Shelf Drilling employed Riverbed SaaS Accelerator and Riverbed Steel Head to overcome the inherent bandwidth limits of the VSAT links used to connect its off-shore rigs to mission-critical on-premises and cloud-based applications, according to Riverbed | Aternity. The technology has helped Shelf Drilling streamline important rig activities like as order processing, employee training, and operations management by delivering a 95 percent decrease in Intranet traffic while streamlining core applications by 80 percent.
Shelf Drilling, based in Dubai, employs around 3,000 people and operates 30 rigs in eight countries. It also has 12 onshore locations. While technology is critical to the company’s operations, the offshore rigs provide distinct IT issues.
“As satellite links are the primary means of connectivity, these rigs typically have low bandwidth of just1-2 Mbps, and high latency of up to 750 milliseconds,” explained Ian Clydesdale, IT Director at Shelf Drilling.
He added, “As a result, some of our key applications require optimization to manage data replication effectively, including our JD Edwards ERP platform, responsible for generating purchase orders in the procurement process,as well as our operational management applications.”
Clydesdale added, “Additionally, all the usual administrative functions need to share and access large files especially during key rig operations.Also, employee satisfaction is another aspect that’s heavily dependent on connectivity.Our staff now rely on bandwidth-intensive applications to keep in touch with family and carry out personal functions such as mobile banking. It’s imperative for us to facilitate this.”
Since Riverbed | Aternity began optimizing Shelf Drilling’s Internet traffic, outages are now less likely to affect data transfer. This is key to the company’s cloud-first strategy which includes the migration to Microsoft Azure in the UAE. “Riverbed | Aternity is an integral part of our infrastructure, so when we’re considering new technology solutions, we have to prioritize technologies that integrate directly with it,” said Clydesdale.
He added, “We’re always striving for the best possible digital experience for our teams, and it simply doesn’t make sense to run a network of our size and complexity without Riverbed | Aternity’s optimization and SaaS Acceleration solutions.”
Commenting on the successful partnership between Shelf Drilling and his organization, Mena Migally, Regional Vice President, META at Riverbed | Aternity said, “This was a landmark project as Shelf Drilling was the first organization in the Middle East to implement our SaaS Acceleration solution. We take pride in providing them with technologies that are virtually ‘invisible’ – requiring minimal resources from their internal IT team – and thereby affording them the ability to focus on revenue generation and value creation for their end customers. As they now look to adopt a cloud-first strategy, Riverbed | Aternity is ready to actively guide them through their exciting transformation journey.”
Clydesdale and his IT team used Riverbed SaaS Accelerator to speed up business-critical SaaS applications, as well as Riverbed SteelHeadTM for WAN Optimization to improve network and application performance. To increase performance, these solutions interface with important technologies like Shelf Drilling’s VMware virtualization software, JD Edwards, and Microsoft 365.
On 1.2 terabytes of email data, Riverbed | Aternity enabled the organisation to achieve a compression rate of over 50%. Performance monitoring traffic is also being expedited at a rate of 67 percent per month, and the organisation is seeing 81 percent optimization and a 95 percent reduction in database replication traffic for its ERP suite. Riverbed | Aternity also simplifies data replication from offshore instances to the virtual cloud environment.