CASE STUDY: United TranZactions Utilizes itopia Cloud Automation Stack to Revamp and Reinforce its EUC Environment on Google Cloud Platform

Written by Karin Kelley on Jan 31, 2019

Introduction

United Tranzactions (UTA) is the largest independent check guarantee company in the US. The company securely guarantees billions of dollars in transactions every year and delivers a mission critical service to its client’s who are located throughout the US.  Through its proprietary online rapid response check guarantee platform, UTA has been able to achieve a number one market share in every vertical industry in which it operates, including the automotive, furniture, building materials, heavy equipment and distribution industries. The company is headquartered in Miramar, Florida

Challenge

Hurricane Irma in late 2017 was one of the most destructive storms to hit South Florida in more than a decade. While UTA was not directly impacted, it served as a catalyst to management to develop a more strategic business continuity plan for the next storm and other natural disasters. Before Irma, UTA had an on-premises VMware Horizon VDI environment in place, but found that it was too complex to manage and extremely expensive. Besides, the on-premises environment—which was approaching end of life—was also vulnerable to natural disaster.

Meanwhile, the company was experimenting with AWS WorkSpaces as an alternative to the on-premises VDI environment. Poor network performance and hidden AWS costs became a serious issue fast. For example, UTA’s workers need to navigate through multiple screens and systems to process transactions that are tied to an Apache Pig database on the backend. AWS’s 30ms network latency hampered the end user experience considerably—and, ultimately, productivity. The AWS management console was also difficult to navigate, and required overly-extensive manual configuration of GPOs to secure the environment. UTA quickly recognized that it needed a simpler, more modern, cloud-based desktop, backup and disaster recovery solution to ensure optimum business resiliency.

Use case

To address these challenges, UTA started looking for other cloud-based options. Ultimately, they chose to migrate workloads to Google Cloud with itopia Cloud Automation Stack (CAS). Through CAS, the company’s team of IT administrators are able to quickly spin up and configure domain controllers and Remote Desktop gateways on-demand, while having centralized, single-click control over user permissions and security settings. To meet the spikes in demand common in the industry, UTA is also leveraging the autoscaling capabilities in CAS to make the environment more elastic and scalable. CAS-enabled automated snapshots have been put in place for optimized disaster recovery and business resiliency. To ensure that that unique workloads have the proper amount of resources available and eliminate spend on unused ones, UTA is also using GCP’s Custom Machine Types to allocate the exact amount of CPU and RAM needed for each VM.

Conclusion

Since migrating to Google Cloud with itopia CAS, administering the Windows-based remote virtual desktop environment is much easier and quicker than with previous solutions. Network performance on Google Cloud is about twice as fast as AWS, boosting the end user experience, productivity and overall application availability. By leveraging the features of itopia CAS like autoscaling and automated GCP snapshots, UTA has been able to optimize its disaster recovery and business continuity strategy. Single pane-of-glass enterprise workload migration, orchestration and management through CAS has enabled the IT team eliminate time-consuming manual tasks and focus on more strategic initiatives to improve and grow the business further. Managing security is much simpler through CAS’s granular and centralized GPO and user application access controls. Application updates and patches now take much less time to implement, and VM images can be managed easily with itopia’s custom image management capability. Most of all, and according to Jonathan Adderley, Director of IT Operations, UTA, “We have been able to reduce cloud costs dramatically with itopia’s CAS + GCP, and create a more resilient business by ensuring that employees have secure access to their desktops, apps and data from remote locations during even the worst of storms.”

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