Improving speed and security for Kurt J Lesker’s international operations
Kurt J. Lesker Company (KJLC) is a world leader in developing precision-engineered vacuum products. These are used in everything from vacuum pumps to LEDs and micro-electronics.
KJLC’s bespoke components are at the heart of Research and Development for some of the world’s most exciting and challenging projects. The firm’s customers include private and government sponsored organizations that are sending rockets into space, developing ground-breaking particle accelerators and generally enabling technology for a better world.
Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, KJLC serves all non-US markets from its international HQ in East Sussex on the English south coast. However, for security reasons, all data is held at its US base.
This arrangement makes the speed and security of the data connection between the US and the UK crucial to the effective operation of KJLC’s business.
The firm’s problem was that the existing data connection – a 2Mbps MPLS network from 2006 – was secure, but too slow to allow efficient working for KJLC’s people outside of the US. They experienced frustrating delays sharing and accessing information stored in Pittsburgh, a problem that was exacerbated as KJLC’s international operations required increasing amounts of data from the US.
With KJLC relocating its international headquarters to a new, larger site, it decided that the time was right for a rethink around connectivity. Sebastian Gore, IT coordinator at KJLC, says “Expansion presented an opportunity to upgrade and future-proof our connectivity, and put in place a network to better support our work across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.”
Work couldn’t start until KJLC had finalised the lease on its new building, so Beaming’s provisioning team had to move quickly to install the network and connect it to the US facilities. KJLC could not move into its new international HQ until this vital work was completed.
A boost in speed was crucial. But the solution had to meet the most rigorous security standards, as the network would be handling highly sensitive information. This brought a further non-negotiable criterion: the new data network would have to integrate flawlessly with the bespoke and complex firewalls guarding the data at the US end.
KJLC needed a provider that could meet its need for fast, secure, reliable and cost-effective connectivity, supported by a team of technical experts that would not simply supply, but take ownership and accountability for this business-critical part of its global operation.
Kurt J. Lesker Company chose Beaming to deliver that connectivity. The solution Beaming provided had four key parts.
Seamless transition: Beaming’s provisioning team managed the entire project from end-to-end, liaising with multiple organisations to ensure the new network and connections were installed in a tight time frame ahead of the move. KJLC was updated at every stage of the project and able to incorporate Beaming’s installation work into its relocation plans with complete confidence.
Main data line: Beaming installed a managed fibre-optic leased line – capable of delivering data download and upload speeds of 1Gbps, around 500 times the capacity of the old system, and the equivalent of almost 900,000 pages of text per second. This capability future proofs the system: more capacity can be supplied by Beaming, with no further engineering required.
Back-up and resilience: Beaming added a failover backup link to a secondary KJLC Fibre connected building. This provides a back-up to maintain connectivity should the primary connection go down. It was configured by Beaming to provide rock-solid availability. Even if forced to operate on the reserve connection, KJLC still has up to 25 times the bandwidth of the original data link.
Firewall compatibility: Finally, the company’s work with government agencies, defence and space manufacturers meant security had to be at the heart of any solution. Beaming developed a means of achieving a smooth fast connection and an excellent user experience via a variety of security protocols and measures. Beaming holds ISO27001, the standard for information security management, which demonstrates commitment to best practice when it comes to data security.
Every aspect of KJLC’s work in the UK uses data held in the US. This data lifeline now has the capability of running 500 times faster than before. That adds up to hundreds of hours a year of time and frustration saved by the UK team.
By consolidating with Beaming, KJLC can now rely on a single supplier that is accountable for all of its UK connectivity needs, with instant access to a team of technical experts to resolve any issues as quickly as possible.
It allows the UK hub to service the rest of the world as efficiently as possible, safe in the knowledge that the firm’s data is safe as it can be from the ever-growing siege of cyberattacks. And it does all of that at a lower cost than its previous provider.