT, and mobility play vital roles, to deliver next-generation services that improve building integrity, increase efficiency, and improve worker safety, while reducing costs by deploying an advanced SD-WAN/SD-Branch wired and wireless network.

    Requirements

    • Adopt an innovative, centrally managed SD-WAN/SD-Branch platform
    • Modernize, streamline, and simplify wired and wireless networking
    • Gain advanced AI-powered tools for fast, proactive deployment and administration

    Outcomes

    • Enables providing the latest in construction innovation across permanent and temporary sites including XR, drones, and layout robots as well as over 3,000 video conferences annually
    • Slashes troubleshooting time by 75% with AIOps while saving 50% on overall network and licensing costs
    • Cuts branch deployment times from days to hours with zero-touch implementations
    • Permits using cost-effective DIA circuits, while maintaining high performance, eliminating dependence on MPLS circuits and saving thousands yearly
    • Supplies future-ready, secure, dynamic, and intelligent connectivity for IoT, mobile, and cloud-delivered technologies

    From a cost reduction perspective, there are wins across the board. "Aruba's design saves on the solution itself as well as reducing the integration and management overhead," Ennis says.

    Brasfield & Gorrie employees wearing yellow vests and hard hats at a contruction site

    After decades as a nationally-respected construction firm, Brasfield & Gorrie needed to address networking performance, security, flexibility, and costs by taking a new approach to wired and wireless infrastructure.

    "Our aging network was inflexible, complex to manage, and increasingly cost-prohibitive," explains Brad Hamilton, Director of IT Operations and Infrastructure for the Birmingham, Alabama-headquartered firm. "In addition, we were dependent on MPLS [Multiprotocol Label Switching] connectivity at our construction sites, which added further inflexibility, administrative complexity, and cost. We needed to modernize."

    Realizing Advantages from Design to Execution

    One of the largest privately held construction firms in the U.S., Brasfield & Gorrie maintains 12 offices along with more than 200 active jobsites, on average, spread across almost every state in the U.S. As a respected innovator, the company is a pioneer in using digital technologies to automate and streamline process for improved customer outcomes and enhanced worker safety.

    "Whether our business users are sharing 3D construction documentation or live-streaming site progress, we needed to support them with high-performance connectivity at our permanent dynamic sites," Hamilton says.

    After a thorough evaluation, which included its existing vendor and was conducted in collaboration with partner Veristor Systems, Brasfield & Gorrie decided to form a strategic partnership with Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, to gain AI-powered SD-WAN/SD-Branch and enterprise networking infrastructure.

    "We determined that Aruba's solutions were more advanced, secure, flexible, automated, and cost-effective in every aspect," says Patrick Burch, Director of Security and Network. "Everything we evaluated was miles ahead of our previous vendor from design to execution."

    SD-WAN/SD-Branch Forms Modern Network Foundation

    For its solution, Brasfield & Gorrie selected Aruba's SD-WAN/SD-Branch solution including Aruba's Wi-Fi 6 access points (APs), with 500 Series and 510 Series APs, and remote access points (RAPs), along with 9000 Series, 7200 Series, and 7000 Series Gateways.

    "Our new APs supply WPA3 encryption," Burch says. "We're excited to leverage this new level of data security."

    For its wired network, Brasfield & Gorrie chose the CX 8325 Switch Series for its core and mixture of the CX 6300 Switch Series, 2930F Switch Series, and 3810 Switch Series for aggregation and edge access.

    Moving forward, the company plans to add the CX 6200 Switch Series and the CX 6100 Switch Series to standardize on CX Switching for all edge and aggregation needs.

    To unify network administration across the LAN, WAN, and SD-WAN, Aruba Central is being used for proactive, cloud-based AIOps management and, during initial network set-up and optimization, User Experience Insight (UXI) for AI-powered Wi-Fi incident detection.

    Increased Performance, Reduced Costs & Faster Deployments

    By streamlining and simplifying its entire networking infrastructure, Brasfield & Gorrie realized immediate benefits, including increased performance, reduced costs, and faster deployments.

    "Our new SD-WAN/SD-Branch solution is a significant improvement on multiple levels," says Gerald Ennis, Senior Network Engineer. "Before, all traffic routed back to our Birmingham headquarters, regardless how distant the origin. There, it traversed our firewalls before being sent back out to its destination."

    Now, traffic is automatically and intelligently routed, improving user experiences. "Traffic can travel between an office and a jobsite, between two jobsites, or between a jobsite and a customer, without coming back to the data center, which considerably increases performance," Ennis continued.

    Users also access cloud-based applications directly, which is an architectural advantage that also improves security, Burch points out. "Sending traffic directly to cloud applications means we're not placing users on our internal WAN network."

    Saving 50% on networking and 50% on telco costs

    From a cost reduction perspective, there are wins across the board. "Aruba's design saves on the solution itself as well as reducing the integration and management overhead," Ennis says.

    Licensing is also significantly streamlined, reducing complexity and costs, adding considerable savings. "This makes Aruba's solution approximately 50% less overall, compared to an option from our previous vendor," Ennis says. "It also reduces headaches we had with deciphering and managing that vendor's complex licensing structure and agreements."

    In addition, Brasfield & Gorrie's new network enabled eliminating dependence on MPLS circuits, which are notoriously time consuming to acquire, inflexible to scale, and expensive to operate.

    "Our new networking infrastructure enables us to provide high-performance connectivity using direct internet access circuits (DIA), which are flexibly commissioned and decommissioned," says Burch. "We estimate we've cut circuit spending by 50% versus using MPLS."

    Jobsite deployments slashed from days to hours

    Brasfield & Gorrie's new SD-WAN also enables flexible, fast deployments to remote to ever-changing jobsites.

    "We've gained a great deal of flexibility as we can rationalize the equipment we deploy based on the size and needs of a jobsite," says Alex Gonzalez, Network Engineer. "At smaller locations, with only a handful of people, we can deploy RAPs for Wi-Fi, while larger locations are served by a combination of APs and gateways."

    No matter what hardware is utilized, Aruba Central speeds deployment. "Rather than sending a technician to a far-flung job site, with associated time and expense, we ship equipment to our business users and they assemble it, based on a PDF diagram we provide," says RJ Arnold, Network Administrator.

    "Central handles the configuration automatically," he adds. "Even if we need to make minor modifications to a site's configuration, we can do it in real time with Central. The entire branch deployment process—including obtaining the correct DIA circuit—is now reduced from days to hours."

    Modern Network Efficiently Moves Terabytes of Data

    With its modernized infrastructure, Brasfield & Gorrie is supporting a host of business applications that move terabytes of data through its network on a monthly, and sometimes daily, basis.

    These applications range from proprietary solutions, hosted on-premise and in the firm's Microsoft Azure environment, to cloud-delivered SaaS solutions. Such solutions include Autodesk, Microsoft 365, and Egnyte, the latter of which keeps complex architectural and engineering drawings synchronized.

    In addition, streaming video is now expected for contemporary construction projects for collaboration, safety, and progress documentation. "For example, our network is supporting an average of 3000 Zoom calls monthly," says Arnold. "Plus, our users connect with customers with solutions like Teams and WebEx, depending upon what collaboration platform the customer prefers."

    Powering next-generation, IoT-connected jobsites

    Brasfield & Gorrie's network also powers construction innovations developed by the firm's Virtual Design + Construction team, which continuously introduces new technologies and IoT-enabled applications.

    "For example, our network is carrying feeds from a professional job progress camera that provides real-time visibility," Hamilton says. "In addition, drones are used for 3D aerial mapping and wearables are improving worker safety monitoring."

    Other next-generation applications that depend on the network have included construction robots, virtual reality, 4D modeling, and more.

    "Recently, we piloted a robotic floor layout technology that depends on Wi-Fi," Hamilton says. It can complete a color-coded, multi-trade layout in a fraction of the time, and with greater accuracy, compared with the traditional manual process.

    "This technology alone could have multiple positive effects on our company's bottom line," Hamilton adds.

    Automation Innovations Keep IT Overhead Low

    Although the automation and digitalization of construction places more demands on the network and networking teams, adopting an Aruba solution has actually reduced the Brasfield & Gorrie's IT burdens by streamlining, simplifying, and automating network administration.

    This includes using Aruba's comprehensive API library for integrating Central with Slack to create a proactive troubleshooting notification system, Gonzalez says.

    Additionally, Central automates and orchestrates connectivity to Brasfield & Gorrie's Azure environment, which is a considerable time saver versus completing the necessary steps manually.

    Leveraging AIOps and NetOps

    The IT team also appreciates the advanced AIOps capabilities in Central for significantly decreasing troubleshooting time. "With Central and AIOps, we're able to troubleshoot faster," Ennis says. "In most instances we've saved 75% on troubleshooting time."

    Less time spent on troubleshooting enables concentrating on more important work. "Now we can focus on initiatives that ultimately deliver value to our business," Gonzalez says. "For instance, we're implementing agile practices, such as NetOps."

    Aruba Partnership Ensures Future-Readiness

    Moving ahead, the firm looks forward to adopting further networking automation and intelligence innovations. Options include Aruba's NetEdit, for streamlining switch management, and Location Services, for providing real-time analytics that enable data-driven initiatives.

    Regardless how the firm expands its new network, Brasfield & Gorrie appreciates Aruba's all-inclusive model for designing and delivering solutions. "When we need to add a capability, we no longer need to go through the process of making a business case," Burch says.

    "Our partnership with Aruba enables us to simply rollout new features when they're required," he adds. "This exponentially improves our response to new business needs and market demands."

    It all adds up to providing business users with right connectivity at the right time. "Whether in a rural area, with little communications backbone, or a highly developed urban area with ample circuits, our Aruba SD-WAN/SD-Branch and enterprise networking infrastructure supplies us with reliable, flexible, and scalable connectivity no matter where it's needed," Hamilton says.

    Our Aruba SD-Branch infrastructure supplies us with reliable, flexible, and scalable connectivity at our branch offices and jobsites, whether in a rural area, with little communications backbone, or a highly developed urban area with ample circuits.
    Brad Hamilton, Director of IT Operations and Infrastructure, Brasfield & Gorrie
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