Global Retailer Improves Visibility in Co-Lo, Cloud, and Virtual Environments With NETSCOUT
- Visibility gaps in data center, Microsoft Azure cloud, Equinix Co-lo, and remote network environments
- Application performance challenges, including SAP CRM, Microsoft Skype for Business & Office 365, and VPN services
- nGeniusONE® Service Assurance platform
- NETSCOUT® Certified InfiniStreamNG® software appliances
- vSTREAM™ virtual appliances
- nGenius® Packet Flow Operating System software
- nGenius Visibility as a Service
- Visibility across Equinix, Azure, and VPN services necessary for business service assurance
- Vendor-agnostic application monitoring for always-available SAP, Skype, Office 365, and Web app environments
This global retailer is a market leader, with diverse brands, specialized products, and a distinct sales network that has made it both a Fortune 500 company and a household name.
Their forward-thinking corporate leadership team and information technology (IT) commitment enabled the company to quickly respond to COVID-19 challenges, thanks in part to previous-year projects focused on improving remote working infrastructure and business resiliency. As a result, while their retail stores were temporarily closed, the company was able to successfully transition to an online sales model, then gradually and securely resume manufacturing operations in an initially limited capacity.
As they focused on those business challenges and maintained the safety of both employees and clients, the company also committed to making financial contributions to support the well-being of customer communities, as well as establishing relief funds for their workers.
The company’s multi-continent business operations footprint includes multiple data center facilities in Europe, Asia, and America.
As the pandemic arrived, strategic projects involving Data Center Transformation and Multi- Cloud Migration were well underway. In this timeframe, IT had to advance strategic project activities, while facing unprecedented remote business service delivery demands.
On the strategic side, the IT team was beginning the process of transitioning business applications to the cloud, selecting Microsoft Azure as one of their solution providers. Select data center services were also being migrated to Equinix Co-located (Co-lo) facilities during this timeframe.
Tactically, business operations success suddenly became reliant on performance of the company’s virtual private network (VPN).
As IT prepared to advance on these strategic and tactical challenges, they quickly found their progress impacted by lack of visibility into:
- A SAP Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application hosted in the company data center environment
- Microsoft Azure Cloud-based services and applications
- Microsoft Skype for Business (Skype) unified communications (UC) voice and video services
- Microsoft Office 365 business applications
- Remote applications depending on reliable access to VPN services
- Web traffic crucial to Web-based application performance
Existing monitoring toolsets were coming up short. That made it difficult to isolate issues and accurately assign IT ownership. In such scenarios, the Network teams often bear the brunt of finger-pointing, and that was the case here.
Wanting to support the business during this remote delivery operations phase and continue to work on ongoing Strategic IT initiatives that had been successfully advancing for several years, company leadership began a search for an alternate solution for these collective challenges.
Solution in Action
The IT team addressed these collective challenges by deploying a NETSCOUT Service Assurance solution that includes:
- nGeniusONE, which provides real-time intelligence and troubleshooting of their voice, video, and data applications
- NETSCOUT Certified InfiniStreamNG (ISNG) Software Appliances, which are installed at data centers and Co-lo’s, as well as large manufacturing and distribution centers
- vSTREAM virtual appliances, which are implemented and deployed in the public cloud environment
- nGenius Packet Flow Operating System (PFOS) software for NETSCOUT Certified Packet Flow Switch (PFS) appliances installed at company data centers, which provide advanced packet broker functionality for the company’s network environments
In addition to this single-vendor technology approach, the NETSCOUT nGenius Visibility as a Service (nVaas) program brings nGeniusONE deployment and operations expertise to supplement the retailer’s IT resources. The IT team received early ROI from the nVaaS, with experienced NETSCOUT resources creating nGeniusONE Service Dashboards and Service Monitors for visibility into, and real-time monitoring of the company’s:
- Azure services, which aided the IT team’s efforts to confidently migrate applications to this public cloud platform
- Equinix data center services, which allowed the IT team to monitor SLA bound services transitioned to the Co-lo
- SAP environment, which allowed much-needed employee access to the customer information crucial to sales and marketing operations
- VPN environment, which assured secure access and reliable performance to maintain productivity of remote employees
- Web traffic, which allowed IT to deliver reliable Web-based application access and performance
- Skype and Office 365, which permitted IT to stabilize performance of these business-critical services
For a business generating nearly $15 billion in annual revenues across this global infrastructure, there was a lot at stake in identifying a single vendor for service assurance and packet broker technology, as well as improved visibility.
The company’s selection of NETSCOUT was based, in part, on the past experience of one of their IT Operations Vice Presidents, who successfully used the nGeniusONE platform at a Fortune 500 company to improve their enterprise visibility, real-time monitoring, and troubleshooting.
The company’s ability to realize ROI so quickly after deploying NETSCOUT validated their vendor technology choice.
For an IT team that is industry-renowned for cutting-edge digital transformations, using NETSCOUT to improve service delivery while assuring business continuity during this crucial time was a real win for both the company and their customers.