Riverbed Technology has revealed that global energy company Engen is using its solutions to centralize Remote and Branch Office (ROBO) IT, and improve productivity, back-up and data security across its multi-national organization.
According to the company, Riverbed SteelFusion has improved IT operations and information security at branch office locations by taking servers, applications, and data out of the branches and consolidating them in secure data centers and the company’s wide area networks (WAN) and delivered accelerated application performance across the entire network for an enhanced end user experience at any site.
Engen, with 3,500 employees working in a vast network of depots, terminals, facilities and warehouses, Engen’s corporate structure is complex, placing great demands on its IT infrastructure. In the past, network latency caused poor application performance and high end-user frustration at remote offices.
The network architecture required remote sites to connect to the corporate WAN via regional offices, creating data bottlenecks that also affected performance. “Our help desk was getting lots of complaints from end-users,” recalled Nicholas Lain, architecture specialist at Engen. “For instance, they had sluggish access to SAP. Screens would freeze and connections were dropped. Ultimately our users were very frustrated and their productivity suffered.”
Data security was another issue at remote sites. Data stored on servers was vulnerable, and backups to the data center didn’t always go as planned. “Our back-up window was short. We often fell behind in getting backups to Cape Town. When we backed up, everything on the network slowed down,” said Lain.
According to Engen, an 80% reduction in data across the network has transformed the end-user experience at the remote offices. “Before Riverbed, we were limited in what we could provide end-users,” said Lain. “We’ve now rolled out a full Windows 7 desktop and the end-user experience is the same as if employees were based at our main office. The calls from frustrated users have disappeared.”
SteelFusion has improved data security by eliminating physical servers, storage and backup infrastructure at remote sites, centralizing data and backup processes at the data center, and projecting data and applications to remote locations as needed.
Exchange servers have been removed from remote offices, and Exchange data is now delivered encrypted from the data center at local speed. SteelFusion has also eliminated the problem with back-ups being late to Cape Town since backing up is now centralized and performed as often as necessary.