A Mobile Telecommunications company with a global network coverage has implemented a Cloud based IT business solution with enhanced security. Comprising of a Cloud platform using Microsoft Azure; Cloud productivity applications using Office 365; enhanced security for the Cloud and mobile users using Barracuda NG Gateway; secure BYOD (Bring your own device) using SPYRUS Portable Workplace for WTG (Windows to Go).
A new company was formed to manage a global network infrastructure previously owned and managed by two separate companies. An internal team developed a definition of business and security requirements for an IT business platform. These included:
- The requirement to meet computing and security needs of a mobile work force with a large percentage of contractors.
- To provide an agile platform to quickly implement business IT solutions and meet the immediate and start-up nature of the company and to meet future growth and expansion.
- To minimise the ownership of IT infrastructure in order to minimise IT operating and support resources and capital costs; to provide users with a wide range of industry-standard business and personal productivity tools and solutions.
An IT strategy based on Cloud Computing was defined as best meeting the company’s business needs including those for security and the mobile workforce.
To assist with the implementation of the first phase of a Cloud solution, the company selected Pygmalion Solutions, a Microsoft Partner with Gold and Silver competencies, and an ISO 9001: 2008 certified company. A project was formed with a joint project team comprising personnel from Pygmalion and the company. This included specialists in project management, enterprise architecture; security, IT infrastructure design; and software development.
IT platform and directory, authentication services based on Microsoft Azure
The back-end IT platform was built on Microsoft Azure, hosting AD (Active Directory) to provide directory and user authentication services.
A range of business applications and services with single sign-on provided by Windows Azure and Office 365
Office 365 was used to provide Cloud productivity solutions such as email using Exchange, SharePoint for collaboration and document management using SharePoint, conferencing using Lync
A number of database applications were migrated to SQL server with business analytics and analysis provided with Power BI
Systems Management of end-devices using Microsoft Intune
Microsoft Intune was used to provide a range of services including:
- The deployment of Microsoft applications
- Updates and service packs
- Endpoint protection
- Pro-active monitoring
- Hardware and software inventorying
- Management of security policies
- Remote desktop assistance and support
Mobile Device Management using Microsoft Intune.
The company utilises a range of smartphone devices including Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone. Microsoft Intune was deployed to provide a unified device management solution for desktops/ laptops tablets and smartphones
Enhanced security of the Cloud platform and user connectivity with Barracuda NG Firewall.
A key requirement of the company’s IT strategy was to provide high levels of security for both the Cloud platform and for the connectivity of the mainly mobile users. It was also identified that this should have high availability and resilient, and be non-obtrusive and non-evasive to the user.
Barracuda’s NG Firewall product was used to provide a range of security features including a powerful network firewall with high availability; a secure channel for connectivity from mobile user to the Cloud platform, utilising a VPN client with AD integration to give the user a single and simple log-on (this was considered a great feature by many users, especially those whom had previously experienced the typical VPN solution with complex and multiple logon’s)
BYOD with dual mode corporate and personal environments provided by SPYRUS Portable Workplace for WTG (Windows to Go) devices.
SPYRUS Portable Workplace for WTG (Windows to Go) devices enabled a selection of staff and contractors with either a BYOD (Bring Your Own device) or a company laptop to have the dual option of either booting either into a corporate Windows environment with management, enhanced security and encryption, or into a personal Windows environment.
Automated End-device Provisioning Solution using Windows deployment services
The company decided to upgrade its end-devices (mainly laptops) to Windows 8.1. A highly automated end-device provisioning solution utilising Windows Deployment Services and Microsoft Deployment Toolkit was used. This was used to provision a company standard build comprising Windows 8.1, Office 2013 and a range of applications and specialist drivers.
Due to the extremely high bandwidth required to efficiently and quickly provision the large buildimages, this solution utilised on-premises servers.
The use of a Cloud Computing based on a Cloud platform from Microsoft enabled a new organisation to quickly implement its IT business requirements, with minimal capital expenditure and paid for on a subscription (monthly payment basis).
Furthermore, providing an agile IT platform with easily extendable incremental capacity to meet the growth and expansion of business requirements with minimal capital investment.
The Cloud platform provides a range of benefits and cost savings compared to the traditional approach of owning, maintaining and operating physical IT assets and supporting resources such hardware, software, backups and DR (disaster recovery) buildings, support personnel, etc.