Kelly Services: Architecting Skype for Business for a Fast User Experience

The network design at Kelly Services—like many large, distributed enterprises—was built with the data center at its heart. Regional data centers were the hub of network life, and all data traffic flowed across MPLS circuits to these hubs. Stacks of firewalls and proxies monitored traffic to and from the internet. This design worked well enough until the data center was no longer the central hub.

With services moving to the cloud, our legacy network couldn’t keep up. Transiting WAN links added latency, and our legacy security stacks were falling over. To take advantage of the cloud, we had to get our users closer to the internet. We invested early in SD-WAN and internet transport, but security was still an issue. Complex firewall rules at every site made supporting Skype for Business and O365 challenging.

When we moved to Zscaler our network management became easier and more consistent. We could move away from a complex edge with firewalls and UTM appliances. Our users now reach cloud applications via direct-to-internet links. We leverage bandwidth control to protect our business applications from taking a back seat to streaming media. We also take advantage of their built-in support for Skype and Office, eliminating the need to manage complex rules.

In this talk, I’ll discuss how we’ve evolved the Kelly Services network with Zscaler by:

  • Moving from 900+ MPLS circuits to tunnels to Zscaler
  • Eliminating hundreds of firewall rules in favor of one-click O365 configuration
  • Using bandwidth control to ensure business apps come first

After this video be sure to check out another Kelly Services video in which Al Aghel of Kelly Services and @DShelton discuss our cloud journey at last year’s Zenith Live event: Zenith Live 2019 Announced

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