We are now in a much better position to service our customers as our network is prepared to scale to all current and future technology demands.
Mike Howell, Global Infrastructure Engineering Manager, Rentokil Initial

Problem Situation

Rentokil Initial is a global organization that offers pest control and hygiene services. With over 1800 local services teams all over the world and increasing dependency on cloud-based applications and services, Rentokil Initial needed a solution that would simplify its network, streamline processes, and provide increased bandwidth.

Rentokil Initial’s primary business requirement was support for the Google services across its global estate consisting of 35,000 employees in 70 countries. The heavy usage of Google Mail, Google Drive, and Google Hangouts with video capabilities was driving the need for a substantial increase in bandwidth that could not be achieved with traditional network architectures.

Just 5 years ago traffic backhauled over MPLS to the internet accounted for approximately 20% of the overall network traffic and the remaining 80% was destined to the private datacenter. However, following a drive towards more cloud-based services such as Google, traffic patterns inverted, with 80% of network traffic being destined to the internet and only 20% to the private datacenter. It became less logical and more expensive to require network traffic to be routed over the MPLS wide area network just to access the internet.

With over 800 sites using a mix of various transports, such as MPLS, broadband with regional carriers, DSL and site-to-site VPNs; Rentokil Initial knew it needed to consider options to get the application and network results it needed to keep a high level of business continuity and efficiencies.

Rentokil Initial sought to upgrade its network capabilities by implementing a centralized management and orchestration system, and providing the same exceptional user experience to all branches.

SD-WAN is the Answer

Rentokil Initial chose VMware SD-WAN™ because careful evaluation found that VMware SD-WAN enabled the type of network agility Rentokil Initial required in order to provide a high quality experience to its customer base and the solution was easy to deploy and manage internally.

Rather than choose a third party (service provider, MSP, VAR, SI) to manage the entire VMware SD-WAN implementation, Rentokil Initial decided on a different strategy. It would buy VMware SD-WAN directly from partners, but manage the entire process of deployment and day-to-day network management internally, by its own staff. Technical support would be provided by a single global partner.

VMware’s SD-WAN platform has helped unify a formerly disparate network, adding increased visibility and management that wasn’t present before.
Mike Howell, Global Infrastructure Engineering Manager, Rentokil Initial

Implementation: Simplified with VMware SD-WAN

With over 800 sites in its network, Rentokil Initial knew that not all of them could be deployed at the same time. It decided that it would migrate sites in a phased approach, to limit risk to the network and create the least amount of disruption possible.

The VMware SD-WAN deployment targeted sample branches within each region, this was designed to fully test VMware SD-WAN’s global reach and ensure the solution was fit for purpose in each region. The phase 1 deployment touched offices in United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Singapore, Malaysia and South Africa.

Decisions on which geographies to deploy following the initial phase was based on the demand for better network performance. In addition, as MPLS contracts were set to expire in a given region, Rentokil Initial reevaluated whether to keep the existing network transport and augment with VMware SD-WAN or move entirely to VMware SD-WAN with only Internet as the transport.

Simplicity Allows Self-Deployment and Autonomy

To retain its autonomy and tighter control of network processes and security, Rentokil chose to manage the entire VMware SD-WAN process internally as opposed to working with a third-party source. This decision was entirely based on the simplicity inherent in the VMware SD-WAN solution.

VMware SD-WAN enables this self-management due to the sophistication of VMware SD-WAN Outcome-Driven Networking and the user-friendly intuitive nature of VMware SD-WAN Orchestrator. Sites were able to simply plug in the VMware SD-WAN Edges and allow them to connect directly to VMware SD-WAN Gateways as well as the VMware SD-WAN Orchestrator, enabling centralized management and configuration.

Replace Costly and Unscalable Hardware

Rentokil Initial quickly realized that VMware SD-WAN Edges have significant features that truly combined various network services functionalities into a single entity (hardware or virtual). With the rigorous routing and security capabilities inherent in the VMware SD-WAN Edges, Rentokil Initial was able to eliminate the need for additional, high-cost premises-based hardware that included routers and firewalls. With VMware SD-WAN, Rentokil Initial is able to utilize all of these services with a single VMware SD-WAN Edge.

Management Automation Enables Efficiencies

With VMware SD-WAN, Rentokil Initial quickly realized significant efficiencies. The management interface was simplified, configurations across all deployed VMware SD-WAN was centralized and standardized, and Rentokil Initial knew that it would be able to cleanly and efficiently scale network management in the event of acquisitions or corporate growth over many years.

Additionally, with the centralized management of network functionality and services, updates across all sites have been greatly simplified. Prior to VMware SD-WAN, should a policy change be enacted, Rentokil Initial would have to change the policy at each of its 800 sites by individually accessing each site’s network interface. With VMware SD-WAN, all network changes are conducted centrally and automatically pushed out to all premises-based VMware SD-WAN Edges.

Single Corporate Network

VMware SD-WAN has unified the entire corporate network. The legacy Wide Area Networks were disparate and often non-uniform, forcing Rentokil Initial to operate some regions as individual entities. Each would have different policies and implementation processes. But with VMware SD-WAN, the network is now corporate-wide.

In some site instances, SD-WAN has replaced MPLS, but in many instances it works in conjunction with the existing transport mechanism and is able to utilize its bandwidth availability. VPNs are available to all sites on the network. Lastly, Rentokil Initial did away with individual site firewalls or security solutions that did not enable filtering or web security, and was able to implement a corporate-wide uniform security initiative.

Company Profile

Rentokil Initial (FTSE 100) is one of the largest business services companies in the world, mainly providing pest control and hygiene services. With Rentokil Initial, people are protected from the dangers of pest-borne disease, risks of poor hygiene, and injury in the workplace.

Company Name: Rentokil Initial

Industry: Business Services

Headquarters: Camberley, UK


  • Increasing demand for clouddelivered services and applications – requiring a solution that would simplify its network, streamline processes and provide increased bandwidth.
  • Scalable and future-proof network capability


  • Centralized visibility and management of global network
  • Robust, dynamic and scalable network that enables all future networking initiatives
  • Increased bandwidth without additional cost by deploying VMware SD-WAN Edges
  • Ability to avoid additional Firewall costs by deploying VMware SD-WAN Edges at the branch perimeter for Firewalling and Web Security

See Also

Globally Unifying and Centralizing Network Management and Visibility



Rentokil Initial's Journey with VMware SD-WAN


8:31 MIN

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