Supports the Stena AB business units with IT and IS systems. Stena AB is a global company operating in shipping, ferry lines, offshore, real estate, and finance with 15,600 employees and a turnover of almost $4 billion.
- Need to overcome slow application response times due to high network latency
- Improve employee productivity and enable file sharing and collaboration across the network
- 25 Riverbed Steelhead appliances
- 95% optimization of CIFS traffic such as Microsoft Office save/open functions and Windows file operations
- Up to 60% data reduction for SharePoint and MAPI-related traffic
- Employees able to acces s documents in seconds rather than minutes resulting in mproved collaboration and productivity
Riverbed enables global shipping operator to find a cost effective solution to improve application performance
Stena AB is a global company operating in shipping, ferry lines, offshore, real estate and finance. Stena Rederi IT supports the Stena AB business units with IT and IS systems. Stena AB has 15 600 employees and a turnover of almost $4 billion.
Challenge: To find a cost effective solution to overcome poor application performance
The companies within Stena AB have offices across the globe, including the US, Europe, and Asia- Pacific (APAC). Although branch offices have local servers, many resources are centralized at the company’s main data center in Gothenburg, Sweden. “Our employees rely heavily on Windows file sharing applications such as Excel to, for example, collaborate on large construction projects,” explains Magnus Carling, manager, operations and infrastructure at Stena Rederi IT division.
“We have Exchange servers located at each of our three data centers and as a company we generate hundreds of thousands of emails per month.” As a result, high volumes of Common Internet File System (CIFS) and Messaging Application Programming Interface (MAPI) traffic traverse the company wide area network (WAN), causing huge performance problems.
“We identified the main issue as very high latency across the network – it was so bad that it could take two to three minutes just to open a document,” says Carling. “The issue became even more acute when a new branch office was opened in Singapore. In Europe, we can use high-speed data links to overcome the bandwidth bottleneck, but it would be too expensive to extend those links to Singapore and additional bandwidth would not have overcome the latency bottlenecks,” says Carling. “We also ruled out building a local data center in Singapore due to cost and complexity. There was only one viable solution to our problem – wide area network (WAN) optimization.”
Solution: Riverbed outperforms alternative solutions and offers easy deployment
Stena Rederi extensively researched potential WAN optimization solutions before embarking on a rigorous test program. This involved evaluating solutions from a handful of vendors, including Riverbed Technology. The evaluation process lasted six months and the results were conclusive.
“Without a doubt, Riverbed® Steelhead® appliances were superior to other solutions,” says Carling, “we immediately saw a 30 to 40 percent improvement in application performance compared to the nearest competitor. We also liked the ease of management – with the Steelhead appliances you can just ‘set and forget.’”
Benefits: Up to 95 percent improvement in application performance
Stena Rederi has installed 25 Steelhead appliances across its organization, including a number of on- shore offices that support off shore drilling rigs. “These offices use expensive, high latency satellite data links, and the Riverbed WAN optimization solution has greatly improved application and data speeds over these links,” notes Carling.
The deployment of Steelhead appliance has resulted in up to 95 percent optimization of CIFS traffic, with 50-60 percent data reduction for mail traffic; results which have transformed employee productivity. “Instead of taking two minutes to access a document, it now takes about two seconds”, says Carling. “Our users are really pleased with the improvement in speed and say that it’s like having a local server in the branch office.
Employees who regularly travel between Gothenburg and Singapore with their laptops do not notice any difference in application performance, regardless of where they’re located.” And, as a result of deploying Steelhead appliances, Stena Rederi IT was able to launch a Microsoft SharePoint project for further collaborative work across the WAN. ”It’s another benefit we’ve got from using the Steelhead appliances,” says Carling.
“Riverbed has delivered everything that Stena Rederi IT required from a WAN optimization solution,” says Carling, “Above all else, we wanted improved performance, and we are very happy with the results we get with Riverbed. The Steelhead appliances require very little management and Riverbed provides us with excellent global support.”
Employees within Stena AB rely on file sharing across the WAN in order to collaborate on global projects. However, high network latency resulted in slow file transfers and application speeds. The company also opened an office in Singapore and was looking for a cost effective way of improving data links between Europe and Asia-Pacific. Stena Rederi chose the Steelhead WAN optimization solution from Riverbed, and as a result application performance has been improved by upto 95 percent. Documents can now be opened in seconds rather than minutes, resulting in improved employee collaboration and productivity.
“We have Exchange servers located at each of our three data centers and as a company we generate hundreds of thousands of emails per month.”
“Above all else, we wanted improved performance, and we are very happy with the results we get with Riverbed.”