Managing the IT network and architecture for a multinational organization of this magnitude is a sizeable task. The PC Solution Team is responsible for delivering all the systems management tools to manage the company’s 100,000 workstations. In 2008 the team chose to implement Microsoft Systems Management Platform across the group to create better collaboration and improve productivity.
The standard architecture for the Microsoft platform is for each geo-location to have a dedicated, or ‘branch’ server. For Saint-Gobain this would have meant investing in, and maintaining at least 6000 servers. The PC team sought an alternative solution that would avoid having to put a server into each branch office.
Using spare network bandwidth, Nomad delivers operating system upgrades, software deployments and patches safely and securely to thousands of PCs and servers day or night with zero disruption on the network. This solution removes the need for branch servers or desk-side visits – reducing existing server footprint and administrative overheads. The team immediately understood that this solution matched their requirements.
During the evaluation period it soon became apparent that distribution of software, OS upgrades and deployments was working perfectly, “We had initial concerns about optimal distribution over a LAN using only one peer for multiple clients rather than having each client being a peer for other machines. We need not have worried, it worked as it should, distribution was quick and reliable,” affirms Guillaume Chuet, Desktop Solution Manager, Saint-Gobain Group
Having only one peer distributing to multiple PCs is very effective and causes minimal impact on the network as well as reducing the bandwidth requirements. An additional benefit of Nomad is that it is able to identify and control the connection type and it manages device connections seamlessly as they move between wired and wireless LANs.
Nomad has enabled Saint-Gobain to make significant cost savings, first, by avoiding investment in thousands of servers (and the associated energy, support and maintenance costs that they would have generated) and second through better systems management and reduced disruption to users’ working day. “Nomad is a solution that has responded to our requirements and works very successfully for us,” Guillaume concludes.