The Watershed is a leading drug addiction treatment provider, offering medical detoxification and drug rehabilitation for those suffering from the diseases of alcoholism and drug addiction. Headquartered in Delray Beach, Florida, the company employs more than 600 personnel across five facilities in Florida and Texas and leverages virtual desktops and VoIP applications that require reliable WAN connectivity. With over 35.000 alumni to date, The Watershed’s philosophy is centered on patient-focused care and helping patients get clean and sober and stay that way. It has a help line where potential clients can reach its call center.
The Watershed needed a way to reliably and cost-effectively maintain connections for all its employees at its rehabilitation centers. The company needed to ensure its Citrix XenDesktop sessions and phone calls were not impacted during any network disruptions. Even with MPLS and broadband connections operating in an active/backup manner, there were delays with the failover connection and some clinical branches lacked failover measures. The Watershed needed to upgrades its network to ensure always-on connectivity for all employees in every location—and even at their homes. Furthermore, the lack of security for sensitive patient data traveling across its network caused data loss and corruption.
To improve network reliability, The Watershed uses the Citrix NetScaler SD-WAN software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) solution to bond multiple WAN links, including its commercial-grade broadband service with 4G LTE and Metro Ethernet services. With a full Citrix XenDesktop environment, The Watershed can now ensure its network is always up and running. NetScaler SD-WAN streamlines the company’s IT management and reduces manual configuration and setup of new locations.
With NetScaler SD-WAN, the company spreads application traffic across multiple WAN links and has the ability to do a per-packet inspection and transfer on multiple WAN links instead of application-level failover. The solution can prioritize critical traffic to ensure the highest level of performance. “We were interested in the NetScaler SD-WAN because it enabled us to inspect packets, it seamlessly integrated with XenApp, XenDesktop, and NetScaler, and gave us a full end-to-end solution from a single vendor,” says Trevor McCain, network administrator at The Watershed.
The solution integrates well with the company’s XenDesktop environment and Citrix NetScaler, providing an end-to-end application delivery solution. NetScaler SD-WAN allows for more secure access for its users. “We chose the NetScaler SD-WAN because we wanted to stay in the Citrix family, and we realized it was going to revolutionize our infrastructure,” says McCain.
Having NetScaler alongside NetScaler SD-WAN gives the company seamless network management to securely deliver critical applications to its employees in all of its locations. Employees can easily access applications on any device without worrying about data security. Packet encryption secures and protects sensitive patient information over the network. To handle calls at a much higher rate, the company uses NetScaler for secure remote access and to load-balance its XenDesktop sessions and phone calls in its call center.
The Watershed chose the all in one Citrix Workspace Suite solution for supporting a complete virtual workspace. Virtualizing Windows 7 desktops and critical applications such as Microsoft Office 2003 and 2010 was covered with XenApp and XenDesktop. The company also uses Citrix XenMobile for mobile device management and Citrix ShareFile as its file-sharing solution.
With NetScaler SD-WAN, The Watershed now runs WAN links in active-active mode, providing a multifold increase in bandwidth while link blackouts/brownouts go unnoticed. The Watershed can stay focused on its mission of saving lives and delivering high-quality inpatient and outpatient drug and alcohol addiction treatment and counseling services. “Citrix gives us the confidence in knowing our network is always available, which improves the work-life balance of all of our employees,” says McCain.
The Watershed uses NetScaler SD-WAN to provide more intelligent network management of its branch facilities. Network administrators can push out configuration changes to all locations quickly. The company can now make updates to its Texas facility from Florida with no issues. The NetScaler Insight Center virtual appliance lets The Watershed proactively monitor the health and performance of WAN links across its network.
Following its successful deployment of the NetScaler SD-WAN offering, The Watershed is considering upgrading certain locations to the NetScaler SD-WAN enterprise edition, which combines WAN optimization with the virtual WAN feature set.
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