UniSea chooses Aerohive® for Mission-critical Fishery Operations in Extreme Environmental Conditions
Milpitas, Calif. — March 27, 2018 — Aerohive Networks® (NYSE: HIVE), a Cloud Networking leader, today announced that UniSea, Inc., one of the world’s largest seafood producers, has begun deployment of Aerohive’s SD-LAN solution across their multiple locations in harsh environments.
Over 40 years ago, UniSea started processing King and Tanner crab in Dutch Harbor, Alaska. They now process King and Tanner crab, Alaskan Pollock, Pacific Cod, Black Cod, Halibut and a variety of other species from the cold, deep waters of the Bering Sea. For decades, Alaska’s world-class fisheries have been managed sustainably by the State of Alaska and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, and this approach to fishery management has made UniSea among the largest seafood producers in the world. UniSea currently employs over 1,000 full-time and seasonal workers and is spread across three locations: the Dutch Harbor fishery in Alaska, a cold-storage facility in Redmond, Washington, as well as their corporate offices.
Prior to deploying Aerohive’s SD-LAN solution, UniSea had an old legacy system with unreliable gear and no insights into what was happening on the network. Wi-Fi is mission-critical to UniSea and with the legacy system’s access points constantly requiring rebooting, UniSea’s business operations were dramatically affected. UniSea’s Dutch Harbor site, located on an island, did not have access to fast internet and relied on an expensive satellite internet that topped out at six Mbps. At the cold-water storage facility in Redmond, the environment posed another difficult problem of deploying extremely reliable wireless in a building 20 degrees below Fahrenheit. On top of the extreme temperatures, forklifts operate in an area filled with blocks of ice, which caused attenuation of radio frequency signals (Wi-Fi). Without reliable wireless connections to the forklifts, orders had to be processed manually.
Beginning in the Dutch Harbor location, UniSea began deploying Aerohive AP230s for their indoor locations and Aerohive AP1130s for outdoor locations. Thanks to the flexibility of Aerohive’s cloud-managed networking, UniSea chose to deploy HiveManager® on premises due to the limited internet bandwidth on the island. To address the authentication issues at Dutch Harbor, UniSea rolled out a mixture of radius authentication (for corporate users) and Private Pre-Shared Key (PPSK) (for corporate devices). Now, they have complete control over which devices can connect to the network. For guest access, they also leverage Aerohive’s PPSK with credentials expiring after a week.
After leaving their legacy system behind, UniSea felt in complete control of their network. Problems that were previously difficult to diagnose became simple with HiveManager, as they can identify which user (and which device) is using more bandwidth than they should. They can also relocate offenders to a lower quality of service tier as to not affect mission-critical devices. UniSea has also used HiveManager and the location information from the access points to determine where lost devices were, and when employees were leaving work before their scheduled shift ends.
The Aerohive access points have performed as expected even in the harshest of environments. Despite below-freezing temperatures, 50-MPH wind, and sideways precipitation, the Aerohive 1130s remain online, without the need to reboot.
After a successful deployment at Dutch Harbor, UniSea deployed Aerohive AP230s and AP1130s at their cold storage facility in Redmond, Washington. One of UniSea’s previous issues was managing what was happening on the WLAN. Since the forklifts are running a low-end version of Windows 7, the risk of running unauthorized websites or applications was very high. With Aerohive’s Application and Visibility Control, locking down apps and services on the WLAN is built right into each AP. With a stateful firewall inside all Aerohive access points, IT managers can monitor and block any non-corporate applications they need to.
“Aerohive went above and beyond helping us deploy Wi-Fi in this extremely difficult environment,” said Steve Nuss, the IT manager of UniSea.
UniSea will also begin rolling out Aerohive AP230s at their corporate office. Leveraging HiveManager, UniSea is excited about the future of cloud-managed Wi-Fi powering their operations. For them, Wi-Fi is essential to their business operations.
To read the full UniSea case study, please visit: www.aerohive.com/wp-content/uploads/Aerohive_Manufacturing_Case-Study_UniSea.pdf
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