Case Study

Migrating Services to Hybrid Cloud with Confidence

Migrating Services to Hybrid Cloud with Confidence


Business Challenge
  • Needed to ensure quality service performance when migrating to hybrid cloud
  • Lacked end-to-end troubleshooting capabilities across the hybrid cloud and SaaS providers
  • Needed to prove cloud and SaaS vendors’ responsibility for issues
  • nGeniusONE® service assurance platform and nGenius® for Flows
  • InfiniStream® appliances and Flow Collectors
  • nGenius 3900 and 1500 Series Packet Flow Switches
Business Value
  • Achieved proactive results solving service assurance and performance problems
  • Reduced overall MTTR while eliminating vendor finger-pointing with end-to-end service visibility and troubleshooting
  • Reduced risk of potential compliance issues and crippling penalties with service assurance

Customer Profile

This International Pipeline and Power Company provides transport and supply of natural gas and oil throughout North America, as well as develops renewable energy generation resources. The business is responsible for thousands of miles of pipeline and a growing electricity generation and transmission division, both requiring adherence to strict safety and compliance guidelines. With over 15,000 employees, this company provides natural gas and electricity to more than 3.5M retail customers in addition to numerous wholesale customers generating over $26 Billion in annual revenue.

The Challenge

The company’s health and safety management system is critical for not only protecting employees and the environment, but also for maintaining regulatory compliance. This system monitors air, water, and waste management, as well as loss prevention, document management and integration. Much of this relies on “always-on” digital services. This puts IT under significant pressure to be more proactive in ensuring quality and availability of critical services to avoid stiff regulatory fines/penalties which can range into the billions of dollars, and reputational damage with the public.

To streamline IT services, the company decided to migrate vital systems to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications for their safety management system, their document management system and their communications and collaboration solutions rather than host them internally. It was critical that performance after the move be equal to or better than the existing on premises applications and that they have the ability to address issues quickly. IT needed a way to maintain visibility and assure services before, during and after migration to this new cloud and SaaS environments. To achieve this, they needed end-to-end troubleshooting capabilities across the variety of SaaS and cloud provider environments in order to prove exactly where problems originated, ending time-wasting finger-pointing, and enabling collaboration with third-party vendors to resolve issues quickly.

Solution in Action

In order to achieve service assurance, this International Pipeline and Power Company implemented the nGeniusONE Service Assurance platform, powered by Adaptive Service Intelligence™ (ASI), along with ISNG appliances and nGenius Packet Flow Switches. The solution quickly identified, isolated and mitigated service issues proactively, rather than reactively as had been done in the past. In addition, the IT team utilized NetFlow for additional performance monitoring capabilities. The solution:

  • Validated application performance during cloud testing prior to migrating the production system to the SaaS platform allowing them to execute the transition with confidence.
  • Provided proactive end-to-end monitoring of the hybrid cloud and SaaS applications post migration, across the data center and into the cloud, to ensure ongoing service assurance.
  • Provided evidence used to collaborate with cloud and SaaS vendors to pinpoint problems, thus the cloud and SaaS vendors quickly implemented fixes where previously the vendors would assume the problem wasn’t there’s if no other customers were experiencing the same problem. In one case, they were able to share information with their communications and collaboration SaaS vendor related to a QoS issue that, once the vendor implemented a patch on the software, eliminated a Jitter problem in their network.

The Results

The Company is meeting their goal for assuring availability and quality performance of their health and safety management system, communications and collaboration services, and other SaaS services. nGeniusONE and nGenius Packet Flow Switches have allowed the company’s IT team to go from being reactive to proactive when it comes to solving service assurance and performance problems. IT was able to verify that critical applications transitioned to SaaS would meet performance requirements prior to rollout in order to maintain business productivity, safety, and compliance. In short, IT could implement the migration with confidence.

In addition, the Power Company is reducing time lost with vendor finger-pointing which has lowered overall mean-time-to-resolution (MTTR) through their use of the NETSCOUT® solution. Leveraging critical troubleshooting evidence from the nGeniusONE platform, the IT staff was able to definitively prove when problems existed on the cloud vendors’ portion of the service. Perhaps most important of all, by achieving service assurance, the solution reduced the risk of potential compliance issues, thus avoiding crippling penalties, while meeting the company’s mandate and reputation of being a strong environmental and safety conscious business.