Springmark Consultants Ltd

Customer Customer Case Study: Reduction in cost of Ownership

Customer:

The customer is a state owned African company employing 120,000 people who specialise in research, exploitation, pipeline transport, processing and marketing of hydrocarbons and their derivatives. It also has interests in other sectors such as power generation, new and renewable energy and desalination of sea water, it carries out business around the world.

Requirement:

The customer works closely with a previous multinational customer of Springmark and was so impressed with the systems they had seen Springmark where approached to develop a similar system refresh for them. The customer had a requirement that the front office solution should be developed in French with support for Arabic.

Due to the uncertainty of the existing portfolio of applications and operating systems there was a requirement to audit on mass all existing systems and identify potential problems providing solutions prior to the new systems being implemented.

The customer also had a requirement to move all data from being held on the client systems to centralised storage, as well as centralised control over software distribution, the introduction of system vulnerability management and patch management as well as the reduction of cost of ownership though automation and standardisation, All being scalable for deployment to the entire userbase.

Solution:

It was apparent that we needed to understand the existing fleet of systems prior to developing new systems, to do this the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) was used. The existing login script was modified to silently audit the existing fleet of systems, the information that was returned from this audit allowed potentially problematic applications to be identified, and patches and updates to be sourced to mitigate application issues prior to the new system implementation.

While the ACT audit was taking place a scripted build was being developed in French with Arabic to create a reference image for capture to be applied to new systems, in parallel to this an identical scripted build was created in English for debugging purposes, both where integrated into a Microsoft SMS with ITMU and Symantec SSC environment to for fill patch management and vulnerability management requirements.

Owing to the wide diversity of existing client systems a solution had to be developed based around the customer’s existing login script, KIX32 for pre system refresh. Code was developed to automate the creation of dedicated areas for each user on the new centralised storage purely from the KIX script itself, using specific security permissions the login script could automate the creation and permissioning of the dedicated areas, this provisioned the users with an area to copy data required pre system refresh.

Taking advantage of the newly commissioned 100Mbps full duplex network multicast technology was utilised to re-image hardware that had been deployed ahead of system refresh to the user community, new bare metal systems where imaged prior to being deployed to the user community, with automated incorporation in the managed environment in both scenarios.

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