Anytime Fitness Gets Its Network in Shape with Cradlepoint Branch Routing & Management
Challenge — Anytime Fitness needed the ability to easily deploy and remotely monitor and manage network connectivity and leverage custom apps for business-critical data at its high-tech fitness centers around the globe.
Solution — For new gyms and tech refreshes, the company chose to implement Cradlepoint's NetCloud Service for branch, which includes extensive cloud functionality, a purpose-built primary router, 24x7 support, and a limited lifetime warranty.
Benefits — Anytime Fitness’ IT team now has remote visibility into and control of connectivity at hundreds of location, with the ability get new locations up and running quickly and cost-effectively.
Anytime Fitness has more than 4,000 health and fitness clubs in 30 countries — with sister company Provision Security providing technology services, including network management, for all locations.
One of the biggest reasons for the company’s success is the gyms’ 24x7 access. This is only feasible if each fitness center’s security cameras, monitors, and building access control systems are always connected to the company network.
Time & Complexity of Deployment — With new franchise locations popping up all the time, Anytime Fitness needed a highly scalable solution that is easy for on-site staff with limited IT expertise to deploy.
Lack of Visibility into Network Conditions — Without IT professionals on staff at its distributed locations, it was difficult for the organization to monitor and troubleshoot WAN connectivity and information security across the map.
Tracking Data from Many Apps — With its wide array of custom apps that gather critical information, Anytime Fitness needed a way to integrate WAN analytics with other types of data.
WAN Inflexibility — It isn’t cost-effective to buy a new solution every time a location’s networking conditions and needs change. The company wanted one primary router that can accommodate all WAN types.
Complex Information Security Needs — Anytime Fitness facilities are prone to the same increasingly dangerous information security threats as other organizations, but without the ability to place IT professionals at every facility.
Anytime Fitness implemented Cradlepoint's NetCloud Service for branch for any new gym and router technology refresh. The service includes routing, WAN link termination and traffic management, a firewall, and cloud configuration and troubleshooting, all delivered via a purpose-built primary router with embedded LTE, 24x7 support, and a limited lifetime warranty.
Easy Day-1 Deployment
For new gyms, IT personnel preprovision their Cradlepoint routers — using the NetCloud platform’s group configuration feature — before sending them to the site. Predetermined networking VLAN and security rule templates allow the IT team to easily add just a few settings to each router before sending it to the new franchise location.
"Deployment is an easy process. We just add the router into a web-based configuration group and let the platform do the rest," said Dan Gillan, Vice President, Provision Security.
Remote Management & Troubleshooting
Anytime Fitness has had very few networking problems since implementing the Cradlepoint solution as part of its branch architecture, Gillan said. However, when an issue does arise, diagnosing and addressing the problem is much easier and faster with NetCloud, as opposed to other routers that lack cloud management capabilities.
“It’s a lot easier to manage the devices on our network when we have remote visibility and control, which is what NetCloud provides,” Gillan said.
The single-pane-of-glass NetCloud platform features easy point-and-click functionality. However, NetCloud also provides a command-line interface (CLI) experience, which is a major boon for members of Anytime Fitness’ IT staff who are more comfortable with that tool.
Seamless Integration with Custom Apps & Key Data
With NetCloud Manager’s open API, Anytime Fitness easily integrates WAN-related data with custom enterprise applications and monitoring systems, allowing automated data transfer through the cloud.
“We have many tools that pull various pieces of data. For example, we have a monitoring system that periodically checks to determine whether any of our sites have gone offline. If the Internet is down, that site will show up on a digital map, alerting us about the problem,” Gillan said.
Along with Internet outage alerts, the API allows the IT team to monitor the building access control system.
“If our 24x7 access malfunctions, we can remotely cross-reference access control data with WAN uptime data and determine whether the problem is associated with the device or the network,” Gillan said.
Reliable Connectivity with Multi-WAN Flexibility
Anytime Fitness locations use wired WAN for on-site network access, but Cradlepoint’s all-in-one routers also support WiFi-as-WAN and LTE — including dual-modem, multi-carrier functionality for load balancing and instant failover. Every gym has the option of changing its WAN configuration without having to buy new appliances.
All-in-One Information Security
With cloud-managed AER Series solutions, Anytime Fitness benefits from Unified Threat Management features including application-based control, multi-zone firewall, and web content filtering through CP Secure Web Filter. NetCloud enables the IT team to leverage all of its data security measures with a single sign-on experience, instead of having to subscribe to multiple vendors and licenses.
Cloud-Star technology supply the full range of Cradlepoint wireless routers.