NLMK group is one of the world’s leading steel companies with assets in Russia, India, USA and several European countries. It employs 55,000 people, 48,000 of whom work in its Russian production facilities located in five regions.
In 2019 NMLK started on a journey of digital transformation and developed a new IT strategy to link the digital tools and the strategic goals of the company as well as accelerate the deepest automation of its business processes.
With performance and quality of service problems with the network, NLMK needed to find a solution that could change the network from an environment for data transmission to an environment also for services and applications delivery. It was also important that the solution enable the network to be more intuitive and transparent, decreasing the number of manual operations. VMware SD-WAN was chosen as a solution because VMware has established itself as a reliable partner providing out-of-the-box solutions.
The project was launched and within three months VMware SD-WAN was deployed in 36 sites. Leonid Medvensky, head of IT infrastructure technology and information security at NLMK Group, noted the rich functionality and ease of management of VMware SD-WAN as a main advantage that influenced the launch of the project.
“Our tactical IT goals have been achieved with the help of VMware SD-WAN. Automatic traffic management, multi-channel data transmission, and simple policy management across all branch offices have been achieved,” said Medvenskiy.
Now with VMware SD-WAN even large amounts of backup file traffic does not decrease the performance of real-time applications such as Skype and Zoom. NLMK reports that the quality of video and conference calls has increased significantly. Additionally, VMware SD-WAN speeds up the delivery of applications by transferring data over two network links simultaneously.
“Our network has become more intelligent and user-oriented. VMware SD-WAN detects errors and fixes them before the user even notices anything,” said Medvenskiy.
The new solution is supported by only two IT specialists who spend only 20% of their time directly on VMware SD-WAN support. Centralized management through VMware SD-WAN Orchestrator allows the configuration of dozens of firewalls and routers from a single console. Previously, specialists had to make changes on each device separately. The customer can also pre-configure templates and thus speed up the process of connecting new offices to the corporate network and minimize configuration errors. At the same time, centralized management provides transparency to the security team and helps to identify and block not-allowed traffic between offices.
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