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In order to manage its global operation, d?Amico Società di Navigazione (The d?Amico Group) began to move its IT services to a central data center. However, as local branch office servers were removed and files and applications were relocated to the data center, employees in the branch offices soon noticed a deterioration in the time taken to access files over the wide area network (WAN) and employee productivity began to suffer.
The d’Amico Group
Riverbed Steelhead appliances boost network performance and reduce
costs for global shipping organization
d’Amico Società di Navigazione (www.cogema-sam.com) is a global shipping organization supplying ‘dry’ and oil tankers to customers worldwide. d’Amico has offices in Italy, France, UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Singapore and Canada. It directly owns 35 tankers and manages a further 100. The dry tankers carry mainly bulk commodities, including cement products, grain, coal and iron, while the oil tankers are dedicated to all types of refined oil products, except crude oil. d’Amico’s turnover is €500 million ($716 million).
Challenge: Enable employee collaboration across a global organization
In order to manage its global operation, d’Amico Società di Navigazione (The d’Amico Group) began to move its IT services to a central data center. Employees rely predominately on Citrix, Windows Distributed File System (DFS) and Lotus Notes to enable collaboration. However, as local branch office servers were removed and files and applications were relocated to the data center, employees in the branch offices soon noticed a deterioration in the time taken to access files over the wide area network (WAN) and employee productivity began to suffer.
“The bandwidth to our remote sites was 2Mbps but our users were complaining of poor application performance speeds, especially at our Singapore and Vancouver branches. We recognized that this was mainly due to network and application latency across the WAN and therefore increasing bandwidth would not completely resolve the problem,” recalls Pietro Amorusi, chief information officer at the d’Amico Group.
Solution: WAN optimization greatly improves application performance and cuts costs
Following initial discussions and research, Amorusi identified WAN optimization as a potential solution and was keen to investigate further the benefits it could offer in improving application performance over the WAN. The d’Amico Group selected three potential WAN optimization vendors including Riverbed Technology, and the company was keen to test the products in a realworld environment. “We tested the appliances from all three vendors, but Riverbed® stood out as the clear winner. The Steelhead® appliance gave us the best results for improving application performance over the WAN. Riverbed was also simpler to deploy and manage, making it the overall best choice for d’Amico,” says Amorusi.
Benefits: Application performance improved, employee productivity increased and local email servers removed
Riverbed Steelhead appliances have now been deployed in all eight branch offices with the result that employees can now share centralized files at LAN-like speeds, which has improved collaboration across the branch offices, thus improving employee productivity. “Our users can now access files and applications quickly and easily and share information between the branch offices. Riverbed has overcome the issues of network and application latency and accelerated our application performance,” says Amorusi.
In addition, the d’Amico Group has now completed its consolidation project and removed 20 local email servers from the branch offices resulting in reduced management and maintenance costs.
The company has also deployed Riverbed Steelhead Mobile client software, enabling its remote workers to benefit from the same LAN-like access as their office-based co-workers. “Our remote workers predominately rely on Lotus Notes for collaboration purposes. With Steelhead Mobile installed they can now access all files and documents from the data center, which has improved productivity for the company,” says Amorusi.
Following the successful implementation of the Steelhead appliances, the company has seen an 5x reduction in bandwidth utilization that has enabled the d’Amico Group to implement a robust disaster recovery (DR) strategy. “When we originally looked at WAN optimization, it was to improve file collaboration and employee productivity, however once Riverbed was deployed it became clear to us that we could introduce a DR solution, which would increase the security and integrity of our files,” explains Amorusi.
The reduction in bandwidth utilization also allowed the d’Amico Group to make more services available to its employees over the WAN including VoIP and video conferencing services, without incurring additional bandwidth costs. “Riverbed has been a terrific success story for the d’Amico Group,” says Amorusi. “Prior to Riverbed we were struggling to offer critical services to our employees. With Riverbed installed we’ve not only seen an improvement in employee productivity but we’ve also been able to go a step further by offering additional services that will result in even greater employee collaboration and we have implemented a DR solution. All of this was unthinkable before Riverbed.”
d’Amico Group had moved its IT operations to a centralized data center. However, users at the local branch offices began to complain of poor application performance, in particular accessing Citrix, Lotus Notes and Windows DFS. The d’Amico Group was aware that the issue was one of network and application latency and therefore increasing bandwidth would not resolve the problem. By deploying Riverbed Steelhead appliances at all eight branch offices and Steelhead Mobile to its remote workers, the d’Amico Group was able to improve application performance to LAN-like speeds and realize an 5x reduction in bandwidth utilization. Since installing Riverbed the d’Amico Group has completed its consolidation project and removed 20 branch office servers. With bandwidth utilization reduced the company has also implemented a DR system thus ensuring the security and integrity of its data, and introduced new services including VoIP and video conferencing, resulting in improved employee collaboration and productivity.
“Riverbed stood out as the clear winner giving us the best results for improving application performance over the WAN.”
“Riverbed has overcome the issue of network and application latency and improved our application performance.”
“With Riverbed we’ve not only seen an improvement in employee productivity but we can now offer additional services which will result in even greater employee collaboration.”