Aeronamic unlocks applications while protecting intellectual property
Aeronamic B.V. produces, delivers and supplies aircraft subsystems for the aerospace industry, such as environmental control, centrifugal load compressors, air turbine starters, airflow valves, cooling turbines and recirculation fans. The company also offers maintenance, repair and overhaul services. Aeronamic, a former subsidiary of Urenco Limited, was founded in 2005 and its 70 employees are based in Almelo, the Netherlands.
The challenge − Build a secure, high-availability datacenter
Aeronamic needed a major infrastructure upgrade for many reasons. Data was kept on local server storage. The systems were sometimes limited by their internal memory and became unstable. Troubleshooting took more and more time. There was no physical room for expansion in the racks or computer room.
“We simply could have replaced the servers, but that would not have improved scalability and continuity. We needed a highly secure and available IT platform, based on proven technology, to enable secure access to applications,” said Steffen de Vries, manager operations at Aeronamic. “Our company operates in a growth market and in a branch with exclusive solutions, so we decided to invest in a new datacenter and create a secure, highly available and scalable solution. In addition, we upgraded to the latest versions of Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Exchange and Citrix XenApp.”
Implementing a virtualized IT environment with Citrix
Aeronamic went to IT Oost Nederland B.V., a Gold Citrix Solution Provider, which already was responsible for complete administration of IT at the company and had helped select and implement Citrix® XenApp™.
“We do not have any IT staff so we trusted in the partner´s advice, expertise and knowledge,” continued de Vries. “Virtualization was the key word when building the datacenter for the next five years: expand virtualized applications with Citrix XenApp, virtualize servers with Citrix XenServer and virtualize storage to disconnect hardware and storage from the applications.“ IT Oost Nederland designed and installed the new infrastructure and was also responsible for the day-to-day administration.
Two HP DL380 quad core servers host Citrix® XenServer® and run about eight virtualized Windows Server® 2008 workloads, with roles as print server, proxy server and, for example, Microsoft® Exchange 2007 and Microsoft SQL Server® 2005. The image provisioning service—a component of Citrix® XenApp™, Enterprise Edition—is also virtualized on XenServer. Four HP DL360 servers run XenApp 5.0, Enterprise Edition to virtualize all business applications. Citrix Access Gateway™ enables remote access to applications. For centralizing and virtualizing storage, NetApp® FAS2020 is integrated with the IT infrastructure.
Citrix delivers high availability, scalability and business continuity
Two physical redundant virtual XenServer systems provide high-availability access to the server workloads and the applications they host. This ensures a much more stable environment than before. Thanks to over-capacity built into the design, the environment keeps running even when a physical server goes down. In addition, the XenApp farm provides load-balanced access to business critical applications such as ISAH and Microsoft Exchange 2007. In this way, business continuity is guaranteed 24x7 and applications are always available, even after office hours. The improved high availability and business continuity did not add complexity to the system, rather, with Citrix, administration became easier. Aeronamic found that XenServer, which offers advanced management capabilities for physical and virtual servers, was very easy to use and made administration of the virtualized workloads simple, and that Citrix Provisioning Services™—a component of XenApp—helped to keep the XenApp servers identical. The new virtualized environment is much easier to administer.
“Our organization has just expanded with an office in Romania. Our virtualized IT environment proved to be easily scalable,” added de Vries. “Just connecting the office to the network was enough to have IT up and running with secure access to all our applications.”
Regulatory compliance by design
Aeronamic has service level agreements with many customers, and must prove that information is protected against unauthorized access and that it conforms to regulations. Numerous security measures make sure that intellectual property data is kept safe. “We have about 10 employees who need access to critical information from the U.S., and the new network provides this by design: data is centralized and remote access is provided using only a browser that opens a secured connection to the Citrix Access Gateway, after the employee authenticates using a token,” concluded de Vries.
Better user experience for the same desktop costs
The company also looked at other virtualization products, but these required a larger investment. XenServer offered the same features for a much lower price. Aeronamic also used the upgrade rights within the software assurance contracts with Citrix and Microsoft to migrate to the latest versions without additional costs. Said De Vries: “After a one-time investment, the price per desktop is exactly the same as before the upgrades. But our employees experience better performance and higher availability of applications and the network, with fewer incidents and higher productivity as a result.” In addition, as a result of centralization and consolidation in the datacenter, finding information is much easier than before.
Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTXS) is a leading provider of virtual computing solutions that help companies deliver IT as an on-demand service. Founded in 1989, Citrix combines virtualization, networking, and cloud computing technologies into a full portfolio of products that enable virtual workstyles for users and virtual datacenters for IT. More than 230,000 organizations worldwide rely on Citrix to help them build simpler and more cost-effective IT environments. Citrix partners with over 10,000 companies in more than 100 countries. Annual revenue in 2009 was $1.61 billion.
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- High availability without complexity
- Increased flexibility and scalability
- Improved user experience
- Enables regulatory compliance
- Isah Business Software Isah-ERP
- Delcam PowerMILL
- Siemens NX (previously Unigraphics)
- Microsoft Office Professional
- Microsoft Exchange 2007
- Citrix XenServer, Enterprise Edition running on 2 HP DL380 servers
- Citrix NetScaler Access Gateway
- About eight Microsoft Windows Server 2008 workloads with Microsoft Exchange 2007, SQL Server
- Four Citrix XenApp 5, Enterprise Edition severs running on Windows Server 2008
- Netapp FAS2020 storage area network
- RES® Workspace Manager