[Column] Anthony Njoroge: The importance of flash storage for the cloud

As cynicism about the benefits of the cloud give way to rapidly embracing digital transformation, companies are finding themselves in a position where they must optimise their infrastructure.

While the modern cloud environment delivers improved performance and more responsive use of resources, it must be configured properly with the relevant hardware in place. This is where flash storage becomes an enabler to help unlock the business benefits arising from effective digital transformation.

There is no arguing about the speed advantage flash provides over more traditional storage options. But perhaps, more importantly, it results in improved productivity and responsiveness within the organisation. Because of the higher input/output operations per second of flash, it can deliver faster response times for those IT services that support the business. It makes it possible for insights to be extracted in real-time from the data warehouse further aiding the decision-making process.

The resultant enhancements in efficiencies that come from flash storage means companies will use fewer CPU cores and cloud cycles. Given how most cloud providers work on a pay-per-use model, there will be a significant cost savings that can be reinvested in other parts of the business.

According to the rule of thumb, flash storage can deliver approximately 10 times the performance of traditional storage arrays with just one tenth of the power consumption. It is therefore not difficult to understand why companies are increasingly adopting flash in their cloud architecture.

Storage flexibility

IT departments have also been exploring using NVMe to reduce response time and storage latency. For its part, NetApp was the first enterprise storage vendor to deliver NVMe/FC on all midrange and high-end all-flash A-series storage. This innovation allows customers using a 32Gb fibre channel to immediately see latencies drop to under half a millisecond.

All-flash arrays also enable storage tiering capabilities. After all, one of the ways to reduce cloud costs is to tier infrequently used data to less-expensive storage formats. However, the public cloud providers only offer data tiering between classes of their object storage offerings. This means that as storage requirements become more dynamic, companies require options in matching the fastest storage with the most critical applications.

By moving this less critical data to more affordable alternatives using a cloud-agnostic solution, such as the NetApp AFF, companies can tier data more strategically to meet both cost and access requirements.

Modernisation

Combining flash performance and application integration, while leveraging the power of the hybrid cloud, organisations can extend the capabilities of their data centres. These combine to make up part of the data fabric that help users unless the full potential of the data at their disposal.

Consider how consistent and integrated data management services and applications facilitate data visibility and insights, data access and control, and data protection and security. Together, these technologies will accelerate digital transformation and allow the business to address its highest imperatives.

All-flash storage has become a vital component in the cloud migration journey. It is something that companies must consider if they are to be effective in their digital transitions and leverage the agility that come from the high performance computing capabilities delivered through the cloud.

Anthony Njoroge is the Product Manager for NetApp at Westcon-Comstor Sub-Saharan Africa

[South Africa] Nedbank enables business continuity and employee remote work with Nutanix

Nutanix, a player in private cloud, hybrid and multicloud computing, has announced that Nedbank, one of Africa’s largest financial institutions, is leveraging the Nutanix cloud platform to improve and facilitate the rapid delivery of its virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) during the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling employees to work from home.

To ensure that the banking industry was able to provide its services and meet customer needs, Nedbank had to find a way for employees to work safely and productively from home.

When the initial COVID-19 lockdown stages were introduced, South African companies were forced to mobilize quickly with only a one-week period for preparation before a complete country lockdown. With approximately 30,000 employees serving more than 10 million clients, Nedbank needed to quickly scale its end-user computing systems to continue serving customers. With Nutanix already implemented, the IT team was able to seamlessly and rapidly extend its VDI solution.

“During the sudden switch to a work-from-home requirement because of the pandemic, we did not have to increase our infrastructure but rather optimize the way VDI is delivered to new users on the same platform,” said Johan van Tonder, End User Computing Senior Innovation Manager at Nedbank. “Using Nutanix, we can now maintain and upgrade mission-critical infrastructure during business hours without impacting any of our operations as well as enable employees to work from anywhere.”

Prior to deploying the hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI)-powered Nutanix cloud platform, Nedbank had a three-tier infrastructure that was siloed and required dedicated IT teams to solve specific problems when they arose. It would take a significant amount of time to fix or restore functional problems, which resulted in a large amount of downtime that negatively affected their customers’ experience. Nedbank knew it needed an environment that would increase performance speed and simplify infrastructure management.

In the past, the IT team would have to schedule overtime on the weekend when no users would be accessing the system to complete updates. Now, the IT team can perform firmware updates during peak office hours with minimal disruptions, if any, to the VDI environment or client systems. Additionally, Nedbank was able to simplify the management of its different clusters across separate physical locations, all from a single management console.

With more than 8,500 virtual desktops in its 160-node environment, it is crucial that Nedbank has an infrastructure in place that can enable employees to continue to work even during a pandemic.

“The method and speed at which Nedbank approached these challenges is a testament to the team’s understanding of the power of a hyperconverged infrastructure software and the downstream operational impact it can have on a business,” said Dom Poloniecki, General Manager, Sales, Western Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa at Nutanix. “Today’s clients don’t want their technology partners to approach their problems with a basket full of new technologies. They want to leverage their existing investments to find incremental value and leverage they are looking for. By leveraging its Nutanix solution, Nedbank is doing just that, stretching and truly deriving value from an existing investment.”

www.nedbank.co.za

www.nutanix.com

Hyperscaler, Neutral Carrier, Cloud Player, the 2021 Datacentre Trends, IDC

Datacentres will undergo significant change in 2021. There has been a revolution in behaviours and approaches that is shifting investment and innovation, and how datacentres provide services and provision for data and compliance.

According to Sabelo Dlamini, Senior Research and Consulting Manager, IDC Sub-Saharan Africa, some of the trends include the growth of the hyperscaler, continued reliance on the carrier-neutral datacentre, and a focus on performance and quality as data becomes increasingly invaluable.

“In addition to the introduction and expansion of hyperscalers such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, there will also be growth in the carrier-neutral datacentre for cross-connect services, meet-me rooms, and internet exchange points,” he adds. “This is because we are expecting a growth in traffic volumes due to changes in enterprise processes and consumer behaviour because of COVID-19.”

The carrier-neutral datacentre is likely to become key in developing fair playing fields, particularly for smaller internet service providers (ISPs), to have access to different interconnection points and internet exchange points. As emergent technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and robot process automation (RPA) continue to cement their scope and capability, demand for datacentres will increase, as will the volumes of data generated by the enterprise.  Cloud computing demand will continue to rise, as will the adoption of AI and IoT services that are hosted in the cloud, and this will put a heavy reliance on datacentre capability and ubiquity.

“Mostly everyone will be moving to the cloud so it is critical for every organisation, especially larger enterprises, to see how these changes can impact their business process in the near future, and start to prepare for it,” says Dlamini. “Even if your business is not planning to move, or you think your organisation won’t be affected, your key clients might be moving, and they may expect your processes to be cloud-ready. This is the right time to develop a cloud-ready or digital strategy that ensures the company can survive this transition.”

Everybody is transforming. Competitors, clients, and governments. It is time to ensure that the organisation has the right tools in place to fully leverage the potential of cloud, technologies such as AI or RPA.  This trend towards cloud-ready, digital-native organisation reliant on robust datacentre capabilities, will be further influenced by an increased demand for improved performance and quality of service that will push the datacentre further into the spotlight, and into the critical heart of the organisation.

“There will be a growing need for distributed content delivery networks, and these need to be hosted in regional or local datacentres that are closer to end-users,” says Dlamini. “Additionally, we will see an increased expansion of existing datacentres locally to cater for the growing legal requirements for data to exist within the country.”

On the hyperscaler frontier, the growth and expansion of Amazon, Google, and Microsoft is likely to remain a key driver impacting all these trends. These giants of cloud will continue to evolve their services and reach, allowing for the organisation to reach deeper into its cloud investment and squeeze out every last virtual drop of potential.

“The datacentre trends of 2021 are driven by the need to ensure that organisations have systems and processes in place that are cloud-ready, that can cover both on-prem and off-prem cloud investment, and that can fully support the hybrid cloud model that many sectors require,” concludes Dlamini. “These factors will shape how the datacentre evolves over the next 12 months and it is very likely that continued innovation and investment will further shift the capabilities of the datacentre and how the organisation can benefit from them.”

www.idc.com

Cloud security solutions provider Algress Inc expands into South Africa

Allgress, Inc., a global provider of automated next-generation integrated Cloud Security, Compliance and Risk Management Solutions has announced its opening of a new office in Bedfordview, Gauteng, South Africa headed by Country Manager Neeren Ramharakh.

This international expansion will make Allgress’ industry-solutions more widely available in those regions of the world with more geographically located sales and support.

Ramharakh says “Allgress solutions will allow enterprises to achieve risk and compliance maturity at an expedited rate compared to how enterprises are currently deploying via manual process or outdated technology. Allgress is committed to the GRC environment and our investment into South Africa is the first of many global expansion plans we have going into the future. The South African office will support customers within the Middle East Africa region with emphasis on establishing local partnerships.”  The new office will help raise awareness of GRC in the MEA market and aims to collaborate with partners in highly regulated industry sectors, such as financial services, telecom, utilities and healthcare.

Jeff Bennett, Allgress COO believes South African and Middle Eastern enterprises are keen to adopt advanced certification and risk management capabilities, and says “We are excited to offer our solutions to strengthen their risk and compliance postures, we believe that enterprises will achieve substantial cost and time savings as they deploy our solutions.

“The South African market response has been very good since we entered the country. We see a lot of older, established enterprises working to transform themselves and move away from manual processes. Customers today have high expectations of how they should be served, and big firms are stepping up to transform them as quickly as possible.”

www.allgress.com

Blue Prism accelerates intelligent automation for cloud users on Microsoft Azure

Blue Prism has announced a new offering of Blue Prism intelligent automation software on Microsoft’s AppSource and Azure Marketplaces.

The move enhances access for both Blue Prism and Microsoft customers, and underwrites Blue Prism’s position as the intelligent automation and robotic process automation (RPA) leader in the cloud.

Blue Prism customers already have access to a scalable, enterprise-ready platform that combines robotic automation and smart workflows with technologies like machine learning, advanced analytics, natural language processing, process mining, and cognitive capabilities and this offering allows Blue Prism robots greater access to Microsoft Azure Apps too, with access to over 175 accelerators for Microsoft products within Blue Prism’s Digital Exchange.

The new Bring Your Own License (BYOL) offering for Azure Marketplace and AppSource is pre-loaded with select Azure Cognitive Services – including Azure Text Analytics, Azure Form Recognizer and Azure Computer Vision – all of which customers can license directly through Microsoft. This combines with Blue Prism Digital Exchange where users can access more than 175 accelerators for Microsoft products to further enhance their enterprise automations.

“This combination of Blue Prism and Azure Cognitive Services gives our customers a greater choice with AI-enabled, self-service experience that is provisioned via Microsoft Azure,” says Chief Partner Strategy Officer at Blue Prism, Linda Dotts. “Advanced intelligent automation in the cloud provides multiple advantages for our customers, most notably the ability to instantly scale to meet enterprise demands.”

Blue Prism accelerators now exists for Microsoft Power Platform, Microsoft’s Power Automate gallery, Microsoft’s Healthcare Cloud; with Form Recognizer, Text Analytics and Azure Computer Vision.

It also adds to the company’s growing portfolio of cloud offerings, which include its Blue Prism Cloud SaaS platform, and expands a cloud strategy that not only centres on making intelligent automation more accessible, but that also aligns with customer desires for interoperability, expanded automation solutions, consumable and extensible artificial intelligence, and a seamless intelligent automation journey.

“Customers can embrace the transformative potential of intelligent automation and drive impactful change within their organisations, and this is now fully supported by Microsoft,” says CEO and Executive Chairman of Blue Prism, Jason Kingdon, “We are offering customers more flexible cloud deployment options delivering on Blue Prism’s vision of giving customers end-to-end automation solutions that cover the broadest range of IT environments, including on-premises, hybrid, public cloud, and SaaS.

www.blueprism.com

azure.microsoft.com

Shift to remote work is accelerating digital adoption, Cisco Duo Security Report

A new report published from Duo Security at Cisco, the multi-factor authentication (MFA) and secure access provider, reveals the unprecedented IT change organizations underwent this year amid a massive shift to remote work, accelerating adoption of cloud technology.

The security implications of this transition will reverberate for years to come, as the hybrid workplace demands the workforce to be secure, connected and productive from anywhere.

The 2020 Duo Trusted Access Report details how organizations, with a mandate to rapidly transition their entire workforce to remote, turned to remote access technologies such as virtual private networks (VPN) and remote desktop protocol (RDP), among numerous other efforts.

As a result, authentication activity to these technologies swelled 60%, helping propel Duo’s monthly authentications from 600 million to 900 million per month. A complementary Cisco survey recently found that 96% of organizations made cybersecurity policy changes during the pandemic, with more than half implementing MFA.

Cloud adoption also accelerated. Daily authentications to cloud applications surged 40% during the first few months of the pandemic, the bulk of which came from enterprise and mid-sized organizations looking to ensure secure access to various cloud services.

As organizations scrambled to acquire the requisite equipment to support remote work, employees relied on personal or unmanaged devices in the interim. Consequently, blocked access attempts due to out-of-date devices skyrocketed 90% in March. That figure fell precipitously in April, indicating healthier devices and decreased risk of breach due to malware.

“As the pandemic began, the priority for many organizations was keeping the lights on and accepting risk in order to accomplish this end,” said Dave Lewis, Global Advisory CISO, Duo Security at Cisco. “Attention has now turned towards lessening risk by implementing a more mature and modern security approach that accounts for a traditional corporate perimeter that has been completely upended.”

Report findings also include:

So Long, SMS – The prevalence of SIM-swapping attacks has driven organizations to strengthen their authentication schemes. Year-over-year, the percentage of organizations that enforce a policy to disallow SMS authentication nearly doubled from 8.7% to 16.1%.

Biometrics Booming – Biometrics are nearly ubiquitous across enterprise users, paving the way for a passwordless future. Eighty percent of mobile devices used for work have biometrics configured, up 12% the past five years.

Cloud Apps on Pace to Pass On-Premises Apps – Use of cloud apps are on pace to surpass use of on-premises apps by next year, accelerated by the shift to remote work. Cloud applications make up 13.2% of total Duo authentications, a 5.4% increase year-over-year, while on-premises applications encompass 18.5% of total authentications, down 1.5% since last year.

Apple Devices 3.5 times More Likely to Update Quickly vs. Android – Ecosystem differences have security consequences. On June 1, Apple iOS and Android both issued software updates to patch critical vulnerabilities in their respective operating systems. iOS devices were 3.5 times more likely to be updated within 30 days of a security update or patch, compared to Android.

Windows 7 Lingers in Healthcare Despite Security Risks – More than 30% of Windows devices in healthcare organizations still run Windows 7, despite end-of-life status, compared with 10% of organizations across Duo’s customer base. Healthcare providers are often unable to update deprecated operating systems due to compliance requirements and restrictive terms and conditions of third-party software vendors.

Windows Devices, Chrome Browser Dominate Business IT – Windows continues its dominance in the enterprise, accounting for 59% of devices used to access protected applications, followed by Mac OS X at 23%. Overall, mobile devices account for 15% of corporate access (iOS: 11.4%, Android: 3.7%). On the browser side, Chrome is king with 44% of total browser authentications, resulting in stronger security hygiene overall for organizations.

UK and EU Trail US in Securing Cloud – United Kingdom and European Union-based organizations trail US-based enterprises in user authentications to cloud applications, signalling less cloud use overall or a larger share of applications not protected by MFA.

The full report can be accessed here

www.duo.com

Telekom Networks Malawi selects Canonical’s Charmed OpenStack to modernize its telecommunication infrastructure

Canonical, the publisher of Ubuntu, has announced that its Charmed OpenStack, an open source private cloud solution that allows businesses to control large pools of computer, storage and networking in a datacentre, has been selected by Telekom Networks Malawi Plc (TNM), to modernise and virtualise its entire telecommunications infrastructure.

 TNM is Malawi’s telecoms provider and aims to create faster time to market across its product range through the move.

TNM has been a pioneer of mobile and data solutions in Malawi, having been the first mobile operator to launch 4G broadband services, while its network is the fastest in the country, covering all cities and major towns. Charmed Openstack will enable TNM to separate network hardware and software, turning legacy components into software based network services . This means they can be updated quicker with continuous integration and development, while ensuring the network is robust and scalable.

The move towards Charmed OpenStack has been driven by TNM’s existing use and advocacy of open source software. The deployment, including two private clouds, will happen immediately and give TNM access to virtual network functions (VNFs), which will open up access to a wide range of network services to build on top of the initial deployment.

Adopting a cloud-based architecture with Charmed OpenStack will accelerate TNM’s ability to develop new technologies and services while benefiting from reduced CAPEX investment. TNM will also adopt Canonical’s Managed OpenStack service, which allows TNM to have a fully managed private cloud on its own servers. The managed service allows TNM to take advantage of Canonical’s open source expertise and allows them to focus on adding business value elsewhere.

Michiel Buitelaar, Chief Executive Officer at TNM, said: “This is a big step in an ongoing programme for us to evolve our infrastructure and deliver the best possible solutions for customers. Utilising Canonical’s expertise via OpenStack was an obvious choice, and by increasing our open source footprint we now have access to a wider range of services, optimising how we will deliver future technologies.”

Nicholas Dimotakis, VP of Field Engineering, Datacentre at Canonical, said: “TNM is joining a wave of telco companies moving to OpenStack, to modernise their infrastructure to software based network services, and it’s fantastic for us to be part of this migration. TNM understands what can be delivered through an open infrastructure and is now able to take advantage of open source technology more broadly, collaborating with the community to improve its offering.”

TNM’s decision represents a bigger trend within the telecoms industry, while in Africa specifically, companies are turning to OpenStack to modernise their network and future proof for the adoption of new technologies such as 5G. Through a long-term investment in the technology, TNM will now have more agility to innovate at scale and consistently meet customer demands.

TNM’s cloud will be built on Canonical’s Charmed OpenStack, and utilise Canonical’s open source tools to automate the deployment and operations of their infrastructure. TNM has adopted Juju – Operator Lifecycle Manager to manage and operate a set of software applications for a model-driven architecture to onboard virtual network functions (VNFs) applications, while MAAS is used as the cloud-provisioning tool. The company will also benefit from Canonical’s Managed OpenStack offering for the ongoing maintenance and support of operations.

www.canonical.com

www.tnm.co.mw

Global cloud-based contact center market poised to reach $36 million by 2025, report

The global cloud-based contact center market size is expected to grow at an annual compounded growth rate of 25.8 per cent to reach $36.1 billion by 2025 from $11.5 billion in 2020 according to the latest report by Research and Markets.

Digital business transformation has entered a more challenging and urgency-driven phase due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Global giants provide customers with cost-effective and productive digital solutions as every industry is economically hard-hit by the pandemic.

The sudden shutdowns of organizations and institutions increased the demand for cloud solutions and other online services. The cloud-based contact center market in industries such as IT and ITeS, telecommunications, BFSI, and media and entertainment, has impacted positively due to the work from the home initiative.

Cloud-based contact centers are independent of the location they are situated, enabling agents, supervisors, and administrators to access them from anywhere through a phone or by an internet connection. Enterprises across the globe are recovering gradually and are expected to get back on gradually by mid of 2021.

The omnichannel routing solutions comprise digital channels, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), ACD, dialer, and virtual agent. COmnichannel solutions empower to designates certain calls to different agents and locations depending on a variety of factors.

 Focusing on call routing enables organizations to manage thousands of calls continuously without compromising with customer satisfaction. Moreover, organizations could easily manage spikes in call volume by intelligently distributing calls among multiple contact centers, including remote centers and home-based agents, with the unique omnichannel technology.

The cloud-based contact center market has been segmented based on organization size into Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and large enterprises. The major benefit large enterprises receive with the implementation of cloud transformation is that the cloud services are maintained and supported by the vendors themselves.

Moreover, firms could thereby engage their employees in more strategic business tasks. The demand for flexible, scalable, and convenient solutions for large enterprises pushes service providers to come up with new technologies and offer innovative solutions. Hence, the cloud-based contact center market for large enterprises is expected to grow at a significant rate.

The BFSI industry is adopting cloud services as it helps save operational costs and offers high business continuity. Banks’ customer information is stored across a variety of systems. Having this information readily available for customer service channels is crucial to meet stated objectives and provide seamless customer experiences.

With the help of cloud-based solutions, contact center agents can enhance customer experiences through increased speed and better quality of call resolution. Moreover, a cloud-based contact center ensures business continuity by focusing on issues such as manageability, scalability, and higher efficiency.

North America is estimated to capture the largest market share in 2020, and the trend is expected to continue during the forecast period. Growth in the adoption of cloud-based services in SMEs and large enterprises is expected to drive revenue growth in this region.

On the other hand, the cloud-based contact center market in the Asia Pacific (APAC) is expected to witness exponential growth and is projected to be one of the fastest-growing regions in the global cloud-based contact center market. This is attributed to the large-scale adoption of cost-effective cloud-based solutions in these regions.

www.researchandmarkets.com

Cloud4C and SNP Ink global deal on simplified digital transformation

Cloud4C Services Pte. Ltd, a global cloud managed services provider based in Singapore, has signed a global Silver Partnership agreement with the SNP Group, a player in data transformation, to simplify the complex digital transformation of data and processes.

This alliance will offer attractive packages for the accelerated adoption of SAP® S/4HANA in the cloud bundled with one-stop shop end-to-end software solutions to reduce enterprises’ total cost of ownership (TCO) and capital expenditure (CAPEX).

The partnership brings the dual advantage of Cloud4C’s AIOPs and DevOps-driven Managed Services expertise in SAP S/4HANA along with SNP’s BLUEFIELD™ approach powered by CrystalBridge® automation software.

With this, enterprises can launch multiple projects and migrate selective data in one go, on any cloud environment – public, private or hybrid. Cloud4C brings in global best practices in comprehensive cloud readiness assessment, security and regulatory compliance adherence, and cost optimization. The minimum duration of the contract is until the end of 2023.

Michael Eberhardt, Chief Operating Officer (COO) at SNP, commented, “Cloud-based modernization of SAP environments is a cornerstone of digital transformation, forming the basis for economic success on an unprecedented, accelerated path of business agility, continuity and innovation. A move to the cloud is increasingly becoming an integral consideration for strategic business- and technology-critical scenarios like SAP S/4HANA, mergers, acquisitions, carve-outs and infrastructure costs. We are pleased to partner with Cloud4C, taking our core capability in SAP landscape transformations to a new level globally. With our joint proposition, enterprises can rely on our selective data and process harmonization ability to minimize their cloud data footprint, thus delivering customer value through high-performance software for maximum project speed, accuracy and efficiency with minimal disruption and risk.”

Sridhar Pinnapureddy, Founder and CEO, Cloud4C, said “We are delighted to partner with SNP as their cloud evolution partner providing end to end cloud managed services for enterprises. Our customers will now have a viable alternative to transform their most complex SAP deployments into next-generation integrated environments with Cloud4C migration factory framework, SNP’s advanced software and global talent pool. Together, we will be able to help our customers embark on a cloud transformation journey through SAP Cloud Managed services, SAP S/4HANA transformation, Application Management Services (AMS) with reduced TCO powered by AIOps, Single interface for Platform Management.” He further added, “With our Cloud value assessment including TCO analysis, compliance/regulatory and security assessment, special attention to the availability of key services, enterprises will be able to achieve their business/technology objectives through our innovative cost models and gain Total Cloud Control.”

www.cloud4c.com

www.snpgroup.com

[South Africa] Stanlib enables remote working on Nutanix infrastructure foundation

Nutanix, a company involved in enterprise cloud computing, has announced  that South African financial services company, Stanlib, is working with the company to secure additional nodes that enable the organisation to provide virtual desktops to employees that have been required to work from home during the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in the country.

South Africa saw hard and fast Level Five lockdown restrictions being implemented in late March 2020, leading to all but essential service businesses having to close through to the end of April. However, being in the financial services sector required STANLIB to maintain trading conditions while prioritising the safety of its employees, resulting in the business enabling a host of employees to work from home. With little to no warning of the government’s intentions, STANLIB had to quickly find a practical solution that would support this move and allow employees access to their applications securely.

“Fortunately, having just completed a significant Nutanix roll out, which has seen 95% of STANLIB’s production environment being run on the Nutanix platform. We did not have to reinvent the wheel but rather identify how best to introduce new nodes to expand on our current capability. Ease of use and scalability were key considerations. Additionally, the ability to run Citrix as securely as possible given the governance requirements around data management had to be ensured throughout the process,” said Dipesh Nagar at STANLIB.

With Citrix being a group standard across STANLIB, the Nutanix environment had to enable users to have millisecond access to their applications. The guaranteed performance was a business priority. One of the advantages of the Nutanix infrastructure is that STANLIB can expand on its existing enterprise cloud environment, which it uses for crucial business applications to deliver these to its work from home users. The scaling out of STANLIB’s existing private Nutanix cloud was a straightforward process, didn’t require a significant investment of resources on new equipment, and it repurposed the hardware it already had in place for Citrix Hosted Shared Desktops and a remote work offering.

Subsequently, STANLIB has grown its 20 node Nutanix environment to now encompass 26 nodes still running Acropolis Ultimate Edition including Prism Central while now also having Citrix solutions in place. The advantages of being able to access VDI infrastructure are significant. Not only does this result in a simplified IT environment, but it also increases security that is mission-critical for STANLIB. Employees can remain productive wherever they are and can still access essential information, products, and services from the datacentre just as if they were sitting in the office.

“Nutanix has positioned us strongly to evolve as the world changes and to be able to meet any changes in an agile manner. This enables STANLIB to deliver high-quality customer service irrespective of what is happening in terms of the lockdown. While it is difficult to predict what the future work environment will look like once we have moved past the COVID-19 pandemic, using Nutanix has given STANLIB the peace of mind we need that we can reliably and securely meet any requirement. The scalability of the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform makes future growth virtually limitless, and we can plan for any scenario while still delivering the business continuity and disaster recovery aspects so essential for the financial services market,” added Nagar.

“As a longstanding customer and early adopter of Nutanix, STANLIB has always set the bar in embracing change and being able to adapt their systems to the needs of the business,” stated Paul Ruinaard, Regional Sales Director at Nutanix Sub-Saharan Africa. “The speed of completion and the agility with which it was done stands as a testament to the importance STANLIB place on IT functioning as a business enabler. They are one of only a few financial services companies that were able to effect this change as quickly as they did and as a result, ensure business continuity throughout the lockdown.”

Considering how access to sensitive data has become a target for increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks, being able to leverage Citrix in a high available Nutanix environment enables STANLIB to provide the right level of access based on each employee’s location, device, and several other factors. Today, irrespective of whether a remote worker accesses the STANLIB environment from a desktop, laptop or tablet, Nutanix and Citrix deliver the response times required to remain as productive as possible with no impact on the employee experience.

www.nutanix.com

www.stanlib.com