World’s Largest Toy Company Consolidates Distributed Design Data with Talon FAST™

The Challenge: Managing Exponentially Growing Design and Software Data

A globe spanning toy enterprise employs thousands of employees worldwide and is one of the best-known brands for quality building toys. Each toy product involves design files and image libraries for the product, assembly instructions, box design, and other inserts. For a company with thousands upon thousands of products, the amount of data accompanied with each product presents a significant challenge around the management and security of that data. As the company grew over the years, expanding in China, Europe and Latin America, these data sets continued to grow exponentially, which not only introduced a challenge around data management and backup, but also the lack of ability to work together on the same file sets. Unfortunately, the rapidly growing graphical libraries data sets were isolated in remote offices and designers required a better way to access and collaborate on these imager libraries without severe delays.

Initially, the enterprise tried WAN optimization technology to alleviate strain on the network and facilitate faster data access while centralizing the data itself. While this solution helped in the short term, the data sets of the company require very similar management to that of an architecture, engineering, or construction company (AEC), which demand immediate response times, instant file sharing, and seamless collaboration. While WANOP can help with these challenges, it doesn’t completely solve the problem. Without a better storage solution, the company was facing problems managing the file sets, design libraries and maintaining quality control on designs and products. As they began to roll out new product lines and open new divisions, the problem only grew.

In addition to toy products and play sets, the toy company began to expand into the gaming and entertainment industries. Instead of being purely focused on children’s building sets they expanded. They began turning their existing product lines into games and movies for a more diverse audience. They were no longer just a toy company, but a media and software company as well. This presented a whole new set of challenges for data management, consolidating PB’s (peta bytes) worth of data and introducing file collaboration, and this enterprise needed a permanent solution.

The Solution: A Data Centralization Strategy Through FAST™ for simplified data access

The toy company came specifically to Talon with the intent of creating a centralization strategy that would facilitate for optimal data access at the branch office locations. This would allow the new divisions and offices to edit files without worrying about file versions or updates and 24/7 access to a centralized single set of data. With over 50 sites needing assistance with server consolidation, FAST™ was the perfect solution.

The Talon Solutions Engineering team worked with the company’s IT staff and leveraged its existing VMware vSphere hypervisor platform to carve out a small caching virtual machine on the company’s existing hardware. This would allow Talon FAST™ to create a local intelligent file cache and prevent excess data from overwhelming the branch offices by delta differencing file changes back to the central authoritative data set. The intelligent file cache could separate active from archive data automatically in the background, only caching what was needed at the branch, which made designing new products a much simpler process. With this solution in place, the toy company could finally operate without major setbacks and addressed a major issue: theft of Intellectual Property.

Data Encryption at rest
By using Talon FAST™ at the edge in the respective manufacturing sites, the customer decided to leverage drive encryption on top its Windows Server architecture which eliminates the risk of hardware being stolen and data being compromised in different markets, where ‘fake’ products are hitting the streets with similar principles and designs.

“We’re incredibly pleased with the results. We’ve been a Talon customer since 2013, and every update and change they’ve made to FAST™ has only improved how our offices operate. We put their software in every branch location and we couldn’t be happier. Their software has been instrumental in our development as a company.”

To learn more about FAST™ and how it can help you manage data in your distributed enterprise, click the link below.
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