Mary Kay makes over its WAN

Cosmetics giant gives its WAN a facelift

When cosmetics giant Mary Kay started to plan an overhaul of its network, the company also began considering tools that would better manage application traffic over the Internet.

The company decided to give its WAN a facelift with application acceleration and optimization products from Packeteer.

Robert Wieters, enterprise network architect at the Dallas cosmetics company, says his team wanted to get better visibility into the Internet and application traffic coming and going from Mary Kay's data center. In January 2005, Mary Kay's IT team started to look for ways to get a clear picture of the traffic traversing their net.

"Until that point we didn't have the visibility into the Internet traffic that could enable us to make rational decisions on our capacity and how to handle different types of traffic," Wieters says. "We liked the idea that we could give a certain protocol priority and prevent us from being overrun by specific types of traffic, such as flash."

Following the decision to roll out Packeteer PacketShapers, Wieters says Mary Kay's IT team learned of a marketing campaign that could have been disastrous without the visibility Packeteer provided them. Wieters says the campaign was a success in terms of the Mary Kay network handling the Web traffic generated from the campaign.

"We were able to handle the extra traffic without having to add bandwidth," he explained. "Using the [PacketShaper] we were able to guarantee bandwidth and priority our business traffic garnered through the campaign."

The IT staff installed PacketShaper 10000 appliances in Mary Kay's Dallas data center. Wieters also uses Packeteer's ReportCenter to model traffic over a period of four months to determine bandwidth utilization trends for the corporate and e-commerce applications. He says that analysis helped him to optimize the partitions used to segment major environments, adjust policies on higher priority applications, and give Web traffic access Internet bandwidth.

Not only did the PacketShapers help Wieters and Mary Kay optimize traffic, it also helped him prove to his managers that the IT staff is investing budget in useful tools.

"I can't speak highly enough about executive confidence when we are rolling out a new application or doing something as critical as a media campaign. The fact that we can prove we have control of our traffic flows helps ease executives' worries," he says.

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