When UNESCO decided to implement SAP ERP to improve its financial management and accounting, it had to find a way for the application to be available for 65 offices around the world. The UNESCO IT department has thus started looking for a solution capable of delivering SAP on very diverse remote workstations.
“We first tested and validated the performance of the Citrix solution. The results were satisfactory and we decided to implement Citrix XenApp solution for deploying SAP on all remote sites around the world,” reflects Ayekoro Kossou, Systems Administrator at UNESCO. “Today we use the Citrix Access Gateway for XenApp coupled with secure remote access. Centralizing access allows us to reduce administrative costs while reducing the workload for local IT resources.”
Faced with the opportunities and possibilities open after this deployment, the IT Director of UNESCO decided to also issue two SharePoint applications with Citrix XenApp, including a simple and user-friendly data entry interface in SAP. “We could also initiate a telework project to translators working from home who need to share various documents and information, while accessing certain business applications,” continues Ayekoro Kossou.
The user logon load has increased from an average of 60 to 150, the number of licenses has evolved from 100 to 200 in the past 18 months. Faced with rising costs caused by the purchase of new servers, UNESCO has naturally turned to Citrix to consider a virtualization solution XenApp servers.
“To meet the growth of our users, and simultaneously reduce hardware problems, we decided to test Citrix XenServer. When we reached the capacity limit of four HP servers to distribute our applications, we acquired a new server and expanded the capacity of the two existing servers. With XenServer, we now operate four virtual machines spread over 3 physical machines (including two virtual 'dormant' machines to meet any scalability, especially late in the year). The remaining two servers are dedicated to the storage of our data, which allows us to drastically reduce costs,” Ayekoro Kossou explains.
Optimized for virtualizing Citrix XenApp, Citrix XenServer has enabled UNESCO to implement an economic system virtualization, while maintaining optimal performance. Applications are distributed over all four virtual machines, and a load balancing system adapts in real-time to the load on demand. “Today we have a little margin: all resources are not used. In case of peak activity or integration of a new application, we benefit from greater flexibility and adaptability,” explains Ayekoro Kossou.
The balance of the Citrix solutions implementation is satisfactory. The benefits are numerous, beginning with the flexibility enjoyed by the UNESCO IT: “With XenApp, we offer our users the best possible working conditions, regardless of their position and where they work. All UNESCO users can now easily and securely access our information system from the office or elsewhere. The prospects are favourable, since we are able to adapt more easily to any increased load,” summarizes Ayekoro Kossou.
“Meanwhile, we have reduced our administrative and maintenance costs through virtualization of our servers. We now have a more reliable and efficient system, without burdening our budget,” he adds. “Finally, we gain valuable time on server management: before, manual configuration of one server could take half a day. Today, this time is practically divided by three. We are more responsive and have more time to devote to more strategic tasks.
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