To move from 60 print servers to 1 ...
NCC had 60 print spool servers spread across a number of different offices and site...
Anders Eklind ran the project
Anders was at that time the IT co-ordinator at NCC’s head office in Solna,
just outside of S...
every improvement is instantly reflected and benefitting the user. The system has
also given us the opportunity to work pr...
Grundvektor, normal                                   Master, svart                               Flikar


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Cirrato NCC case study - Removing 60 print servers and gaining control


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Learn how a large Swedish construction company removed 60 print servers and gained central control over everything related to printing.

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Cirrato NCC case study - Removing 60 print servers and gaining control

  1. 1. To move from 60 print servers to 1 ... NCC had 60 print spool servers spread across a number of different offices and sites across the world. Today, all of their 600 printers are instead connected to one central server. Updating drivers now takes five minutes, even for printers in remote sites, where it could before take up to a day... ...disconnect the last one too! With such a widely branched system and just a single point of communication, one would think that the system could be sensitive to interference. Instead, safety and reliability has increased since the server isn’t needed for the printouts to work anymore. Meet the people who were part of and started the project at NCC and listen to their version of how it happened.
  2. 2. Anders Eklind ran the project Anders was at that time the IT co-ordinator at NCC’s head office in Solna, just outside of Stockholm. Today he is in charge of computer communications nationally. –As an IT co-ordinator it was my job to make sure all the local managers at the sites, as well as in the offices had a working IT-system, and this naturally included printers. At the IT-department we view the local managers as a customer whose needs shall be met. The construction process can under no circumstances be standing still. How *¨^ ¤ ?! hard can it get? –What can be difficult to understand is that printing is the hardest part to run in an IT-department, or at least it was before. There were drivers that constantly had to be updated, different systems from various printer manufacturers to handle the actual printout, computers that were connected to new printers in new places, and the consideration needed for disparate printout formats that CAD-, desktop- and word processing programs use. On the whole it was a very complex environment that often played a lot of tricks. And on a personal level it is difficult to deal with desperate people who call in and have problems with their printouts. Funnily enough the persons put in charge of the printers are often the newest staff mem- bers with the least experience. Hard to overview –With 600 printers and 60 print spool servers it got harder to keep all aspects of printing up to date in all places. One driver update turned out to cause problems with CAD printouts. So we made a special solution. But in the end we got many special solutions that were almost impossible to systematically overview. –When Cirrato was introduced to us it was the lucid overview that got us inter- ested. To suddenly be able to make a certain update and have it immediately administered in the whole system was new to us. And the ability to control all parameters remotely from one place extricates large recourses in an operation as geographically spread as ours. We also noticed that our customer, the local manager, would get a system with increased dependability. Simple migration –Me and Andreas Poulsen, the South region’s IT-coordinator, decided to install Cirrato in Stockholm starting off by migrating all his printers in the South region. Since we were still operating all our ordinary work tasks during the migration, it took 2 months. But after that, we had learned the process, so elimi- nating the rest of the 59 print spool servers and migrating the rest of the 550 printers took place without users noticing anything, not even when we migrated the local printers. During the installation we noticed a couple of bugs in Cirrato, it is after all an increadibly complex system compatible with a huge variety of different types of businesses, but after contacting the product developers directly the solution came quickly. Total control –It is a huge difference from before, when there were uncertainties every time something was going to be done on a print server, and the operations were docu- mented carefully so that they could be replicated on the other print servers. Today
  3. 3. every improvement is instantly reflected and benefitting the user. The system has also given us the opportunity to work pro-actively, since all disturbances come up on a screen and most of the time we can correct the problem before the users notice anything. –My recommendation to companies who are about to install Cirrato is to not mention it to the staff. At NCC we gave notice because we were worried about upcoming problems, but that only resulted in Cirrato being blamed as soon as a toner ran out or a paper jam occured. With what we know today I should have told it afterwards when it was already up and running. Ingella horrocks runs cirrato today Ingella, IT-coordinator, was on parental leave when the big migration took place and she came back to a totally new environment. “–Don’t let any consultants mess up our system” were my last words before I went on parental leave. My experience was that it could take days, sometimes weeks to get everything to run 100% smoothly again. This time I came to a set table, and running the printer side of things today is a piece of cake! Cirrato has such obvious functions and is almost maintenance free. –In one region we had a very large number of local printers and there was great resistance against connecting them to a central server. The experience of print servers was that they complicate things. But it is actually when there is a large number of local printers that the gains of using Cirrato are the largest. To be able to centrally handle locally spread printers is without parallel. If a bug is found in a driver or if a printer is changed it is so easy, the user notices nothing while all the printers and routines are updated. With Cirrato we achieve what is most important to us – that the construction proceeds on our building sites! Göran Gerth is responsible for the environment at ncc At a construction company like NCC, the main environmental impact takes place at the building sites. Our focus is on environmentally sustainable construction, logistics and materials. The biggest environmental contribution Cirrato has given us is the increased awareness we get through its functions, such as the limitations on printing accounts and that the system always suggests double-sided printouts. –The environmental effect of having one large print server instead of sixty is that it reduces the power consumption more than 90%, while at the same time making the system more reliable. Tell me where you can reach such effects! Add to that all the trips to the building sites from our IT people that have nearly disappeared. In real numbers NCC’s largest environmental influence reduction comes through environmentally friendly fuels for bulldozers and improved logistics in moving rocks and concrete, but none the less it is important for us that the environmental way of thinking seeps through the whole organisation. Having NCC’s IT depart- ment reducing the environmental effects at the same time as the efficiency is substantially increased is such an immense advantage. Lars-Erik Åhlin is the it manager of infrastructure Our main activity is construction; computers make our way of building more effective. On the whole, the cost for computers and printers are negligible, as long as they work. The cost for a whole IT-system standstill shows in salaries and shat- tered budgets. Cirrato’s greatness is that the printouts always work, even when the system is shut down or unreachable.
  4. 4. Grundvektor, normal Master, svart Flikar dipritec products NCC’s IT environment in short: Employees 21.000 support of offices Numbers 550 Building site offices/projects 3.000 Servers before 60 Servers now education 1 Printers 800 Number of employees at IT department 27 research The best with Cirrato according to NCC: • Safety of operation in a totally new dimension • Full control over all standard drivers and special adaptions Vit Färg • Simplifies environmentally friendly behaviour which increases environmental awareness • Migration without the users noticing anything • Zeroed consultancy costs for operation • Works with all printer brands Cirrato 2.0 – take charge over your printers! Signa Normal Book Times ABCDEFG H IJKLM NOPQRSTUVWXYZÅÄÖ ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZÅÄÖ abcdefghijklmnopqrst uvwxyzåäö abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzåäö 123 4567890+-:;!?°§”#€% &/()><@£$© 1234567890+-:;!?°§”#?%&/()><@£$© St:Eriksgatan 63 112 34 Stockholm Telefon +46 (0) 8 46 22 440