Written by James Goddard
How an Automotive Manufacturer Leveraged VPC on Google Cloud to Optimise Production
The client is an automotive manufacturer with an international reputation for quality.
The client had a strategic objective of significantly increasing its consumption of cloud services in order to enhance efficiency and productivity across business operations and production lines.
However, with a target of deploying a wide range of transformational capabilities on Google Cloud Platform, fundamental infrastructure and security challenges prevented the realisation of these goals.
The client’s connectivity was provided via a hub and spoke system, providing bandwidth via a VPN. However, this provided speeds as low as 100MB per second. The lack of interconnectivity within the organisation restricted not only the rapid adoption of cloud services, but blocked the use of even desktop productivity applications. Such was the concern around latency, Google Hangout videos were blocked from the user interface to avoid latency across the board. Users reported better connectivity via their home broadband and at times worked from home to perform specific tasks.
An option to overcome this connectivity challenge was to rebuild the entire network infrastructure. However the client and Appsbroker collaboratively agreed that there must be a smarter way of improving performance, one that required less upheaval and capital expenditure.
To improve performance and help the organisation fully embrace the cloud, Appsbroker architected and built a new connectivity estate, made possible via a direct datapipe into Google’s own data centre.
Appsbroker initially sent a team into the client’s offices to aid project scoping and produce a low-level design of the estate. The proof of concept was signed off and the decision was made to move to a Google Interconnect.
Using a shared Virtual Private Cloud Network, the client was able to securely connect to its Google Cloud Platform estate and network seamlessly with existing on-premise data centre networks.
A core ‘host’ project was created which is where the Interconnect was provisioned. Four subsequent projects were then created and attached to the host project, with each of these projects representing an environment – Dev, Test, QA and Prod. Within each environment we created 5 subnetworks based on the following layers – Application, Database, DMZ, Management and Presentation. These layers were created around a pre-configured IP range that had already been carved up and approved. Appropriate Google Cloud instances and hosted applications could then be provisioned within the network for optimal performance.
As part of the WAN Transformation Programme at the client, Appsbroker implemented a new highly resilient, secure and scalable Google Cloud Dedicated Interconnect between all client sites across the UK and Google Cloud Platform. Effectively this created a new ‘Cloud Hosting Perimeter’ which not only provided fast, reliable connectivity to Google Cloud, but to other cloud providers as well.
The migration to the Google Cloud Dedicated Interconnect has provided significant improvements in speed, availability and performance. Moving from home broadband level performance, the client’s employees now benefit from 10GB download speed.
Not only does this provide speed and reliability, but the client can now undertake IT initiatives and burst into the cloud in a way not previously possible. The organisation is realising its cloud potential and is consuming services in a more efficient way. Cloud services can be used at higher quantities, creating new functionality by virtue of the enhanced capacity.
The cloud routers manage the load placed on the network, scaling as demand increases. As a dynamic network, any points of failure are redirected to an operating stream to retain network availability. And as a VPC Network, the client’s employees can connect to the network securely around the world, enabling true enterprise mobility. Alongside mobility, the organisation gained greater control over cloud expenditure, with the network managed via Google Cloud Platform.
A further benefit of moving away from the legacy networking infrastructure has not only been the clear improvements in capacity, but the assurance it offers the client moving forward. As the company becomes more reliant on cloud as a core element of operations, it can continue to run and onboard services safe in the knowledge that the Google Cloud network infrastructure will easily scale.
The development of the VPC Hybrid Network is enabling the client to realise its cloud roadmap, with GCP footprint increasing by 150% in just 12 months as it adopts more services.
The assurance of private VPC in GCP has allowed client developers, software engineers and business teams to overcome security concerns and directly access GCP Services through Interconnect. With the client’s data lake strategy housed in GCP, users are now able to upload huge volumes of information and actively utilise the data lake, allowing greater insight into Enterprise Data.