Vendor Case Study

How CDM Smith Reduced Latency with Equinix

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  • Equinix partnered with construction stalwart CDM Smith to move its global infrastructure to a hybrid model. CDM Smith was able to increase its processing speed and decrease its expected total cost of ownership (TCO) by 25% using industry best practices around edge locations and interconnection.

  • Executive Summary

  • Seeking to gain a competitive advantage, engineering and construction leader CDM Smith set out to transform its IT infrastructure to support seamless and integrated global collaboration involving new technologies and approaches (cloud, IoT and mixed reality). Critical to this strategy was moving to a hybrid cloud model leveraging data center colocation and re-architecting its IT for a digital edge by leveraging industry best practices. By building its digital edge alongside the largest data center ecosystems within Equinix data centers, CDM Smith was able to bring applications and services closer to users, optimize multicloud connectivity and boost performance. These essential shifts helped the firm create a more flexible, scalable and cost-effective interconnected IT architecture that delivered significant business benefits.

  • Business Results

    • Delivers more innovative client solutions in less time
    • 20 times faster optioneering and construction simulation model processing
    • 38% reduction in latency interconnecting to the cloud
    • 250% more bandwidth per employee at the same operating cost
    • 25% lower annual total cost of ownership
    • Receives accolades for technical innovation and stewardship: Presented with the 2016 MIT Sloan CIO Leadership Award
  • Customer Overview

  • CDM Smith is a leading engineering and construction firm that provides lasting and integrated solutions in water, environment, transportation, energy and facilities to public and private clients worldwide. Based in Boston, MA, CDM Smith is privately owned with approximately 5,000 employees worldwide. The firm works in partnership with its global clients to solve complex environmental and infrastructure challenges.

  • Business Opportunity

  • CDM Smith’s leaders wanted to enable the company and its customers to experience design and construction in a realistic and accurate way. It recognized that by rendering its customers’ design models faster, the firm could consider additional variables and ultimately deliver better solutions. However, in order to get there, it needed a high- performance, scalable architecture to drive faster data access and processing. In addition, it needed to analyze and return data faster by providing customers with immediate insights to make the right decisions more quickly and efficiently.

    With its existing network consisting of a patchwork of carriers connected primarily over the public internet, CDM Smith’s network service was inconsistent with poor user experience—especially for employees in remote offices. It was becoming increasingly difficult to achieve the high level of collaboration required for business success. Other pain points included the lack of enablement for business-critical applications (VOIP and Microsoft Office 365), the inability to rapidly embrace new techniques (e.g., drones, sensors, submersibles, 3D virtual and augmented reality/holographic simulations, etc.) and the considerable resources required to maintain the existing network configuration. It was clear that CDM Smith needed a more interconnected IT architecture to support its business goals.

  • “High-performance global interconnection is key to facilitating the type of collaboration that enables us to deliver new innovative outcomes to our customers. Equinix is providing us with a complete interconnection architecture that’s helping us transform how infrastructure projects are designed, built and operated.”

    -David Neitz, CIO, CDM Smith

  • Solutions

  • To deliver a flexible, high-performing, end-to-end interconnection solution for CDM Smith, Equinix partnered with CFN Services, a managed services provider known for deploying and managing high-performance networks—including private cloud solutions. Together, the companies helped CDM Smith transform its global corporate network by building a robust digital edge based on interconnected IT architecture within Equinix’s data center colocation platform.

    Today, Equinix delivers any-to- any, high-performance interconnection between CDM Smith’s 160 global offices. Equinix’s SDN fabric, known as Cloud Exchange directly, securely and dynamically connects distributed infrastructure and digital ecosystems globally on Platform Equinix via software- defined interconnection. CFN Services provides the firm’s private internet protocol (IP) backbone, as well as configuration and management of the entire Performance Hub deployment.

  • Value Realized

  • With the new agile, interconnected architecture via robust data center ecosystems, CDM Smith easily transitioned to a hybrid cloud environment with ready-access to top cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure. The firm’s leaders now know they can rely on an interconnection solution that will scale operationally, technically and geographically as the business grows. This includes guaranteed bandwidth and service level agreements for all offices—right down to the “last mile.”

  • Key Takeaways

  • Transforming its global network by innovating at the digital edge enabled CDM Smith to collaborate more effectively with its employees, partners and customers to deliver more innovative solutions—based on newer technologies—to its clients faster. By leveraging an IOA strategy, the firm gained a high-performance, cost-effective architecture that empowers it to quickly and dynamically respond to change.

    Find your colocation solution in an Equinix facility using UpStack’s marketplace.

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