Case Study - Houlihan Lawrence

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Houlihan Lawrence’s Nationwide Deployment of Mushroom Networks’ Truffle Cuts Telecom Cost in Half

Industry

Real Estate

Challenge

Cut telecom cost by finding an alternative to costly MPLS

Improve Internet connectivity speeds

Fortify business continuity

Solution

Mushroom Networks Truffle Internet bonding appliance

Benefits

Telecom bill cut in half

WAN and LAN speeds are 75 times faster

Diversified connections enable proactive, unattended failover when extreme slow-downs or outages occur

Simplified scalability that enabled easy future growth

Houlihan Lawrence is the largest broker in the area, serving Westchester, Dutchess and Putnam counties in New York, and is the 15th largest independent realtor nationwide. Founded in 1888, Houlihan Lawrence specializes in luxury properties, global relocation services, and project marketing for real estate developments. The company has 24 offices and more than 1000 agents that communicate daily. Houlihan Lawrence use their strong digital footprint and listing syndication to link to a myriad of websites that offer local, regional and international exposure, reaching over 30 million buyers each month.

Improving Internet Connectivity Speed & Business Continuity While Reducing Cost

The IT team at Houlihan Lawrence knew changes needed to be made to its aging T1 MPLS network that supported its voice and data applications servicing its 24 branch locations.

When Superstorm Sandy, the largest Atlantic hurricane on record, swept the Caribbean, the eastern seaboard and then landed ashore near Atlantic City, New Jersey in late October 2012, the slow and costly communications network was pushed beyond its limits. Houlihan Lawrence’s existing MPLS network was completely knocked out, and the company would have been without Internet access for weeks, had it not been for a new initiative to upgrade the communications network with proactive, more cost-effective infrastructure and services. In fact, Houlihan Lawrence had been looking for a solution that would transition business continuity operations from “disaster recovery” to “disaster prevention,” and reduce the ever-increasing telecom bills which were eating up large portion of the broker’s overall IT budget, according to Andrew Lafreniere, Director of IT at Houlihan Lawrence.

Lafreniere and his team spent more than a year assessing possible solutions, including building its own wideband wireless network to connect the offices.

In the end, Houlihan Lawrence decided to deploy Mushroom Networks’ Broadband Bonding® appliances that leverage a technique that melds various number of Internet lines into a single faster and more reliable WAN connection. Just before SuperStorm Sandy hit, Houlihan Lawrence had wrapped a proof-of-concept plan for two of its branch offices. When the storm took down the broker’s MPLS network, Houlihan Lawrence immediately deployed Mushroom Networks’ Truffle appliance, the packet level Internet bonding router with dynamic Internet failover technology, to all of its branch offices and connectivity was restored.

Today, network speeds are much faster and the telecommunication bill has been cut in half. Lafreniere, director of IT, looked at upgrading their MPLS network to faster speeds, but the dependency on a single carrier and the significantly higher cost of MPLS made the Broadband Bonding® solution an easy decision. Not only was there 50% cost savings in operating expenses of the network, but the reliability of the WAN network also skyrocketed after the installation of the Broadband Bonding appliances’ that seamlessly aggregate various ISP links for speed and additional bandwidth and shield outages from Internet applications.

Lafreniere has realized even greater savings when Houlihan Lawrence deployed a state-of-the-art Voice over IP (VOIP) system and started runing voice communications through the Mushroom Networks’ solution.

The ability to diversify connections across multiple providers and multiple paths assures automated failover and ISP diversification in the event a connection goes down. “Mushroom Networks’ Truffle handles this seamlessly, and now we have disaster prevention. We aren’t simply reacting,” Lafreniere says. In the future, if the broker wants to open a new branch office, there’s no waiting for an expensive T1 line; instead, cost effective cable or DSL service can be added and a preconfigured Truffle can be shipped out, shaving weeks off the time it takes to establish network connectivity.

Mushroom Networks’ decade long leadership in Broadband Bonding® and other related patented technologies provided industry leading performance for the seamless aggregation of ISP connections.

Built-in Application Armor™ technology shields any negative fluctuations of individual ISP links from the application layer, and therefore provides seamless and continuous end-user experience.

Pass-through installation feature enabled easy and quick drop-in deployment without requiring any changes in the existing local area network.

Added benefits included 3G/4G wireless failover, advanced QoS, layer7 deep packet inspection, traffic monitoring, bandwidth reservations, traffic shaping, traffic filtering, dynamic DNS, firewall and encryption.

Houlihan Lawrence is the largest area broker in New York, and the 15th largest independent realtor nationwide with 24 offices and more than 1000 agents. Houlihan Lawrence evaluated many options including upgrading their MPLS network in order to add speed and reliability to their WAN network. Once their evaluation and seamless deployment of Mushroom Networks’ Broadband Bonding® appliances were complete, they increased their WAN network speed up to 75 times and added high 9s availability for all of their offices, while slashing the telecom cost in half.

“Just before SuperStorm Sandy hit, Houlihan Lawrence had wrapped a proof-of-concept plan for two of its branch offices. When the storm took down the broker’s MPLS network, Houlihan Lawrence immediately deployed Mushroom Networks’ Truffle appliances”

Andrew Lafreniere, Director of IT, Houlihan Lawrence

“Mushroom Networks’ Truffle handles this [automated failover] seamlessly, and now we have disaster prevention. We aren’t simply reacting”

Andrew Lafreniere, Director of IT, Houlihan Lawrence

“Telecommunication bill has been cut in half”

Andrew Lafreniere, Director of IT, Houlihan Lawrence

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