Optimised network performance with NaaS solution to enhance humanitarian relief operations

Monday 11, January 2021

An international humanitarian organisation actively involved in global relief operations in emerging markets, has selected Marlink to deliver a customised Network-as-a-Service solution.

A flexible solution was required to secure and improve the performance of their hybrid network but also to enable safe and efficient extension of the network, from their headquarters and data centre to their remote country and regional offices, and into the cloud.

The Challenge

The humanitarian relief organisation was seeking to secure, manage, monitor, and improve the performance of their hybrid connectivity network.  The global network largely consisted of a large number of Marlink VSAT stations and unsecure local Internet connectivity (ISPs).

The customer also met challenges managing the local networks at their remote premises and needed an end-to-end solution with the ability to easily scale up any office environment.

With cyber-attacks and data breaches on the rise, it was imperative for our customer to protect their data. Therefore, they required a provider to manage seamlessly all network links between their headquarters and data centre to their remote country and regional offices, and into the cloud. A full integration of network security was also a criterion to secure Internet, critical data, LAN (Wi-Fi and wired), voice and video conferencing, and collaboration tools.

The Solution

To improve network performance and enhance data protection, Marlink provided a customised Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) solution, acting as a single supplier of managed IT & network services and cloud access.

SD-WAN Orchestration

A key aspect of Marlink‘s Network-as-a-Service solution is the Software-Defined Wide-Area Networking (SD-WAN) orchestration. Application-based routing management enables traffic prioritisation and load sharing for more efficient bandwidth use and increased network capacity. The network management is centralised so traffic priorities, configurations, and network policies can easily be applied remotely across all sites in different geographic locations.

End-to-end QoS for Hybrid Connectivity

SD-WAN enables an intelligent assignment of key applications to different connectivity links including VSAT, MSS, fibre, 4G/LTE as well as Internet connections (ISPs). Based on the traffic priorities set by application, the network load is balanced, and path routing is defined to ensure optimised performance. Latency-critical services such as ERP, videoconferencing, cloud services and collaboration tools are prioritised and will not be interrupted.

Network security

Network security was applied to protect critical data and eliminate unwanted traffic through intrusion prevention systems, firewalling, antivirus, DNS filtering, SSL inspection and web filtering.

Local Network Services

Furthermore, the solution provided wired and Wi-Fi network access to all the local users. As an office grows, services can easily be expanded by plugging in additional access points for Wi-Fi or network switches for wired networking.

Cloud & Data Centre Access

Marlink also enabled cloud access to Microsoft Azure and Office365 by providing private high-speed peering from the Marlink backbone. Access to their Data Centre was set up through the Marlink MPLS Backbone.

Flexible Outsourcing Service

Marlink’s Network-as-a-Service solution allows our customer to offload the day-to-day burden of running the network directly to Marlink. We become responsible for their overall network management.

This is a flexible service. When our customer requires new, customised, or enhanced configurations and capabilities (cyber detection, firewalling, filtering, cloud access, Bandwidth-on-Demand, …), we can simply integrate it through Marlink’s unified Portal in “one click”.

We also provide field services including site surveys, hardware installation, configuration and commissioning done by certified Marlink people.

Key Benefits

Our humanitarian customer achieved the following successful takeaways:

  • Secure connectivity for all the remote users
  • Optimised traffic and bandwidth use for faster application performance
  • Better user experience
  • Full interconnection to cloud services through private high-speed peering
  • Control of transport to Data Centre through the Marlink Backbone for faster data delivery
  • Enhanced network security (WAN &LAN)
  • LAN scalability options with plug & play deployment
  • Proactive network monitoring
  • Content filtering to ensure that other applications do not consume the bandwidth allocated to corporate traffic
  • Enhanced visibility, control, reporting and alerting

About Our Humanitarian Customer

The organisation is a key player in global relief operations. In addition to providing network services for their own offices and staff, they also share their services with other humanitarian organisations or to emergency responders on their premises.

Customer Feedback

We needed a secure, scalable and cost-effective solution to manage multiple sized offices with multiple connectivity links. In addition, it was critical that our remote users have a secure and optimised access to cloud services to perform their work.  Due to emergency conditions and sometimes lack of local resources in rural areas, the solution also needed to be easily implemented (plug-and-play) and immediately provide wired and wireless local network services to all users.