Customer Stories

Large Fuel Distribution Company Refines Its Network Performance with Fortinet

By Rami Rammaha and Rick Peters | December 15, 2021

From the oil rig to the gas pump, most large fuel distribution companies are involved in just about every aspect of fuel exploration, extraction, production, and distribution. In particular, one leading fuel distribution company has over 400 sites that include gas stations, corporate offices, remote offices, oil rigs, and fuel trucks. It also has 9,000 employees that handle thousands of customers across 60 markets.

For this fuel company, managing and securing its network infrastructure created numerous challenges for its IT department. The network environment was dependent on legacy routers, and connected to one Multi-Protocol Label Switch (MPLS) and one broadband circuit. Its existing hub-and-spoke configuration routed traffic through the data center via MPLS, with some traffic eventually traversing to cloud applications.

This legacy network was hindered by a lack of agility. The company’s IT team did not have the flexibility to optimize traffic performance, especially around cloud applications. Visibility into traffic at remote sites was severely limited and there was no centralized control and management.

Meanwhile, this network was becoming more expensive—and less secure. The high costs of its MPLS—in the millions per year—took a toll on business profitability. In addition, the network could not support edge security at the company’s gas stations and other locations, which reduced efficiency and negatively impacted users.

To continue on its digital innovation journey and embrace future technologies, the company needed a new networking solution in place.

Moving Up to Greater Agility, Quality, and Cost-Savings

After resolving to improve its infrastructure, the global fuel distribution company evaluated leading vendors including Fortinet. After evaluating these offerings, the company chose Fortinet to deliver a FortiGate Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) for its data center core, along with FortiGate Secure SD-WAN at the remote sites and gas stations. Ultimately, the fuel company chose Fortinet based on several distinctive solution values:  

First, Fortinet enables an agile infrastructure. The fuel company can deploy a single FortiGate Secure SD-WAN edge for its remote offices and gas stations. This transforms and secures the WAN by consolidating SD-WAN, NGFW, and advanced routing functions, since they are all powered by one operating system and one management system. This results in a simplified architecture and easier management, with lower maintenance costs. This network configuration enables Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance, thanks to its integrated, advanced NGFW security stack. In addition, it accommodates local governments’ regulations around security compliance. All this while  providing network-wide visibility, analytics, reporting, and management across the WAN, enabling IT to respond faster to any issues that arise.

Fortinet’s solution also yields efficiency by dynamically steering applications through the network, based on service-Level agreements (SLAs) that define which path is best for each given application. For example, SaaS applications are now granularly steered over internet links, with application identification based on the first packet.

In addition, every remote office and gas station is protected without the expense of backhauling traffic to the data center for inspection. Additional savings come from eliminating management silos in each division, and gaining centralized management and provisioning of network and security policies. This translates into reduced MPLS capacity requirements and associated costs, by dynamically steering cloud applications over the internet.

Finally, Fortinet lowers the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). The fuel company gains the savings of having one appliance that provides all of its networking and security functions. And, the new network supports lower-cost WAN connectivity and internet access.

Focusing Less on the Network and More on the Business

With Fortinet, the global fuel distribution company’s IT can manage and control the infrastructure through an integrated, simplified solution that consolidates SD-WAN, NGFW, and advanced routing functions. This solution centrally manages networking and security policies, and provides network-wide visibility, analytics, and orchestration. Eliminating silos enables the company’s IT team to efficiently control everything and better address business needs.

The fuel company now has an advanced security stack, with networking, web/URL filtering, NGFW, and an Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) for its remote sites and gas stations. By taking advantage of secure local internet breakout with PCI DSS compliance, the company lowers its WAN connectivity expenses, by reducing dependence on MPLS and leveraging the internet at lower cost.

Going forward, the fuel company can continue to build its business on advanced FortiGate NGFWs and Secure SD-WAN, gaining greater performance and functionality—plus greater value.

 

Take a security-driven networking approach to improve user experience and simplify operations at the WAN edge with Fortinet Secure SD-WAN.