Specsavers eyes WAN for long term scalability

Specsavers will implement a new wide area network in a bid to improve scalability and bandwidth.

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Specsavers will implement a new wide area network (WAN) in a bid to improve scalability and bandwidth.

Under a £4.5m five-year deal, supplier Vanco will design, implement and manage a WAN for the high street optician chain, implementing DSL technology across over 800 sites in six countries, including the UK.

Specsavers said increasing bandwidth and scalability were important in ensuring stores were better networked as the company expanded. The company has more than 1,000 stores in the UK and mainland Europe.

Ruskin Snow, IT operations manager at Specsavers, said that Vanco’s independence from carrier operators was an important factor in the choice of supplier. He added: "Vanco’s ability to provide us with the most suitable network for our needs means that we have the freedom to carry on growing and evolving."

The company recently completed a three-month project to scale and roll out its user access control capability across six countries, choosing the open source OpenLDAP directory service after deciding that open source offerings in this market were mature enough to deliver a cost-effective and stable long-term platform.

Group IT director Michael Khan also said last year that choosing open source was driving the company’s ambitious international growth plan. That year, Specsavers migrated its IT infrastructure, including servers, desktops and tills, away from Microsoft Windows 2000 to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system.

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