CNI harnesses Bigleaf to improve internet continuity for utility companies

Computer Network, Inc. (CNI) turned to Bigleaf Networks to reduce the impact of network outages and improve internet continuity, reliability and performance for the utility companies it serves. CNI’s utility management system (UMS) helps to streamline and control operations for more than 200 utility boards and municipalities across the U.S. that together provide water, natural gas, electricity, wastewater, and sanitation services to their business and residential customers. 

Like many organizations that conduct business online, utility boards rely on internet-based communications and applications to manage their operations. If the internet connection is unavailable, even briefly, utilities and their customers risk losing access to critical services, in addition to incurring the costs associated with the disruption of ordinary business functions.  

Bigleaf mitigates impact of network outages  

With Bigleaf, CNI keeps internet connections up and running at its own Cullman, AL-based headquarters and at a growing number of utility company locations. CNI chose Bigleaf for its Same-IP Failover feature, which works in concert with a static IP address while switching traffic in the background from a faulty circuit to a working connection, in a seamless failover.  

Some of CNI’s utility clients already maintained backup connections so they could execute a failover manually when one line went down. While this type of redundancy is helpful, many network configurations and policies don’t allow failover unless there is a complete outage. Further, this failover process itself causes an interruption in service.  

Bigleaf, by comparison, initiates the failover automatically and instantaneously, so there is no interruption to data transmission or to the user experience. This seamless failover is especially important during session-based applications and technologies, such as VoIP, videoconferencing, or VPNs, when the slightest degradation or disruption of circuit performance can effectively end the session.  

Bigleaf also identifies, prioritizes, and routes internet traffic automatically to the path that offers the best performance for each data type at a given time. The transition to a better connection is so smooth that the user will not notice any change, even in the middle of a video conference, internet-based phone call, online payment, or other traffic-sensitive interaction.  

“Bigleaf Same-IP Failover solves many of the issues that our clients face. Bigleaf also provides quality of service and load balancing of the clients’ internet traffic.” 

         Mike McConatha, President, CNI 

    Works with any ISP, connection type, or configuration  

    CNI appreciated Bigleaf’s plug-and-play simplicity and broad compatibility. Bigleaf can be integrated easily into existing network configurations, and it works with any ISP or circuit type. This flexibility was especially important to CNI for rural utility clients with limited choices of ISPs and connection types.  

    CNI can add Bigleaf to the utility companies’ systems quickly and easily, with no change to established network configurations or policies. Many utilities require complex network and security protocols, with established firewalls, virtual private networks, and dedicated connections to payment service providers and preferred ISPs. Bigleaf does not interfere with any of those operations or vendors.   

    “We wanted a networking solution that was carrier-agnostic, so it can be integrated into any of our clients’ CNI system configurations, with any ISP. Bigleaf gave us that flexibility.” 

    Jake Morrow, Technical Operations Manager, CNI 

    With the Bigleaf solution in place, CNI’s clients don’t need to worry about network outages or the frustrating service issues that can result. CNI also uses Bigleaf at its own headquarters office to maintain 99.99% uptime across four circuits: two fiber optic cables, one coax cable, and a cellular router.   

    The Bigleaf Web Dashboard gives CNI actionable insights on the circuit performance delivered by each ISP and circuit, so any potential problems can be addressed proactively. And Bigleaf support teams are available 24/7 to identify and resolve any urgent issues. 

    “Bigleaf support has been incredible. When there is an issue, I can call in and typically get it resolved within an hour.” 

    Randy Bell, Sales Engineer CNI 

    Are you ready to improve the performance and reliability of your critical, internet-dependent applications? Schedule a free demo and learn how Bigleaf delivers flawless, worry-free connectivity.

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