Juniper Networks, an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, has announced that Colruyt Group, one of the largest retailers in Belgium and France, has deployed Juniper Networks’ solutions to improve its data connectivity in response to exponential growth in network traffic.
Colruyt Group consists of more than 40 brands for consumers and businesses, including food and non-food retail, fuel, wholesale and food services. Established more than 80 years ago, it operates 553 of its own stores, supplies 581 independent shopkeepers in Belgium and France and also offers its products via e-commerce sites.
The group owns the BIO-planet, Collishop, Cru, dreambaby, DreamLand, OKay, SPAR Belgium, MyUnderwear24, NewStory, Newpharma and ZEB brands and operates a network of DATS24 fuel stations throughout Belgium.
Colruyt must ensure that it provides quality products and convenient services at competitive prices to protect and grow its leadership status. Ensuring the smooth operation of mission-critical applications such as stock controls and technological infrastructure that underpin its customer-facing services is the key to maintaining happy and loyal customers.
Facing a rapid increase in demand for its products and services across the company’s portfolio, Colruyt needed to upgrade its WAN and LAN to ensure that it could respond effectively to the growth in network activity.
To maximise bandwidth and reduce latency while ensuring network security and stability, Colruyt invested in a range of Juniper solutions to:
- Support fast growth and seasonal shopping spikes: Juniper Networks EX Series Ethernet Switches that are deployed in a Virtual Chassis topology with EX Series switches or QFX Series data centre switches. L3 aggregation gives Colruyt the ability to add new nodes into the campus network quickly. This extensible configuration provides Colruyt with the flexibility and agility to meet any peaks in traffic caused by further growth or seasonal shopping periods.
- Provide more reliable point of sale: The Virtual Chassis capabilities offered by the EX Series Ethernet Switches and QFX Series Switches means in-store POS (point of sale) and tablet devices will be much less likely to go offline, even at peak times. By moving to a Virtual Chassis for the switches that handle all store-related traffic, Colruyt is able to simplify its network topology. This layer of virtualisation drives a better customer experience.
- Deliver scalable Internet connections: Colruyt uses MX104 routers as peering devices with the ISP. Powered by the Junos operating system and the programmable Trio Chipset, Juniper’s MX104 Universal Routing Platform is a modular, highly redundant and compact platform offering advanced routing, switching, security and service features.
- Secure its data and infrastructure: Colruyt implemented the Juniper Networks SRX5400 Services Gateway, providing the retailer with a scalable, resilient firewall, equipped with integrated threat intelligence, an intrusion prevention system and a powerful routing engine. This feature helps Colruyt protect its own infrastructure and sensitive customer data from cybersecurity threats.
- Ensure reliable and secure store connectivity: Colruyt deployed the Juniper Networks SRX300 Services Gateway as its branch solution for Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) for its site connectivity.
- The company is now on its way to upgrading its network bandwidth to 40 Gbps.
- Colruyt selected Juniper Networks’ partner Securelink, a leading information consulting company specialising in network and security, to design and deliver Colruyt’s solution.
Wim Derijnck, Team Manager, Network Solutions, Colruyt, said: “Colruyt recognised that our existing infrastructure was not equipped to handle the growth that we expect to see in the coming years. The limited throughput of the older switches that were still installed in most of our stores and the existing Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) architecture of our network were beginning to cause bottlenecks.
“Network saturations would occasionally overload switches and take locations offline, potentially causing inconvenience for our customers. Juniper Networks’ solutions enable us to reduce the risk of downtime and increase our network availability from 10 Gbps to 40 Gbps, driving customer satisfaction and loyalty across our stores and online sites.”
James Morgan, Vice President of Enterprise, EMEA, Juniper Networks, said: “Customers expect a smooth shopping experience without delays or risk. This means that companies undergoing Digital Transformation have to deploy the right network to underpin every aspect, from CCTV cameras to in-store POS and e-commerce sites.
“As a long-established retailer, Colruyt has moved with the times to understand the value of simplified engineering in its network, enabled by Juniper technology, to deliver innovation, performance and security.”