Carnival Cruises Pacific Jewel

Ship Ahoy! Carnival Australia Optimizes Satellite WAN

Carnival Cruises Pacific JewelIt should come as no surprise that satellite WAN connections are plagued with bandwidth limitations, latency and packet loss. The physical distance that signals travel from Earth to the orbiting satellite and back again is enough to negatively impact any application and network performance. Plus, performance is further complicated by packet loss, which, in the case of Carnival Australia, was more than 5% during peak times.

Carnival Australia solved its challenges with Silver Peak, optimizing satellite WAN connectivity for three of its ships in the P&O Cruises Australia fleet: Pacific Dawn, Pacific Jewel, and Pacific Pearl.

Each ship relies on the satellite WAN to access applications, transfer files and communicate between ships and the head office data center located in Sydney. To overcome slow WAN performance over the 756 Kbps IP-based satellite connections, Carnival Australia deployed Silver Peak NX-series WAN optimization appliances on its ships and in its data center to accelerate CIFS and FTP for file transfers, HTTP/S for Internet traffic, RDP for remote administration, and IBM Lotus Notes and Domino for messaging and collaboration. The result? Improved staff efficiency, enhanced application response time and faster large file transfers and data replication.

What does this all mean?  Well, for starters, Carnival Australia ruled out the need for a costly upgrade in satellite WAN bandwidth. Specific benefits also included:

  • Reduction in transmission times for applications, with more than an 80% improvement in application performance
  • Improved integrity of the satellite WAN connection and significant reduction — and, in some cases, elimination — in packet loss
  • Head-office and ship-based users benefited from faster and more consistent file transfer and application response times
  • Data transfer times reduced by over 90%
  • Lotus notes traffic decreased by over 80%
  • SMTP and HTTP traffic was cut down by over 70%

That’s what I call smooth sailing!