Connolly’s Red Mills
Network security and management with Fortinet Security Fabric.
Connolly’s RED MILLS is one of the world’s leading suppliers of equine, pet, greyhound and agriculture feed. First established in County Carlow in 1908, and now available in 73 countries around the world, Connolly’s RED MILLS has spent over 100 years building a reputation for converting fresh, natural ingredients into premium feed for peak performance. Their Goresbridge site is a complex of mills, drying facilities, store houses, laboratories and administrative offices, and consists of several network segments. There were also 6 other site locations connected to Goresbridge with an MPLS network.
From the very beginning the networks segments in the production facilities at Goresbridge were handled by the suppliers of their production management software, Millwheel, and much of the production equipment was networked by them. HCS have provided managed services to Connolly Redmills since 2013, and separation of the production networks and administrative networks had always presented challenges that had to be accommodated and worked around.
Over the years the network has grown, with no real plans to overhaul it and centralise its management. In recent years, however, production has been impacted by a number of network issues. In some cases, the network speed was slow, and in a couple of instances it was down altogether. With multiple switch brands in place, limited functionality on switches, and different connectivity types in place, resolving such issues was always hugely time-consuming, and often dramatic troubleshooting processes were used to get to the root of the issue. With the pressing need to have full control of their networks security perspective, it was clear a new network was needed to provide a single pane-of-glass management system and the ability to set a baseline of performance so that locating any issues in the future would be far easier.
HCS recommended the full Fortinet Security fabric as a solution to bring firewall security down to every port in every site. We designed the network so that all key cabinet locations in Goresbridge would have dual network paths, there would be core switches and firewalls with high availability failover. Using vLANs, multiple physical networks were amalgamated into one physical network.
Following the project, Connolly’s RED MILLS IT staff immediately noticed an increase in performance. With a single pane-of-glass management system for their networks across all sites, including the switches on the MPLS sites, policies can be created and applied across the whole of the organisation’s physical network infrastructure.
The Fortinet solution that HCS implemented has been a game changer for us. It’s more secure, performance is much improved and the centralised control makes it easy to manage and maintain.