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Roxtec manufactures cable and pipe sealing solutions for industries including marine and offshore, telecom, energy and construction. The company is headquartered in Sweden and has 23 subsidiaries around the world. Supporting customers in more than 70 global markets, the company has 700 employees and revenues of $220 million.

High growth, resulting from the company’s continued success, was putting an increasing strain on Roxtec’s global infrastructure. Whilst Roxtec’s Swedish head office centrally provisioned key applications like SugarCRM, Autodesk and ERP out to its branch sites from its data center, its different subsidiaries were running their own independent data storage systems making the large estate difficult to manage. Large quantities of WAN traffic were also causing network capacity to become an issue. It was essential that the IT infrastructure could support Roxtec’s ambitious expansion program.

Riverbed® SteelFusion™ and Riverbed® SteelHead™ have enabled the company to move its data and storage to the data center and give it complete central control. It is now much easier to provision, and backup Roxtec subsidiaries and support business expansion. The IT infrastructure now has the scalability to support a fast-growing business.

In Brief

Challenges

  • Widely dispersed and highly-fragmented IT infrastructure difficult to manage
  • High volume of network traffic putting pressure on bandwidth
  • Backups done locally, compromising data security, and making disaster recovery more challenging
  • Scalability challenges due to inconsistent branch-led approach

Solution

  • SteelFusion™ hyper-converged infrastructure
  • SteelHead™ WAN optimization
  • SteelCentral™ Controller
  • SteelHead™ Mobile
  • SteelCentral™ Mobile Controller

Benefits

  • Consolidated many IT resources, gaining greater control
  • WAN data traffic reduced by up to 30%
  • MAPI traffic reduced by 65%, resulting in better end-user experience
  • Backup now centralized, providing greater data security
  • A highly flexible and scalable IT system

Better provisioning and backup required for global subsidiaries

The size and scale of Roxtec’s business meant its IT infrastructure was widely dispersed, fragmented and therefore difficult to manage. Whilst the company had a main data center in Sweden supporting 23 subsidiaries on a global WAN, branch office sites were storing and backing up data locally on dedicated servers. “We spent far too much time on supporting the infrastructure,” explains Johan Jartelius, CIO at Roxtec. “We had to ensure local servers were up-to-date and that backup systems were running in all the subsidiaries. There wasn’t an IT specialist at some sites, so it was really hard to make our IT secure.”

The rapid growth of the company meant more and more proliferation, increasing the size of the IT footprint and making it increasingly difficult to manage. Managing 23 sites individually was challenging enough, but the duplication also generated huge amounts of traffic across the WAN. “None of the data was optimized and so there was growing demand for more bandwidth” says Jartelius.

As a highly successful company, Roxtec was growing quickly. “Our growth rate is around 10-15 percent year-on-year,” adds Jartelius. “It was clear our existing IT infrastructure was struggling to support this growth. We needed to centralize so that we could scale more easily, gain more control, become more efficient and improve security.”

Local branch IT performance without all the branch infrastructure

Roxtec wanted to simplify its infrastructure, optimize its networks and move to a central delivery model. But it was vital that employees working at its various office locations would still be able to benefit from high-performing applications and business services. The goal was to reduce branch administration complexity and centralize control. The most important business driver was to support the high growth of the company. It was critical to be able to scale IT operations more effectively and use network capacity more efficiently.

Roxtec has now deployed SteelFusion hyper-converged infrastructure solutions across five sites – US, Korea, India, Russia and Japan – and deployed SteelHead WAN optimization throughout Europe.

“Overall the deployment was easy and we had great support from Riverbed,” says Jartelius. “We also use the Riverbed SteelCentral Controller which provides a single web-based dashboard for our environment. At any time we can simply tweak our settings and push them out globally.”

SteelFusion’s patented BlockStream™ technology centralizes data in the data center and projects a working set out to the branch. “We now have a virtualization platform at all of our branches,” says Jartelius. “We’ve been able to consolidate into the data center and provide high-performing services virtually out to our branches. We no longer need to maintain branch servers and storage and provisioning is done from the data center. Everything is encrypted for security and data is synchronized for central backup.

“For high-latency countries, SteelFusion is perfect,” adds Jartelius. “We can run some services locally and we’re accelerating all our branch office traffic so that it works to peak performance across the WAN.”

Confidence in Riverbed is high. “Whenever we open up a new subsidiary, we can deploy the Riverbed solution fast and efficiently. It’s a very successful strategy.”

There was also a need to support Roxtec’s extensive salesforce which is predominately field-based. Roxtec deployed Riverbed SteelHead™ Mobile and its associated SteelCentral Mobile Controller to support users at fifteen sites. “SteelHead Mobile is used by the sales team at these sites,” says Jartelius. “The mobile client connects them to the branch office, which improves application speeds and maintains productivity.”

Central, simplified and process-driven control for better scalability and security

Centralization has brought many benefits. “We can now control our IT from one place,” notes Jartelius. “If I want to launch a new application or introduce new processes or routines, I can do it all from the data center, without having to log on to all 23 sites to do this.”

With all data stored in the data center, security has also been enhanced. “Backups are now done in Sweden. It’s much easier to decide which backup tools to use, as well as monitor backups, and do restore tests. Backup was taking place during short windows which meant pressure on the WAN and, as it wasn’t optimized, it was taking up far too much bandwidth. It’s now optimized and stored in real-time in Sweden.”

As Roxtec has expanded quickly, its IT has been able to support the business. “Centralization drives scalability. It’s really quick and easy to provision new subsidiaries and provide them with virtual business applications from our data center in Sweden,” adds Jartelius.

Network traffic has also been greatly reduced – WAN data traffic has been reduced by up to 30%. MAPI traffic has decreased from 430GB to under 140GB - a 65% reduction. “This has reduced the pressure on bandwidth and improved the end-user experience,” says Jartelius.

 

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