From elegant stemware to household plates, Libbey, Inc. makes it all. The Ohio based company was founded in 1818 and produced the world’s first machine made glassware. Today, Libbey Inc. has a long history in Toledo, America’s “Glass City”, and is both one of the world’s most recognizable names in glassware, and a leading provider of tableware products for the food service industry.
“As a large company with operations in five different countries, we need to have a secure network with strong connectivity” said Randy Zickefoose, Technology Support Manager at Libbey Inc. With 1600 network users dispersed between locations in China, the Netherlands, Mexico, Portugal, and the United States, Zickefoose was looking to secure the network, provide remote access for Libbey employees, and implement proactive monitoring to catch any attempts at a breach in security. Likewise, there was a significant amount of lag time with several network applications, and Libbey was looking for faster and more reliable connectivity to improve the performance of these applications.
Although Libbey already had a firewall installed and a VPN solution in place, Zickefoose and his team were not satisfied with their current performance or support, and were looking for more comprehensive security solution and an active support team who would keep them up to date on their security status.
“The Juniper name kept coming up again and again, and CentraComm kept coming up as reputable Juniper partner.”
-Randy Zickefoose, Technology Support Manager, Libbey Inc.
CentraComm had implemented various other solutions for Libbey in the past, and had already formed a working relationship with the manufacturer. “We had a lot of stability with CentraComm; their team is very knowledgeable, and their expertise made them the right candidate for the job. It was a natural fit,” said Zickefoose, who confidently chose CentraComm to implement the IDP solution after a thorough and convincing on-site demo. After successfully implementing the first Juniper solution, Libbey looked to CentraComm to implement additional Juniper solutions.
Libbey utilizes Juniper IDP in its United States, China, Netherlands, Mexico, and Portugal locations, and continuously relies on CentraComm’s 24/7 proactive monitoring to notify them of any potential network breaches. Juniper solutions provide all peripheral and edge level security with VPN and firewalls, thus allowing secure remote access for 1600 Libbey employees all over the world. Libbey also utilized Juniper for inside security measures, separating the office network from the production network with internal firewalls. Following the installation of all security measures, Libbey installed a NWN (No Wires Needed) accelerator in two remote locations, China and the Netherlands, and added a WAN (Wide Area Network) accelerator to the install base connecting Portugal, Mexico, Louisiana, and Toledo locations.
“Outsourced support is hit or miss, you typically spend a lot of time and money teaching the company about your environment. But CentraComm was very knowledgeable and understood our network. I told them my problem and they proposed a solution right away.”
CentraComm’s customized solutions and managed services gave Zickefoose and his staff at Libbey, Inc. peace of mind in knowing that their network is safe and secure and can handle large applications without missing a beat.
Prior to implementing the IDP solution, Libbey was less integrated as a whole, and could not proactively monitor the company’s network. Now, with the centralized intrusion detection management solutions providers, Libbey is kept up to date on any suspicious activity, antivirus updates, and numerous other metrics. Furthermore, Libbey was not pleased with the lack of support and communication from both their previous solutions provider and manufacturer, and is grateful for the comprehensive monitoring and communication CentraComm provides. “Outsourced support is hit or miss, you typically spend a lot of time and money teaching the company about your environment, “said Zickefoose, “but CentraComm was very knowledgeable and understood our network. I told them my problem and they proposed a solution right away.”
With the Juniper IDP Intrusion Prevention installed, Libbey works closely with CentraComm to ensure that their network is always secure. CentraComm always has a comprehensive view of the network, and is prepared to proactively contact Libbey if any problems arise. With a rollback functionality in place, CentraComm has the ability to stop any suspicious activity in its tracks, and revert to the previous version of the network before any further actions can be performed on the network. And, with an easy to use interface and replica of their life environment at their fingertips, the IT staff at Libbey can proactively test their network and ensure that all security measures are functioning properly.
In addition, CentraComm keeps Libbey up to date with the status and security of the network with quarterly reporting and review sessions of the IDP. During each session CentraComm reviews the activity on the firewall and any scans or viruses they’ve blocked within the last three months. Libbey then analyzes these reports and determines the appropriate actions to take.
As a publicly traded company governed by Sarbanes Oxley, CentraComm’s reporting outfits Libbey with proof that the company is compliant with federal regulations.
As well as protecting Libbey’s network from suspicious attacks and rogue penetration, CentraComm implemented an SSL VPN solution to provide secure remote access. Zickefoose considers the SSL VPN implementation to be the most valuable implementation thus far. “It is just day and night for my users,” he said, “the offerings that the VPN has are amazing and keep Libbey connected.”
Prior to CentraComm implementing the new SSL VPN solution, users had to access the internet via a less flexible VPN connection from a designated Libbey laptop with the proper software installed. The new Juniper solutions enables users to access the network from any computer at any time as long as the appropriate login credentials are provided. Traveling employees can now have ubiquitous secure access from virtually any secure and properly patched PC, and are free to travel without their computers.
In addition to using Juniper products to monitor all edge level security, Libbey made the decision to take security measures inside their network and separate the office network from the glass production network with internal firewalls. Separating the networks further protects sensitive financial data from anyone attempting to hack into the production network, and also frees up bandwidth and streamlines communication within each network.
With a watchful eye on their network and secure remote access capabilities in place, Libbey improved international connectivity and reduced latency with the introduction of WAN accelerators at several remote locations. Although there were no connectivity issues between China’s four locations, China had unpredictable international connectivity, and was having problems relaying information back to the United States. Latency improved significantly after implementing the WAN accelerators. Certain applications including the ERP system are based in the United States and were slow to respond prior to introducing the WAN accelerators. Now, employees in China can access ERP and other web-based software easily, and have experienced 80-85% acceleration improvement.
“I explained what our connectivity looked like and what I wanted it to become and they made it happen”
The improvements were not limited to China, but applicable in all areas with WAN accelerators including the Netherlands, Mexico, Portugal, and the United States. Nightly downloads from the United States to the Netherlands that were taking nearly 3 minutes to complete were reduced to thirty seconds. Such improvements freed up bandwidth in all locations, leaving room for other activities and applications.
The combination of remote access and improved connectivity allowed for seamless communication between all sites. With unlimited access to a quick network, employees can access manufacturing applications, resource planning applications, raw material inventories, and various other applications at any time from any location. “Being in the sales showroom in Beijing is the same as being in Ohio. As long as you are an authorized user, you have access to all the information you need,” said Zickefoose.Zickefoose was very impressed with the manner in which CentraComm took the lead on
both the design and implementation phase for all projects, but was especially impressed
with the installation of the WAN accelerators. “I explained what our connectivity looked
like and what I wanted it to become and CentraComm made it happen,” said Zickefoose.
Already having a thorough knowledge of Libbey’s network, CentraComm installed and
configured all the WAN accelerators remotely, purchasing and shipping all necessary
hardware to the targeted location. Although each initial install was made without much
knowledge of related traffic, CentraComm sought to ensure that Libbey was satisfied,
and followed up with Zickefoose after 30, 60 and 90 days to evaluate their performance
and suggest further optimization strategies.
“We avoid costs altogether with the WAN accelerators.
We avoided having to buy bigger and bigger lines to get
out data across long distances. And that adds up
Zickefoose also considers the implementation of the WAN accelerators to be a key
example of cost avoidance plan rather than a cost savings plan. Point to point VPNs
connected to a single WAN accelerator kept Libbey from having to replicate expensive
hardware. Moreover, with the accelerators in place, Libbey avoided expensive and
future upgrades to accommodate for larger data transfers. “We avoid costs altogether
with the WAN accelerators,” said Zickefoose. “We avoided having to buy bigger and
bigger lines to get out data across long distances. And that adds up over time.”
Next Steps and Lessons Learned
Zickefoose and his team at Libbey Inc. are very satisfied with both the Juniper solutions
and CentraComm as a managed security provider. Although their network is large and
complicated, they have peace of mind knowing that their network remains safe and
secure, and operations are running efficiently in all locations.
“Working with CentraComm was a very positive experience,” said Zickefoose, “and I will
continue to look to them for any additional technology solutions.”