IT Success Stories

Internet Redundancy Using Cisco HSRP and BGP for Lightpath
16 December 2014

Slow Internet and Voice Quality Problems Solved for New York Area Law Firm

For a New York area law firm, simple business tasks were growing harder by the day. All eight of the firm’s locations were struggling with slow Internet and serious voice quality issues. Productivity was taking a hit – and the company needed help.

The law firm’s existing provider was unable to solve their problems, leaving staff and IT personnel frustrated. They contacted Flexible for solutions.

Solving the Problem

Identifying the problem:

We evaluated the firm’s network to find the root of the problem. All servers and applications were hosted in the main location and their hosted VoIP solution was ShoreTel Sky. The remote sites connected through an MPLS network, however, the MPLS was experiencing problems. This caused connectivity to slow down and choppy voice quality.

The firm’s existing MPLS provider was essentially a reseller of the copper lines used for this solution. They were the “middle man.” The provider investigated the problem several times, but continued to come back with the same answer, “things look great on our end.” The firm was facing a dead end.

But even worse, the company was still under contract with their existing provider. We needed to get the problem under control quickly.

Migrating to new solutions:

Flexible located fast, cheap Internet solutions, and created site-to-site VPNs between the remote offices and the main location. We were able to reroute all LAN data traffic through the VPN, which provided higher speeds than the MPLS. We also implemented SonicWALL Global Management System (GMS) for central management of all firewalls, local firewalls and CMS storage for central management. This gave IT staff greater on-site control.

Also, we left the VoIP on the existing MPLS network, but the quality significantly improved because land traffic was less saturated. This approach worked well for the first seven locations. But for the eighth location, this type of solution was unavailable. To solve this problem, we decided to implement a wireless solution that provided point-to-point access through Towerstream. Internet speed was instantly much faster.

Long-term solution:

For the long-term, we recommended that the firm move from their existing solution to a ShoreTel MPLS solution. This allowed them to have a single vendor for their circuits and VoIP. As a result, voice traffic wouldn’t need to route through the company’s main location. Instead, it routed directly to ShoreTel, which eliminated some hops for the VoIP and improved voice quality.

This approached also allowed us to leverage the local Internet to provide redundancy for LAN data and voice. During power outages, staff could continue functioning over the Internet without interruption.

Moving Forward

The law firm started out with slow Internet and terrible phone quality. However, through a partnership with Flexible, we worked within their current contract to solve these issues. As a result, they now have a streamlined solution that improves efficiency – and lowers overall costs.