SHOWCASES
A Private Cloud based on Microsoft Datacenter Services Framework

Societe Arabe Internationale De Banque (SAIB)

SAIB (Société Arabe Internationale de Banque), was established on the 21st of March 1976, as the first joint Arab Bank working in Egypt, The bank executes all banking investment, financial and commercial matters related to banking business, and contributes to financing economic, industrial, real estate, agricultural, and commercial projects, as well as Egyptian foreign trade. The bank has 1200+ employee/user distributed across more than 22 branch offices that spread across all over Egypt.

Challenge

SAIB was a decentralized, heterogeneous IT environment that was difficult and expensive to manage. The growing IT infrastructure of the bank was also putting pressure on email, applications and other communication and collaboration servers. Existing underlying servers had grown old and required replacement. However, as the size of the infrastructure had grown, the costs of hardware replacement had also flown. Replacing servers and procuring server supporting operating systems and applications licenses posed the likelihood of a huge investment and definitely increased time-to-market solutions in a fast, easy and reliable manner.

Solution

SAIB wanted a solution that could leverage new technologies. The bank's idea was to invest in technologies that would offer agility and support growth while maintaining a manageable infrastructure. Such bank's requirements pointed to a private cloud solution, using virtual servers and management, to achieve better utilization of hardware, leading to fewer physical servers, greater agility, reduced deployment and maintenance costs, and greater scalability.

SAIB awarded Nile.Com the project to design and deploy a private cloud based on Microsoft datacenter services framework and then to roll out Windows Server 2008 R2 across the datacenter so it could support the Hyper-V platform. Hyper-V served as a server virtualization technology to optimize server hardware investments by consolidating multiple server roles as separate virtual machines running on a single physical machine. Today, the bank has eight physical servers, running 40 servers and scalable to host 20 additional servers. These are hosted using Hyper-V cluster, SQL cluster, Exchange Database Availability Group (DAG), and Windows Network Load Balancing (NLB.

Gained benefits
  • Agile, scalable and automated infrastructure.
  • Centralized management and administration of all infrastructure components.
  • Simplified manageability and greater visibility.
  • Efficient use of the existing hardware servers and storage.
  • Simplified high availability practice.
  • Simplified administration and greater efficiency.
  • Secure and robust unified threat protection services.
  • Smooth backup and restore operation.

Products used.
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008/SP1/R2.
  • Microsoft Hyper-v 2008/SP1/R2.
  • Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008/R2.
  • Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2012.
  • Microsoft System Center Operation Manager 2007/R2.
  • Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007/R3.
  • Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012.
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008.
  • Microsoft Exchange 2010.
  • Microsoft Forefront Protection for Exchange 2010.
  • Microsoft Forefront Threat Management Gateway 2010
  • IBM XIV Disk Storage Systems.
  • IBM Tape Storage Systems.
  • IBM System-x Rack mount Servers.

Integrated Unified Communication and VOIP

Elaraby Group

Elaraby Group, one of the largest industrial and commercial entities in Egypt, is the owner of a diversity of manufacturing facilities producing quality and highly reliable electronic, electrical and mechanical original equipment systems and subsystems with a reputation of excellence in the Egyptian market.

The Group's commitment to good workmanship and accuracy produces outstanding quality products that incorporate high technologies that satisfy the needs and surpasses the expectations of the consumer market.

Challenge

Spread across Egypt, Elaraby Group required a unified, scalable, and cost-effective communications solution that would meet its business needs.

The company operates with long lead times to order materials that require reliable and efficient communications to minimize its inventory of complex components. Additionally, effective communications are essential in the manufacturing sector where mid-assembly change orders must be relayed immediately to the production line to minimize losses.

Engineers at different facilities need easy-to-use, reliable communications to troubleshoot production issues, minimize downtime, maintain production schedules, and collaborate on new specifications.

At Elaraby Group; the users are spread across many locations, and the IT infrastructure posed many challenging requirements in the design of a solution that must be highly available, resilient and scalable with the capability to integrate it with the existing and running telephony systems.

The solution should be able to accept further workload demands and future growth, as well as to take into consideration the projected systems integrity and harmony with existing legacy communication systems such as PBXs and PSTN infrastructure.

Elaraby Group selected Nile.Com to design, develop and to deploy the needed UC/VOIP solution and Nile.Com accepted the challenge.

Solution

Nile.Com proposed to Elaraby Group the adoption of Microsoft Lync Server 2010, NET gateways and Polycom IP phones which offers the complete telephony capabilities of an IP private branch exchange (PBX) solution while consolidating the different ways people communicate-enterprise voice, IM, and audio and video web conferencing-into a single client interface.

Microsoft Lync Server 2010 is a perfect fit for modern manufacturers, like Elaraby Group, who require communication solutions to sustain their fast-paced business workflows and improve productivity; whether the communications are part of structured business process workflows or ad hoc informal collaborations that support daily operations.

Nile.Com recognized that the built-in interoperability within the Lync Server 2010 tool set, and the fact that it interoperates with the Microsoft Office desktop suite, would help staff work better together across the organization to seize business opportunities and improve production.

Full integration between Lync 2010 deployment and NET UX/VX/Tenor voice gateways and Polycom IP phones has also been realized.

The solution architecture - design and deployment - provided by Nile.Com - is already implemented across four distributed datacenters in different geo locations to provide presence, IM, AVC, enterprise voice and VOIP for 2000 user .

Products used.
  • Microsoft Lync Server 2010;
  • Microsoft Office Communication Server 2007 R2;
  • NET UX/VX Voice Gateways;
  • Tenor Voice Gateways;
  • Polycom Sound Point Phones;
  • Polycom CX Series.

Modernizing the Bank's Infrastructure

Arab African International Bank

"We had reached the limits of our infrastructure," says IT Manager of the AAIB. "When business leaders asked 'Can you do this?' we were responding 'There is no easy way to do this.'"

Challenge

AAIB IT team had concluded that modernizing the bank infrastructure platforms would provide new opportunities for improving IT responsiveness to the business, by freeing up time for IT staff to innovate and perform other value-added tasks.

Solution

The bank decided that it was time to overhaul its IT infrastructure and choose a number of Microsoft system software products to address their business needs in the area of operating system, directory services, messaging, unified communication, systems management, operation management and infrastructure security. Nile.Com was selected to conduct the design, deployment and services phases.

Benefits

The overall manageability, serviceability, operation, scalability and extensibility of AAIB IT infrastructure were vastly improved from where they were when the project was completed.
A Stable, Secure and Reliable IT Infrastructure

Al Watany Bank of Egypt

To improve business agility, AWB began building an integrated and secure technology environment and a standardized server and desktop based operating system. AWB also implemented a centralized management and operation strategy.

Challenge

AWB was faced with the challenge of maintaining a stable, secure and reliable IT infrastructure. As a bank with aggressive growth goals, AWB was looking to deploy a dependable technology infrastructure that would support their users, customers and growth needs by standardizing on a single platform. AWB selected Nile.Com to develop their infrastructure strategy and create a platform for growth.

Solution

Nile.Com first served the bank as a technical advisor for the adoption of new Microsoft technologies, and then as a key partner in the IT transformation project that included the architecture, design, and deployment. In particular, AWB solution was a full implementation for Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Active Directory, Exchange 2007 Messaging, Patch Management, Automatic End Point deployment solution, Systems Management, and Operation Management, Bluecoat proxy appliances, Websense web filtering, Enterprise Antispam Solution, End point Security Solutions and FORTINET UTM.

Enterprise Messaging Infrastructure

Al-Mansour Automotive

Al-Mansour Company continually undertakes initiatives to provide its employees with robust and up-to-date technologies so that they can provide customers with the best world class possible service.

Challenge

Al-Mansour infrastructure is distributed across multiple locations; primary offices, backup data center and remote offices in Egypt and other countries. To benefit from the new capabilities of Exchange 2010 and help drive growth, Al-Mansour decided to upgrade their messaging infrastructure (from Exchange 2003) and to develop robust, secure, and scalable messaging services to provide users in local and remote offices with greater mobility, flexible client access, simplified compliance and reduced risks of malware and spam.

The technical objectives were to; simplify the messaging service management, further reduce the utilized I/O footprint, and to migrate to a more robust, secure and scalable Exchange platform.

Solution

Nile.Com, being a Microsoft Partner with Unified Communications Gold Competency and experience in this field was engaged to design, prototype, build, and deploy a scalable, highly available and secure Exchange infrastructure; protected with TMG 2010, FPE 2010 and SCDPM 2010.

This Solution was implemented in both primary and the backup datacenters.

Gained benefits
  • Centralized management and administration of all exchange servers.
  • OWA clients to have the same functionality as the Outlook client.
  • Simplified high availability practice and consequently achieves operational enhancements.
  • Enhanced support and improved security for mobile devices.
  • Secure messaging system with minimum operational burden.
  • Better mailbox recovery tools and management tools.
  • Secure and robust unified threat protection services.
  • Smooth backup and restore operation.
Products used.
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008
  • Microsoft Exchange 2010
  • Microsoft Forefront Protection for Exchange 2010.
  • Microsoft Forefront Threat Management Gateway 2010
  • Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2010.

Streamlined Communications

American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt

The American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt continually strives to empower its employees with up-to-date communications and collaboration technologies so that they can, in turn, provide partners and members with the best possible service.

Challenge

The American Chamber needed a robust unified communications solution to streamline all communication systems and channels; internal users, internet users, email, instant messaging, presence and PBX integration.

Solution

To achieve this goal, AmCham engaged Nile.Com to upgraded the foundation of the chamber's unified communications infrastructure to Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, implementing FortiMail for mail security and protection and deploying Microsoft Office Communication Server 2007 R2 with full enterprise voice implementation.

The benefits included providing the facility for employees to easily access the Exchange Server 2010 through their mobile devices and Microsoft Outlook Web App.

Products used.
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2010
  • Office Communications Server 2007 R2
  • Product 3FortiMail Email Security Appliance.

Infrastructure Case Study

Dar Al Handasah Cairo

Business situation

Dar Al Handasah is pioneer in the use of innovative IT technologies that greatly enhance its employees' productivity. The company was suffering from a large Backup Window due to the implementation of a Direct Attached Storage system implemented on the networked servers and Tape Library Subsystem attached to the LAN Infrastructure.

Technical situation

The Direct Attached Storage was unmanageable. Simultaneous User and Tape Library communication with the servers over the LAN infrastructure caused network congestion and degraded throughput and performance.

Nile.Com Solution

The proposed solution was to replace the Direct Attached Storage system with a Storage Area Network (SAN) Fabric and an IBM Disk System Storage keeping only the Operating System on the servers. The Tape Library Subsystem was moved from the LAN to the SAN Fabric relieving the servers and considerably reducing traffic on the LAN.

Acquired Benefits

  • The Backup Window was reduced drastically as the backup operation became tenfold faster.
  • LAN operations were greatly enhanced by leveraging the network throughput.
  • The Storage Subsystem became manageable to configure and expand disk volumes.

Products used

  • IBM Midrange storage - DS4800;
  • IBM SHARK storage System DS8700;
  • IBM Tape Storage.

 

WorkStation Case Study

Dar Al Handasah Cairo Office

Business situation

Dar Al Handasah is a heavy user of Top Notch Engineering and Architectural Software Systems. The company's decision to upgrade from CAD application systems to the more advanced Building Information Modeling (BIM) application imposed high performance demands on users' computer workstations.

Technical situation

Dar Al Handasah IT department put workstations offered from different vendors to the test. Test labs were established to put the work station through rigorous test simulation real time production environment.

Nile.Com Solution

With more than 400 certifications for various configurations of graphics cards and operating systems by industry leading software suppliers, including Autodesk, the workstation presented Lenovo and supplied by Nile.Com became Dar's first Choice and set the standards for Dar Al Handasah production workstation.

Acquired Benefits

  • Lenovo's powerful ThinkStations have helped Dar engineers increase their productivity, resulting in timely project management and higher customer satisfaction.
  • The robust design and solid reliability of Lenovo PCs has reduced overall downtime considerably in the Cairo office.
  • LAN operations were greatly enhanced by leveraging the network throughput.

Products used

  • Lenovo ThinkStation S10 Workstation.
  • Intel Core2 Quad Core Processor.
  • NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics.
  • 64bit Windows Operation System.
Virtualization Case Study

Dar Al Handasah Cairo Office

Business situation

The productivity of Dar employees relies on the support of a team experienced Information technology specialist in the IT department and a well managed data center. Dar's dependability on information technology and the continual need for expansion required a re-evaluation of data center resources.

Technical situation

The requirement of expansion in hardware resources posed a challenge to costly space requirements and power consuming air conditioning and ventilation that is required to be able to cope with the heat dissipation within the data center.

Nile.Com Solution

Nile.Com teamed up with Dar IT department to design and implement a virtualized Infrastructure environment by consolidating servers using a VMware virtual server cluster to ensure high availability and Dynamic Resource Scheduling (DRS).

Acquired Benefits

  • Optimized utilization of available Hardware.
  • Cost saving by eliminating the need to expand physically by relocating the data center.
  • Eliminated the need for extra air conditioning and ventilation, thus, reducing electric power consumption resulting in further cost saving.

Products used

  • Blade Center Servers.
  • VMware ESX.
Unified Communications Case Study

Dar Al Handasah Cairo Office

Business situation

Dar Al Handasah has 44 offices throughout 30 counties worldwide.and employees constantly traveling between offices and filed projects require a versatile and constantly available means of communication among each other and with their office whenever and wherever their location.

Technical situation

It was time to integrate the various communication technologies in separate islands into a unified messaging and communications system.

Nile.Com Solution

Nile.com helped Dar Cairo to integrate their conventional PBX with Cisco Call manager and Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007 and to implement a unified messaging and communication environment.

Acquired Benefits

  • Ease of communication.
  • Increased reach ability.
  • Enhanced system manageability.
  • Elimination of caller ID problem.

Products used

  • Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007.
  • Net VX Gateway Devices.
IBM Blade Center and Storage Case Study

Egyptian International Pharmaceutical Industries Co. (EIPICO)

Business situation

Egyptian International Pharmaceutical Industries Co. (EIPICO), the largest local producer of pharmaceuticals in Egypt, has shifted to SAP applications to manage its core business, alongside Microsoft Office, Exchange and other Microsoft Windows-based applications.

They are now using a range of SAP ERP functionalities including financials, controlling and distribution, materials management and warehouse management and they determined that multiple business systems were not serving the corporation efficiently.

Diversified backup, archive and restore processes and an uncertain disaster recovery plan needed to be improved to secure business data.

Technical situation

The technical objectives were to simplify the IT infrastructure, reduce costs and implement a robust and scalable solution that offers a unified data backup, restore and archive environment. Additionally, Nile.Com offered a storage area network to help reduce total storage costs, by maximizing disk utilization, and to cut backup system administration costs through process automation.

Nile.Com Solution

Nile.Com, as an IBM Premier Business Partner with specializations in System x and Storage was engaged to design and implement IBM Blade Center, Fiber storage switching modules and IBM Systems Storage DS4700; as well as automated data backup, restore and archive processes with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager.

Products used

  • IBM Blade Center
  • IBM System Storage DS4700
  • IBM Tivoli Storage Manager.
Unified Threat Management Case Study

Societe Arabe Internationale De Banque (SAIB)

SAIB's high dependability on IT operations and access to the Internet requires that their underlying infrastructure and internet gateways should allow employees to safely and productively use the internet without worrying about malware and other threats.

Challenge

Invasive internet malware is a constant threat to endpoints and thus impacts employee productivity at SAIB in addition to the workload imposed on the IT department staff that has 700 client PCs to manage and secure. SAIB sought after a solution to help secure their endpoint and infrastructure gateway, and that could easily address the following challenges
  • Malware protection
  • Gateway level threat protection
  • Web filtering
  • Forward SSL inspection
  • Intrusion detection and prevention system
  • Balancing and failover/failback internet connectivity links
  • Internet traffic comprehensive reports.
Solution

Nile.Com, with Microsoft Gold Competency in Identity Management and Security, was engaged to design and implement Microsoft Threat Management Gateways 2010; as well as to consolidate and migrate ISA server's configurations and to design and implement access and server publishing rules. SAIB now has a solution in place that has made its environment more secure and continually available so it can keep PCs running and safe against internet surfing threats.

Configuration and Operation Management

Societe Arabe Internationale De Banque (SAIB)

To help trim operating costs and pursue opportunities for continued expansion, SAIB needed to streamline its approach to configuration and operation management and to increase its operational visibility. The bank wanted to simplify PC and server management to make it easier for IT staff to administer, support, update and proactively manage the bank infrastructure.

Challenge

SAIB wanted to expand its areas of expertise and develop a new practice area that would help its IT team deliver business value by optimizing the bank's infrastructure.

A solution was needed to address the following challenges:
  • Monitoring the hardware and software in a distributed environment to detect issues, then providing tools to fix those issues.
  • Automating the time-consuming processes of installing, updating, and patching software.
  • Implementing standard processes for systems management, rather than taking a purely technical view.
  • Addressing the monitoring and configuration requirements of the Bank without full-time management staff. Plan installations properly by providing robust tools for estimating the required resources.
Solution

Nile.Com, implemented Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system and Microsoft System Center solutions to enhance management of SAIB's infrastructure configuration and operation. There was a reduction in maintenance costs and more efficient control over the infrastructure, relieving the IT staff and giving them more time to focus on delivering business services.

Now, the Bank enjoys the benefits that come with the centralized management of its server environment, as well as an enhanced disaster recovery solution and no additional licensing costs.

Products used.
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager
  • Microsoft System Center Operation Manager

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