Multi-Branch Fitness Club Adopts SD-WAN for Networking and Disaster Recovery

June 24, 2016

By Laura Stotler, SD-WAN Contributing Editor

For private fitness club operator The Bay Club Company, adopting an SD-WAN networking solution was an organic part of the company’s growth. The business, which has 24 clubs in California, is growing exponentially and may in fact double its number of clubs by the end of next year via acquisitions.

One of the challenges the IT department faces is getting newly acquired clubs online quickly and efficiently as part of the Bay Club network. That process, according to IT director Mark Street, would typically take 60 to 90 days using the company’s corporate network. Street told Network World (News - Alert) his department wanted to be able to integrate a new club in a week, which required a new type of networking solution.

Street turned to SD-WAN technology from VeloCloud Networks to meet its needs, and the results have exceeded expectations. VeloCloud describes itself as a cloud-delivered SD-WAN pioneer, and the company works to automate and improve network performance over private, broadband and LTE (News - Alert) Internet connections. After deploying the VeloCloud solution, Bay Club was able to run IP phones, a member database application, member Wi-Fi and file and print applications over a single Internet connection at its San Jose facility. Better still, the company is able to bring new clubs online in just one week, as originally desired.

“Last year we purchased a club in San Jose and wanted to bring that club online quickly,” said Street. “Typically what we would have done is purchase a firewall, create a point-to-point IPSec VPN tunnel — just a traditional approach. Instead we put in a VeloCloud device at headquarters and a VeloCloud device at our new club and we were able to bring them online in about half an hour."

The Bay Club now has five VeloCloud solutions in production and hopes to have a device at each of its clubs within the next five months. The business is also using the SD-WAN offering as part of its corporate disaster recovery strategy, as it adopts a MPLS backbone. The VeloCloud solution offers a layer of redundancy and may be used over the existing Internet connection should the MPLS ever fail, keeping the club online.

SD-WAN has proven to be an efficient and cost effective option for companies like The Bay Club, with multiple, geographically dispersed branches and locations. VeloCloud’s solution is provided on a pay-as-you-go subscription basis as well as on a per-branch, per-month basis, making the price point very attractive.

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