Essar adopts desktop virtualization to boost data security and efficiency

Essar Group is a multinational conglomerate and a leading player in sectors of Steel, Oil & Gas, Power, BPO and Telecom Services, and Shipping, among others. In the steel business, Essar is a leading global producer on track to operating 14 MTPA steel capacity. The Group employs 75,000 people in more than 25 countries across five continents.

Essar invests significantly in latest technology to drive forward and backward integration and to leverage synergies between its businesses. It also focuses on in- house research and innovation to be a low-cost manufacturer with high quality products and innovative customer offerings.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) poses security issues 

Data security was proving to be a major challenge for Essar. The situation was aggravated because of two reasons – the need for users to be mobile and the trend of ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) catching up.

“We had around 3,000 BlackBerry users and more than 2,000 people with tablets, and with all the applications being accessed on the tablets, it was tough to ensure security of critical information,” says Jayantha Prabhu, Chief Technology Officer, Essar Group.
The distributed workforce and the complex hardware environment further added to the challenge. Essar had 8,000 desktops to be managed, which also included their BPO organization.

“We needed a solution that would be able to streamline and simplify our hardware management process,” says Prabhu.

Implementing Citrix Desktop Virtualization Solution 

Essar approached desktop virtualization with three major objectives: to enable highly secure remote working, reduce the time spent on management, and deliver virtual desktops and applications to approximately 3,000-4,000 of its mobile workforce.

“We evaluated and did a complete Proof of Concept (PoC) with the leading virtualization products and rated each product against the defined acceptance criteria. In the end, we found that Citrix XenDesktop and Citrix NetScaler solutions would best fit our requirements,” says Prabhu.

Essar discovered that it could move 75 to 80 percent users to the desktop virtualization platform. Working closely with Citrix’s hardware and architecture teams, Prabhu completed migration of 5,000 desktop users.

Essar’s decision of implementing Citrix XenDesktop and Citrix NetScaler solutions across the globe utilizes a building block approach which can then scale to thousands of virtual desktops. It can deliver applications to any device in any workplace environment, supporting a rich user experience, and provide IT with additional security and control.

The big benefit of security with saving of cost and time

The most important benefit realized by the Essar Group through desktop virtualization was that of information security. The company was able to centralize information in the data centre and not have it loaded on to individual devices, thereby reducing the risk. The critical sourced of data centralized in the data centre could now be managed easily.

Another benefit realized was that employees could work from local thin clients with virtualized applications, a virtualized desktop, as opposed to a fat client or a PC. Its faster reduction of latency over the LAN and WAN helped Essar improve end-user experience.

“While the IT, ITES and banking sectors have adopted Desktop Virtualization solution quickly, at this scale and complexity, we are the first manufacturing operation in India who is going for such an implementation of Desktop virtualisation” says Prabhu.
With 8,000 licenses of the XenDesktop virtualization solution implemented (including its BPO organization), Essar now plans to roll out the solution for all users across its centres.

“One of the main advantages of Citrix desktop virtualization technology is the ability of the organization to have control and governance over the corporate data instead of leaving it at the mercy of the end-user. For us, desktop virtualization as a technology also helps the organization to strengthen its governance and compliance by giving the capability to monitor, manage and restrict the applications on the virtual desktop interface,” explains Prabhu.

We found that Citrix XenDesktop and Citrix NetScaler solutions would best fit our requirements. One of the main advantages of Citrix desktop virtualization technology is the ability of the organization to have control and governance over the corporate data instead of leaving it at the mercy of the end user
- Jayantha Prabhu

Chief Technology Officer

Essar Group

About Citrix 

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 2010 was $1.87 billion.

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Key Benefits 

  • Improved end user experience through virtualization
  • 75 to 80 percent users move to desktop
  • Information being centralized in the data centre

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