Case Study

Energy Company Accelerates Deployments of Business Services on AWS

Visibility Across Hybrid Cloud Reduces Risk of Performance Issues


The Challenge
  • Moving hundreds of servers to the cloud over the next few years 
  • Needed performance management visibility across the hybrid cloud environment 
The Solution
  • nGeniusONE® Service Assurance platform
  • InfiniStreamNG® and vSTREAM™ appliances
  • nGenius® 5010 packet flow switches
The Results
  • Actionable visibility allows migrating application workloads to AWS with confidence while assuring outstanding user experience 
  • Single interface to monitor voice, video, and data applications across hybrid cloud to speed problem resolution collaboratively with cloud providers 

Customer Profile

This large, century-old, North America energy manufacturing company focuses on midstream, chemicals, refining, marketing and specialties businesses. More than 10,000 company employees process, transport, store, and market fuels and products worldwide as they support tens of billions of dollars in assets. With several refineries around the world, liquid natural gas pipelines and terminals, thousands of independent marketing outlets/gas stations to support, and dozens of chemical manufacturing facilities, it is easy to see how critical the availability and performance of their voice and data network is to this energy company in meeting their daily 

The Challenge

The company embarked on a strategic initiative to move hundreds of application services to the public cloud. Given the importance of availability and responsiveness of their business applications, they developed a dual-cloud strategy with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and another cloud provider to host key business applications. The network infrastructure team understood the need for end-to-end visibility to troubleshoot service delivery problems before, during, and after migrating applications to AWS. Their mandate was to ensure they had the same or better visibility and performance management as they moved services to the cloud. They needed to gain a centralized view of performance characteristics of all infrastructure and application components and their dependencies across geographically dispersed data centers and cloud environments. As their current troubleshooting tool, as well as their existing packet flow switches, were out of date and unable to be extended to the cloud, it became an imperative for the IT organization to find a new solution that would fulfill their need for visibility throughout their new hybrid cloud environment. 

Solution in Action

There were several key capabilities the network team envisioned in their new network and application performance management solution. They required the same level of visibility in their data center as well as in the public cloud. With the nGeniusONE Service Assurance platform and InfiniStreamNG (ISNG) software appliances in their data center and vSTREAM in the cloud, they were able to monitor wire traffic in both domains, leveraging the same Adaptive Service Intelligence™ (ASI) technology for smart data from ISNG and vSTREAM . This provided the network team single-pane views of smart analytics and metrics in nGeniusONE that reflected application activity and performance across their overall hybrid cloud environment. With the same nGeniusONE user interface, the network infrastructure team used in-depth service monitors to understand performance and stay ahead of potential issues with their database services in the cloud and their Web-based production and distribution applications in their private data center. As they moved workloads to AWS, they proactively found and fixed errors and latencies before they became business problems using intuitive top-down service assurance workflows. 

The logical, contextual workflows from dashboards to service dependency maps, to session analysis, made isolating impacted users and discovering the true source of errors and disruptions extremely efficient. Drill-downs directly to the suspect packet capture decodes made this a complete troubleshooting solution for the network team. In one case, users reported an application slowdown. The network operations team saw latency in the handoff from Citrix to the database in the cloud and were able to pinpoint the source of a slowdown to a Citrix server, not the application at all.

Going forward, the dozens of new users of the nGeniusONE solution are becoming more proactive, leveraging trended analysis found in over-time views and reports. This will help them plan capacity at remote sites to avoid bottlenecks while simultaneously optimizing their budgets. 

The Results

The network infrastructure team at this energy company has truly upgraded their visibility and analytics capabilities with the deployment of NETSCOUT’s nGeniusONE platform and ISNG and vSTREAM appliances. This NETSCOUT solution is giving them the visibility they need during their cloud migration to feel confident in the quality of application and network performance they are delivering to the employees and customers. 

The breadth of visibility and analysis across their hybrid cloud environment, for their voice, video and data services, with the nGeniusONE solution is supporting the energy company’s needs for today and will grow with them as they design their network of tomorrow. They experienced reducing MTTR by 80% or more for performance and availability problems and as a result were able to accelerate deployments of business services on their new AWS cloud. 

They are cutting time to resolve problems with actionable visibility across the hybrid cloud, with the evidence pinpointing the source of the problem, not simply ruling out areas. They are no longer losing time with finger-pointing between the infrastructure teams and the cloud providers; rather, they are building collaboration around the visibility and evidence provided by nGeniusONE. 

The organization will realize lower OPEX costs with fewer vendors to manage, now that their network and application performance visibility as well as packet flow switch capabilities are provided by NETSCOUT.